June 8-10, 2018 • Free Admission • Millennium Park

There’s a reason blues musicians sing about “Sweet Home Chicago.” Chicago historically has been a beacon to musicians looking for bigger crowds and more places to play. Following the “Great Migration,” Southern blues musicians made Chicago one of the country's major hotspots for blues music.

Fittingly, the annual Chicago Blues Festival is the city's largest music festival. More than 500,000 blues fans prove that Chicago is the "Blues Capital of the World."

In continuing with four decades of tradition, the Chicago Blues Festival will celebrate the genre's rich heritage and forthcoming talents with three days of performances — all FREE and open to the public, no tickets required. And all within breathtaking Millennium Park.

For the latest updates, visit and follow #ChiBluesFest on social media.

Highlights From the 2017 Festival

Chicago Blues Festival: June 9-11, 2017

Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues

Blues harpist and three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Billy Branch reunited many of the artists who have been part of the band since its first 1977 performance in Berlin, Germany. The set included a special tribute to the legendary harpist James Cotton who was a mentor to Branch.

William Bell

William Bell

Sax legend and soul star William Bell won a 2017 GRAMMY® Award for his album This is Where I Live, his first major release in four decades. The renowned singer-songwriter was honored in 2016 with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the 15th Annual Americana Honors Awards Show and also inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

Chicago Blues Festival: June 9-11, 2017

Gary Clark Jr.

Blues rock musician and Texas native Gary Clark Jr. closed the festival with his electrifying energy and soulful sounds. He wowed at the 2017 GRAMMY® Awards with his performance with William Bell, having released a new live album Live/North America 2016 that features all new and unreleased live recordings, including the songs "The Healing" and "My Baby's Gone."

Chicago Blues Festival