It’s sort of depressing that the Mayor’s Office of Special Events even had to make this announcement, but at least the news is mostly good.

Contrary to rumors that’ve been swirling ever since a bunch of genius assholes on Wall Street flushed the global economy down the toilet (and got showered with a few trillion of our dollars for doing it), the city’s lakefront music festivals will not begin charging admission in the upcoming year.

In case you’re wondering, the fests in question are the Gospel Music Festival (June 6 and 7), the Chicago Blues Festival (June 12 through 14, shortened one day), the Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival (August 29 and 30), the Chicago Jazz Festival (September 4 through 6), Celtic Fest Chicago (September 12 and 13), and the Country Music Festival (October 3 and 4).

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.