News & Stories


COVID-19 Forces Festival Staff to Cancel 2020 Season

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival announces the cancellation of its 2020 season, June 10–August 15 in Millennium Park.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and concern for the safety and health of its patrons, musicians and staff, the Grant Park Music Festival today announced the cancellation of its 2020 season of concerts and events, originally scheduled to take place from June 10 through August 15 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and other venues throughout the city. 

“We are devastated that we will not be able to move forward with our 2020 season," said Festival President and CEO Paul Winberg. "The Festival has been a mainstay of the city’s performing arts landscape since 1935, created to bring Chicagoans together during the Great Depression.”

We hope our longstanding friends and donors will continue to maintain their support, helping the Festival to return next summer stronger and more vibrant than ever.

This summer, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar would have led the Grant Park Orchestra, with Chorus Director Christopher Bell and the Grant Park Chorus taking a leading role in the city’s Year of Chicago Music. Audiences would have had the first look at two genre-bending world premieres: one by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko and the other by the Grammy Award-winning jazz composer Billy Childs, featuring Chicago’s own violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine. The season also featured classical favorites by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Beethoven and more, featuring a roster of internationally renowned guest artists including Christian Tetzlaff, Andreas Haefliger and Alban Gerhardt. Rounding out the line-up were popular programs for the entire family including the Independence Day Salute, a Broadway extravaganza, a silver screen classic and an evening of gospel music. Each year, the Grant Park Music Festival presents more than 250 events including concerts, open rehearsals, master classes, recitals and chamber music performances, as well as programs in neighborhood parks—all free and open to the public.

“We are working on creative solutions to bring the joy of the Grant Park Music Festival to our audience through virtual free programs this summer and to continue inspiring Chicago with the power of music in this difficult time,” Winberg added. “We hope our longstanding friends and donors will continue to maintain their support, helping the Festival to return next summer stronger and more vibrant than ever.”

The Grant Park Music Festival is presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with key support from the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, along with thousands of members and donors that sustain the Festival’s mission to provide barrier-free access to live world-class symphonic music. Each year, the Festival serves close to one million Chicagoans and visitors from around the world.

More information will be available later this month about a suite of virtual free programs this summer, made possible by donors’ and members’ tax-deductible contributions. Learn more at