While everything seems to be open like the old days, there is still that looming presence of the Delta variant in the background threatening all we’ve done to get back to normal. So much so that we’re back to having to wear masks indoors. Now if you’re anything like me, that means not much has changed since you’ve been wearing your mask indoors the whole time anyway. But now we have to be doubly careful to keep COVID numbers down and be diligent of the new recommendations and rules.
So if you do plan to go out this weekend make sure you check out the venue’s policies and quite honestly, take initiative. Wear a mask, social distance, and get your vaccination shots even if the venue/event is lax. Protect yourself and those around you.
Now, let’s get on with your Chicago Curated Weekend!
- Drive-In Movies
- Support Local Venues
- Kingston Mines is open with some great lineups this weekend
- Fitzgerald’s Patio is also back in full swing with tons of artists playing throughout the week with artists like Clem Snide on Thursday and EG Vines on Saturday!
- Evanston Space‘s shop is open and you should consider donating to help the venue during these weird times. They are also having lower capacity shows at the venue!
- Head over to the Hideout ‘s regular shop and get yourself some great merch! Their Holiday Sale page is also still up with links to great local artists!
- Metro shop is full of fantastic concert posters from yesteryear and cool merch
- Lincoln Hall/Schubas always has great items in their shop waiting for you! Plus Schubas/Tied House is open and events are on their way back!
- Same goes for Thalia Hall’s merch store (those holiday socks? *chef’s kiss*)
- Let’s not forget Empty Bottle’s fantastic merch shop! Plus they just added some new stuff designed by some awesome people that is sure to catch your eye! Shows are going on now as well, so head over to their venue site and go to some concerts if you’re comfortable
- Art Galleries and Special Events
- All Star Press is constantly putting up new prints for you to decorate your space with! They’ve started a whole new year-long series Naturally Beautiful !! Check out some of their prints from last year’s Vertical Gallery collab, which you can purchase here!! There is also a virtual gallery featuring all the works! And don’t forget to check out the virtual edition of JC Rivera’s new exhibition “Still Undefeated” , his latest collab with the gallery “Mind Games”, and new release “Bear & Square”by JC Rivera!
- Galerie F has a fun stock of prints from concert posters, pop culture prints and more! They are also currently running a Mac Blackout Solo Show!
- Rotufugi will be showing a new exhibit Moonlit Forest Town: Kohei Ogawa Solo Exhibition! So if you feel comfortable mask up and see the work in person.
- WOMANISH Experience is a cool pop up featuring the work of female and gender non-confirming artists exploring womanhood from a diverse range of perspectives.
- Immersive Van Gogh does exactly what its name says: immerses you into Van Gogh paintings via huge projections that bring the already lively art to life!
- Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes at the Museum of Science and Industry
- WNDR Museum is back
- Art on theMART will be projecting wonderful visual every night at 9:00pm and 9:30pm! Check out what they have planned here
- Garfield Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Lincoln Park Conservatory is open! Book a reservation to see all the beautiful gardens safely!
- Fireworks at Navy Pier are back! The 10-minute show starts at 9pm every Wednesday and Saturday in August!
- Explore the five towering sculptures by South African artist Daniel Popper at the Morton Arboretum!
- “Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now” @ Museum of Contemporary Art. Check out our review of the exhibit here!
In addition to all the previous and following events, we highly recommend you check out all the music performances that are part of DCASE’s Chicago in Tune! This new citywide festival celebrates music in the key of Chicago during the 2021 Year of Chicago Music. This month is meant to bring us all together through the whole spectrum of music events in a variety of venues. Check out all the participating venues and shows over at their website!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th
Sooper Records and Friends @ Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E Randolph St, Gates open 4:30pm, All ages
WHAT: Oh, just some of the best local acts getting together for one hell of a show
SO WHAT: Sooper Records is home to a vast lineup of amazing artists and their output is top tier. This special night in Millennium Park is going to be utterly insane as the Sooper Records lineup includes NNAMDÏ, Sen Morimoto, KAINA, and Jodi performing. Alongside them will be the Sooper band feaaturing Michael Cantella, Ryan the Person, Johnny Wilson, and Brian Sanborn. Add to that Neil Francis and his band to the mix and you have a great night ahead of you!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Just head over to Millennium Park and make your way to Jay Pritzker Pavilion for a fantastic show!
Mind Maintenance @ Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, or in the most musically inclined room in your home, 8:30pm
WHAT: An amazing show for your weekend!
