The Mix: Chicago Blues Fest, Old Town Art Fair and more things to do June 7-13

From music to great food and great art, there’s so much to check out in the week ahead in Chicago.

SHARE The Mix: Chicago Blues Fest, Old Town Art Fair and more things to do June 7-13
Ruthie Foster is among the headliners at the 2019 Chicago Blues Festival.

Ruthie Foster is among the headliners at the 2019 Chicago Blues Festival.

Riccardo Piccirillo

Make big entertainment plans for the week ahead in Chicago. Here are our suggestions:

Blues lovers feast

Music: Chicago Blues Festival

The 36th annual Chicago Blues Festival once again celebrates the genre’s legacy in Chicago with performances by local and national acts. Headliners include Bobby Rush, Jimmy Johnson Blues Band, Charlie Musselwhite with Billy Boy Arnold, Bettye LaVette, Don Bryant, Ruthie Foster, Larkin Poe and many more. From 11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 7-9, on six stages in Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. Admission is free. For a complete schedule, visit chicagobluesfestival.us.

Fashion forward

Visual Arts: ‘Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech’

Virgil Abloh.

Virgil Abloh

Katrina Wittkamp

A new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” highlights the work of the ultramodern, genre-bending artist and designer. Set in an immersive space, the exhibition focuses on the creative process and collaborative work of the Chicago artist whose ideas range across media connecting visual artists, musicians (including Kanye West), designers and architects. Abloh is currently the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. From June 10-Sept. 22 at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago. Admission: $8, $15. Visit mcachicago.org.

Fun for all ages

Family Fun: ‘Boing!’

“Boing!” is a daylong fun fest and aerial arts experience for the whole family.

“Boing!” is a daylong fun fest and aerial arts experience for the whole family.

Courtesy of Chicago Children’s Theatre

The family-friendly street festival Boing! features a day of fun and unique experiences including aerial arts with The Actor’s Gym, cookie decorating, green screen movie making, life-size board games, a two-story Adventure Quest, storytelling, face painting and more. From noon-4 p.m. June 9, Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine. Admission: $10. Visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

Buy the book

Books: Printers Row Lit Fest

The Midwest’s largest outdoor literary event, Printers Row Lit Fest, takes place June 8-9 and features more than 100 booksellers as well as panels and workshops. Author appearances include Eve Ensler, Valerie Jarrett, Alex Kotlowitz and many more. New this year is an arts and poetry tent and a storybook parade where children can dress as their favorite character or action hero. On Dearborn, from Dearborn Station to Ida B. Wells Drive. For a complete list of events, visit printersrowlitfest.org.

Spotlight on Pilsen

Food: Pilsen Food Truck Social

Besides the good eats from food trucks and local restaurants, people at the Pilsen Food Truck Social can also explore art galleries, vintage shops, bodegas, panaderias as well as the bold murals that define the neighborhood.

Besides the good eats from food trucks and local restaurants, people at the Pilsen Food Truck Social can also explore art galleries, vintage shops, bodegas, panaderias as well as the bold murals that define the neighborhood.

Courtesy of Pilsen Food Truck Social

The Pilsen neighborhood is showcased during the fifth annual Pilsen Food Truck Social. Besides the good eats from food trucks and local restaurants, people can explore art galleries, vintage shops, coffee houses, bodegas and panaderias as well as the bold murals that define the neighborhood. Music headliners include TRQPiTECA and Los Walters. From noon-10 p.m. June 8-9, on 18th between Racine and Throop. Visit pilsenfoodtrucksocial.com. Visit pilsenfoodtrucksocial.com.

Classical in the park

Music: Grant Park Symphony and Chorus

Enjoy music under the stars when the annual Grant Park Music Festival gets under way June in Millennium Park.

Enjoy classical music under the stars when the annual Grant Park Music Festival gets under way June 12 in Millennium Park.

Sun-Times Media

The 10-week summer season for the Grant Park Symphony and Chorus gets under way June 12 with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring guest artist Benjamin Beilman. Carlos Kalmar conducts with Christopher Bell directing the chorus. Through Aug. 17, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. Admission is free. Membership passes are available and guarantee reserved seating in the Pritzker Pavilion. Most concerts are at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Saturdays. For a complete schedule, visit gpmf.org.

Under the stars

Music: John Prine and Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie performs on November 4, 2018, in Mountain View, California. | Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Lionel Richie performs on November 4, 2018, in Mountain View, California.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Two legends perform on stage at Ravinia this week. Nashville singer-songwriter and Maywood native John Prine is considered by all in-the-know to be America’s greatest living songwriter. He performs tunes from his towering songbook. Tyler Childers opens the show at 7:30 p.m. June 8 ($38-$90). For decades, songs by Lionel Richie have been part of the fabric of pop music. The iconic superstar has sold more than 100 million records that include hits ranging from “Endless Love” and “Lady” to “All Night Long” and “Stuck on You.” The JC Brooks Band opens at 7:30 p.m. June 11-12 ($51-$172). All concerts take place at Ravinia, 418 Sheridan, Highland Park. Visit ravinia.org.

More festival fun

Family Fun: Outdoor Festivals Trio

Celebrate Swedish heritage at Andersonville Midsommarfest, June 7-9, Clark and Foster. Visit starevents.com. Check out the work of hundreds of artists at two of the city’s longest-running fairs. Old Town Art Fair, June 8-9, around Old Town Triangle Association building, 1763 N. North Park. Visit oldtownartfair.org. And Wells Street Art Festival, June 8-9, on Wells between North and Division. Visit wellsstreetartfest.us.

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.

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