Free Chicago Summer Concerts

Events, Things to Do, What's New — By adimarcial on June 11, 2011 at 2:13 am

It really doesn’t get much better than summer in Chicago. We really just want to find any excuse to leave the office early and get outside. Whether the chosen activity is resting on the beach, taking a bike ride on the lake, or sipping a cocktail on a local restaurant patio, being outside is the only place to be. As you start to notice the city come to life, you will also start to hear the sweet sounds of music everywhere – downtown and through every neighborhood. But, don’t worry about shoveling out cash for all this great music, there are plenty of summer concerts throughout town that are completely free! Mark your calendars with the following free concerts you will not want to miss.

Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays
This year marks the third anniversary of this highly popular concert series in Millennium Park, which features a fantastic mix of bands and genres that are more cutting edge. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Affairs in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture bring musicians like Iron & Wine, Ted Leo, Phosporescent, The Campbell Brothers, Seefeel from the UK, and local favorite Rachel Ries to the goreous Jay Pritzker Pavilion Monday nights at 6:30 through July 25th. Bring friends, food, and plenty of wine and set up your spot in the Millennium Park grass to enjoy these awesome concerts. Be sure to check out the other free concerts in Millennium Park, including the Dusk Variations and Music Without Borders series. Visit the website for more info.

Grant Park Music Festival
This wondeful concert series also takes place in Millennium Park (careful, don’t waste time venturing all the way to Grant Park!), and is the only free, outdoor classical music series remaining in the United States. The festival features the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, as well as leading musicians from around the world. This year’s highlights include French pianist Jean-Philippe Collard, jazz violinist Regina Carter, guitarist David Russell, and many other guest conductors, vocalists, and brand new compositions. Feel free to enjoy the concert from the seated area, or settle in on the Great Lawn with a picnic and blanket. Check the website for concert times and performers.

Concerts in the Park
Presented by the Chicago Park District, it’s easy to find small, free outdoor concerts in parks across the city. The Concerts in the Park series features ranging styles from salsa to reggae and jazz, and are perfect for all ages to enjoy. Bring the kids and a blanket to any of these concerts for a fun afternoon or evening activity. Visit the website for exact times, locations, and performers.

Sabados de Verano
Pepsi this year is bringing free concerts to cities across the United States featuring the best and hottest Latino performers. The concerts will feature film screenings, live performances, DJs, and games. The Chicago concert will feature Alacranes on Saturday, June 18th in Douglas Park. Visit to get event details and to RSVP.

Featured Image: yuan2003/flickr

Tags: Chicago, chicago park district, Free summer concerts, grant park, grant park music festival, Millennium Park, pepsi, sabados de verano, Summer Concerts