Catch Gary Clark Jr. , William Bell, and More at the Chicago Blues Festival

Get a taste of Chicago's iconic sound at the Chicago Blues Festival, the world's largest, free blues festival.

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Get a taste of Chicago’s iconic sound at the Chicago Blues Festival, the world’s largest, free blues festival.

Lollapalooza may be in August, but experience the quintessential Chicago sound at the Chicago Blues Festival at Millennium Park. Enjoy over 50 performances from acts like William Bell and Gary Clark, Jr. across four stages.

 

A year after the death of Muddy Waters, the father of Chicago blues, the city started the Chicago Blues Festival in 1984 as a celebration of the genre that started in the Mississippi Delta and came north as part of the Great Migration. The popularity of the festival has grown over the years with big acts performing and over half a million people returning every year for this free, three-day festival. Below is the lineup for this year’s festival.

June 9

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

5 p.m.–6 p.m.: John Primer and The Real Deal
6:20 p.m.–7:05 p.m.: Rhymefest
7:20 p.m.–9:20 p.m.: Celebrating 40 Years: Billy Branch & The Son of Blues with special guests Lurrie Bell, Freddie Dixon, J.W.S. Williams, Carlos Johnson, Carl Weathersby, Bill McFarland and Chicago Fire Horns and Mae Koen & The Lights

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (South Promenade)

11:15 a.m.–12:15 a.m.: Demetria Taylor
12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.: Mary Lane and the No Static Blues Band
2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Nick Moss Band
3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m.: The Mike Wheeler Band
5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.: Guy King

Mississippi Juke Joint (North Promenade)

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Blues in the Schools with Katherine Davis and Stone Academy
1 p.m.–2 p.m.: Eden Brent
2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Cedric Burnside Project
4 p.m.–5 p.m.: Jarekus Singleton
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.: Jam Session with Cedric Burnside

Front Porch Stage (Harris Theater Rooftop)

12 p.m.–1 p.m.:Rip Lee Pryor
1:20 p.m.–2:20 p.m.: The Jimmy Burns Band
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: Henry Gray & Bob Corritore
4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.: Tribute to Barrelhouse Chuck featuring Billy Flynn, Johnny Iguana, Roosevelt Purifoy and Piano Willie OShawny

June 10

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

5 p.m.–6 p.m.: Nellie Tiger Travis
6:30 p.m.–7:45 p.m.: Theo Huff and the New Agenda Band
8:15 p.m.–9:30 p.m.: William Bell

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (South Promenade)

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.: Chicago Wind with Matthew Skoller & Deitra Farr
12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.: Lynne Jordan & The Shivers
2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Big Bill Morganfield
3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m.: Coco Montoya
5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.: Southside Tribute to Killer Ray Allison with Joe Pratt & The Source One Band and JoJo Murray

Mississippi Juke Joint (North Promenade)

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Mississippi Blues Trail 10th Anniversary with Jim O’Neal, Dr. Edgar Smith, Scott Barretta and Alex Thomas
1 p.m.–2 p.m.: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Bridges to the Blues by Donda’s House
4 p.m.–5 p.m.: Vick Allen
5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.: Jam Session with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Front Porch Stage (Harris Theater Rooftop)

12 p.m.–1 p.m.: Khalif Wailin’ Walter
1:20 p.m.–2:20 p.m.: Eddie Taylor, Jr.’s Tribute to Eddie Taylor, Sr.
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: Jimmy Johnson Band
4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.: Harmonica Hinds Quartet

June 11

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

5 p.m.–6 p.m.: Ronnie Baker Brooks
6:20 p.m.–7:20 p.m.: Rhiannon Giddens
7:40 p.m.–9:30 p.m.: Gary Clark Jr.

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (South Promenade)

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.: Tail Dragger and the Allstars
12:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m.: The Blues Disciples with special guest Ms. Erica Johnson & Milwaukee Slim
2:15 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Vance Kelly and the Backstreet Blues Band
3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m.: Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
5:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.: Melvia “Chick” Rodgers


Mississippi Juke Joint (North Promenade)

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Tribute to Amy Van Singel with Dick Shurman, Jim O’Neal and Rebecca Sive
1 p.m.–2 p.m.: JJ Thames
2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Zakiya Hooker
4 p.m.–5 p.m.: Denise LaSalle
5:30 p.m.–7:45 p.m.: Jam Session with Eddie Taylor, Jr.


Front Porch Stage (Harris Theater Rooftop)

12 p.m.–1 p.m.: The Como Mamas
1:20 p.m.–2:20 p.m.: Mud Morganfield Band
2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: Chi-Town Harp Showcase featuring Omar Coleman, Russ Green and Lamont Harris
4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.: Wallace Coleman

The Chicago Blues Festival takes place June 9–11 from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Admission is free. For more information visit cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_blues_festival.


Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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