The Powerhouse Musical City of Chicago

Chicago is known for its beautiful architecture, its world class dining, and its punishing winter weather; but what many don’t realize is that it’s also a musical powerhouse. The musical city of Chicago is home to the top pioneering blues acts such as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. It was also where House music was born. Many of today’s well-known artists – from Chaka Chan to Kanye West – once called the city home. Chicago’s influence as a musical powerhouse runs deep and it shows no signs of slowing down.

The Powerhouse Musical City of Chicago

City of Blues

Musical City of Chicago, Chicago Blues Festival Performance,stage
Chicago Blues Festival Performance

Chicago blues is some of the best music to listen to. Its use of the electric guitar and heavy rolling bass immediately draws the listener into the groove. Artists like Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon were at the forefront of the Chicago blues movement and were major influencers to other artists such as the Rolling Stones. In fact, Chicago blues continues to be popular even today. Fans of this type of blues come en masse to get their fix during the Chicago Blues Festival. It’s a free event annually held in June at Chicago’s Millennium Park, the very same park where the famous Chicago Bean is in.

The three-day festival features some of the greatest blues musicians in the world. They come together to the musical city of Chicago, also dubbed as the “Blues Capital of the World,” to perform in front of thousands of music enthusiasts. Next year’s festival will take place from June 7th-9th so mark your calendars and don’t miss the opportunity to see and hear amazing blues performances.

Birthplace of House Music

House music is a form of Electronic Dance Music that originated in Chicago during the 80’s. It’s a smooth yet upbeat style of music that can get your body moving and heart racing from the first beat. Chicago House is part of the city’s music culture, so much so that similar to blues, it hosts an annual festival dedicated to the genre.

Musical City of Chicago. Chosen and Few and Picnic,festival,old school,reunion
Chosen and Few and Picnic

The Chosen Few Picnic & Festival is one big house dance party organized by the legendary Chosen Few DJs. It boasts an attendance record of around 50,000 people and known to the community as the “Woodstock of House Music.” The festival takes place every year around July 4th at Jackson Park, behind The Museum of Science and Industry. Ticket prices for adults run about $40-$500 depending on whether or not you want a VIP package but kids 12 and under get in free.

Musical City of Chicago, Chicago Evening Skyline During Lollapalooza
Chicago Evening Skyline During Lollapalooza

Blues and House music just scratches the surface of the musical city of Chicago. There’s theatre, the world-class symphony and rap too. Oh and did someone mention Lolapalooza? But if music or festivals isn’t quite your cup of tea, there’s world-class cuisine and incredible museums too. To help you plan your stay in Chicago, check out these travel tips – from where to eat to the best rental camper van overnight parking near downtown.

This article was written by Vos Tyler and edited by Iris A.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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