Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ( DCASE ) announced a slate of new and reimagined summer events including at-home dance parties, drive-in movies, virtual concerts and community meals for frontline workers.
DCASE will produce more than 150 events this summer. Many of these programs support the local music industry during the Year of Chicago Musicnow extended into 2021.
DCASE also shared new guidance for large outdoor events across the City of Chicago, cancelling all permitted special events through Labor Day. Regrettably, this includes many of Chicago's annual summertime traditions: Chicago SummerDance, Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza, in Grant Park; the Chicago Air and Water Show, at North Avenue Beach; Chicago Jazz Festival, in Millennium Park; the majority of programming at the Chicago Riverwalk, the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park; Maxwell Street Market through Labor Day; the Jumping Jack Program; and other festivals, parades and athletic events, some of which have already been cancelled.
New and reimagined summer events include:
"Millennium Park at Home" will continue with a genre-defying Music Series featuring Jon Langford, The Braided Janes, Zeshan B, Sen Morimoto and other local musicians on Thursdays ( June 18 and 25, 67:30 p.m.; July 9, 16 and 23, 67:30 p.m. ); and Blues Music performances by Melody Angel, John Primer, Toronzo Cannon and others are rescheduled for July 31Aug. 2 at 68 p.m. Additionally, Workoutsan alternating weekly schedule of tai chi, yoga Pilates and Zumbawill be online Saturdays ( June 6Aug. 29, 89 a.m. ).
"SummerDance in Place," a new citywide, at-home version of Chicago SummerDance will invite residents to plan socially-distant dance parties of up to 10 people connected via a live broadcast and social media. Programs will include a 30-minute lesson followed by 60 minutes of music on Wednesday evenings in July ( July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 ). Dance genres include salsa, swing and line dancing.
"Taste of Chicago To-Go" will include an expanded Community Eats program ( July 812 ), supporting about 25 neighborhood restaurants and food trucks while providing free meals to nonprofits serving healthcare and other frontline workers. DCASE will also organize a food-truck procession ( July 8 ) and online cooking demos ( July 812 ).
In lieu of the popular Millennium Park Summer Film Series, DCASE ( Chicago Film Office ) and the Chicago Park District are planning six drive-in movie nights across the city. The events will have a limited capacity of 50 cars, all pre-registeredand the city will encourage at-home viewing of the selected movies. Details will be announced soon.
Beginning in June, in collaboration with local music venues, DCASE will host a series of about 20 live events featuring Chicago musicians performing at neighborhood clubs and other unique locationsfor limited in-person engagements, broadcast to larger audiences. This program brings visibility to local music venues, severely impacted by COVID-19.
Concerts will include Jazz music ( August/September, in lieu of the Chicago Jazz Festival ) presented in collaboration with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and 51st Street Business Association; Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; Constellation Performing Arts; Elastic Arts Foundation; Jazz Showcase; Kalapriya Foundation; Live The Spirit Residency; Museum of Contemporary Art; Public Media Institute; South Side Jazz Coalition; The Birdhouse, Inc.; and The Hungry Brain.
Lollapalooza will honor its annual summer tradition by bringing Chicago, and the world, together around a common bond of community, civic engagement and, of course, live music in a weekend-long livestream event July 30Aug. 2. Details will be announced next month.
Chicago Park District, Grant Park Music Festival and many other cultural presenters are also consideringor have already announcedalternative smaller and/or virtual summer events.
Millennium Park will reopen in mid-June with limited in-person programming and in accordance with Chicago Department of Public Health safeguards and best practices, to ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike. The Chicago Cultural Center and other DCASE-managed venues remain closed to the public until further notice.
For updates about DCASE programming, permitting and venues, visit Chicago.gov/dcase .