Chicago Underground Blues Experience

Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Festival takes place Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am till 9:30 pm on 5 stages. Lydia's List, is an essential guide to great bands playing the fest. Lydia is essentially our live music curator here in Chicago, and she bases the List both on experience hearing them live and online listening.

Even when we've danced to a band before, sometimes a band will change their style for a show, and even if an artist sounds great online they can sound different in person, so we will not always stick to the List. It will therefore be essential that you sign up to follow us on Twitter, because we sometimes decide suddenly to move to another stage if we aren't feeling it, or we might also decide not to move to the next stage if the current one is just too good. Generally in the evening, the main stage takes priority even if other stages still have excellent shows, as we have the most space to dance at the main stage.

When you arrive at the Fest, you can pick up the Festival schedule at the info booths, which lists all shows, not just those on Lydia's List, and it also includes a map. Please note that the times on Lydia's List do not always follow the times on the Festival schedule, if we are only seeing part of a show because another one takes priority.

If it gets unbearably hot, it might also interest you that Buddy Guys Legends will be opening on all 3 days at 10 am with live music during the day. They are likely to charge no cover before 6 pm, and the 3 pm shows on Saturday and Sunday should be good.

In past years, we have needed a hand stamp to guarantee entrance into the Petrillo Band Shell, where we dance in the back area on the asphault. Last year, they did away with the hand stamp as well as the barrier between the Band Shell area and the grass. We are assuming it will be the same this year but will text if anything changes. Because of the lack of the barrier, we do have to stake out our space a bit more than before, but there are a lot of us, so it shouldn't be too hard. See you at the Fest!