Performances will run continuously on two main stages, the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park and the East End Stage, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The festival is standing room only, but guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets and grab food on the go from a variety of sit-down and/or carry-out restaurants at the Pier. To top off the momentous weekend, Navy Pier will also host a special fireworks display on September 25th at 9:45 p.m., courtesy of an anonymous donor, as a tribute to the return of theater in Chicago.
As part of the celebration, ABC7 Chicago will air a 30-minute television special, hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, featuring performance highlights from Chicago LIVE Again!. The special will also showcase stories on the participating artists and industry tradespeople to offer insights into how Chicago’s entertainment industry navigated the unprecedented challenges related to the ongoing pandemic.
“Navy Pier is incredibly proud to become the stage for the return of live performances to Chicago. There could be no better place than the People’s Pier to reunite audiences and artists as an industry that was hit so hard by the pandemic finally returns to work,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “Many nonprofit cultural organizations, Navy Pier among them, faced existential crises over the past 16 months. Though we have not completely vanquished the virus, it has not vanquished us. Our community is resilient, and our will is strong—as evidenced by the level of work and spirit of cooperation it takes to make an event of this scale happen. Never before have so many of Chicago’s greatest institutions shared the stage.”
Chicago LIVE Again! was made possible through a generous grant from the Pritzker Foundation. “Navy Pier is a vital leader in the arts and cultural landscape of Chicago and beyond,” said Penny Pritzker, trustee of the Pritzker Foundation. “We are proud to serve as a partner to the Pier, as it is a platform for so many unique and beloved cultural programs and institutions. This event will allow our arts and culture organizations to deliver a message of resiliency and inspiration together. This is not only a celebration of the city’s reopening, but a meaningful tribute to the immense diversity and vibrancy of our region. We know this event will have a deep impact in uniting and uplifting our community and we are proud to support it.”