Sounds of Summer, a screening series held a special celebration for the 15th anniversary of Dave Chappelle’s Block Party documentary on Friday, July 30th. The event was held at Los Angeles’ Exposition Park in a picnic-style movie screening alongside performances from the Compton Centennial High School Marching Band and DJ Huneycut.
Initially, the doors were set to be opened at 6:30 p.m. but guests were unable to enter until after 7:00 p.m. due to delays. Once we were finally able to enter, we were welcomed by music and warm welcomes from workers. Guests were able to reserve their spots on the grass in front of the giant blow-up screen and visit vendor booths – which there were only about five booths, mostly alcoholic beverages. Fifteen percent of sales were donated to My Friends Place, a non-profit organization that helps youth experiencing homelessness.
One thing guests were immediately dissatisfied with was the lack of food. As soon as I laid my blanket on the grass all I could hear was the crowd questioning where the food was, “they promised food, I don’t see any,” said a young lady seated behind me. The only food available at the event was snacks such as chips and candy that were sold through the GoPuff app.
As the sun began to set, we were treated to a special performance from DJ Huneycut that got the crowd dancing and singing along. Next, we were stunned by the Compton Centennial High School Marching Band’s grand performance. Sounds of Summer had the same idea as Dave Chappelle did in his documentary when they contracted the marching band, what better way to present Dave Chappelle’s Block Party than how Chappelle introduced his own party?
Minutes before the film began, guests were treated to a short video in which director Michel Gondry is virtually interviewed and says a few interesting facts about the Dave Chappelle’s Block Party documentary; however, it was a bit difficult to hear his words as the audio went in-and-out. Laughter and glee evolved from the crowd as soon as the film began. The vibrations from the loud audio made it feel as if all guests were physically at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party experiencing concerts from Kanye West, Common, The Roots, and the Fugees.
For a summer night in Los Angeles, this was a fun way to keep cool and enjoy live music. Guests bonded over music, dancing and singing along and bonded through laughter from Chappelle’s comedic commentary throughout the film reminding many of us how much we miss live music and entertainment.