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The Chicago Blues Festival is an annual event that features three days of performances by top-tier blues musicians, both old favorites and the up-and-coming. It is hosted by the City of Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events, and always occurs in early June. The event has always taken place at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, adjacent to the Lake Michigan waterfront east of the Loop in Chicago.

History of the festival

Chicago has a storied history with blues that goes back generations stemming from the Great Migration from the South and particularly the Mississippi Delta region in pursuit of advancement and better career possibilities for musicians.[1][2] Created by Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, the festival began in 1984,[2] a year after the death of McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, who is generally considered "the father of Chicago blues".[3] Each year the organizers choose a theme, generally to honor a recently departed blues musician.[4] Obviously, Chicago blues acts are common. Also, in keeping with the blues' influence on other musical genres, there are some soul, jazz blues and blues-rock acts. Since those early beginnings the festival has risen to a status that the City of Chicago bills as the world's largest free concert of its kind.[5] The Blues Festival is the largest of the city's music festivals.[5]

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review by . June 18, 2010
     I didn't want to go to BluesFest but my buddy Tom wanted to go and I needed to get out of the house. So we jumped on the "el" and in about twenty minutes we were downtown and heading for the lakefront. Then just as we got there what had been an overcast sky opened up and the rain started falling. We found some trees and settled in under them. Tom wanted to go see someone called Rambling Jack Elliott and he slogged off in the rain. I could hear him and that …
Chicago Blues Festival
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