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There’s Still Time for Lollapalooza Tickets!

Posted on July 29th, 2014 by


Seeing the sets begin to go up in Grant Park is the final sign that Chicago’s biggest festival of the summer is right around the corner. With 138 bands in the line up and after party shows scheduled all around the city, music enthusiasts buy their weekend passes months in advance for this three day festival, August 1-3, and each year the hype grows. However, if you weren’t one of the lucky few who made it to the purchasing stage the day tickets went on sale, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

Abandoning print passes and hard tickets, all admittance to this years Lollapalooza will be monitored by wristbands; so, if you’re taking to resale ticket websites to grab a pass, keep this in mind. Stubhub, Craigslist, and VIP tickets are places to visit if you’re looking for last minute tickets to this weekend’s event, and prices can range from $299- $450 for a three day pass, and $100- $200 for a one day pass.

With an event that is so largely popular, and the high demand for tickets, unfortunately something you must be sure to look out for is ticket fraud. Lollapalooza’s website warns against using ticket resale websites, saying if you want “100% confidence, you must purchase passes at every time.” Some businesses, like Connie’s Pizza, are giving away tickets. However, when it’s just days before the festival begins and the official website is all sold out, broker ticket sites are sometimes the only option. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting Stubhub or any other site to purchase tickets:

  1. If a wristband has been worn and removed, it is automatically voided. Sometimes people who can’t attend just one day of the festival will try to sell their wristband for that day, but if you buy a removed or tampered with wristband you will not be able to attend. Security will be checking for wristband tampering each day, and being suspected can get you escorted out.
  2. Wristbands are the only ticket option available. As mentioned before, Lollapalooza is no longer doing print passes or hard tickets, so if someone tries to sell you anything other than a wristband: do not buy it.
  3. Be wary of Craigslist. Many people take to Craigslist when searching for Lollapalooza tickets in the hope of finding a cheaper option than what is offered on Stubhub, but Craigslist also allows for a higher risk of buying a fake ticket. If Stubhub or VIP Tickets prices are a little too high for your budget, try checking Facebook for friends or friends of friends selling tickets. Sometimes the cheapest and safest way to get tickets is through a friend you know who just can’t make it to the show.

Lollapalooza is a Chicago experience, and has blown up to be one of the most nationally popular music festivals in just the last 4 years. This years line up includes big names like Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Skrillex, Lorde and the Arctic Monkeys in addition to smaller up and comers like Pretty Little Demons, The Q Brothers and Ryan Beatty.

For day by day lineups, schedules and information on all things Lolla visit:


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31st Annual Chicago Blues Festival

Posted on June 10th, 2014 by


The largest free blues festival in the world kicks off this weekend at Grant Park with three opportunities to catch the show.

In its 31st year, the Chicago Blues Festival boasts six different stages. Nearly two dozen world-renowned blues musicians will be performing this weekend. Friday commemorates the life and music of John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, legendary blues harmonica player and singer. Williamson will be celebrated by the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Billy Boy Arnold, Mark Hummel, Ronnie Hicks and the Masheen Company Band, Marcella Detroit, Billy Branch, and more. Saturday will feature Bettye Lavette, Deitra Farr, and Big James & The Chicago Playboys. Sunday’s lineup features headliners Sugar Blue, The Smiley Tillmon Band, and Dr. John. These musicians have over a dozen Grammy awards between them and are certainly worth watching. If you’re low on funds, you are in luck because this festival is free.

More than performance, the blues festival has provided music education for thousands of children over the years. The festival has given the musicians the opportunity to take up a residency at local Chicago Public Schools weeks before the festival and provide the students with an understanding of blues music including everything from music theory to performance.

Over 500,000 fans from around the world enjoy the Chicago Blues Festival each year. Past performers include Ray Charles, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy. The theme for this year’s festival is “Blues by the Lake.”

The Chicago Blues Festival takes place place Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Grant Park located at Columbus Dr. and Congress Pkwy. Schedule is subject to change. For more information visit

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It’s Time for the Taste!

Posted on July 9th, 2013 by

2013 Taste of Chicago

It’s the moment we all have been waiting for! Well at least our stomachs anyway. The Taste of Chicago kicks off this week and Concierge Preferred has all the details to ensure a full tummy and a great time.

  • Who: YOU! The hungry Chicagoans that we really are, and also three million of your closest friends
  • What: The 33rd annual Taste of Chicago which is also said to be the world’s largest outdoor food festival
  • Where: Grant Park between Monroe Avenue and Balbo Drive
  • When: July 10-14th, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Why: Why? Is this really a question? Because there is nothing better than food, especially when it’s made in Chicago

The Menu

For those who are Taste regulars, the 35 featured restaurants will not be overwhelming but the decision of which dishes to order will be. Each vendor will serve six tasty plates which include two “taste of” sample portions. Highlights include, but certainly are not limited to, some of the best African food in Chicago from Vee-Vee’s African Restaurant to a city classic like the Original Rainbow Cone. New to the food fest, however, will food trucks. Each evening the Petrillo Music Shell will serve as a parking spot for some of the best grub available on wheels. This year’s taste also welcomes some of the city’s heaviest hitting chefs/restaurateurs as part of the Mazda6 Celebrity Chef du Jour series.

