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Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival

View Map2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
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Description of Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival

Date: December 12, 2009

Cost: $35 (buy tickets here; kids 12 and under are free)

What to expect: A full day of blues and bluegrass at the Congress Theater. Artists include the Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Dr. Dog, Emmitt Nershi Band, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, The Giving Tree Band, Josh Phillips Folk Festival, Van Ghost and more (including on-stage improv from Second City cast members).

Why to go: Fleck is both a great entertainer and a supremely talented artist, and Dr. Dog adds some rock sensibility that was lacking from last year's inaugural event. The best part: you don't have to camp out to hear it. (Don't try, either; Milwaukee Avenue and tent stakes don't mix.)

Additional info: There will be unlimited re-entry until 6 p.m., and you can always go to the smoking lounge without leaving the theater. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and participate in the open jam session all day long (there will be an 'instrument check' so you don't have to carry it around all day), and everyone's invited to bring camping chairs. Attendees can browse over 50 booths of artists, vendors, and charitable causes. Artists will be creating their art on-site and selling it while the Saving Tiny Hearts Society and Prevent Child Abuse in America (the beneficiaries of the event) will be raffling off swag from the artists.

The schedule:

11-11:45 a.m.: Cobalt & the Hired Guns (Pavilion Stage)
11:25 a.m.-noon: Great Divide (Main Stage)
noon-12:35 p.m.: Goodbyehome (Pavilion)
12:05-12:30 p.m.: Liberty Bluegrass Band (Balcony Stage)
12:30-1:10 p.m.: Sexfist (Main)
12:50-1:25 p.m.: Chicago Farmer (Pavilion)
1:10-1:35 p.m.: Environmental Encroachment's Magic Circus Band (Balcony)
1:35-2:35 p.m.: Majors Junction (Main)
1:40-2:15 p.m.: Squeeze-Bot (Pavilion)
2:30-3:05 p.m.: Junior League Band (Pavilion)
2:35-3 p.m.: Liberty Bluegrass Band (Balcony)
3-4 p.m.: The Giving Tree Band (Main)
3:20-3:55 p.m.: Alex Wilson Band (Pavilion)
4-4:25 p.m.: Tangleweed (Balcony)
4:10-4:45 p.m.: The Right Now (Pavilion)
4:30-5:40 p.m.: Eddy "Chief" Clearwater (Main)
5-5:35 p.m.: Mike Mangione & The Band (Pavilion)
5:40-6:05 p.m.: Tangleweed (Balcony)
5:50-6:25 p.m.: Environmental Encroachment's Magic Circus Band (Pavilion)
6:05-7:35 p.m.: Emmitt-Nershi Band (Main)
6:40-7:20 p.m.: The Shams Band (Pavilion)
7:30-8:10 p.m.: How Far To Austin (Pavilion)
7:35-8 p.m.: Majors Junction (Balcony)
8-10 p.m.: Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (Main)
8:25-9:05 p.m.: Holy Ghost Tent Revival (Pavilion)
9:30-10 p.m.: Jaik Willis (Pavilion)
10-10:30 p.m.: Van Ghost (Balcony)
10:25-11:05 p.m.: Josh Phillips Folk Festival (Pavilion)
10:30 p.m.-midnight: Dr. Dog (Main)
11:20 p.m.-midnight: Green Sugar (Pavilion)

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