Summer 2021 boasts return of in-person concerts

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and the weather gets warmer, summer 2021 has featured a season full of concerts people have been missing for almost a year and a half. Finally, live music lovers can come together again to connect through music. 

From well-known concerts like Ravinia and Lollapalooza to the more local concerts like PorchFest, the lineup for these shows are shaping up to make for some exciting live music to not miss out on. 


Held outdoors in Highland Park, Ravinia is known for having accomplished artists from a variety of genres perform. From classical musicians to contemporary pop artists, this music venue attracts audiences of all tastes. This year, Ravinia will be running between July 1 to September 26, 2021, so if you’re thinking of purchasing tickets but aren’t sure which artists are performing, Director of Choirs Sarah Zegree has you covered.

“I already have tickets to see Cynthia Erivo, who is just awesome. I’m really excited about it, because it’ll be a concert featuring women artists. It’ll be with the [Chicago Symphony Orchestra] and conducted by Marin Alsop, the protege of Leonard Bernstein, who is just a fantastic woman conductor,” Zegree says.

The Beach Boys, violinist Joshua Bell, Lauryn Hill, Counting Crows, John Legend and the opener for John Legend, The War and Treaty are expected to perform as this Ravinia season continues.

“I’m highly considering going to and buying tickets for the John Legend Concert to see him and The War and Treaty,” says Zegree. “And I’m definitely excited to see him and Cynthia.”

See ways to buy tickets for Ravinia here and view the full schedule here


The popular four-day festival filled with good food, a packed crowd and of course, music, was held at Grant Park in Chicago and returned live from July 29 to August 1. Lollapalooza used to be a venue filled with mostly rock bands performing when it first started, but now, the lineup is more diverse than ever, especially this year. 

“The Lollapalooza lineup this year is more rap than usual,” says senior Vivian Miller. “Overall, I like the lineup more than 2019s.”

Senior Ashley Brandt was excited to see Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, Polo G, Roddy Rich and Iann Dior. “I listen to a lot of their music with my friends and hearing them live makes the experience even more real,” Brandt says.

Other artists that performed this year at Lollapalooza include Megan Thee Stallion, Tyler, the Creator, Marshmello, Journey, Illenium and Foo Fighters.


Aside from the more popular concerts, Zegree enjoys attending smaller and lesser-known concerts like PorchFest and performances at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. 

“I’m from Michigan and I used to work for Interlochen, so I’m going to be making my way up there,” Zegree stated prior to attending the August 3 Chicago concert.. “I’m going to see the band Chicago at Interlochen, and they do a mixture of classical, contemporary classical, rock, pop and country, so it’s a very eclectic concert season up there, but I’ve never seen Chicago live before so I’m excited to do that.”

Chicago, singer/pianist/composer Harry Connick Jr. and rock band Foreigner were a part of this season at Interlochen as well as faculty, staff, and camp students from Interlochen. View all events here and purchase tickets for the remaining Interlochen events here.

Along with Interlochen, Zegree is planning to attend PorchFest, held in the Lakeview and Roscoe Village communities in Chicago. 

“PorchFest is where you can walk around and there will be soloists or very small groups that will stand on someone’s porch, so someone will volunteer their porch, and then they’ll play a small acoustic set there,” Zegree says, “It’s very fun to hear the spontaneous live music that we’ve missed for a very long time.”

To view the full lineup, guidelines, and buy tickets for PorchFest, click here

It’s one thing to listen to music with earbuds, but it’s a whole different experience to see our favorite artists perform in front of our eyes. With the pandemic causing all live concerts to become virtual, people were reminded how much they missed the thrills of experiencing music live. 

The ambiance from the crowd, the people singing along, and the dancing to the music is what make these venues special. It’s a feeling that simply cannot be replicated virtually and a feeling that few people had an appreciation for before the pandemic struck.  

“I believe the pandemic has taught me to be more appreciative of events like music concerts, which is an experience shared with people,” Brandt says. “Being inside for the majority of the pandemic has made me realize things I’ve missed and the little things I’ve taken for granted.”