Within the Chicago entertainment scene for the past 15 years, Tink, Raekwon, Zenni Eyewear/Chicago Bulls, and other prominent musicians and brands have all been introduced by Swank PR. The Purple Block Party, a first-ever music, community, and culture festival, has recently received dates announcement from the woman-owned business. The Purple Block Party is a musical, cultural, and joyful event that highlights many aspects of Chicago’s unity.

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The Purple Block Party will stage a block party at Garfield Park on Sunday, August 28th, 2022, in collaboration with the neighborhood group Rite to Wellness and Black Culture Fest. The event will feature an NFT Truck, a wellness section, a kids’ zone, and more. Attendees will enjoy live performances by Jim Jones, Pivot Gang, Kali, DJ 9AM, Vic Lloyd, Huey V (RocNation), and more at this event, which is hosted by Power 92.3 media personality Bree Specific.

The kid-friendly event will feature kid activities like an inflatable bounce house, back-to-school giveaways, and more in addition to food vendors, artwork, health and wellness experts, and kid activities. The Purple Block Party (PBP) seeks to reproduce on a wider scale the experience of all the components of a neighborhood block party. The PBP combines Chicago, community, culture, and technology.


Ahead of the event, Swank PR’s owner and CEO, Briahna Gatlin, spoke with The SOURCE about the importance of the event and contributing to Chicago. Tickets are available at www.thepbparty.com 

What inspired the Purple Block Party?
Briahna Gaitlin: The inspiration for the Purple Block Party came from me sitting as a founding board member at the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, wanting to create a staple brand within the community and entertainment industry. It came from being a part of the AHH fest and wanting to create a space for creativity, community, and culture. Dave Chapelle’s block party was the major part of inspiration simply because it encompassed the culture of hip hop. Still, there were so many elements that made it a wholesome, nostalgic feel. The Purple Block Party inspiration was a combination of me bringing all the elements of what I learned in my career combined with purpose. This has been a brain child I’ve been working on for the last 9 years. 

What hurdles did you have in bringing this to the community?
Hurdles that I am having are people being worried about security, getting them on board, and finding that balance of just giving back. Some of the hurdles I wouldn’t consider a hurdle more of a coping mechanism. I think the Purple Block Party can bring some level of hope and positivity to the community that has never been seen before. Because I went to school and have my office in this area, I am very comfortable with the community, and convincing other people from different areas to attend has also been a hurdle. This is the first big festival in this area, so the uncertainty is also a hurdle of not knowing what to expect.

What made the West side of Chicago the best location for this event?
This area doesn’t have access to these types of events, and I thought it was very important to bring this positive setting to them. The west side of Chicago hasn’t had a major event of this sort to call their own where they can enjoy themselves in their neighborhood. Considering all of the amazing events that happen within the city, this will be the first of many coming to the historical park. Garfield Park itself has amazing scenery, and people from all over need to see it and experience it. I think the Purple Block Party has the potential to bring back hope, morale, and a unique perspective on what the culture and community represent. 

There is a strong collection of women talent on the lineup. How important was it to create a platform for women to be welcomed to show their art?
Women have always been at the forefront and in the background of hip hop, community, and adding their piece to the puzzle within not only the culture but the world. Women often are the backbone of a lot of movements, being a woman as well it is important because of how strong we are and the perspective and tenacity that we bring to the table. Being that women are excelling in music from the boardroom to the stage, we have to celebrate it and champion them just as much as we have done with our male counterparts.

What made Jim Jones the perfect headliner?
Jim Jones is the perfect headliner because he is amazing to work with. Harlem and the Westside of Chicago share many similarities. Jim Jones and Cam’ron have always been comfortable rotating through the westside so it fits perfectly to launch the Purple Block Party. He is also still relevant in music and has a great catalog that transcends age groups, his personality embodies not only professionalism, but he creates a creative environment that makes you want to have fun & get money which is what the Westside of Chicago represents.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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