MAPLE PARK – Owners at Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park hosted a private celebrity event this week, although an unexpected crowd of more than 450 almost caused the venue to cancel the whole evening.
Kanye West, the outspoken musician, rapper and Chicago native, hosted the June 6 event as one of three scheduled “listening parties” across the nation, which the artist has deemed “Project Wyoming.” The events, hosted in support of West’s new album, “ye”, which was released June 1, mimic a shindig the artist hosted May 31 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Originally contracted for about 200 VIPS, the event, which ran from 7-11p.m., ended up serving more than twice that, resulting in congestion and traffic jams along the farm's rural road and in the neighborhood.
In a release to the community following the event, Kuipers indicated "...around 5 p.m. we were made aware that the location had been released and that free tickets were being distributed to more people...It became clear that we had been hustled."
And while the release also indicated that pulling the plug on the event was a consideration, it was decided that the result would be far worse, causing chaos and even more congestion to the surrounding area once guests arrived to find the event halted.
"By continuing the event, we felt we could control the situation better, and hopefully, keep it contained to our property" the release stated.
At about 450 people, “it was a much bigger crowd than we originally anticipated,” said farm owner Kim Kuipers. . “Big thanks to our Kane County Sheriff’s Department for stepping up and immediately helping us out with traffic."
According to Kuipers, West chose the location because the environment reminded him of his time in Wyoming – serene, relaxed and with natural beauty.
Parties took place in Maple Park (deemed the “Chicago” location), Miami, and Brooklyn last week.
Guests were treated to a debut of the album alongside a bonfire, and had the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise while there.
What they didn’t get was Kanye West himself, who did not attend the event.
“ I think they were happy though,” Kuipers said. “It was a very chill crowd, eating cider donuts and listening to music. A really relaxing evening.”