Every September, a lineup of performers from around the world comes to Chicago for the annual World Music Festival, playing free concerts that showcase everything from mariachi bands to Congolese funk outfits. You'll find shows at music venues throughout the city, including outdoor stages like Pritzker Pavilion and new destinations like Avondale's Sleeping Village.
Highlights of this year's lineup include the annual overnight Indian classical music concert at the Chicago Cultural Center (Sept 7), Argentinian electronic artist Juana Molina (Sept 8) and an El Grito celebration, featuring mariachi bands and other Mexican performers (Sept 15). The festivities conclude on September 23 at the World Dumpling Fest in Polk Bros Park, where attendees can purchase pillowy morsels while listening to music from Congolese funk band Jupiter and Okwess as well as Caribbean blues act Delgres.
Take a look at the full World Music Festival lineup below and begin planning your month of free concerts.
Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall Sept 7 at 6pm–Sept 8 at 8am, all ages
Juana Molina + Andreas Kapalis at The Promontory 7pm, 21+
National Arab Orchestra at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts 3pm, all ages
Sona Jobarteh + Actores Alidos at Sleeping Village 7pm, all ages
Actores Alidos at Daley Plaza noon, all ages
Sona Jobarteh + Chinese Mongolia Band at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall 6pm, all ages
Altan at Irish American Heritage Center 7pm, all ages
Chinese Mongolia Band at Ping Tom Memorial Park 5pm, all ages
Chéjere at National Museum of Mexican Art 3pm workshop, 7pm performance, all ages
El Grito Mariachi Herencia De México + Chéjere + Ceci Bastida + Quique Escamilla at Millennium Park 3pm, all ages
Orquesta Akokán + Rio Mira at Martyrs’ 9pm, 21+
Global Peace Picnic Rio Mira + Innov Gnawa + Combo Chimbita at Humboldt Park Boathouse 2–6pm, all ages
Spiro at Old Town School of Folk Music, Gary and Laura Maurer Hall 8:30pm, all ages
Spiro at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall 6pm, all ages
La Dame Blanche + Cheick Hamala Diabate at Martyrs’ 8pm, 21+
Lo Còr De La Plana + Emilia Amper at The Promontory 7pm, all ages
La Dame Blanche + H.A.T. + Pachanga DJs at Chop Shop 9pm, 21+
Beatdown Soundsystem ft. Kinky P + Chuck Dubshine and Friends at Loyola Park 1–6pm, all ages
Lo Còr De La Plana + Zhou Family Band at DePaul University Holtschneider Performance Center 7pm, all ages
Jupiter & Okwess + Delgres + Quantic at Concord Music Hall 9pm, 21+
World Music Festival meets the World Dumpling Fest Jupiter & Okwess + Delgres + Zhou Family Band + East Meets Middle East at Navy Pier 1–6pm, all ages