SO WHAT: Constellation has been putting on some incredible shows during the pandemic and this weekend is no different! Whether you decide to stay home and watch the livestreams or head out to the venue and enjoy the live music in person, Constellation is a great way to spend the night! Check out some of the upcoming shows below!
- September 9 – Mind Maintenance
- September 16 – rhythm is image
- September 17 – Matt Ulery’s Mannerist 11
- September 18 – Instigation Festival
- September 19 – Frequency Series Presents: Shi-An Costello
- September 23 – Eli Keszler
- September 24 – Eleventh Dream Day – SOLD OUT
- September 25 – Eleventh Dream Day – $20 in advance, $25 day of show
- September 26 – Frequency Series Presents: Liza Sobel & Jonathan Hannau / Deaf Rabbit
- September 30 – Lionel Loueke – $20 in advance, $25 day of show
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $15 (unless noted); head out and enjoy the incredible shows this weekend! There is also a streaming option for most of Constellation;s shows, so if you stay home, be sure to donate to support Constellation!
THURSDAY & FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th & 10th
Fulton Street Collective Jazz Series @ Fulton Street Collective & Their YouTube channel, 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 307, or the coziest spot in your home, 8:00pm
WHAT: Some excellent jazz for your evening
SO WHAT: Fulton Street Collective are back with in-person events, but they are still determined to give Chicago its much needed dose of jazz at home! Most of their shows are also streaming so you can see and hear the beautiful music on their YouTube channel! Below are just some of the upcoming shows from the collective.
- September 9 – Markus Rutz Quintet live at Fulton Street Collective
- September 10 – MUNDANE & ORDINARY LIFE: In-Person Art Opening at Fulton Street Collective – $5
- September 14 – Mingus-Mitchell-Motown w/Rosenberg & Hesse @ Fulton Street Collective
- September 16 – Steve Schnall’s SAXOFONIX @ Fulton Street Collective
- September 19 – Kristina Koller live at Fulton Street Collective
- September 21- Marcel Bonfim Quartet live at Fulton Street Collective
NOW WHAT: The shows are free online, but in person there is a $15 suggested donation unless noted! Also you should definitely support Fulton Street Collective by becoming a member!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th
SLAPS! Vol. 3 @ Vault Gallerie, 2015 S. Laflin St, 6:00p -9:00pm,
WHAT: Cool sticker art for you to admire at Vault Gallerie
SO WHAT: SLAPS!, curated by Kawaii Suga & Slap Show, is a collection of USPS sticker art from some incredible artists. These “slaps” can be found all over major cities and are often seen as vandalism. For this exhibition, this art form will move from the streets and be placed in an intimate gallery setting to challenge the idea of what is and isn’t worthy of “high art” praise. Because this form of art—and other street art—ABSOLUTELY should be praised.
NOW WHAT: This opening reception is free! The gallery will be collecting feminine product donations to be donated to Healthy Hood Chi!
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th & 11th
Chi-Soul Fest 2021 @ Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Friday 5:30pm – 11:30pm, Saturday Noon -11:00pm, All ages
WHAT: The Chicago Soul Music Festival returns!
SO WHAT: Navy Pier will be filled with some excellent soul music throughout the campus including the likes of Tamarie T. and Thee Elektra Company, LeftJones featuring Oliv Blu and Nola Ade, Attack the sound, Sydney Jay Bassel & The Supernaturals, Danielle Juhre, Cole DeGenova, and many more! You’ll also be able to enjoy Silver Room Block Party Pop-Up on Saturday noon-6:00pm; featuring vendors, DJs and a fashion show. Check out the full lineup on Navy Pier’s website.
NOW WHAT: It’s free! Enjoy some soul music this weekend!
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th – 12th
Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St, Noon – 10:00pm
WHAT: A music festival focused on some of the best music you can find today
SO WHAT: Pitchfork have been the taste-makers in the just-under-the-mainstream community for a while and they know how to put on a good festival. This year is no different with a stellar lineup including headliners like Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, and Erykah Badu! Check out the full lineup here!
NOW WHAT: If you still haven’t gotten your tickets, you better hurry! Regular three-day passes for the fest have unfortunately sold out, but single day passes are $90 and still available! Pitchfork Music Festival will be requiring that festival-goers 12 years old and older provide proof of COVID Vaccination or a negative PCR test within 24 hours of each festival day. The fest will also be requiring masks be worn on all festival grounds and can only be removed when eating or drinking.
