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50 Cent, Roger Daltrey and Whoopi Goldberg are coming to Ravinia this summer

50 Cent performs at Summer Jam 2014 on June 1, 2014.
Photograph: Michael J. Chen

Your annual excuse to pack a picnic basket, ride the Metra and drink too much wine is almost here. This morning, the Ravinia Festival announced its lineup of summer concerts, and it’s packed with all the classical music, adult contemporary artists, stalwart ’80s rockers, aging comedians and Vitamin Water–endorsing rappers you'd expect.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly; the highlight (and outlier) of Ravinia’s 2018 lineup is a performance from early-aughts hip-hop star 50 Cent, who will grace the stage on September 6. Other notable musicians on the lineup include California soft rocker Jackson Browne, “Kiss From a Rose” crooner Seal, the Who frontman Roger Daltrey (performing Tommy with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy and prog-rock masters Yes. There also an insane ’80s-themed concert on July 29 that practically qualifies as a miniature festival, featuring acts like A Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Men Without Hats, Dramarama and more. 

If you’re looking for laughs, show up for a set from Whoopi Goldberg on August 3 (a rare 18+ show at the generally all-ages venue) or take in songs and comedy sketches from the minds of Steve Martin and Martin Short on August 12.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will once again be playing live scores to some classic films throughout the summer, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (August 1), Raiders of the Lost Ark (August 2) and Vertigo (August 15).

The Ravinia season ends on September 16 with a daylong event called Fiesta Ravinia, which features comedian Joey Villagomez, Galli Lucha Libre wrestling and music from Los Tigres del Norte and Mariachi Flor de Toloache.

Start planning the menu for your feast on the lawn while you peruse the complete Ravinia Festival lineup below.


June 1: Los Lobos + Los Lonely Boys + Ozomatli
June 2: Diana Ross
June 3: Loverboy + Survivor
June 7: Stephen Marley + Matisyahu
June 8: Vladimir Feltsman
June 9: Live From Here with Chris Thile
June 10: Anita Baker
June 12: John Fogerty + ZZ Top
June 13: Flying Karamazov Brothers
June 15: Jackson Browne
June 16: Alison Krauss
June 19: Seal
June 20: Juilliard Quartet: Bartok Quartet 5; Dvorak Quartet 11
June 21: Well-Strung
June 22: Jill Scott
June 23: Los Luzeros de Rioverde
June 23: Roger Daltrey: Tommy w/ Ravinia Festival Orchestra
June 24: Janis Ian
June 25: Roger Daltrey: Tommy w/ Ravinia Festival Orchestra
June 26: Apollo’s Fire
June 28: Miriam Fried & Friends: Schubert String Quintet; Mozart Piano Quartet 1
June 29: Bryan Adams
June 30: Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir


July 2: Snarky Puppy + Damien Escobar + Jacob Collier
July 3: Ksenija Sidorova
July 8: Buddy Guy + Jonny Lang
July 9: RSMI Piano & Strings: Brahms & more
July 10: Evanescence + Lindsey Stirling
July 11: Zukerman Trio: Brahms First Viola and Cello Sonatas
July 12: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Marin Alsop + Joshua Bell
July 13: Alan Cumming
July 14: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's 9th Symphony
July 15: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Audra McDonald
July 16: RSMI Piano & Strings: Timo Andres
July 17: Emerson Quartet
July 18: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Gustavo Dudamel + Yuja Wang
July 19: RSMI Piano & Strings
July 22: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: “Tchaikovsky Spectacular”
July 23: Leon Fleisher: Bach & Brahms
July 24: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Makoto Ozone: Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”
July 25: Ray Chen + Julio Elizalde
July 26: Jorge Federico Osorio
July 27: “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein” 
July 28: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Marin Alsop: Bernstein MASS
July 29: A Flock of Seagulls + Wang Chung + Naked Eyes + Men Without Hats + Farrington and Mann + Animotion + Dramarama + Nu Shooz + Gene Loves Jezebel
July 30: Takács String Quartet
July 31: Chanticleer


Aug 1: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Aug 2: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Aug 3: Whoopi Goldberg
Aug 4: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + Vasily Petrenko: Beethoven’s Symphony 5
Aug 5: David Foster
Aug 6: Angélique Kidjo’s Remain in Light + Femi Kuti & The Positive Force
Aug 7: Thomas Hampson + Luca Pisaroni + Kevin Murphy
Aug 8: Bonnie Koloc + Howard Levy
Aug 9: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + James Conlon: Mozart Piano Concerto 20
Aug 10: Nadine Sierra + Michael Fabiano + Kevin Murphy
Aug 11: Chicago Symphony Orchestra + James Conlon + Nadine Sierra + Matthew Polenzani
Aug 12: Steve Martin and Martin Short w/ The Steep Canyon Rangers + Jeff Babko
Aug 13: RSMI Singers
Aug 14: Michael Feinstein + Kristin Chenoweth
Aug 15: Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Vertigo
Aug 16: Frederica von Stade + Laurie Rubin
Aug 17: Earth, Wind & Fire
Aug 18: Chicago Symphony Orchestra  + Marin Alsop + Igor Levit
Aug 19: Chicago Symphony Orchestra  + Marin Alsop + Frederica von Stade
Aug 20: Miloš Karadaglić
Aug 21: Joshua Bell: The Red Violin
Aug 22: Cake + Ben Folds
Aug 23: Sugarland + Frankie Ballard + Lindsay Ell
Aug 24: The Beach Boys + The Righteous Brothers
Aug 25: Jason Mraz + Brett Dennen
Aug 26: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue + Galactic + Preservation Hall Jazz Band + New Breed Brass Band + Walter “Wolfman” Washington + Cyril Neville + Kermit Ruffins
Aug 27: Dawn Upshaw + Gilbert Kalish + Sō Percussion
Aug 28: Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
Aug 30: John Hiatt & The Goners w/ Sonny Landreth
Aug 31: Culture Club + The B-52s + Thompson Twins


Sep 1: Culture Club + The B-52s + Thompson Twins
Sep 2: O.A.R. + Matt Nathanson
Sep 3: Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson
Sep 4: Sir James Galway
Sep 5: Peter Serkin: Mozart Sonatas K310 & K570
Sep 6: 50 Cent
Sep 7: Yes w/ Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman
Sep 8: Tony Bennett + Antonia Bennett
Sep 11: Lara Downes + Theo Bleckmann
Sep 12: Conspirare: Considering Matthew Shepard
Sep 13: Los Angeles Master Chorale
Sep 14: Gipsy Kings
Sep 15: Johnny Rivers + Jimmy Webb
Sep 16: FIESTA RAVINIA w/ comedian Joey Villagomez and Galli Lucha Libre wrestling
Sep 16: Los Tigres del Norte + Mariachi Flor de Toloache

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