Celebrate Millennium Park’s 20th anniversary with free events all summer long

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Millennium Park is truly the heart of downtown Chicago, an urban sanctuary that’s home to free events, tranquil gardens, and stunning public art like the iconic Cloud Gate statue (aka “The Bean”). With so much to do and see, it’s no wonder that this stunning space is visited by more than 25 million people every year. 

This summer marks 20 years since the park’s official opening in July 2004 and the city is pulling out all the stops to celebrate. The park’s landmark 20th season anniversary season is packed with free programming showcasing the city’s vibrant dance, music, and film communities. The park will also host a special 20th anniversary celebration featuring award-winning headliners. Check out the full schedule and get ready for a busy summer.

Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebration

This is the Kit performs at the 2018 Millennium Park Summer Music Series at the Pritzker Pavilion.

To celebrate 20 years of Millennium Park, Chicago will host the Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Celebrationfrom July 18 – 21. This free four-day festival will showcase Chicago-born genre house music, local legend Common, the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra, Colombian music groupFruko y Sus Tesos, and more. Check out the schedule for this special milestone event.

Thursday, July 18

  • ¡Súbelo! Festival, headlined by Fruko y Sus Tesos. The popular Latin music group from Colombia will present“Fruko: 60 Years Of Making The World Dance,” performing his hit songs from Sonora Dinamita, Latin Brothers, Afrosound, and Fruko y Sus Tesos. 

Friday, July 19

  • The Grant Park Orchestra in Star Wars and More: the Music of John Williams.

Saturday, July 20

  • An evening concert by award-winning artist, actor, author, activist and Chicago South Side native Common performing alongside the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Parnther. 

Sunday, July 21

  • The S&S Chicago Experience on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage, curated by Steve “Silk” Hurley and Shannon “Skip” Says, presents a diverse and inclusive presentation of House Music.

Millennium Park 20th Anniversary Summer Season

Millennium Park concert at Pritzker Pavilion
Millennium Park concert at Pritzker Pavilion; photo by Abel Arciniega :: @tequilagraphics

The 20th-anniversary celebration is just the start of the free arts programming held in Millennium Park this summer. Keep the celebration going during a packed 20th anniversary season schedule, including exciting performances, activities for families and youth, workouts, new public art, concerts, and more.

Uniting Voices Chicago presents “Paint the Town Red”

Thursday, May 23

Paint the Town Red is one of Uniting Voices Chicago’s most anticipated and largest events of the year, bringing together young singers from every corner of Chicago and every level of their programs in song.

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 1

Chicago Gospel Music Festival spotlights the depth of this music genre, spanning traditional and contemporary groups. This year’s program explores the genre’s deep Chicago roots with a powerful lineup of top talent.

Chicago House Music Festival

June 2

Celebrating 40 years since the birth of House Music, a genre born in Chicago that revolutionized dance music internationally, the Chicago House Music Festival returns to Millennium Park for a day-long dance party across multiple stages.

Chicago Blues Festival

June 6 – 9

A legendary Chicago event since 1984, the Chicago Blues Festival is the world’s largest free blues festival. This year’s event is a celebration of Chicago legend Buddy Guy, with additional performances by Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Southern Avenue, and more.

Visitors at The Bean (Cloudgate) in Millennium Park

Grant Park Music Festival

June 12 – Aug. 17

Experience a summer of extraordinary music with dozens of free classical concerts. A Chicago tradition for 90 years, this is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor series dedicated to classical music.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series

July 1 – Aug. 8

Come hear some of the biggest names in music during this free concert series on Monday and Thursday evenings, featuring both local arts and international talent.

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

July 16 – Aug. 20

This year’s schedule of free movies will showcase one of the many independent film festivals that are a part of Chicago’s vibrant film community.

Broadway In Chicago’s Summer Concert

Aug. 12

Presented by Broadway in Chicago, the free concert will showcase selections from new and iconic productions like Back To The Future, Les Misérables, Mean Girls, Disney’s Beauty And The Beast, and more. 

Lyric Opera’s “Sunday in the Park with Lyric”

Aug. 25

The Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform a variety of favorites from the 2024/25 season, which includes Rigoletto, Fidelio, The Marriage of Figaro, La Bohème, and more.

Chicago Jazz Festival

Aug. 29 – Sunday, Sept. 1.

The oldest of Chicago’s free lakefront music festivals boasts an incredibly diverse lineup over Labor Day weekend. The lineup runs the gamut from jazz legends to influential modern masters and crucial new voices in the genre’s continuing evolution.

Millennium Park Residency Program

July 13 – Sept. 22

Millennium Park Residency Program brings free dynamic programming from local arts groups, including performances by the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Old Town School of Folk Music, Collaboraction Theatre, Experimental Sound Studio, and more.

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