CBGB: Not Just For Punk Rockers Anymore

Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival Set For Saturday

You might want to get some rest tonight because Saturday is the first Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival and there's more going on at this event than a whole county full of barn dances and a whole summer's worth of street fests combined.

First there's the music. Sixteen bands will perform on two stages in the historic Congress Theater. In between evening sets, Giving Tree Band will play in the balcony of the main stage (I can't get the image of the grumpy old men from the Muppets out of my head). A marching band -- yes, a marching band -- will parade up and down the theater. As if that weren't enough, everyone with a musical note in your body is invited to jump into the continuous picking circle and open jam session.

Then there's the laughter. If you know anything about blues music, you know it can provoke a whole lot of joy, but just in case your funny bone needs some additional tickling Chicago sketch comedy group "Cell Camp" will also entertain.

The first CBGB will also welcome artists from all media, so expect to see more than 50 artists and vendors sharing their work. Some will create new pieces right in front of your eyes.

One of the best things about all this madness and mayhem is that it helps the Saving Tiny Hearts Society. Good music, good art, good fun, AND a good cause -- and all for only $31.

Finally, when it's all said and done, your CBGB ticket gets you into the official after party at Elbo Room, one of Chicago's best and most intimate live music venues.

Look for me there. I'll be the one dancing, and singing, and shopping, and -- laughing.

Read more of Theresa Carter's work on Thelocaltourist.com and on The NBC Chicago Street Team.

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