Lincoln Park Greek Fest @ St George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 N. Sheffield Ave, Friday 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Saturday Noon – 11:00pm, Sunday Noon – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Take a trip to Lincoln Park as it throws its Greek Fest!
SO WHAT: St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln Park, established in 1923 by Greek immigrants, is throwing a fun Greek festival! This fantastic fest will allow you to celebrate Greek traditions with authentic food, great music, a craft fair, and even dancing lessons!
NOW WHAT: There is a suggested $10 donation, so just head over to Lincoln Park and enjoy all the activities.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th
Illinois Brewery Running Series @ Two Brothers Tap House, 30W315 Calumet Avenue West Warrenville, 11:00am – 2:00pm, all ages
WHAT: A fun run for beer!
SO WHAT: Take a quick run and be rewarded with a beer at these series of 5k walks and runs! All the Illinois Brewery Running Series events are untimed, emphasizing a fun time more than anything else! All the runs include one beer, collector’s glassware or seasonal swag item, and an invitation to enjoy the day’s scheduled festivities like live music, food, goodies, and giveaways!
NOW WHAT: This run at Two Brothers Tap House is $30 (or $45 which gives you a shirt)! 10% of proceeds help support a growing list of non-profits like Chicago Parks Foundation, Chicago Run, and Survivor Vision! There is also a chance to volunteer! These runs will be respecting all COVID-19 safety guidelines as outlined by the CDC and the local department of health.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th & 12th
Printers Row Lit Fest @ South Dearborn Street from Ida B. Wells to Polk Street, 10:00am – 6:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: A two-day fest all about books!
SO WHAT: The Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, will be celebrating its 36th year! The fest is presented by the not-for-profit Near South Planning Board and this year’s celebration includes over 100 book sellers, all-free programs including family friendly events, and much more. You can check out the schedule of events here!
NOW WHAT: It’s free! The festival takes place on South Dearborn Street between Polk Street and Ida B. Wells Drive.
Ravenswood ArtWalk @ Ravenswood Ave between Lawrence and Waveland, 11:00am – 6:00pm
WHAT: Celebrate the local Ravenswood creative community!
SO WHAT: The Ravenswood ArtWalk will include open studios and galleries, pop-up performances, inventive activations, and an outdoor arts market featuring over 50 local artists. This a perfect way to get to know the community and take home some beautiful art for you or your friends.
NOW WHAT: The art walk is free! Check out their website for more details!
International Festival of Life + Jerk, Seafood & Vegan Festival @ Washington Park, 740 E. 56th Place @ 55th St & Cottage Grove, Noon – 10:00pm, All Ages
WHAT: Two great events in one place!
SO WHAT: The International Festival of Life is back for its 28th year of incredible music and fun activities! However this year they are collaborating with the 5th edition of the Jerk, Seafood & Vegan Festival for an even bigger event! So enjoy all the amazing food, fun games, and musical performances from Mr. Vegas, Delfonics, Phylissia Ross and many more!
NOW WHAT: Single day tickets are $20 advance and $30 at the door, $35 after 5:00 pm on day of event. Two day tickets are $38 advance, per tix, and $60 at the door. There are als VIP passes available!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th
Sundays on State @ State Street from Lake to Madison, 11:00am – 8:00pm
WHAT: From Lake to Madison, State Street becomes an open street full of surprises!
SO WHAT: Neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond are invited for this interactive block party that will let you safely enjoy art, culture, active recreation, retail, bars, restaurants, and local attractions! Experience everyone’s neighborhood, the Loop, like never before!
NOW WHAT: This fantastic way to spend your Sundays this summer is FREE! Sundays on State will strictly follow all public health guidelines in place at the time of each event.
Pilsen Vendor Market @ Pilsen Art House, 1756 W 19th St., Noon – 5:00pm
WHAT: A socially distanced mini handmade market!
SO WHAT: This is a weekly market for artists and makers to come together, make new friends and sell their wonderful wares.
NOW WHAT:Entry is free, just be sure to wear your mask as they are required!
THE WHOLE SELF-DISTANCING WEEKEND & BEYOND
Weekend Shows @ Lincoln Hall & Schubas, 2424 N Lincoln Ave & 3159 N Southport Ave, various times, 18+
WHAT: A full weekend of amazing shows at Schubas!