The Entertainment

Not only will there be five star dishes but also five star entertainment from all genres. You want some soul? Try Estelle or Robin Thicke. You want some rock? There’s Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. You want some fun? Well they’ll be there too. The taste features two concert venues, the Petrillo Music Shell and also the Bud Light Stage which will feature up and coming Chicago artists. All admission to the shows are free, with the exception of concert seating tickets priced at $25.

The Prices

Admission to the Taste of Chicago is free and food and drinks can be purchased in sets of 12 for $8. For a more specific food guide, large food items are usually around 10 tickets while smaller portions go for 6. The special “taste of” plates are four tickets. Ticket sales will end at 8:30 p.m. each night.

The Transportation

With such a large number of attendees, there are a variety of modes of transportation to get your snack on. Via public transportation, you can take the Red or Blue Lines or bus routes #145 or #151 which all will stop close to Grant Park and The Taste of Chicago. If you are planning to take Lake Shore Drive, try the Millennium Park Garage right off Columbus Drive between Randolph and Monroe Streets. For cyclists who want to burn off the calories they plan on consuming, the Taste will have parking on the perimeters of Grant and Millennium Parks.

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Blues Fest is Back!

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by

Shemekia Copeland Chicago Blues Festival 2013If it isn’t already, this weekend’s Chicago Blues Festival should be at the top of your to-do list! The largest FREE blues festival in the world will be rolling into Millennium and Grant Parks this weekend (June 6-9) and will feature feel-good music on five stages.

So join the throng of 500,000 fellow blues fan out on the lakefront, as the “Blues Capital of the World” hosts performances by blues greats James Cotton, Otis Clay, Eddie Floyd, Irma Thomas, Shemekia Copeland (pictured), and many, many more.

The 2013 Chicago Blues Fest lineup includes:

  • June 6: the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival kicks off on Thursday in Millennium Park with performances by Shemekia Copeland and Quinn Sullivan. Live music begins at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. with Copland taking the stage at 8 p.m.
  • June 7: Head to Grant Park on Friday to take in performances by Irma Thomas and Bobby Rush and his Blues Band.
  • June 8: Saturday’s performances include Otis Clay, Uvee Hayes, The Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice.
  • June 9: The Fest’s last day of performances include blues greats James Cotton, John Primer, Billy Branch, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater and many more!

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Register Today for Chicago’s Sweetest Walk

Posted on September 27th, 2012 by

Hot Chocolate Walk for Little CityThe family-friendly Hot Chocolate Walk for Little City will take place in Grant Park on Sunday, November 4, 2012 to support individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. The course will take you along Lake Michigan with breathtaking city views.

Walkers can enjoy delicious hot chocolate and chocolate fondue from Ghirardelli Chocolate Company at the post race party. All participants will receive a goodie bag with a stylish sweatshirt. By registering to walk, you will be playing a part in supporting the residents and clients of Little City with residential care, athletics, health, art and employment opportunities.

Children under the age of 12 are encouraged to take part as a junior walker. After the race, the children can enjoy the post-race activities including a large Kid Zone, magicians and face painting.

Register at

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Rhythm and Blues at Chicago’s Blues Festival

Posted on February 2nd, 2012 by

Mavis Staples Blues Fest Chicago 2012Get this on your calendars! The 2012 Chicago Blues Festival will run from June 8-10 at Grant Park and the headline performer of the fest is none other than Chicago blues maven, Mavis Staples.

Every year, thousands enjoy the celebration of blues artists, new and old, at the three-day festival and the 2012 lineup definitely has a little something for everybody with a focus on local talent and tributes to the big (and hugely original) names that have passed away.

Chicago Blues Festival 2012 Lineup

Friday, June 8, will memorialize the life and work of Texas blues guitarist, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Come on out to the Petrillo Music Shell and witness Texas natives, Johnny Brown, Reverend KM Williams, Milton Hopkins, and Jewel Brown, play in the spirit of Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Saturday, June 9, will acknowledge a handful of legendary musicians. Floyd Taylor, a Chicago native, will play some of his father, Soul and R&B legend Johnnie Taylor’s, greatest hits, as well as some of his own. Paul Kaye will pay tribute to close friend, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the last of the Delta Bluesmen. Pinetop Perkins, Willie Big Eyes Smith, and Mojo Buford will be remembered by family and friends in a set at the Petrillo and a long list of musicians will perform a special tribute to Hubert Sumlin, the former lead guitarist of Howlin’ Wolf and huge inspiration for such virtuosos as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

The ladies of blues haven’t been forgotten either. Sunday, June 10, is all about female performers, beginning with a tribute to Koko Taylor, the Queen of Blues, by Melvia “Chick” Rodgers, Jackie Scott, Deitra Farr, and Nora Jean Brusco. And the evening will culminate in Ms. Mavis Staples’ festival-closing performance. A former member of the popular group, the Staple Singers, Staples recently won a Grammy for “Best Americana Album” (produced by another proud Chicagoan, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) and is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

It sounds to be a jam-packed weekend filled with soulful music, great food, and have I mentioned it yet, FREE ADMISSION. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day.

