Features Upcoming shows

Live Music On A Budget: 10 Upcoming Shows in Chicago Under $20

A lot of people ask me how I am able to afford going to see live music as often as I do. While there are a lot of opportunities I am offered that allows me to go to shows without paying for a ticket, thanks to this blog, there are still a TON of shows I still pay for that are for bigger artists, stadium shows, festivals, etc. While some people spend their money on other things like nice dinners or clothes, I prioritize it on buying a $400 Lollapalooza pass (for better or for worse) or a $95 ticket to see a stadium show a few times a year. Regardless, I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much live music comes through Chicago every year, and for some people, they may not care enough to actually immerse themselves in the culture of the music scene. If you take a hard look, there’s actually an incredible amount of live music happening almost daily around the city that’s totally affordable! A lot of offerings are even free, which is a really great thing to take advantage of.

Thanks to my obsessive nature, I’ve done the work for you!

Below is a list I compiled of a few shows coming up that are all ticketed under $20, fees and all. There’s also a few insights on where to see free shows. I wanted to make sure that this list has NO overlap with the post I did earlier this summer highlighting shows to check out in Chicago this fall, so no repeat content there!


October 2

Shaed, Absofacto
Venue: Lincoln Hall / 2424 N Lincoln Ave
Price: $19 total
Tickets: here

October 6

Slenderbodies, Hazey Eyes
Venue: Subterranean / 2011 W North Ave
Price: $18.75 total
Tickets: here

October 11

Michigander, Emily Blue, The Edwards
Venue: Lincoln Hall / 2424 N Lincoln Ave
Price: $16.75 total
Tickets: here

October 16

Maisie Peters, Jack Gray
Venue: Schubas / 3159 N Southport Ave
Price: $13 total
Tickets: here

October 19

Yoke Lore, Exes
Venue: Bottom Lounge / 1375 W Lake St
Price: $19.75 total
Tickets: here

October 23

Venue: Lincoln Hall / 2424 N Lincoln Ave
Price: $19.00 total
Tickets: here

October 26

Wrabel, Billy Raffoul
Venue: Chop Shop / 2033 W North Ave
Price: $18.22 total
Tickets: here

October 31

Beach bunny, Prince Daddy & the Hyena, Another Michael
Venue: Thalia Hall / 1807 S Allport St
Price total: $19.87 total
Tickets: here

November 12

From Indian Lakes, Queen of Jeans, YUMMM
Venue: Beat Kitchen / 2100 W Belmont Ave
Price total: $18.75 total
Tickets: here

November 18

Claud, Grace Ives
Venue: Schubas / 3159 N Southport Ave
Price total: $16.75 total
Tickets: here

Other ways to make the most of the Chicago music scene on a budget:

  • Free shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas. Both venues (owned by the same person) offer a ton of free shows, like their 100% off series featuring local artists. There’s 10 free shows alone in September and a couple free open mics, as well.
  • Go to a bar! Lots of smaller venues like the Elbo Room, Empty Bottle, The Hideout, Kingston Mines and Green Mill have a TON of live performances weekly. There may be a fee at the door or a low ticket price, so keep that in mind, but they offer really cool opportunities for a smaller, more intimate performance.
  • SoFfr Sounds. I personally haven’t been to a Sofar event, but they happen ALL the time in Chicago and it’s definitely something unique to do if you’re bored and want to get out of the house. Keep in mind, the company has been facing controversies as of late.
  • Sleeping Village $1 beer nights. One of the city’s newest music venues, located in Avondale, has an extensive beer list, decently sized space for performances, and a huge patio. I saw Jaboukie’s stand-up here last winter and artists I listen to like Nilüfer Yanya and Empress Of have performed here before. $1 beer nights specifically feature live music. The shows are usually $5 and the venue offers a specific brew for $1. See more info here.

Thanks for reading!

  • Kristin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: