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Grant Park Music Festival returns to full capacity for 2021 season

Beginning with the July 2 opening night concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, seating will be free (first-come, first-served) and at full capacity in the pavilion and the Great Lawn.

Carlos Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra.
Carlos Kalmar conducts the Grant Park Orchestra.
Patrick Pyszka

The Grant Park Music Festival on Monday announced it has removed all seating restrictions for its upcoming season, following the city and state’s lifting of all pandemic restrictions last Friday.

Beginning with the July 2 opening night concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, seating will be free (first-come, first-served) and at full capacity in the pavilion and the Great Lawn. Reservations are no longer required.

Artistic director and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar will return to lead the Grant Park Orchestra, with Christopher Bell directing the Grant Park Chorus, in an eight-week season running through Aug. 21. All concerts are free and will take place Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Run time will be 90 minutes, without intermission.

The July 2-3 annual “Independence Day Salute” will incorporate a multi-media experience with video on two screens flanking the pavilion stage. The program will feature a host of traditional favorites including the “Armed Forces Salute,” the “1812 Overture,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and selections from “West Side Story,” among others.

The festival had earlier announced restricted seating, including socially distanced lawn “pods” and pre-concert reservations for all concerts.