Year round, music fans shell out big bucks to catch their favorite acts. Come summer, many of those same artists perform for far less — or free — on suburban festival stages.
And the week of July 4 brings out the best.
Here’s a look at how you can catch six big-name acts in the suburbs over the next few days:
Where to go if …
You want to revel with a Rebel: Ribfest draws big acts to Knoch Park, and this year — the fest’s last in Naperville — is no exception. Punk rock pioneer Billy Idol headlines the first night of the four-day fest, taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. His hits, dating back to the early ’80s, include “Rebel Yell,” “Dancing With Myself,” “Mony Mony” and “White Wedding.” Individual tickets start at $45. See ribfest.net.
You want to impress your rap-loving kids: You’ll need to head back to Ribfest on July 4 to see rapper Flo Rida, the Miami native and four-time Grammy nominee behind such hits as “My House” and “Low.” He plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Individual tickets start at $30. See ribfest.net.
You want to rock out (for free!) on the Fourth: Melissa Etheridge headlined a Ravinia Festival show in Highland Park a little more than a week ago. She’s back in the ‘burbs this week — and you can see her for free at 7:30 p.m. at Elk Grove Village’s Rotary Green as part of the Village’s Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series. Settle in early and stay for the fireworks. See elkgrove.org for parking options.
You want to rock out (for free!) after the Fourth: Bring your bandanna and head to Arlington Heights’ Frontier Days on Saturday to see Bret Michaels. The Poison frontman, solo singer and reality TV star performs at 8 p.m. on the Main Stage at Recreation Park. Don’t plan on packing a picnic, though: No outside food or drinks are allowed. See frontierdays.org.
You want to catch Southern rockers: Also free? 38 Special at Naval Station Great Lakes on Thursday. The band behind such hits as “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You” and “Second Chance” goes on at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Navy Band Great Lakes at 8:45 p.m. and fireworks. See mwrgl.com for fest and parking details.
You want to relive your alt-rock college days: Soul Asylum brings Saturday night to a close at Eyes to the Skies at Lisle Community Park. The Grammy-winning alt-rock band, which rose to fame in the ’90s with “Runaway Train” and “Black Gold,” plays at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, after local rock from AM Taxi. The concerts are included in the festival admission price of $10. Get more details at www.eyestotheskies.org.