21 S. Broadway Ave. (US Rte 25)
Aurora, IL 60505
The Venue – Fox Valley’s hottest live music listening space located in the heart of the downtown Aurora Art District at 21 South Broadway, has a warm inviting atmosphere and boasts incredible acoustics, cozy seating and a full bar with select wines, locally sourced craft beers and cocktails. Owned and operated by the Fox Valley Music Foundation, a 501(c)3, The Venue presents a wide range of local, regional and national touring acts performing Blues, Roots, Jazz, Americana, World Music, Rock & Roll and more!
The Venue opened its doors in June of 2019 after extensive demo and remodeling of a building owned by the City of Aurora that had formerly been a 1930’s era Woolworth’s store. For the better part of two years, a dedicated corps of volunteers worked to gut and rebuild the interior of the art deco brick building, paying careful attention to materials and interior design with the goal of creating a superior sound experience. Whether it be a solo acoustic artist or a 17- piece Big Band on the stage, both musicians and patrons rave about the sound quality.
After being shuttered for sixteen months due to the worldwide pandemic, The Venue reopened for outdoor concerts in June with the Music in Mundy Park Outdoor Concert Series. Live music is presented most Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in Agnes Mundy Park immediately adjacent to The Venue. The outdoor stage offers a general admission terraced patio seating area, as well as general admission, bring your own bag chair, lawn seating. Guests can bring in their own picnic (food only, no beverages) for an intimate, Ravinia-like experience. To gain access to the park, guests must enter through the Venue’s Box Office entrance in the rear of the building via the Water Street Pedestrian Mall.
As you enter The Venue, check out the amazing artwork created by Fox Valley illustrator Rex Bohn. Make your way through the space and appreciate beautifully painted instruments of all shapes and sizes, hand drawn murals in the restrooms, and colorfully painted vinyl records of various sizes recognizing donors and volunteers for their contributions to the Fox Valley Music Foundation. Be sure to check out the enormous guitar on the south wall near the glass garage door. The 16-foot guitar is covered with the signatures of all of the band members who have performed on the Venue stage during the first year of operation. It serves as a “guest book” and is a great backdrop for selfies.
After being welcomed by a friendly volunteer and having your tickets scanned, check out the Venue branded t-shirts and vintage Blues on the Fox posters available for purchase. Grab a cold beverage from the bar, head out to the terrace, choose your seats and sit back and enjoy live music under the stars! Of course, there is always a chance that Mother Nature will intervene with an occasional rain shower. In the event of weather, shows may be moved indoors at the discretion of the artists. If it is necessary to move indoors, with COVID rates inching up in Illinois, The Venue will strictly enforce its mask policy: if you are not fully vaccinated, you must wear a mask indoors. For the next week or so, guests will be on the honor system. Starting in early August, proof of vaccination will be required if you are unmasked. Guests are encouraged to cooperate for the greater good.
Though the Music Foundation came into existence as a result of some very important Blues music recorded in the Sky Club at the top of Aurora’s Leland Tower in the 1930s, The Venue offers far more than Blues music. The Venue’s presents a diverse variety genres and original music, often booking local openers paired with touring headliners. The Album Cover Tribute series has become a fan favorite. Each month curator Scott Tipping puts together an ensemble group of musicians suited to a particular style of music who pay homage to a specific album, recreating it in its entirety, track by track. From Beatles to Zeppelin nothing is off limits, and these concerts sell out FAST! The Venue’s recent Jazz in the Park Festival was a huge hit and fans can look for more Jazz on the third Thursday of every month. Coming up on Saturday, August 28th, The Venue will present its First Annual Roots Festival. The lineup includes four highly acclaimed bands from all over the country with Arcadian Wild, The Accidentals, Dawson Hollow and Good Morning Bedlam.
The Venue plans to reopen for indoor performances when the weather cools in early October. The first indoor show is scheduled for October 10 with a double bill featuring Marcia Ball AND Tommy Castro & The Pain Killers. Tickets are going fast for the 7pm show. A late show has been added at 9:30pm. Don’t wait! Tickets can be purchased at: http://themusicvenue.org.
The Venue could not operate without its dedicated corps of volunteers. If you enjoy live music, like to interact with people, have bartending, sound, or lighting experience, or have a little time on your hands to help out in the office, or enjoy cleaning, consider becoming a volunteer. Contact our Front of House Manager Abby@themusicvenue.org. For a complete schedule of upcoming shows, to sign up for our mailing list, purchase tickets or sign up to volunteer visit: TheMusicVenue.org.
About the Fox Valley Music Foundation. The Venue is operated by the non-profit Fox Valley Music Foundation and can be found at http://themusicvenue.org. The Fox Valley Music Foundation is a not-for-profit organization comprised of music lovers, music educators, arts enthusiasts and people who have spent many hours, days and years in this business of music. The Foundation’s reason for being is to preserve, promote and present the wonderful music of the Fox Valley area of Illinois while providing music education to people of all ages and from all walks of life. The Foundation is a 501(c)3. Donations can be made on the website and are much appreciated and gratefully accepted.