Free admission • Millennium Park
The annual Chicago Blues Festival in June is the city’s largest music festival. More than 500,000 blues fans gather in Chicago’s Millennium Park for three days of performances — all free and open to the public — featuring some of the genre’s most revered musicians, along with up-and-coming and local talent.
A Chicago staple for almost 40 years, the festival’s diverse lineup has included everyone from B.B. King and Buddy Guy to Etta James and Koko Taylor and beyond. Performances showcase the genre’s contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip-hop, and more. The festival also features local food and drink vendors, along with “Blues Village” featuring different record companies and blues groups.
Chicago Blues Fest FAQs
What items are prohibited from being brought onto festival grounds?
- Barbecue grills (open flames)
- Fireworks or explosives
- Illegal substances & weapons
- Pop-up tents/canopies
- Beach/picnic umbrellas
- Flag poles
- All pets (except service animals)
Can I bring a folding chair and blanket into the Chicago Blues Festival?
Yes, but folding chairs are not allowed in the seating area of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Can I save seats in the Pavilion?
General seating in the Pavilion and on the Great Lawn is available on a first-come, first-served basis. In the Pavilion seating, you may save only one seat prior to the start of each show. Once the show has started, you must relinquish your seat. Please note that Millennium Park reserves the right to close the Pavilion seating and Great Lawn due to reaching capacity and appreciates your cooperation in ensuring the safety and enjoyment of your concert-going experience.
May I bring a picnic basket?
Yes! Millennium Park is the perfect place for a picnic and a night of music and dining al fresco. However, in order to ensure that events are enjoyable for all attendees and to protect the lawn from wear and tear, please respect the following rules of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion: tents, oversized umbrellas, oversized blankets or plastic tarps, helium balloons, oversized flags, signs/banners, barbecue grills, open flame candles, or staking of any kind are not allowed on the Great Lawn area.
May I buy beer or wine in the park? How about food?
Refreshments, including food, beer, and wine, are available for purchase from the concessions tent located to the east of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. In addition, concessions can be purchased throughout the Park, including from the concession carts located on the Chase Promenade and at the Park Grill and Café on the McCormick Tribune Plaza. Alcohol may only be consumed in the seating area and the Great Lawn during the concerts. Alcohol sales in the Millennium Park concession tent end one half-hour prior to the end of the concert.
What is the rain policy?
Concerts and performances in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion are held rain or shine, unless there are severe weather warnings and/or the threat of lightning in the area. The Pavilion seats are not protected from the elements. The Great Lawn has a high-tech design with underlying layers of sand and gravel that allows water to drain quickly.
Are recording devices allowed during a concert?
Photography, video, or recording devices are prohibited at all concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
May I smoke?
Smoking is prohibited in the seating area of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Great Lawn, the Lurie Garden, the east and west arcades by the restrooms, and the east and west Exelon Buildings.
May I bring my dog along?
Animals are not permitted in Millennium Park, unless they are service animals.
Please note: Schedule is subject to change. For the latest on all Millennium Park events, visit millenniumpark.org.