By Eric Schelkopf
Following a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, the Blues on the Fox festival will return to Aurora in June with a stellar lineup that includes Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy.
Although Chicago is known as the blues capital of the world, Aurora has also contributed significantly to the history of blues music. In 1937 and 1938, Sonny Boy Williamson, Henry Townsend and other notable Bluebird artists made recordings at the Leland Hotel in downtown Aurora.
The festival will take place June 17 and June 18 at Thomas J. Weisner RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, (Route 25), Aurora. Chicago’s own Shemekia Copeland will perform the first night of the festival followed by headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
In addition to Guy, other Chicago musicians will take the stage during the second day of the festival, including Billy Branch and Melody Angel. Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers also will perform that day.
Tickets are $15 per day through May 31; $25 per day starting June 1 and on-site. All tickets are general admission. Fees not included. For tickets and information, visit riveredgeaurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by RiverEdge’s satellite box office, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday–Saturday.
Coinciding with this year’s Blues on the Fox Festival, the city of Aurora will host the grand opening of its new Wilder Park Promenade with a free event, Party on the Promenade, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 18. Wilder Park is located on the west side of the Fox River at 350 N. River St.
Admission is free. Food and beer trucks will be lined up along Wilder Park’s newly paved promenade, serving up a variety of festival fare including barbecue, burgers, brats, pizza, ice cream and more. Live music will play between sets across the river at RiverEdge Park and there will be activities for kids.