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Summer Concert Series Celebrates 20th Anniversary

May 18, 2023 09:19 AM

Imagine warm breezes, spectacular sunsets over the lake and award-winning music performers on stage at the outdoor venue for the annual Concerts in the Plaza music series. Nine concerts will be held at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville, 7:30 pm Tuesdays, June 13 through August 15. The concerts take place at the preserve's outdoor Millennia Plaza overlooking a 129-acre lake. This marks the 20th season for the popular series. 

From Beatles tributes to the blues, from rock and country to swing and jazz, there’s something for just about any music taste in this season's entertainment schedule. View full band descriptions and the 2023 concert lineup. This year's concerts are supported by North Shore Gas (platinum sponsor), Libertyville Bank and Trust (bronze sponsor) and Lake County Journal (media sponsor). 

  • June 13 | '70s: Strung Out is Chicago's ultimate 1970s experience. They've dug through the incredible treasure trove of classic '70s music and found the greatest songs that are as diverse as the decade itself. Rock, soul, funk and fantastic one-hit wonders have made the band a favorite for all ages.  
  • June 20 |Beatles Tribute: American English has been named the best Beatles tribute band of our time. They were voted No. 1 in sound-alike contests at Beatlefest for three consecutive years. Their demand here and abroad, coupled with their fan base, anchored them in larger venues and theaters worldwide. 
  • July 27 | Rock 'n' Roll: Dedicated exclusively to large rock hits from the 1960s, The Wayouts deliver an authentic revival of rock 'n' roll's first generation with hits from The Kinks, The Animals, The Trigs, the Monkeys, The Rascals and more. Veterans of the Chicago music scene, they have diverse musical resumes. 
  • July 11 | Steely Dan Tribute: Brooklyn Charmers is a Steely Dan tribute band comprized of some of Chicago's top players. With a masterful precision and obsessive dedication to the music, Brooklyn Charmers injects a new energy into the beloved catalogue; riding the gap between new and lifelong fans alike.  
  • July 18 | Bluegrass: Stillhouse Junkies play a mixture of original roots, blues, funk, swing and bluegrass music. With all three band members sharing lead vocal and songwriting duties, the band conjures a wide range of tonal landscapes that pay tribute to the iconic sounds of Gillian Welch, the Allman Brothers, Tim O'Brien, the Wood Brothers, John Hiatt and countless others.
  • July 25 | Jam-Pop: The North 41 brings a new sound to the jam-band scene as they explore the boundaries of funk, rock and pop music. Melding funk and disco-inspired grooves with catchy choruses and high energy solos, The North 41 aim to create music that inspires you to dance, sing, think and feel.
  • August 1 | Country:  Mackenzie O'Brien and Band is Chicagoland's hottest young country band consisting of full-time musicians and fronted by the woman referred to as Chicago's new country queen! The band covers songs from today's country stars such as Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris, to stars of the past such as Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and the Eagles.
  • August 8 | Blues: John Primer brings his signature electric slide guitar, soulful R&B vocals, and the influence of blues legends he has played with, including Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon and Magic Slim. He has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. 
  • August 15 | Jazz and Rock: Rico! creates an immense fiery soulful sound through bass, congas, percussion, drums, timbales, keyboards, guitar, and pure passion. The band will move you physically and mentally with their hypnotic blend of afro-Cuban rhythms or purge deep into your soul with their eminent sense of melody. They are influenced and inspired by all the innovative rock, soul, jazz, afro-Cuban, blues, funk, reggae and hip-hop pioneers.

For the third year, a concert is scheduled for a venue in North Chicago at 7:30 pm on Thursday, August 10.

  • Mississippi Heat will perform at the outdoor amphitheater at the Greenbelt Cultural Center, 1215 Green Bay Road. Led by Chicago Hall of Fame harmonica master and songwriter Pierre Lacocque, Mississippi Heat is a world-class Chicago Blues Band. Their motto is “traditional blues with a unique sound” as they present fresh, yet vintage-based musical ideas. 

"For the past 20 years, the concerts have been a popular attraction during the summer at Independence Grove. In many cases, the visits have become a family tradition," said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "We are thrilled to again provide the musical performance at Greenbelt this season." 

View full band descriptions and 2023 concert lineup.

Independence Grove Entrance Fee and Concert Details

  • Entrance is $10 per car after 5 pm on event nights. Cash or credit card accepted. For your safety, and as a courtesy to preserve neighbors, please park in preserve lots only. Cars will be turned away when parking lots are full.  
  • For concert reminders, weather updates or to learn if a concert has been canceled, call 847-968-3499, view status map here. There is no rescheduling if a concert is canceled.
  • Concerts are open to all ages and are held at the preserve's outdoor amphitheater overlooking a 129-acre lake. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating. Arrive early to secure your spot. 
  • Pack a picnic, or purchase a light dinner, snack or beverage from the preserve's walk-up café or from the Beer Garden at Independence Grove.  
  • To make your concert outing even more memorable, call 847-968-3499 to reserve a pontoon boat for groups of up to six.

Pets Not Permitted

With the exception of service animals, dogs, horses and other pets are not permitted at Independence Grove.


For the safety of all guests, all items brought into the forest preserve (including, without limitation, coolers, picnic baskets, bags, backpacks and purses) are subject to search upon entry or reentry into the park and may also be inspected again upon entering Millennia Plaza.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in learning about concert sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves at 847-968-3434.


The entrance to Independence Grove is located on Buckley Road (Route 137) just east of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) and west of River Road in Libertyville. 

Media contact: Stephanie Bosack, Event Operations Manager,, 847-968-3474