Are you going to Ravinia this summer?

Our leaders are saying the country is going to be opened up soon….sorta. They’re saying the life we were used to before the pandemic is starting up again….sorta. We’re going to be able to do the activities we enjoyed before the world shut down in March 2020….sorta. By June, everything will be cool…sorta. Summer will be back….sorta!!!

A great thing about summer is going outside to hear live music. You pack a picnic dinner, grab some beverages and sit under the night sky to listen to your favorite musical acts? What could be better than that?!

One of the leading venues for live music in the summer is the Ravinia Festival. Located in Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago, they have been putting on music shows since 1905. It’s the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States.

Yesterday they announced their schedule for the 2021 season. It has its usual blend of classical, pop, rock and jazz concerts. It’s a little something for almost everyone. After missing a year because of the pandemic, folks who love Ravinia are excited to have it back.

I admit to being one of those who love the place. Yes, I understand the shortcomings. There is way too much talking and kibitzing on the lawn. It takes away from the music, which should be the main thing. If you want to chat up your friends, do it in your back yard so those of us who paid big bucks to hear the artist perform can actually hear the performance. Plus, don’t get me started on the prices of those lawn seats. But, I feel the good outweighs the bad.

For me, part of the charm of Ravinia is the memories. The one obvious show was seeing Janis Joplin in 1970, about a month before I left for college and about two months before she died. It was one of the legend’s last performances.

So even after seeing the schedule which left me cold and reading about the limited seating/pods on the lawn, I’m sure I’ll find at least one show I can attend without holding my nose. Hmmm….maybe it’s the legendary Gladys Knight, without the Pips. She may not be Joplin, but she does know how to take the midnight train, which may come in handy in getting home after a late-night in Highland Park.

Welcome back, Ravinia. I look forward to seeing you later this summer….sorta.

Related Post: Does Janis Joplin’s album “Pearl” still hold up at fifty years old?

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