HYDE PARK — Sly and the Family Stone — minus Sly — will headline the Celebrate Hyde Park Festival on Sunday.
The funk and soul group has not played Chicago in more than 40 years, and the last time they were scheduled to play, fans rioted before the band could go on.
“The last time they were in Chicago in 1970 there was a riot because Sly didn’t show up,” said Wallace Goode, director of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, who helped organize the Celebrate Hyde Park Festival.
In July 1970, Sly and the Family Stone were set to play Grant Park when the crowd of 75,000 grew restless during delays and began to riot.
People were fighting, throwing trash and breaking a few windows, said Goode, who was at the show for one of his favorite bands.
During the melee, more than 165 people were arrested and more than 130 were injured, including several police officers.
For more than 40 years, it was believed that lead singer Sly Stone never showed up, but in an interview last year with “Rare Soul,” Stone said he was there and ready to play.
“I was on my way to the free concert, but we just turned around and went back. [The escorts] said it wasn’t safe to go any nearer,” Stone said in the interview. “I was there when it was advertised that I wasn’t.”
Stone himself is not scheduled to play at this year's two-day festival, but many of the original members of the Family Stone will perform on the 53rd Street stage with Funkadesi, Chicago Catz, Terisa Griffin and other acts.
Dancers from the Hyde Park School of Dance will kick off the festival at noon Saturday, the first of 12 performances capped by the Family Stone at 7 p.m. Sunday.