Things to do in Chicago for music fansMary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson September 2, 2021 at 8:42 pm

Welcome to our highlights for concerts, festivals and live music in Chicago. From free shows at Millennium Park to large festivals like Ravinia and Lollapalooza, and intimate shows at small local venues, our guide has all the latest music entertainment. Bookmark this page and check back for updates on concerts and events.


Megan Thee Stallion (pictured at Lollapalooza in July) is a Summerfest headliner.Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WHAT: Long the cornerstone of Milwaukee’s festival season, Summerfest returns to the city’s lakefront with a lineup including headliners Luke Bryan, Chance the Rapper, Twenty One Pilots, the Jonas Brothers, Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Band, Dave Chappelle, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Guns N’ Roses and the Hella Mega Tour with Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer.

WHEN: Sept. 1-4, 8-11 and 15-18 in downtown Milwaukee.

TICKETS: For a complete schedule, ticket prices and updated information regarding the festival’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Out of Space Concerts

Big Boi is set to perform Sept. 2 in Evanston.Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WHAT: The Out of Space summer concert series continues with a lineup of performances at Temperance Beer Company (2000 Dempster, Evanston): hip-hop great Big Boi with rapper Twista (Sept. 2), Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers and roots rocker JD McPherson (Sept. 3), singer-songwriter Neko Case with blues-soul artist Son Little (Sept. 4) and funk legend George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic with jazz-funk ensemble Liquid Soul (Sept. 5).

TICKETS: For tickets and updated information regarding the venue’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Los Bukis

Los BukisLive Nation

WHAT: One of the summer’s hottest tours is coming to Soldier Field: the long-awaited reunion of the beloved Mexican band Los Bukis, including lead vocalist and composer Mark Antonio Solis. Headlined by the “the undisputed kings of Spanish-language romantic groups” (according to the Los Angeles Times), the concert is sure to be an ode to love with such classics as “Quiereme,” “Necesito Una Companera,” “Como Fui a Enamorarme De Ti,” “Tu Carcel” and “Acepto Mi Derrota.”

WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 4-5.

TICKETS: ($34+)

VISIT: For updated information regarding the venue’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

ARC Music Festival

WHAT: A new addition to the Chicago festival season, ARC Music Festival, brings a curated electronic/techno lineup and immersive experience to the birthplace of house music. Performers includes legendary Chicago artists including DJ Pierre, DJ Heather, Gene Farris and Derrick Carter as well as artists from around the globe such as Bob Moses, Eric Prydz, TSHA and Nichole Moudaber.

WHEN: From 2-8 p.m. Sept. 4-5

WHERE: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph

TICKETS: $126-$154 (single day); $249 (2-day pass). For tickets and updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Rockwell Blues & Jazz

WHAT: Inspired by the musical atmosphere of the old Maxwell Street, The Rockwell Blues & Jazz Street Stroll features two stages with performances by local artists including Dave Weld & the Imperial Flames, Michael Frank and Paul Kaye, Soul Message Band and Geof Bradfield, Lis Mandeville, Mike Wheeler Band and Donna Herula and Harlan Terson. The music culminates with the Delmark Records All Stars Band with special guests Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Burns, Linsey Alexander, Willie Buck and Sharon Lewis. Delmark also hosts an art and photo exhibit, “Happy to Have the Blues,” and presents streaming concerts from its studio throughout the weekend.

WHEN: From noon-9 p.m. Sept. 4

WHERE: On Rockwell between Irving Park and Berteau.

TICKETS: Admission is free. For updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

North Coast Music Festival

Kaskade (pictured in 2020 in Anaheim, California) is scheduled to perform at the North Coast Music Festival.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

WHAT: North Coast Music Festival, the electronic, hip-hop and house extravaganza, returns Sept. 3-5. The long list of nearly 100 performers ensures nonstop music and includes headliners Kaskade, Louis the Child, Griz, Ganja White Night, Zeds Dead and Rezz.

WHEN: From 2-11 p.m. Sept. 3-5

WHERE: SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem, Bridgeview

TICKETS: $88 (single day), $248 (3-day pass). For tickets and updated information regarding the festival’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

World Music Wednesday

Bomba con Buya Amy Young Photo

WHAT: The Old Town School of Folk Music’s weekly showcase of world music and dance, returns beginning Sept. 1 with Jazz a la Mexicana, a concert featuring traditional and folkloric Mexican music mixed with jazz. A celebration of Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center’s 50th anniversary follows on Sept. 8 with performances of Puerto Rican bomba music by Bomba con Buya and Mancha E’ Platano. The current roster of concerts runs through Dec. 1.

WHERE: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln

Admission is free, a $10 suggested donation is appreciated. For updated information regarding the venue’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

House City Series

DJ TraxmanCourtesy Chicago Park District

What: The Departments of Cultural Affairs and Special Event’s tribute to house music continues with House City, a new series of free events popping up throughout the summer in the neighborhoods that helped create the house music genre over 35 years ago.

When/Where: vent dates and communities are July 23 in South Shore, July 31 on the Southeast Side, Aug. 14 in Humboldt Park, Aug. 28 in Englewood, Aug. 29 in Lakeview, Sept. 12 in South Shore and Sept.19 in Bronzeville. DJs playing include Traxman, Lori Branch, Deeon, Elbert Philips, Duane Powell and more.

Info: For locations and times, visit

Chris Foreman Courtesy Origin Records

Chris Foreman at the Green Mill

What: The Green Mill has reopened and that means the return of Chris Foreman, a Friday night fixture at the popular jazz club. Foreman, a jazz organist blind since birth, is a master on the Hammond B3 and regarded as Chicago’s best. His playing is a blend of blues-gospel and jazz honed in his professional experience, which has included work with Hank Crawford, Albert Collins, Bernard Purdie, The Deep Blue Organ Trio and The Mighty Blue Kings.

When: 5-7:30 p.m. Fridays

Where: The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway

Cost: No cover charge


Ravinia Festival

What: The Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the country, returns with reduced capacity. As usual, the lineup is a varied slate of music from classical to pop, jazz and rock. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra returns for a six-week run with conductor Marin Alsop leading seven concerts in her first season as Ravinia’s chief conductor. Also on the roster are: Garrick Ohlsson, Cynthia Erivo, Counting Crows, Kurt Elling, Brian McKnight, John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band, The Roots, John Legend, Madeleine Peyroux, Midori, Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Joffrey Ballet.

When: July 1-Sept. 26

Where: Highland Park

Tickets: prices vary


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