SO WHAT: Things have opened back up for the most part and two of our favorite venues are stacking up some stellar lineups! Check out what Schubas has going on this weekend.
- September 9 – An Evening with Andrew Belle @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:30pm – $25 -18+
- September 9 – Blu DeTiger / Unusual Demont @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln Ave – Doors 8:00pm -$15 -18+
- September 10 – The Weather Station / Ulna @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 10:00pm – $18 – 18+
- September 11 – 20×2 Chicago: What Now? Hosted by Andrew Huff @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 6:30pm – $10 – All Ages
- September 11 – SENPAI.Fest featuring… LaSalle Grandeur, Ausar, Heartgaze, and Will Williamson @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 9:30pm -$15 -18+
- September 12 – Oliver Francis @ Schubas, 3159 N Southport Ave – Doors 7:00pm – $20 – All Ages
NOW WHAT: Head out to Lincoln Hall or Schubas and enjoy this great lineup of shows! Please note: proof of vaccination is required for entry to all shows at Lincoln Hall and Schubas in Chicago. Click here for more information on this policy.
Back on the Big Screen and Virtual Cinema @ Music Box Theatre, unsurprisingly at your home, any time you want to watch a movie
WHAT: A great way to support a great local theater
SO WHAT: The Music Box Theatre is currently open to the public, so if you feel comfortable you can go out and have a theater experience this weekend with The Lost Leonardo, The Year of the Everlasting Storm, Mogul Mowgli, The Thing, Mornings with Marlene: A Matinee Series, the fun Music Box Garden Movies, and more! But if you want to watch some first run movies at home, you can still watch great moves and support them online! They are currently screening films via their The Music Box Direct series! There also tons of select titles available on their new platform!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, in person screenings vary, so sit back and enjoy!
Film Center from Your Sofa @ The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute, your couch or preferred movie watching spot in your place, pretty much any time
WHAT: The Film Center at Home
SO WHAT:The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute is open again and they are continuing their excellent series Film Center from Your Sofa. This is a fun way to stay in digital touch with the Film Center and watch some great films from the comfort of home! Head over to their listings and start watching–in person or from your sofa!
NOW WHAT: Digital tickets are $12, so sit back and enjoy!
Pitch In for the Parks! @ Various local parks, Various times, all ages
WHAT: A good way to keep your community nice and clean!
SO WHAT: The nonprofit Chicago Parks Foundation (CPF) is currently in the second season of its citywide volunteer effort “Pitch In for the Parks!” to help keep the city’s 600+ public parks clean. The program is open to anyone who wants to host a clean-up group or join an existing event from the interactive map on the CPF website. CPF is providing trash pick-up supplies, volunteer coordination and safety guidelines to supportthe parks’ ongoing maintenance from June through October.
NOW WHAT: Clean-ups continue at parks citywide June-October. Anyone can host a Pitch In clean-up group or join a free volunteer event on their calendar.
New Talks and Video Archives @ Chicago Humanities Festival YouTube channel, your favorite browser or YouTube app, any time you want some inspiration, All Ages
WHAT: Interesting conversations with interesting people!
SO WHAT: Chicago Humanities Festival is back with some in person events! They always bring some of the best ideas to the surface with entertaining programming that captures your imagination. Their website is constantly updated with new talks, so check out the wealth of upcoming and previous events in their archives! Below is just a taste of what is coming in the next few weeks
- September 17 – Musical Legacies of the South Side -6:30pm
Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand @ Your favorite streaming device, the most lavish spot in your home
WHAT: The Lyric Opera at home
SO WHAT: Revisit some of your favorite Lyric moments, or experience for the first time performances you’ve missed.Check out their website for schedule of upcoming shows. Currently streaming is Luisa Miller (2019), The Queen of Spades (2020), and Die Walküre (2017).
NOW WHAT: It’s free!!
The Great Grow Along @ Your home, next to your soon-to-be-thriving home garden, Friday 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm – 3:45pm
WHAT: A chance to make your thumb a little greener
SO WHAT: The Great Grow Along was a three-day virtual garden festival that will provide gardeners with 40+ hours of sessions with plant pros to help up everyone’s growing game! There will be learning tracks to guide you through the talks and they have made the festival’s content available on demand to watch at your own pace over the next six months!
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $29.95 for this great collection of gardening talks!
