Festival season is coming?! I present this as a question because as I type this, it’s 10 degrees outside in Chicago and it’s also only February. Pitchfork Music Festival’s 2020 lineup came early this year, and at least to me, it felt like it came out of nowhere. In year’s past, the lineup has come out in early March.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am entirely convinced that March is the busiest month for live music in Chicago, every year. Every year for as long as I’ve been going to shows, there’s been a RIDICULOUS amount of talent making their way through during the third month of the year, to the point where it’s physically possible for me to get to every single show. It’s no basketball tournament, but it’s definitely madness.
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.
While we’re still deep into the middle of the summer here in Chicago, it’s never too early to start putting fall shows on your radar. I think it’s been decided (at least on my end) that fall in Chicago always has a ridiculous amount of live music and this year is no different!
With the large amount of music venues in the city, it’s easy to lose track of what shows are coming up and where they’re at – so I’ve made it easier for my readers to keep track of the best shows coming up in one place!
Below is a list of 20 shows (yes, it’s a lot) that I think are worth checking out this September and October. There are definitely some gems coming up even later in the year, but I don’t want to overwhelm you all (or myself, honestly). Each show listed below has only ONE sentence as to why I think you should go – and writing just one proved to be harder than I anticipated!
The long weekend in Chicago brings a ton of fun and exciting events to take advantage of – including my favorite of the sort: live music! There’s so much happening in Chicago this month and through the rest of the summer: to me, MDW sort of kicks it all off. Below are some of my picks for shows to see this weekend.
Can you believe we’re already onto the second month of 2019? It feels as though I was just creating one of these posts for shows to check out in the Fall of 2018 (here) but there’s already a ridiculous amount of amazing shows hitting Chicago next month alone that I wanted to highlight.
Note that a lot of these shows land on the same day (Can I live March 6 multiple different times so I can go to each show in Chicago that day?) so you have a TON to choose from. I should be attending at least 1/3 of these shows (my confirmed shows are noted with a *, potential shows I am covering with a +), maybe I will see you there!
This list ranges from pop to rock to R&B to COUNTRY (!!) to electronic – I know there is something for every preference and cool to recognize how diverse Chicago’s music scene is.
Happy (unofficial) start of fall! This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons but mostly because so many fall tours are announced on top of new music releases that close out the year. I’ve done posts like this for the past two years (you can check them out below) and knew I had to do it again since there are SO many shows I am dying to check out this fall. I definitely won’t be able to make all of them just cause that’s #expensive but I will be trying my hardest to see as many of these shows as possible.