A Different Ravinia This Year

Ravinia is one of the most unique music presentations in the world. I am a huge fan of the music festival and can’t believe I just discovered it a few years ago.

The Ravinia Festival has been running all summer long for over 50 years. Located in Highland Park, Illinois, it’s always presented top performers from around the world, with genres that cover all the bases.

Unlike other music festivals, Ravinia is non-profit and runs on sponsorships and gifts.

Last year I did a story on the ZZ Top concert I had seen at Ravinia the previous year, along with a preview of the upcoming season. I also included it in a number of my CI Living segments.

I had planned on doing the same thing this year, but, this year, as we all know, life is quite different. During the Ravinia Festival in 2019, I had the pleasure of seeing Nickelback perform, with Buckcherry opening for them. I have always been an unapologetic Nickelback fan.

They have produced some of my favorite songs. The ones I could sing along with all day.

The concert did not disappoint. Anyone there, watching fans singing and dancing to favorites such as “Someday,” “Rockstar,” and “Photograph,” would be clear about the profound affect the band has had on pop music.

In fact, Nickelback was so good that I had hoped to see them again when they returned to Ravinia Festival in 2020.  Unfortunately, the coronavirus had different plans. The 2020 Ravinia Festival had to be cancelled for the first time.

While this unique festival, where you can bring a picnic and a bottle of wine and listen to music on the lawn in Chicagoland, will not be taking place this summer, the Ravinia team is still keeping things alive.

On Saturday, May 15th, the performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, which was part of 2019’s Ravinia Festival, will be shown as part of the PBS series Great Performances.

Before this initial presentation at 9:00 C.S.T., there will also be a virtual panel discussion with Conductor Marin Alsop, President and CEO of Ravinia Festival, Welz Kauffman, Tony Award-winning actor Paulo Szot, Chicago Children’s Choir Artistic Director Josephine Lee, and Highland Park High School Band Director Joshua Chodoroff.

Check your local PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) listings for additional times if you miss the initial May 15th debut of Mass and put the Ravinia Festival on your 2021 summer calendar. You can sign up for the newsletter on their website. It’s a must for all music lovers.  

Photos of Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" by Patrick Gipson/Ravinia Festival
Photos of Nickelback and Buckcherry by Brittany Lambright


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