Thirsty Ears Festival takes over Ravenswood


CHICAGO — Thirsty Ears Festival is back in Ravenswood this weekend.

During a summer season jam-packed with music events in Chicago, Thirsty Ears is the only Street Festival showcasing classical music.

“Thirsty Ears was a way for me to show people wide range of classical music how fun it is shatter stereotypes that its elitist expensive only in the loop,” Seth Boustead, the executive director of Access Contemporary Music, said.

Boustead is a composer and the executive director of Access Contemporary Music, which runs the festival and a music school with three locations.

“I got into classical music late in life as a teenager and it’s just really dominated my life,” he said.

He said he’s on a mission to share his passion for music. His message is that classical music has space for everyone.

The seventh annual festival is happening on Wilson Street Between Hermitage and Ravenswood. There are local brews, plenty of food and kid friendly activities.

Seventeen ensembles and soloists are performing over two days on the main stage featuring the work of great composers of the past like Beethoven and Mozart along with contemporary living composers innovating classical music’s future.

Thirsty Ears 2022

Saturday, Aug. 13: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 14: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information visit

The festival is free with a $10 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit the ACM School of Music, a non-profit organization.

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