What The ‘Year of Chicago Music’ Is All About
At this point everyone knows about Tinley Park’s new brand: Music. But it looks like the Music bug is catching everywhere. Here’s something I stumbled upon about our neighbor to the north, the City of Chicago:
“Chicago, like many of us, wants a 2020 do-over. In the earliest days of the pandemic, the city inaugurated the 2020 Year of Chicago Music, announcing a lineup that would, eventually, mostly be called off. Now it’s moving on: Welcome to the 2021 Year of Chicago Music.
“We’re calling it an extension,” said Mark Kelly, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, chuckling a little. Highlights of this musical year include the first-ever Chicago in Tune festival beginning Aug. 19, a genre-hopping, month-long event featuring free and ticketed shows at concert halls, clubs and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
“There will literally be music in every corner of the city,” Kelly said. “The energy is starting to come back.” Travelers are ready. Though hotel occupancy still lags behind 2019 numbers, it is rising fast, said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. Whitaker said demand for Chicago hotel rooms was the third-highest of any U.S. city in May, trailing only New York and Orlando.
“We’re super excited,” Whitaker said, noting that the influx ranges from young tourists on city breaks to affluent older travelers who might otherwise go abroad. “The visitor economy is going to be a big, big part of Chicago’s overall recovery from covid.”
Signaling that recovery is a packed lineup at music festival Lollapalooza starting July 29, plus the more classical strains of the Grant Park Music Festival through Aug. 21. Recent months have brought new attractions, hotels and restaurants across the city — here is what’s fresh for travelers:”
Chicago knows how to strike a chord—it’s where Jazz came after being birthed in Louisiana; it’s where House music was born; it’s been home to genre-defining artists, iconic events and venues since the 20th century. As much as I and no doubt many people far and wide will go to experience music in the key of Chicago during the Chicago in Tune music festival, I think the Village of Tinley Park is in a prime position to grow their new music brand now more than ever. And through increased awareness of Tinley, the entire Chicago Southland would see a whole new influx of tourism and interest.
No one knows for sure where things will go, but it’s no better time than now to try something new and be more atune.