It’s no secret that Chicago has bred some of the greatest blues artists in the world. The city has contributed a legacy to blues that no other has, and the best way to experience is it by attending the Chicago Blues Festival. This annual three-day event is a delightful showcase of blues and jazz, played by local and national artists. With over 500,000 attendees, it’s become one of the most famous, and biggest, blues festivals of its kind this side of the planet. More than just concerts, it’s become a gathering and a celebration; a pilgrimage made by all those who are passionate about this incredibly special genre of music. Since 1984, the festival has hosted countless blues concerts to millions of fans from all over the world. It’s now a significant part of Chicago’s heritage and culture, an intangible institution that will stir you up, yet leave you inspired.
With legendary artists at the helm, the Chicago Blues Festival promises nourishment to the soul in the form of music right in the Blues Capital of the World.
That’s not all; many of the city’s finest purveyors of beer and other libations, as well as food, will also be present. There will be several stages playing a diverse range of blues music, and if that isn’t enough, this is a good time of year to check out local establishments that will also be offering special blues evenings. Notable performers have included Mavis Staples, Willie Clayton, Jimmy Burns, Erwin Helfer, Otis Rush, Lil Ed, Guy King, the late Ray Charles, and so much more.
The iconic Millennium Park plays host to the Chicago Blues Festival. Concerts will be happening from 11AM to 9:30PM, and admission is free of charge.
Chicago is a walkable city, with pretty straightforward navigation even for first-time visitors. Getting around is easy thanks to the Chicago Transit Authority, which services the city plus 40 nearby communities through bus and rail services. The Metra commuter rail train is a high-speed train that connects downtown Chicago to the outer suburbs. Taxis are abundant downtown, but you can also hail them using a mobile app. Other transportation options include water taxis, bicycles, and car rentals. If you will be bringing a car to the event, the best places to park are the Millennium Park Garage or the Grant Park North Garage.
Chicago is home to some super hip neighborhoods that are a delight to base yourself in during your visit. The Loop is one of the most popular; ideal for first-time visitors due to its close proximity to the most iconic attractions in the city including Millennium Park.
Other great options include Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, the Magnificent Mile, Near South and South Loop, River North, Gold Coast, and West Loop.
Chicago is home to world-class blues and jazz venues, so there’ll be lots to explore long after the festival is over. The Windy City is known for its charming culture, modern architecture, great shopping, and show-stopping skyline. Shop at the Magnificent Mile, and marvel at the incredible structures at the Cloud Gate, Grant Park, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
The nightlife is awesome too; lots of late night partying await you here. Nurse your hangover at one of the breezy parks after indulging in the city’s legendary deep dish pizza.
Chicago Blues Festival takes place from June 7-9, 2019.
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