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Illinois Concerts & Events


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Illinois is one of the Midwestern states that is part of the Great Lakes region. With a mix of quaint, small towns and big, booming cities, music is found in every corner of the state. Listeners will be impressed by the huge number of work opportunities in music, quality and quantity of concerts, and wealth of musicians who perform regularly. Keep reading to learn about this major character in the nation’s music landscape.

Illinois is filled with talented, ambitious, creative musicians.

Some of America’s favorite musicians got their start in Illinois. Wilco’s experimental folk rock, The Smashing Pumpkin’s goth alt rock, Cheap Trick’s glamorous pop punk, Naked Raygun’s hardcore punk rock, Styx’s classic pop rock, REO Speedwagon’s soft rock, Chicago’s ballad rock, Alison Krauss’ bluegrass, Earth Wind & Fire’s soul funk, Sam Cooke’s R&B and gospel, Kanye West’s hip hop, The Chi-Lites’ soulful rhythm and blues, and many, many more.

Today, the talent remains. Mazes is a group of five making catchy folk, pop, and alternative tunes. The Hollows are another group of five; their sound has a faint 60s vibe with prevalent harmonic lines and garage rock influences. Exist Ghost is an indie and folk band bringing lyrical depth a la Sun Kil Moon. Elsinore is a indie and alternative rock group with a diverse set of sounds encompassed in their albums and EPs. Elephant Gun is an eclectic group calling their sound “adventure music.” The Grandkids are a group of well-known local musicians—Vivian McConnell, Evan Metx, Adam Gorcowski, and Phil Sudderberg—who come together to make simple, mellow indie folk songs.

In addition to having regionally respected musical group, Illinoisans rave about the enclaves of musical communities scattered throughout the state. For example, the punk and DIY scenes are taking off in the northern and central parts of Illinois in cities such as Springfield, Bloomington, and Woodstock. The southern areas of Illinois, bordering Southern states like Kentucky and Tennessee, is known for its health dose of originality and mix of genres. Small town bars, pubs, and restaurants provide spaces for classic cover bands and casual musicians to carve out a niche scene.

All in all, the artisans of Illinois’ past and present are promising for people who attend concerts. With growing music communities, recording resources, and performing opportunities, the musical talent is nothing short of impressive.

Generally speaking, concert prices are more affordable in Illinois than in many other states.

According to an extensive report analyzing major music industries in the United States, Illinoisans are more likely than other states’ residents to obtain tickets at an affordable price. In terms of small venue prices, those in Illinois are par with much smaller music scenes such as Texas, Tennessee, and Washington. For shows featuring national acts—such as those who make the Billboard charts--Illinois is the second most affordable major music hub in which to buy tickets. With such reasonable costs, concert enthusiasts can count on snagging a fantastic deal, making the habit of attending shows accessible and affordable. The value of attending concerts in Illinois is true throughout the state, from rural towns to urban cities.

Containing one of the major metropolitan music areas in the United States, Illinois has developed one of the largest and most profitable music industries.

Few states have capitalized on their musical talent the way Illinois has. Competing with the industries of California, New York, and Michigan, Illinois holds its own. Over 13,000 people from 831 businesses represent the music industry in Illinois, with 2,000 of those individuals being on payroll specifically for performing. With profits around $280 million per year, it is clear that Illinois is doing something right. Of the places in Illinois, Chicago garners great interest for its music. Out of the entire country, it ranks fifth in terms of the number of musicians employed, third in size of the overall music workforce, and third in music industry profits. For dedicated listeners, this means that Chicago attracts some of the best artistry in the world. R&B and rap are particularly successful genres. Music lovers who are interested in working in the music industry will find the resources to excel in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Concert photographers, managers, stage crews, sound engineers, event planners, human relations workers, creative directors, venue workers, musicians, and others will find opportunities to be involved. With such a robust music economy, concerts are everywhere, all the time.

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