Downtown Chicago's centerpiece Millennium Park honors its tenth anniversary this summer and its certainly not holding back on the celebration. (Did you check out the first week of Downtown Sound this Monday?) One of the park's most popular attractions is its tradition of offering free concert series throughout the summer. In 2014, the talent is stronger than ever. If you need summer fun on the cheap, you'll want to check these out.
Downtown Sound (Mondays, June 2 - August 11)
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park's Monday night series, Downtown Sound brings in some of music's finest acts for a surprisingly low price or, more accurately, no price at all. This year the national talent is impressive enough--Richard Thompson, Bob Mould, Joe Pug--but it's the love the concert bookers showed for local acts that leaves us really in love with this year's lineup. Robbie Fulks, Maps & Atlases and Russian Circles are all not to be missed. For the full Downtown Sound lineup and schedule, click here.
Loops and Variations (Thursdays, May 29 - July 3)
Dedicated to showcasing electronica's ever-growing presence in today's music scene, Loops and Variations takes place Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. on Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion's stage. The six-week series brings everything from electric LA-based pop group YACHT to local modern-rock-meets-classical-chamber-works Third Coast Percussion to Alarm Will Sound, who take electronic music from the likes of Aphex Twin and transpose it to acoustic instrumentation. For the full Loops and Variations lineup and schedule, click here.
Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz (Thursdays, July 24 - August 28)
Chicago plays an integral role in the history of jazz music and we don't often let people forget it. This free series bridges the gap between jazz greats new and old. Each free concert, held at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, begins with a set from aspiring jazz musicians from Chicago area high schools. A full schedule will be announced soon. For a more information, click here.
Millennium Parks Presents (Select dates, May 25 - September 6)
Whatever genres and styles aren't already covered by Millennium Park's other music series, this series takes care of. Everything from symphonic dance to to opera to Broadway is honored with unique concerts from outstanding Chicago institutions. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and more bring performances to the stage. Click here for the schedule.