Free 2018 Chicago Blues Festival June 8-10, Featuring Mavis Staples

Mark your calendars now to see Grammy-winning singer Mavis Staples, one of the headliners for this year’s FREE 2018 Chicago Blues Festival planned the weekend of June 8-10 in the city’s Millennium Park.  The city says opening night Friday will celebrate the 65th anniversary of Delmark Records with a lineup honoring the label’s blues artists. A tribute to blues harpist Little Walter is set for Saturday evening and Mavis Staples will close the weekend Sunday.  Other performers over the three-day event include Kenny Neal, Fantastic Negrito, Mississippi Heat, the Corey Dennison Band and Selwyn Birchwood, among others.    This year marks the city’s 35th annual blues music festival. Headliners will perform nightly at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage in Millennium Park. Music also will be available daily on three other stages. The festival is free.


mavis staples at free chicago blues festival


Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Michigan Ave. & Columbus Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601



free 2018 chicago blues festival


The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals. During three days on four stages, blues fans enjoy free live music in the “Blues Capital of the World.” Headliners are listed below.   Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, the late Ray Charles, the late B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, the late Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark Jr, Rhiannon Giddens, Lil Ed and the Imperials and Bobby Rush.


free chicago blues festival

Daily Schedule

Check out the FREE Blues Festival Schedule HERE  — The Blues Festival will spotlight the great Chicago-born music tradition with live performances by the genre’s leading artists at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the city’s premier outdoor music venue.


free 2018 chicago blues festival 2


Headline Performers


Friday, June 8, 2018

Jay Pritzker Pavilion – 65th Anniversary of Delmark Records Celebration
Lurrie Bell (Photo by: Toshiya Suzuki)
Guy King
  • 5:30-6:15pm – Corey Dennison Band
  • 6:30-7:15pm – Mississippi Heat with guests Billy Flynn and Giles Corey
  • 7:30-9:30pm – Tribute to Those Who Came Before and Bob Koester

Corey Dennison and Gerry Hundt – Tribute to Sleepy John Estes
Jimmy Burns – Tribute to Big Joe Williams
Ken Saydak – Tribute to Roosevelt Sykes
Guy King – Tribute to Willie Kent
Billy Flynn and Linsey Alexander – Tribute to Jimmy Dawkins
Lil’ Ed & Dave Weld – Tribute to J.B. Hutto
Demetria Taylor and Tomiko Dixon – Tribute to Big Time Sarah
Steve Bell and Lurrie Bell – Tribute to Carey Bell
Jimmy Johnson and Dave Specter – Tribute to Magic Sam
Omar Coleman – Tribute to Junior Wells

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Billy Branch (Photo by: BCharvolin)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – Selwyn Birchwood
  • 6:45-7:45pm – Willie Clayton
  • 8-9:30pm – Little Walter Tribute

Featuring harp players: Billy Branch, Corky Siegel, Rick Estrin, Sugar Blue and the Sons of Blues featuring Billy Flynn.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Fantastic Negrito Kenny Neal
  • 5:30-6:30pm – Fantastic Negrito
  • 6:45-7:45pm – Kenny Neal
  • 8-9:30pm – Mavis Staples



Check out the 2017 Blues Festival on the video below


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