Ravinia is a staple of Lake County. Since 1905, the Highland Park fest has featured the top musicians in a variety of genres, making it the oldest outdoor festival in U.S. history.
On March 14, (aka Pi Day), the Highland Park mainstay revealed the 2018 Ravinia Festival schedule. Don’t forget your picnic eats and vino.
Like every year, Ravinia showcases a slew of star-studded names. In the 2017 edition, we were blessed with a cast of legendary performers like John Legend, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, The Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow, Blondie, Garbage, Andrew Bird, Alanis Morissette, Leslie Odom Jr., Stevie Nicks and so many more.
Let’s not forget that Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is the resident band and has a couple tricks up their sleeves this year.
Mark May 8-10 on your calendars as tickets go on sale.
Continue to scroll to view the spectacular lineup as the 2018 Ravinia Festival schedule is revealed!
Los Lonely Boys won the Grammy Award as Best Pop Vocal Duo, while Los Lobos took home a Grammy in 1984 for the Best Mexican-American/Tejano Performance. Ozomatli nabbed two Grammys for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album in 2002 and 2005 (Embrace the Chaos and Street Signs respectively). Grab a taste of Latino rock at its finest to kick off the 2018 Ravinia Festival season.
As a solo artist, Diana Ross is one of the most successful female singers of the rock era. If you factor in her work as the lead singer of the Supremes in the 1960s, she may be the most successful musician ever to grace the microphone. The Supreme diva performs the tunes that everyone remembers like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’m Coming Out,” “My Endless Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “I Hear A Symphony” and countless other hits.
Go back in time for a night of 80’s rock with Loverboy and Survivor. Before the show, tease your hair and wear your best-frayed jeans. Loverboy is known for hits such as “Turn Me Out” and “Working for the Weekend.”
Stephen Marley and Matisyahu grace the Ravinia stage for a little island flavor. Stephen Marley, son of Reggae great Bob Marley and brothers of other hot reggae artists Ziggy and Damian, is an eight-time Grammy winner. Matisyahu has put out hits like “One Day” and “King Without a Crown” that gained much radio airplay. Brush up on your patwah and be sure to pack plenty of Red Stripes for this dancehall riddim.
Iconic Grammy Award-winning singer Anita Baker is calling it quits to a three-decade-long career of wowing audiences. But not without a farewell tour. Ravinia Festival is lucky enough to hold this diva’s final curtain call. The legendary jazz-R&B songstress four No. 1 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, including Rhythm of Love, Giving You the Best That I Got, My Everything and the platinum-selling Rapture.
The beards are here. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers is one of the top 100-selling artists that includes a resume of 11 gold, seven platinum and three multi-platinum records. Head out to Highland Park to see these sharp-dressed men, wearing cheap sunglasses and give them all your lovin’.
The Pinball Wizard heads to the Highland Park centerstage. “Tommy” is a rock opera from 1969 which features music from the acclaimed band, The Who. Roger Daltrey, The Who’s frontman, stars in the film version along with other legendary stars including Elton John and Tina Turner.
Adams has graced stages for 40+ years and never disappoints. The rocker has provided hits for a slew of film scores earning him 15 Grammy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations and three nods for the Academy Awards. The Ontario native is known for such hits like “Run to You,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do it For You,” “Heaven,” “All for Love,” “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” and tons more. Visit Highland Park to see the legendary performer who has sold more than 75-million records.
This guy is a legend. I mean literally he has a bar in Chicago called Legends, so you know he’s certified. This blues guitar master from the Windy City is taking his talents up north of the border to Milwaukee for two nights. Guy is a seven-time Grammy Award winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and influenced many well-known artists that include Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Listen to the 80-year-old ax-handler play fan favorites like, ‘She’s Got the Devil in Her., Snatch it Back and Hold it, Stone Crazy, Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues,’ and so many more hits.
This Little Rock band knows how to make rock pretty and eerie at the same time. The 15-year-old band has notched a Grammy for their 2004 effort on “Bring me to life” bagging accolades for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra calls Ravinia their home venue. Besides the Audra McDonald show, here are some must-see concerts. Don’t forget, all CSO Concerts are only $25.
