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Ravinia Festival
Photograph: Russell Jenkins

Ravinia Festival 2021: The full lineup and best acts to see

Plan your summer on the lawn at the Ravinia Festival with the complete schedule.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
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After taking a year off, the Ravinia Festival is back in action this summer, joining other warm-weather traditions like Chicago summer festivals and outdoor bars and patios. You'll once again be able to pack a picnic basket, hop on the Metra and enjoy an evening of live music at the annual Ravinia Festival. The Highland Park venue is presenting a slightly truncated version of its usual array of concerts, ranging from reunited classic rock bands to orchestral performances.

As usual, there are a few surprised on this year's lineup, includng prog-rock outfit King Crimson (Aug 29) and an early ’90s alt-rock triple bill featuring Collective Soul, Better Than Ezra and Tonic (Sept 1). Plus, you can also catch R&B singer Brian McKnight (July 30), eclectic pop act Lake Street Dive (Aug 26) and close out the Ravinia season with violinist Andrew Bird (Sept 24).

The remainder of the Ravinia lineup is very on-brand: The Beach Boys are stopping by for two nights (Aug 21, 22) as are adult contemporary rockers Train (Aug 27, 28). Living legends like Willie Nelson (Aug 14), Gladys Knight (Aug 18) and Judy Collins (Aug 10) will also show up to perform. And festival mainstays like Ben Folds (Sept 18) and John Legend (Sept 5, 6) are also on the schedule.

If you're more of a classical music fan, dig into the lineup of soloists, many of whom are being accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Chicago Sinfonietta well also play a program (Sept 8) and the Joffrey Ballet dancers will take the stage late in the season (Sept 17).

According to the Ravinia Festival website, mask use and social distancing will be mandatory in the pavilion and on the lawn. Capacity will also be reduced throughout the season if necessary, in accordance with the latest Restore Illinois guidelines. Check out the full schedule below and see if you can dig out your picnic blanket.

When is the Ravinia Festival?

Ravinia Festival 2021 runs from July 5 through September 24.

Where is the Ravinia Festival?

Ravinia takes place at Ravinia Park (418 Sheridan Road) in Highland Park, Illinois. The easiest way to make the trip from inside Chicago city limits is to take Metra's Union Pacific North Line to the Ravinia Park stop, which drops passengers off directly in front of the venue's gates.

How can I get tickets to the Ravinia Festival?

Go to Time Out's ticket page or the festival's official website to get tickets to each of the concerts listed below. Tickets go on sale at various point throughout the summer.

July 

July 5: Ohlsson Plays Brahms
July 7: Ohlsson Plays Brahms
July 8: Feltsman Plays Schubert and Beethoven
July 9: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Opening Night with Marin Alsop
July 10: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Celebrating America
July 11: Beethoven Lives Upstairs (Kids Concert Series)
July 12: Ohlsson Plays Brahms 
July 13: Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter
July 16: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Midori Plays Prokofiev
July 17: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Vondráček and the "Emperor"
July 18: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Legendary Women's Voices with Cynthia Erivo
July 20: Alan Cumming and Ari Shapiro
July 21: Malofeev Plays Russian Masters 
July 22: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Bullock Debuts with Mahler
July 23: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: McGill Plays Copland
July 24: Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin IV
July 25: Dichter Plays Beethoven and Schubert
July 25: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
July 26: Duos with the Dichters
July 27: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Broadway Today
July 28: Zukerman Trio
July 29: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Zukerman Plays and Conducts
July 30: Brian McKnight
July 31: Yacht Rock Revue

August

August 1: Michael Feinstein and Betty Buckley
August 2: Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland Baroque Orchestra)
August 4: Brett Dennen
August 5: Michelle DeYoung: Songs and Poetry
August 6: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Conlon Leads Mozart
August 7: Laurie Berkner (Kids Concert Series)
August 8: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Sinfonia / Mozartiana
August 10: Judy Collins and Madeleine Peyroux
August 11: Sideline
August 12: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Bell and Martínez
August 14: Willie Nelson & Family
August 15: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky Spectacular
August 18: Gladys Knight
August 19: Counting Crows
August 20: The Infamous Stringdusters + Leftover Salmon
August 21: The Beach Boys
August 22: The Beach Boys
August 24: John Hiatt and The Jerry Douglas Band
August 25: Marie Osmond + David Archuleta
August 26: Lake Street Dive + Allison Russell
August 27: Train
August 28: Train
August 29: King Crimson + The Zappa Band
August 31: Recital No. 1: Mass

September 

September 1: Collective Soul + Better Than Ezra + Tonic
September 3: Lady A
September 4: The Roots
September 5: John Legend + The War and Treaty
Spetember 6: John Legend + The War and Treaty
September 7: Lara Downes: Rising Sun
September 8: Chicago Sinfonietta
September 9: Nexus Chamber Music
September 10: Indigo Girls + Ani DiFranco
September 11: Black Violin + Blind Boys of Alabama
September 12: Ana Bárbara + Las Cafeteras
September 14: Miró Quartet
September 17: The Joffrey Ballet
September 18: Ben Folds + Ravinia Festival Orchestra
September 19: Max Weinberg’s Jukebox
September 21: Lincoln Trio
September 23: Frank Orrall
September 24: Andrew Bird
September 25: Ms. Lauryn Hill

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