The fountains at the newly renovated Fountain Square were back in operation this weekend, and pretty soon the square will again be the scene for a summer filled with live music, outdoor dining, dancing, games and more at Downtown Evanston’s 20th Annual Thursday Night Live concert series.

From June 13 to Aug. 22, Downtown Evanston will host Thursday concerts at Fountain Square plaza from 7 to 9 p.m., creating an outdoor music venue in the heart of Evanston. Each concert will feature a different music genre including classic rock, Motown, Beatles tribute, R&B, Swing, Americana and more.

New this year, Downtown Evanston is creating three “Block Party” nights on the fourth Thursday of each month — June 27, July 25 and Aug. 22.

Orrington Avenue between Davis and Grove Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic on the east side of the plaza to open-up more space for people to eat, dance, listen to music, play games and more. Tou can swing by a restaurant to take advantage of happy hour specials or grab a to-go dinner to dine al fresco. Chairs and tables are provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own seating.  

“The renovated Fountain Square plaza was designed to easily transform into a larger event space,” says Annie Coakley, Executive Director of Downtown Evanston. “Expanding the pedestrian area and providing more activities during the concerts, will hopefully attract more residents and visitors to Thursday Night Live and make downtown Evanston a destination for Thursday nights.”

Downtown Evanston’s Thursday Night Live is sponsored by Industrious Evanston and Byline Bank. This is a free event and all ages are welcome.

Commuters can take the CTA Purple Line or Metra U.P. North line to the Davis Street stops.

There is street parking and garage parking is available at Sherman Plaza, with entrances from Davis Street and Benson Avenue.

In the event inclement weather, Downtown Evanston will cancel the show by 4 p.m. on the day of the concert. Visit to learn about changes or cancellations.

Thursday Night Live! Schedule

June 13            Sam Fazio Jazz Standards & Pop Classics

June 20            Maracujaz Brazilian, Latin & American Jazz & Pop

June 27**         Second Hand Soul Band Motown, Soul, Rock ‘N Roll

July 4               NO CONCERT – Happy 4th of July!

July 11             Chip Ratliff & the Dirty BluCrue! Funk and Soul

July 18             Rick Lindy & The Wild Ones Rockabilly, Blues, Roots & more

July 25**          Chicken Bone Classic Rock Covers 

August 1          Kaleidoscope Eyes Beatles Tribute Band

August 8          The Friends Band Motown, Jazz & Funk

August 15        The Flat Cats Swinging Jazz & Blues 

August 22**     High Hat Second Line Band New Orleans Brass Band

** indicates the “Block Party” nights

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *