Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

Darius Rucker claims a headlining slot for the rescheduled Windy City Smokeout this summer. // Associated Press

Sound check: Get your mouth watering for Windy City Smokeout

Chicago’s weekend festival of country music and barbecue is back on; RocHaus fires up the stage lights for a show this weekend; and more.

Windy City Smokeout tickets

Remember just about this time last year when festivals were falling left and right to the pandemic? Fest organizers seem to be breathing a sigh of relief (into their masks) as more music fans are getting vaccinated and the warmer weather is offering access to the great (and safer) outdoors. One such festival — the Windy City Smokeout — announced the country music, craft beer and barbecue celebration is back on for this year.

The four-day fest (yep, an extra day of fun!) will feature rescheduled headliners Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi — along with Brett Eldredge for the newly added kickoff party Thursday — and a full roster of acts featuring Cody Johnson, Morgan Evans, Hailey Whitters, Cody Canada and the Departed, Randy Rogers Band, Lainey Wilson and many more. Organizers say the festival will take up an expanded footprint so as to spread out crowds, and virus safety protocols will be in place; the detailed COVID-19 safety plan can be found on the fest’s website at windycitysmokeout.com.

Tickets for the Windy City Smokeout are available now (with an early-bird promotional special through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, using the code LIVE2021). And remember: Fans who held on to tickets from last year will receive food and drink credits loaded on this year’s wristbands.

Windy City Smokeout is Thursday through Sunday, July 8-11, at the United Center Parking Lot C, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago. Four-day general admission passes are $115 with early-bird pricing, $125 after May 12. Early-bird single-day passes are $30 for Thursday, $35 for Friday, $45 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday; regular price general admission passes are $35 for Thursday, $40 for Friday, $49 for Saturday and $35 for Sunday. Get all the details at windycitysmokeout.com.

Hollyy on stage

Elgin-born retro-soul band Hollyy does its part this week with a streaming benefit concert for the Chicago Independent Venue League and Skateistan, a nonprofit organization that empowers children in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa through education and skateboarding. Hollyy, who recently released the new singles “Hesitate” and “Sailing,” are broadcasting its vibrant, soulful show from Sleeping Village in Chicago Thursday night, hosted by Noonchorus. The broadcast, which starts at 8 p.m., will be available for re-watching for 24 hours. 8 p.m. Thursday, May 6; $12 plus fees for streaming broadcast at noonchorus.com/hollyy.

Curtain rises at RocHaus

RocHaus is firing up the stage lights with the West Dundee’s Got Talent! show Friday. The show brings together Amber Fiedler, who appeared last spring on season 18 of “American Idol,” Mount Prospect artist Kevin Farris (who fans may recognize from his turn on 2020’s season of “The Voice”) and Chicago singer-songwriter Pino Farina. Seating for the show is limited to 50 guests, and reserved-seat tickets are being sold in pairs and small groups to ensure social distancing. 8 p.m. Friday, May 7, at RocHaus, 96 W. Main St., West Dundee. $40 for two stools, $50 for balcony table for two, $80 for table for four, $90 for balcony couch for four; admission increases day of the show; limited seating and social distancing. (224) 699-9320 or rochaus.com.

Beer garden tunes

Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove dives into May with a new concert series on the bill. Starting Saturday, May 8, the brewery will host concerts in the beer garden — two each day — on its new outdoor main stage created during the pandemic lockdowns. This weekend, Buffalo Creek Brewery features alternative rocker Ryan Trudeau from 3 to 6 p.m. leading in to The L&M Experience from 7 to 10 p.m. The brewery follows that up with a weekly lineup including M.G. Bailey and Jaik Willis Saturday, May 15; Darryl Markette and Tiny Country Saturday, May 22; and E-Man and Timeless Ideals Saturday, May 29. 3 to 10 p.m. Saturdays (starting May 8) at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. Concerts are free to guests at the beer garden. (847) 821-6140 or buffalocreekbrewing.com.

J.R. Richards at ‘Home’

J.R. Richards, the original lead singer of alternative rock band Dishwalla, has been filling the tour void with a series of livestream concerts from home for the last year. This weekend, he plays his second of 2021, featuring hits from the band, solo songs and a few requests from fans made in the stageit.com chat. Join the conversation and then sit in on the concert this weekend. 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8; suggested donation $1 for livestream at stageit.com.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at bshamie@dailyherald.com, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).


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