The food at Taste of Chicago isn't free, but the plethora of live acts on three different stages is (Grant Park, today through Sunday 7/5). Reader critic Peter Margasak's recommendations, plus a few others:
Friday 6/26: Charlie Wilson. The funk veteran and former member of The Gap Band ("you dropped a bomb on me / baby") plays the Petrillo Music Shell at 5:30 PM.
Saturday 6/27: The Counting Crows/Bloodshot Records Day. Notorious raunch hound Andre Williams, Dollar Store, and the Waco Brothers, and others will play at the Taste Stage. The Counting Crows will perform at the Petrillo Music Shell at 5 PM.
Tuesday 6/30: Earwig Day. The blues label presents Johnny Drummer, Dave Weld, and Aron Burton with David “Honeyboy” Edwards at the Taste Stage.
Wednesday 7/1: Ne-Yo and Keri Hilson. The R&B singers will perform at the Petrillo Music Shell at 5:30 PM.
Thursday 7/2: Thrill Jockey Day. At the Taste Stage, the eclectic roster includes Doug McCombs & David Daniell, the Fred Anderson Trio, Bobby Conn, Eleventh Dream Day, and 8 Bold Souls.
Saturday 7/4: Buddy Guy and Booker T. & the Drive-By Truckers. 3 PM at the Petrillo Music Shell.
The complete schedule is available here.