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Things to do in Chicago – Concierge Picks

Posted on August 2nd, 2011 by

Concierge Correspondent Amanda Cooper of the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel offers her picks for things to do in Chicago this weekend. From Lollapalooza in Grant Park – now in it’s 20th year – to Windy City LIVE and the Chicago Brew Bus, it’s all here in this short video clip.

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Shake It: 15th Annual Chicago SummerDance Series

Posted on July 20th, 2011 by

If the thought of a dance lesson conjures up images of an activity planned on a cruise ship, I’m with you. Then, last Summer, I started hearing buzz about how fun the Chicago SummerDance series was. Considering it is going on year 15, clearly there are a lot of people who like to shake what mama gave them. Curious? Plan ahead before your proverbial dance card is full.

•What: Completely free, you’ll get an introductory one-hour dance lesson (everything from swing, salsa, the cha-cha, and more) by pro instructors before you are turned loose on your own to enjoy two hours of live music and dancing on the 4,900-square-foot, open-air dance floor. The floor — designed by artist Dan Peterman — has been completely renovated this year and is constructed out of 100-percent recycled materials.
•Where: Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan Ave.).
•When: Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and each Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m., weather permitting. Get the latest updates on Facebook at Chicago SummerDance and on Twitter at SummerDance2011. Weather announcements will be available on the SummerDance Hotline at 312-742-4007. With each week being a different style of dance, plan ahead by checking out the full program at the Chicago SummerDance website.

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Strike a Pose at Wanderlust Yoga in the City Festival

Posted on July 18th, 2011 by

Do you like to get down with your downward dog? Even if you’re a yoga newbie, grab your mat and head on over to Butler Field in Grant Park on Tuesday, July 19, for an evening of free yoga and tunes from local DJ Lady D. The festivities are a part of a seven-city national tour called the Wanderlust Yoga in the City Festival. Considering the temps are brutal this week, it’s a good thing the sponsor of the event is SmartWater!

The evening of zen begins at 5 p.m. and a 90-minute class led by Moksha Yoga Center’s Rich Logan will begin at 6 p.m. As an added convenience, there will be changing facilities available so you don’t have to trek back to the hotel to slip into your yoga gear. While the event is totally free, be sure to register in advance on the Wanderlust Yoga event website. Namaste!

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32nd Chicago Jazz Festival: music on the lakeshore, fans on Cloud 9

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by

The longest-running admission-free jazz festival in the country, the Chicago Jazz Festival launches its 32nd edition on the lakefront width=this week. It features the mix of local stars and national names – including vocalists Kurt Elling and Rene Marie, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, smooth-jazz hero Nick Colionne, pianists Ramsey Lewis and Brad Mehldau, saxophonist Henry Threadgill, and flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell (this year’s artist-in-residence) – that has made the event an adventurous jewel in the city’s culture crown.

This year’s festival gets underway Thursday at noon with afternoon programming at the city’s gleaming Pritzker Pavilion, followed by Friday’s split-venue schedule: six afternoon sets at the Chicago Cultural Center (Randolph and Michigan), followed by a full slate at Pritzker that evening.  There’s even jazz that’s technically not part of the festival, when the piano icon Ahmad Jamal – who came to prominence in Chicago in the late 1950s – performs with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra on Thursday evening at Pritzker.  (The Jamal concert is presented through the Made In Chicago series at Millennium Park.)

On Saturday, the Jazz Festival returns to its traditional stomping grounds in Grant Park, with four stages, a midway filled with diversions and comestibles, and an art show leading from Jackson Blvd. to Buckingham Fountain. This year marks the return of the “Young Lions” stage, dedicated to high-school and college bands, and the debut of a new “smooth-jazz” stage.  It all adds up to 18 different performances Saturday and again Sunday, warmed by typically gorgeous late-summer weather (that’s the forecast), and splayed against unbeatable backdrops – the lake by day, the skyline by night. You’d be hard-pressed to think of a better way to mark the unofficial beginning of autumn (Labor Day weekend).

The Chicago Jazz Festival, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and programmed in its entirety by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, takes place September 2-5, from noon till 9:30 each day, at numerous locations.  All programs are free of charge.  The complete schedule can be accessed here.

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