- Joshua Bell and CSO plays Bernstein’s Serenade (July 12)
- Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (July 14)
- Audra McDonald and the CSO (July 15)
- Gustavo Dudamel and Yuja Wang with CSO (July 18)
- CSO plays Tchaikovsky Spectacular featuring the 1812 Overture (with cannons) (July 22)
- CSO performs Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (July 24)
- CSO plays Bernstein (July 28)
- CSO plays E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial score (August 1)
- CSO Plays Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark score (August 2)
- CSO plays Beethoven 5 featuring Vasily Petrenko (August 4)
- CSO plays Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 featuring James Conlon and Garrick Ohlsson (August 9)
- Metropolitan Opera Stars Nadine Sierra and Matthew Plenzani perform Italian Opera Favorites with CSO (August 11)
- James Stewart and Kim Novak play Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece with CSO (August 15)
- Igor Levit plays Shostakovich’s Symphony, no. 5 with CSO (August 18)
- CSO performs First Symphonies of Bernstein & Mahler (August 19)
What can’t Whoopi do? She is one of the few entertainers that has won an Emmy, Grammy, Academy and a Tony Awards. For the first time in years, she’s hitting the road headlining with an evening of her observations on current events and more.
Legendary comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short hit the road as a musical comedy duo. The two are great friends in real life and have been in many movies together like Father of the Bride and Three Amigos to name a few. The comrades perform on the Highland Park Stage with their set “An Evening you will Forget for The Rest of Your Life,” with The Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko.
This blogger holds this soulful band at high prestige. Head to the “Boogie Wonderland” of Highland Park venue for many “Reasons.” You can “Sing a Song” during this “Fantasy” of an experience. Bring your “Shining Star” to show your “Devotion” with this show that’s scheduled just before “September.” The Chicago band has accumulated seven Grammy Awards.
Relive college in the best way. Cake and Ben Folds have some hits that bend the very fabric of music genres. Cake is known for hits such as “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” and “Never There,” while Ben Folds created hits like “Army” and “Rockin’ the Suburbs.”
The Beach Boys are the real deal. The astounding yet true saga of The Beach Boys is well chronicled, and by any standard, it’s one of the greatest and most musical stories ever told. Now, this unique West Coast story continues with a global celebration that is befitting of the remarkable and enduring legacy of these Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.
The 80s come alive as the Culture Club, The B-52s and the Thompson Twins provide a spectacular two-day performance of yesteryear. Ravinia is the “Love Shack” where “Karma Chameleons” “Hold Me Now.”
Place your bets on who’s going to attend the Highland Park Festival’s lineup by playing a ‘Crazy Game of Poker,’ with OAR. Matt Nathanson’s work includes platinum-selling tracks like “Come on and get higher” and “Giants.”
For 50 years Jethro Tull has wowed audiences across the globe. The British Rock band is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a multi-Grammy winner. Ian Anderson planned this tour as the anniversary of their first album “This Was” paired with a new studio album set to release in early 2019.
Get rich or DANCE trying. The NY rapper makes his first trip to Ravinia Festival. The “In Da Club” emcee made 76 singles (including 26 as a featured artist), and 88 music videos. As of July 2014, he was the sixth best-selling hip-hop era since he was signed by Eminem with almost 17 million albums sold in the US.
Tony Bennett returns to Ravinia (the day after he turns 91). The 90-year-old legend has released over 70 albums, sold 50-million records worldwide, won 19 Grammy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award) and earned two Emmy Awards. Watch him sing the greats like ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ ‘Rags to Riches,’ ‘Because of You,’ and so many more hits.
Jorge Hernandez and his brothers and cousins, Herman, Eduardo, Luis and Oscar, began recording in the late 1960s as teenagers, and they’ve performing ever since. Los Tigres del Norte have six Grammys, six Latin Grammys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Los Tigres del Norte not only close out Ravinia’s season, but they also play on Mexico’s Independence Day.
Other Must-See Shows at 2018 Ravinia Festival
- The Flying Karamazov Brothers (June 13)
- Jackson Browne (June 15)
- Seal (June 19)
- Well-Strung (June 21)
- Jill Scott (June 22)
- Sing Harlem Choir (June 30)
- Ksenija (July 3)
- Alan Cumming (July 13)
- Gustavo Dudamel and Yuja Wang (July 18)
- Late Night with Leonard Bernstein (July 27)
- Lost 80’s Live featuring A Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, Men Without Hats, Farrington and Mann and more. (July 29)
- David Foster (August 5)
- Femi Kuti and the Positive Force (August 6)
- Michael Feinstein and Kristin Chenoweth (August 14)
- Sugarland (August 23)
- Jason Mraz (August 25)
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (August 26)
- Lyle Lovett (August 28)
***Mary J. Blige and The Roots were just added to the schedule as of March 26***