Fun Times with Local Museums @ the comfort of your own home, a various collection of websites, whenever you want a little dose of educational fun, All Ages
WHAT: A chance to explore and help out some great local museums during these quarantine days
SO WHAT: Our incredible Museums editor Mariel Bokor has compiled a great list of interesting programming available from museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, MSI, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium during this stay at home time. It also notes which are closed for the season and how you can help support them during these times!
NOW WHAT: Check out our most recent update on what museums are doing as they reopen and continue their online presence!
The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutes @ The Neo Futurists’ Patreon, one episode a week, 14+
WHAT: Quick plays online!
SO WHAT: The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral! 30 Digital Plays in 60 Analog Minutesis the online adaptation of the Neo-Futurists’, ongoing, ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes for a live audience. Since live audiences are still a no-no, this is the perfect way to experience this fun project from home! They also just released45 Plays for America’s First Ladies, a series of 1-5 minute plays that adopt a variety of shapes, tones, and theatrical conventions centered around the lives of the women who have served in the role of First Lady.
NOW WHAT: Join the Neo Futurists’ Patreon page for either $3, $5, or $9 a week (with added incentives in the higher tiers) and enjoy the 30 plays in an hour every week!
Concerts Live-streams and Local Shows Archives @ Your House, Any time you please, All Ages
WHAT: There’s tons of concerts from Chicago’s yesteryear available online for your enjoyment!
SO WHAT: Oh My Rockness and Do312 has done a fantastic job of cataloging some of the upcoming live-streams from the awesome musical acts out there! Check out Oh My Rockness’ listings here, Do312’s roundup of shows here, and tune in to these great shows from the comfort of home! Do312 have also shared some past Chicago shows that are certainly worth a watch. There are also so many great local concerts recorded for posterity and what better time to check them all out than during this self isolation period. Audiotree has a fantastic and huge list of sessions with links to band’s websites and merch to help support them even more. In addition to our previous recommendations like Fran, Tasha, KAINA, Divino Nino, and The Ophelias, we also recommend ROOKIE, Emily Blue, Sen Morimoto, Beach Bunny, Tennis, and Gia Margaret! Then head over to their record concerts from Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and beyond to check out Orville Peck, of Montreal, and so many more! JBTV is also a fantastic resource for sessions from bands that have come through Chicago! Just take a look at this playlist of Blind Melon’s ’95 set at Metro!
NOW WHAT: Stay home, watch some live music, and be sure to check out your favorite artists’ social media, you never know who might be live streaming next!
Video Games @ Your home PC or Console, As long as it takes, Just check the game rating
WHAT: Video-games for all!
SO WHAT: Check out our games page for some recommendations of what games to download (and avoid) while we’re stuck at home. If you’re a PC user, head over to the Epic Games store as they will be releasing a few new FREE games for you to download ! There are also tons of free games on Twitch Prime waiting for you to download!
NOW WHAT: Wash your hands and dive head first into some fun games!
Bring the Zoo to You @ Brookfield Zoo’s Facebook page, when you want to see some animals besides your pets or specifically 11:00am, All Ages
WHAT: A great way to make your kids’ time at home entertaining and educational
NOW WHAT: Join Brookfield Zoo on Facebook every weekday at 11:00am for a “Bring The Zoo To You” Facebook Live featuring one of their animals as well as plenty of educational, informative insight from one of our Animal Care Specialists. If you can’t make it at 11, that’s okay. The video will be saved afterward on Facebook as well as on their YouTube channel.
SO WHAT: Just jump in to the chat at their Facebook page to learn something new
Masque of the Red Coronavirus! @ Black Button Eyes Productions, Any time on your computer or mobile device. For 18+.
WHAT: Written by Black Button Eyes Productions producing artistic director Ed Rutherford, this short satirical piece is available online free as a combined script-and-video experience.
SO WHAT: In addition to reading the play, you will see various Chicago artists act out portions of the script on video, recorded remotely. The event includes puppets, burlesque, original music, fire dancing and more in a brief, darkly comedic confection.
With the Red Coronavirus running rampant across the countryside and a vaccine still months away, what’s a Prince to do? Lock himself in a secure bunker in an undisclosed location along with a cohort of his top donors, of course. To prevent him and his rich supporters from becoming bored, the Prince has also brought a few artists into the bunker to entertain the crowd. But as the hour grows later and the night grows weirder, it’s clear that something else has also invaded the party.
NOW WHAT: Settle down for an evening of magical weirdness. Click here and begin reading and watching the videos.
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