Chicago’s Best Folk Music Venues

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Chicago is well known for its music scene, and folk music is no exception. Check out our list of the best folk music venues in the city.


Folk music has deep roots in the Chicago music scene. From the early days of the Chicago folk scene in the 1950s and 1960s to the contemporary scene of today, there have been many great venues that have hosted Folk musicians from all over the world. Here are just a few of the best places to see Folk music in Chicago.

The Empty Bottle

The Empty Bottle is a Chicago institution, known for its eclectic bookings and commitment to local music. The Bottle has been hosting folk shows for years, and has welcomed everyone from rising stars to iconic legends. If you’re looking for a truly authentic Chicago folk experience, there’s no better place than the Empty Bottle.

The Hideout

Located in Chicago’s west side Bucktown neighborhood, The Hideout is one of the city’s most beloved music venues. The Hideout has a rich history, having first opened its doors in 1934 as a speak-easy during prohibition. In the years since, the club has undergone several renovations and expansions, but has always retained its cozy, intimate atmosphere. Folk musicians of all stripes have graced The Hideout’s stage, from legends like Bob Dylan and John Prine to up-and-comers like Fiona Apple and Glen Hansard. With a booking calendar that is always packed with talent, The Hideout is the perfect place to catch a great folk show any night of the week.


Schubas is one of Chicago’s most iconic music venues, known for its great acoustics, intimate setting, and wide range of programming. They frequently host folk acts, making it a great place to catch a show if you’re a fan of the genre.

Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall is one of Chicago’s best folk music venues. Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, the venue has a long history of hosting both local and national acts. The intimate setting is perfect for seeing a show, and the sound is impeccable. If you’re looking for a great place to see a folk show, Lincoln Hall is the place to be.


There are many great places to enjoy folk music in Chicago, but these are some of the best. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some live music and meet new people, check out one of these venues. You’re sure to have a great time.

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