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City of Chicago announces headliners for 37th annual Chicago Blues Festival!

February 5th, 2020

The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events has announced the headliners for the 2020 Chicago Blues Festival...among the big names are contemporary blues superstar Shemekia Copeland, Southern Soul, disco & gospel great Candi Staton and Memphis blues-rock guitar slinger Eric Gales. Chicago blues legends Jimmy Johnson, Billy Branch and Lil' Ed also highlight the festival’s evening lineup in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.    

The Chicago Blues Festival is still is the city's largest music fest, more than 500,000 blues fans expected to gather in Chicago’s Millennium Park June 5th - 7th for three days of performances. It remains 100 free and open to the public.

WDCB will again serve as media sponsor for the Chicago Blues Festival. Our additional blues fest week activities will include a Bluesday Tuesday live broadcast on June 2nd from FitzGerald’s in Berwyn as well as a free noontime blues piano showcase broadcast event on Thursday, June 4th from the Pianoforte Studios in Chicago. 

Now in its 37th year, the Chicago Blues Festival's past lineups have included everyone from B.B. King and Buddy Guy to Etta James and Koko Taylor and beyond. Performances showcase the genre's contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip-hop, and more. The festival also features local food and drink vendors, along with the "Blues Village" featuring different record companies and blues groups. The schedule for the daytime fest stages will be finalized this Spring. 

June 5 – 7, 2020
Free admission • Millennium Park

Friday, June 5

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.: Marquise Knox
5:45 - 6:45 p.m.: Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling
7:00 - 7:40 p.m.: Jimmy Johnson and Billy Branch
7:50 - 9:00 p.m.: Shemekia Copeland

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (at South Chase Promenade)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Nora Jean Wallace
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.: Big James & the Chicago Playboys
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Annika Chambers
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.: Mr. Sipp
4:45 - 6 p.m.: John Primer and The Real Deal Blues Band

Saturday, June 6

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.: Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra featuring Sugaray Rayford and Terrie Odabi
5:45 - 6:45 p.m.: Kingfish
7:00 - 7:40 p.m.: Steve Bell and John Primer
7:50 - 9:00 p.m.: Candi Staton

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (at South Chase Promenade)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Joe Pratt & Source One Band
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.: Bernard Allison
2 - 3:00 p.m.: Dawn Tyler Watson
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.: The Kinsey Report
4:45 - 6 p.m.: Tab Benoit

Sunday, June 7

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.: Catherine Russell
5:45 - 6:45 p.m.: Lil' Ed And The Blues Imperials
7:00 - 7:40 p.m.: Erwin Helfer And Katherine Davis
7:50 - 9:00 p.m.: Eric Gales

Budweiser Crossroads Stage (at South Chase Promenade)
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: 2020 International Blues Challenge Group Winner: Horojo Trio
12:45 - 1:45 p.m.: Mike Wheeler Band featuring Demetria Taylor
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Tinsley Ellis
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.: Sugaray Rayford
4:45 - 6 p.m.: Billy Branch and The Sons of Blues