The world's largest free blues festival, ancient mummies brought (nearly) back to life, and a celebration of Indian arts and culture; Chicago Tonight knows what's going on this weekend.
Chicago loves its sports, its deep-dish and its music. But not just any kind of music – that most Chicagoan of musical forms known as “the blues.” The genre may have originated in the Deep South, but there is no disputing that Chicago is the blues capital of the world. Don’t believe us? Head to Grant Park this weekend, where an estimated 500,000 blues fans are expected to turn up for the 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival. The four-day festival is the largest free blues festival in the world, and has featured blues legends like Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, B.B. King and more in years past. This year’s festival theme is “Rollin’ Up The River,” and the performances across all five stages will chronicle the journey of the blues, up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and Chicago. The festival officially opened Thursday night, but from Friday through Sunday, the music lasts from 11:00 am to 9:30 pm. This year’s headliners include Shemekia Copeland with Quinn Sullivan, Bobby Rush and his Blues Band, and the Memphis Soul Revue. Again, admission is free; just show up in Grant Park and enjoy the blues! To learn more about the festival, click here.
Jackson & Columbus Streets
Chicago, IL 60602
With cutting-edge technology, Chicago’s Field Museum is bringing its collection of ancient Egyptian mummies back to life. Well…not totally back to life, but pretty darn close; CT scans and the latest in 3-D imaging have allowed scientists and a sculptor to create life-like replicas of two of the museum’s mummies. In the new exhibit Images of the Afterlife, the public will have a chance to see what these two individuals – one, a woman in her forties with curly hair and the other, a teenage boy named Minirdis – looked like in real-life thousands of years ago. Images of the Afterlife will be on display this Saturday, and will be open to Chicago audiences through January 20, 2014, and a basic admission pass to the museum grants you access to the exhibit ($15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-11, and $12 for students and seniors 65 and up). To learn more about the exhibit and other happenings at the Field Museum, click here.
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
One of the country’s largest celebrations of Indian culture and arts returns to Chicago for a third straight year this weekend. Featuring events in Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods, the Eye On India Festival explores the best in Indian music, visual art, literature and of course, Bollywood film. This year, the festival welcomes two of Bollywood’s biggest stars – renowned screenwriter Javed Akhtar and actress Shabana Azmi, who has been described as “India’s Meryl Streep” – who will discuss their experiences in the Indian film industry at Oakbrook Terrace’s Drury Lane Theatre on June 8. Among other highlights, the famous classical and pop singer Shubha Mudgal will perform at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for Performing Arts this Sunday, June 9. The five-week long festival lasts from June 7 through July 14. Some events – like Mudgal’s performance at the Logan Center, are free – but others are not. For a full list of festival events and ticket prices, click here.
Chicago is known for its comedy clubs, in no small part due to the number of female comedians cracking up audiences around the city. So, to showcase all of these talented women, executive producers Jill Valentine and Liz MacArthur dreamed up the idea for a comedy festival that would bring together funny women from around the city and country to network, celebrate comedy and of course, leave Chicagoans in stitches. In 2012, the first annual Chicago Women’s Funny Festival took place at Stage773, and featured 66 shows with 400 performers, spread over five days. The event drew huge crowds and because of it, the CWFF returns to Stage773 for a second straight year this weekend. This year’s fest is even bigger, with 80 shows, 170 groups and stand-ups, and over 400 total performers. The festival lasts from June 6-9, and ticket prices range from free to $15 for certain acts. To view a full festival lineup and to purchase advance tickets, click here.
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
Now in its 64th year, the Old Town Art Fair returns to the historic, picturesque streets of Chicago’s Old Town Triangle this weekend. An estimated 50,000 attendees are expected to browse the works of 250 artists, who were selected by a discerning jury of professional artists, gallery owners and museum curators. As always, the fair features nearly every type of visual art imaginable: 2-D and 3-D mixed media, paintings, sketches, photography, metal works, sculptures and much more. Art lovers will also have a chance to take a break from browsing the art galleries and participate in the fair’s Garden Walk, which takes visitors on a guided tour through 60 of the area's beautiful urban gardens. For admission into the festival, a $7 donation is requested to local youth groups and neighborhood projects. Festival hours are from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. To learn more about the festival and participating artists, click here.
North Lincoln Avenue & West Wisconsin Street
Chicago, IL 60614