Your guide from headliner Buddy Guy to afterparties

In what is being billed as one of his final performances in Chicago, Buddy Guy will headline this weekend’s Chicago Blues Festival, taking place June 6-9. Guy, who at the age of 87 is on his Damn Right Farewell tour, concludes a free weekend with around 250 musicians, spread over four evenings and two locations.

Opening night performances at Bridgeport’s Ramova Theater are already sold out, but the blues will ring from three stages in Millennium Park for the rest of the weekend. Southern Avenue will headline Saturday night, and tributes to Jimmy Rogers, Dinah Washington and Otis Spann will feature jam sessions with nearly two dozen artists.

Below is the full lineup for the stages at Millennium Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary season. The Blues Festival has become a cornerstone of the park’s free summer series.

IF YOU GO

When: From June 7 to 9 from 12:00 to 21:00

Where: Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St. Admission is free. Enter from Michigan Avenue at Washington or Madison streets, or from Randolph and Monroe streets near the McCormick Place walkway mid-block. (The BP Bridge from Maggie Daley Park is open during events only and the Nichols Bridgeway from the Art Institute is closed.)

Safety and security: The festival takes place rain or shine, except bad weather. Please allow time to go through security. Bags and containers are searched and the area is monitored 24 hours a day. Prohibited items include weapons, drugs, fireworks, pets (service animals allowed), open flames, noise makers, and bags and coolers larger than 2 feet long, 16 inches wide, and 12 inches high. Guests under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult (age 21+) after 6 p.m Park hours are 6am to 11pm

Food and drink: Wally’s BBQ Pit, on the North Promenade, offers a full menu of food and drinks, including beer, wine and cocktails. Festival goers can bring their own picnic, but outside alcohol is not permitted.

Toilets: The West Arcade and East Arcade restrooms on the lower level of the Pritzker Pavilion are open during park hours and have wheelchair-accessible stalls. A small number of accessible restrooms are also located in the McCormick Tribune Plaza next to Millennium Hall on Michigan Avenue.

More information: ChicagoBluesFestival.us. Follow on Facebook (@ChicagoBluesFestival), Instagram(@ChicagoDCASE), (@Millennium_Park); or X/Twitter (@Millennium_Park) or (@ChicagoDCASE).

SCHEME

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

6:00 PM to 11:00 PM Shemekia Copeland and Ronnie Baker Brooks op Ramova Theater, 3520 S. Halsted St. in Bridgeport; free reservations are sold out (ages 18+), ramovachicago.com

FRIDAY JUNE 7

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:45 PM to 9:00 PM Centennial Tribute to Jimmy Rogers with Kim Wilson, Jimmy D. Lane, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Bob Margolin, Sebastian Lane, Felton Crews and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Mr. Sipp
5:15pm to 6:15pm Corey Harris

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (South Promenade)
4:30 PM to 5:45 PM Big A & The Allstars
3:00 PM to 4:15 PM J’Cenae
1:30 PM to 2:45 PM Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band
From 12 noon to 1.15 pm Nora Jean Wallace

Rosa’s Lounge (North promenade)
6:30 PM to 7:45 PM Last call with WDCB Radio and Carlos Johnson
5:00 PM to 6:15 PM Sheryl Youngblood
3:30 PM to 4:45 PM Luke Pytel Band, with Laretha Weathersby
2:00 PM to 3:15 PM Ivy Ford
12:30 to 1:45 Lil’ Jimmy Reed with Ben Levin

SATURDAY JUNE 8

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:45 PM to 9:00 PM Southern Avenue
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Vanessa Collier
5:00 PM to 6:15 PM Centennial Tribute to Dinah Washington, featuring Dee Alexander, Elizabeth Faye Butler, Kristin Atkins, Bruce Henry, Miguel de la Cerna, Jeremiah Hunt, Charles Heath IV and Melody Angel

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (South Promenade)
4:30 PM to 5:45 PM Dexter Allen
3:00 PM to 4:15 PM Ra’Shad the Blues Kid
1:30 PM to 2:45 PM Melvin Taylor
From 12:00 to 1:15 PM Mzz Reese and Reese’s Pieces

Rosa’s Lounge (North promenade)
6:30 PM to 7:45 PM Last call with WDCB Radio and Ivan Singh
5:00 PM to 6:15 PM The Mike Wheeler Band
3:30 PM to 4:45 PM Jamiah “Dirty Deacon” Rogers and the Dirty Church Band
2:00 PM to 3:15 PM Vino Louden
12:30 to 1:45 Al Spears & The Hurricane Project

SUNDAY JUNE 9

Jay Pritzker Pavilion
7:45 PM to 9:00 PM Buddy Guy
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Box Office Kings
5:00 PM to 6:15 PM Centennial Tribute to Otis Spann, featuring Johnny Iguana, Roosevelt Purifoy, Rie “Miss Lee” Kanehira, Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn and Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (South Promenade)
4:30pm to 5:45pm Jaye Hammer
3:00 PM to 4:15 PM Anissa Hampton
1:30 PM to 2:45 PM Jonathan Ellison & The RAS Blues Band
From 12 noon to 1.15 pm Southern Komfort Brass Band

Rosa’s Lounge (North promenade)
6:30 PM to 7:45 PM Last Call with WDCB Radio and The Stephen Hull Experience
5:00 PM to 6:15 PM Melodie Engel
3:30 PM to 4:45 PM Omar Coleman Westside Soul
2:00 PM to 3:15 PM Joey J. Saye Trio
12:30 PM to 1:45 PM Nate Manos Band with Alicia “Ya Yah” Townsend

Memphis roots, blues and soul band Southern Avenue, signed to Alligator Records, will headline the 2024 Chicago Blues Fest on Saturday. (Paul Citone)
Memphis roots, blues and soul band Southern Avenue, signed to Alligator Records, will headline Saturday’s Chicago Blues Fest 2024. (Paul Citone)

Afterparties and even more blues

Consult the locations for opening hours and ticket information.

June 7

10th Annual Blues Fest AfterParty at Reggies Chicago, 2105 S. State St.; www.reggieslive.com

Lil’ Jimmy Reed with Ben Levin Band at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage Ave.; rosaslounge-com.seatengine.com

June 8

Hot Blues Night at Chess Records Studio with Nick Moss Trio and guest Ben Levin, 2120 S. Michigan Ave.; www.bluesheaven.com

June 9

Joe Pratt & Source One Band at The Odyssey East, 9942 S. Torrence Ave.; 773-978-6520 and facebook.com/joeprattsourceone

Little Harvey and Chi-Town Blues at Rooster’s Palace, 5748 W. North Ave.; facebook.com/p/Roosters-Palace-Music-House

Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds performs in Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. Wilson contributes a Centennial Tribute to Jimmy Rogers at the 2024 Chicago Blues Fest. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds performs in Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. Wilson contributes a Centennial Tribute to Jimmy Rogers at the 2024 Chicago Blues Fest. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)