Chicago’s Millenium Park will once again be home to the Chicago Blues Festival. The annual event is billed as the largest free Blues festival in the world with top tier talent performing across three stages for four consecutive days, from June 8 – 11. The stages: Jay Pritzker Pavillion, Mississippi Juke Joint Stage (North Promenade) and Rosa’s Lounge Stage (South Promenade).

Additional treats include a Blues-inspired smokehouse pop-up in the Park, called “Wally’s BBQ Pitt,” plus a large-scale, historic Blues photography installation curated by Praize Productions. 

Chicago Blues guitarist Wayne Baker Brooks will kick-off this year’s Chicago Blues Festival

Opening the festival on June 8th is Chicago Blues guitarist Wayne Baker Brooks and his band, who will be followed by headliners: Blind Boys of Alabama with two-time GRAMMY® winner Bobby Rush. Wayne is the son of Chicago’s legendary Lonnie Brooks and represents the next generation of the Blues.

Festival Headliners for Friday thru Sunday include: four-time GRAMMY® winners Los Lobos; one of the most decorated gospel music groups, honored by both the GRAMMYs and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, multi award-winning artist and eldest son of Muddy Waters, Mudd Morganfield; three of Chicago’s own living Blues legends John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, and the Jimmy Burns Band; B.B. King Entertainer and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year winner Sugaray Rayford, and many more.

Be sure to catch the Rosa’s Lounge Stage: a daily showcase of Chicago Blues legends and emerging artists that have called Rosa’s Lounge home over the last 39 years. Of special note is the Rosa’s Lounge Jam Session on Saturday, June 10th with legends Mary Lane, Lil Ed, Willie Buck, and Billy Branch.

Blues Fest attendees must also visit the Mississippi Juke Joint Stage. Check out Saturday, June 10th’s line-up with Lightnin’ Malcom playing at 1:15pm.


Blind Boys of Alabama are headliners at  Chicago Blues Festival 2023
Blind Boys of Alabama with Bobby Rush are headliners at Chicago Blues Festival in 2023

Thursday, June 8

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

  • 5:15-5:30pm – National Anthem/Commissioner’s Welcome/Tom Marker
  • 5:30-6:20pm – Wayne Baker Brooks
  • 6:30-7:30pm – Blind Boys of Alabama with Bobby Rush
  • 7:45-9pm – Centennial Tribute to Albert King featuring Donald Kinsey, Larry McCray, Rico McFarland, Carl Weathersby and Tony Llorens


“Born In Chicago” documentary film screening will take place during Chicago Blues Fest

Friday, June 9

Chicago Cultural Center (Claudia Cassidy Theater)

  • 1pm – Film screening of “Born in Chicago” followed by a Q&A
    Full-length documentary on the Chicago Blues, co‐directed by Emmy award-winner John Anderson with Bob Sarles.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

  • 7:45-9pm – John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band
Mudd Morganfeld to headline Chicago Blues Festival
Mudd Morganfield is a headliner at Chicago Blues Fest

Saturday, June 9

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

  • 2:30-3:45pm – Women in Blues – Deitra Farr, Katherine Davis and Sugar Pie DeSanto
    • Honorees: Deitra Farr, Katherine Davis & Sugar Pie DeSanto
    • Band Line-up: Lynne Jordan, host/vocalist; Sheryl Youngblood, music director & drums; Joanna Connor, guitar; Sherri Weathersby, bass; Roosevelt Purifoy, organ; Dujuan Austin, drums; and Erwin Helfer, piano
  • 7:45-9pm – Mudd Morganfeld
Los Lobos headline Chicago Blues Festival
Four-time GRAMMY® winner Los Lobos are headliners at Chicago Blues Festival.
Photo credit: Piero F. Giunti

Sunday, June 10

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

  • 7:45-9pm – Los Lobos

For the full schedule visit:

Socially Sparks

There is nothing like Chicago Blues music to start your summer right. The city’s Blues legends have Socially Sparked® all our lives in countless ways. The Windy City strives to keep the Blues and it’s legends alive with the largest free Blues Festival across the globe. After the last three years of limited audiences and virtual or solely livestream events, it is thrilling to have the four-day Blues extravaganza back in full force! It’s expected that 500,000 people will pass thru this year’s Chicago fest. I will be one of them. You should be, too! — Abbe is Socially Sparked! Tweet us @sosparkednews & @asparks01.