Navy Pier Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Chicago House Music

Navy Pier today announced plans to celebrate House Music’s Chicago roots with a summer full of programming paying homage to the energy, music, and dance of Black and Latino youth on Chicago’s south and west sides who revolutionized dance music internationally. Dovetailing with the City-wide commemoration of the 40th anniversary of House music, Navy Pier will kick off its summer programming with a first-of-its-kind immersive exhibit dedicated to the milestones, people, and places that gave birth to a genre that’s spawned subcultures, propelled music innovation, and been keeping people dancing for four decades.

“House music is a defining piece of Chicago’s unique rhythm,” said Erika Taylor, Navy Pier’s Vice President of Arts, Culture, and Engagement. “It unites people in a way that is central to our mission as ‘The People’s Pier.’”

Chicago: Home of House Exhibit (May 1 – Oct. 31) – Presented in partnership with the Design Museum of Chicago and The Vintage House Show Collective, the exhibit will explore the history of the home-grown artists, clubs, and labels that built the global phenomenon known as House music. Legendary House DJ Terry Hunter will broadcast his popular podcast live from Navy Pier during the opening of the Home of House exhibit, 6 to 7 p.m., on Wednesday, May 1. The exhibit will be open free of charge to the public during all Pier operating hours through the end of October.

“This exhibit serves as a testament to Chicago’s cultural impact, showcasing the events and people that contributed to the birth of not only a musical genre but a social movement that transcends borders and amplifies the creativity, love, and inclusion of Black, Brown, Queer, and Straight communities,” said Vintage House Show curator Lauren Lowery.

Navy Pier Open Air Concert with Black Coffee (May 10) – Grammy-winning DJ and producer Black Coffee, one of the most prominent global names in electronic music, will bring the heat in the first of a season-long series of open-air concerts on Navy Pier’s East End Plaza. Produced by Auris Presents and Live Nation, the all-new Navy Pier Open Air concert series will activate the eastern end of the Pier, one of Chicago’s most iconic historic spaces, like never before. Additional acts will be announced in coming months. Tickets for the Black Coffee concert are available here.

Wave Wall Wax (May 25 – Aug. 31) – Chicago’s top DJs will mix it up with House music every Saturday night (5:30 – 10 p.m.) on Navy Pier’s Wave Wall Stage. The free outdoor music series will feature Chicago icons including Steve “Miggedy” Maestro, TRQPiTECA, DJ Iggy, Mo Mami, Joe Smooth, and many more.

Summer Saturday Fireworks (May 25 – Aug. 31) – Chicago’s beloved, bi-weekly summer sky spectacle will be set against the soundtrack of House music every Saturday this summer. Selected as the country’s Best Place to See Fireworks in the 2023 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, Navy Pier hosts free summer fireworks every Saturday at 10 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Chicago House Music Festival Pre-Party (June 1) – Navy Pier will host the official pre-party for the 20th annual Chicago House Music Festival on Saturday, June 1. The free public party will include performances by Stacy Kidd, Gene Hunt, DeeJay Alicia, and more, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the Wave Wall Stage.

Live On The Lake! (July 27 and Aug. 31) – Navy Pier’s Beer Garden will host special House Music events as part of the summerlong Live On The Lake! series. House Calls (July 27) and Gino Rockin Romo (Aug. 31) will spin a variety of specially curated House staples all day long. Additional special guests to be announced on

Navy Pier will carry its celebration of Chicago House music into the fall with the addition of a special House DJ Stage to its free performing arts festival, Chicago Live!, Sept. 21-22. The Pier will also bring back its popular, free Housegiving concert in the Aon Grand Ballroom on Nov. 27.

All artists and dates are subject to change. Programming schedules are updated regularly at

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