Spark in the Park fun for UIC only

2011 Spark in the Park

The fourth annual Spark in the Park welcomes students, employees back to campus with a free concert. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

UIC fans of hip hop and house music — get ready!

This year’s Spark in the Park, UIC’s free back-to-school concert for faculty, staff and students, will feature Kendrick Lamar, Chicago native Chance The Rapper, Frankie Knuckles and GRiZ, along with UIC student opening act J. Larroc.

There are no tickets on sale for the fourth annual event — entrance is with valid UIC i-card only. Gates open at 3 p.m. for the Sept. 5 show at Harrison Field, corner of Harrison and Halsted streets. Early arrivals get a free Spark in the Park rally towel.

“It’s a good way for students to come out and have fun,” said Sabika Haq, a freshman in political science.

“I like the idea of them being free. I mean, who doesn’t like free concerts?” said Dan Hernandez, a senior in pre-med and Latino studies.

Two of the performers — Lamar and Chance The Rapper — appeared at Lollapalooza last month.

“I’m excited about Kendrick Lamar! I’m a fan, so it’s exciting, and plus we get to rub it in other schools’ faces,” said Dhwani Patel, a sophomore in biological sciences.

Lamar’s successful album “good kid, m.A.A.d. city”  landed the Compton rapper on the main stage at the Grant Park festival.

South Side artist Chance The Rapper has been gaining popularity since the release of his mix tape “Acid Rap.” Chance (Chancelor Bennett) worked on his first mix tape, “10 Day,” during a 10-day suspension in his senior year at Jones College Prep.

“I’m excited for Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. I saw Chance last year and he was really good,” said Xavier Torres-Valdovinos, a senior in communication.

DJ and music producer Frankie Knuckles, known as “The Godfather of House Music,” and Detroit “trip-hop” artist GRiZ round out the Spark in the Park lineup.

“I’m pretty excited to take the stage alongside all these great acts,” said Larroc, who was selected by online student vote to open the show.

Known as Jesus Corral in the classroom, where he’s a second-year graduate student in architecture, Larroc considers himself an electronic/house artist. He’s played the House of Blues and the Congress Theatre.

“I’m very thankful for the UIC community for selecting me to start off the night of tremendous music,” he said.

Spark in the Park is sponsored by Campus Programs in collaboration with the UIC Pavilion and UIC Radio. Previous performers have included Childish Gambino, Santigold, Lupe Fiasco and Kid Cudi.

“Last year’s performers were very good. I actually now listen to Childish Gambino because of Spark in the Park,” said Alondra Dorado, a sophomore in biological sciences.

— Humaa Siddiqi and Britney Musial contributed to this story.

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