The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the full lineup for the 33rd Annual Chicago Blues Festival happening June 10–12 in Grant Park. The Chicago Blues Festival is FREE admission and open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
The three-day festival will open on Friday, June 10, with a celebration of the 45th anniversary of Chicago’s Alligator Records and conclude on Sunday, June 12, with a special tribute to the legendary Otis Rush featuring notable friends and other musicians he has influenced throughout his career. The festival headliners throughout the weekend include: Shemekia Copeland with guest Curtis Salgado, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials with guest Corky Siegel, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers with guest Toronzo Cannon, Fred Wesley and the New JB’s, Irma Thomas, Wee Willie Walker & We “R”, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater and Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters.
The festival also features intimate performance areas, like those provided by the Blues Kids Foundation and the Windy City Blues Society. The Blues Kids Foundation area offers harmonica lessons and performances by the next generation of blues artists. The Windy City Blues Society, a festival favorite over the past few years, features an eclectic lineup of artists from Chicago and around the country. Schedules for both of these areas can be found at chicagobluesfestival.us.
Leading up to the Chicago Blues Festival, during May and June there will be several preview performances and film screenings held at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.), Millennium Park, as well as Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations throughout the city. Highlights include Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith at the Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday, May 3, at noon, Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. and a special screening of Mavis!, a documentary film on Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers in Millennium Park on Tuesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m. For a complete list of performances and events visit Link to FREE Blues Festival Preview Events Schedule