Jump to content

Tuesdays on the Terrace 2024

Get Fast Passes

Reservations for individuals and groups are limited. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held in the Edlis Neeson Theater on the museum’s first floor. Changes are announced on the individual event page.

Tuesdays on the Terrace | Rajiv Halim, MCA Chicago, August 29, 2023. Photo: Shelby Ragsdale, © MCA Chicago.

Tuesdays on the Terrace returns from June 25 to August 27, 2024.

Enjoy an evening of free music on the MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden with our annual summer concert series highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned music community.

Celebrating the program’s 25th year at the MCA, Tuesdays on the Terrace continues to explore an expansive and contemporary look at jazz in Chicago today, and includes diverse genres and styles that have unique Chicago roots. This year’s series includes house, Guatamalan marimba, electro-pop, and more, while maintaining a set of jazz performances. Gates open at 4:30 pm; all performances run from 5:30 pm until 8 pm with one set break.

Visitors can enjoy light fare and refreshments from the bar or bring their own food while relaxing on the terrace and sculpture garden lawn. Please note, outside alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

The 2024 presentation of Tuesdays on the Terrace is organized by Laura Paige Kyber, Assistant Curator and Daniel Atkinson, Manager of Learning, Adult Interpretive Programs.

Related Content


General FAQs

How much does it cost to attend Tuesdays on the Terrace?

Tuesdays on the Terrace is free to all, however capacity is limited. See our Fast Passes and Tickets FAQs for information on entry options.

If you’d like to support the MCA’s mission, including our continued free programming, you can donate cash when you check in, or you can make a gift online.

Where does Tuesdays on the Terrace happen?

Tuesdays on the Terrace takes place in the Anne and John Kern Terrace and Sculpture Garden at the back of the museum. Unless Tuesdays on the Terrace is happening indoors, entrance is always through the back gate of the museum. The route does not involve any stairs and is fully accessible for people who use wheelchairs and those with mobility issues.

What happens if it’s raining?

In case of rain, excessive heat, or other inclement weather, Tuesdays on the Terrace will take place in the Edlis Neeson Theater and the MCA Commons inside the museum. This decision will be made by 2 pm on the day of the event and announced on our social channels and on the individual event page.

For indoor events, everyone must enter through the accessible entrance at street level (corner of East Pearson Street and North Mies van der Rohe Way) and check in at the Box Office on the first floor of the museum. The band will play in the Edlis Neeson Theater, but the performance will also be live streamed in the MCA Commons. Seating is available in both areas, but food is only allowed in the Commons. Fast Pass holders and MCA Members will still receive expedited entry.

Who's playing this week?

Check out our schedule for this year’s lineup of artists.

Why isn't it just jazz music this year?

While we will maintain a set of jazz performances at Tuesdays on the Terrace, we’ve decided to expand our focus to include more diverse genres and styles that also have unique Chicago roots, including blues, bomba, hip-hop, and house.

Fast Passes and Tickets FAQs

Do I need to book tickets in advance?

No. However, you can book free Fast Passes in advance to enter more quickly.

A Fast Pass gives one person access to the Fast Pass line for expedited entry to the event. Please note, however, that a Fast Pass does not guarantee entry to Tuesdays on the Terrace; if we reach fire code capacity, we may have to temporarily pause entry to the event.

Every Tuesday, free walk-up tickets are available first come, first served at the museum’s back gate starting at 4:30 pm.

Remember: Walk-up tickets are always available, even if Fast Passes are sold out!

MCA Members have an extra perk: You don’t need to book a Fast Pass to join the Fast Pass line! Just show us your member card and get expedited entry for yourself and as many guests as your membership allows you to bring to the museum. Guest passes are not valid for entry to the Fast Pass line.

Didn't you have advance tickets in the past?

We did. Unfortunately, we couldn’t guarantee ticket-holders entry due to fire code capacity, so we’re switching to Fast Passes. Unlike tickets, Fast Passes do not guarantee entry, but Pass holders will always enter before those in the walk-up line.

Can I reserve tickets for my companions?

We recommend reserving one Fast Pass for each person in your party to access expedited entry. However, if you’re checking in for walk-up tickets at the back gate, we can only give you one ticket per person present.

Day-Of FAQs

When do you decide whether the event is indoors or outdoors?

In case of inclement weather, we will aim to have our website and other signage updated by 2 pm on the day of the event, so check this page for updates. Fast Pass holders will also receive an email if the event is moved indoors.

If I use a wheelchair or have other accessibility needs, can I enter through the Commons?

The route to the museum’s back garden gate is fully accessible for folks in wheelchairs and those with mobility issues. You will actually take fewer elevators and navigate fewer spaces to get to Tuesdays on the Terrace from outside the museum.

To access the garden gate, walk east on Pearson Street or Chicago Avenue and turn onto the path just before Lake Shore Park. The garden entrance is equidistant between those two roads.

How early should I arrive? Will there be a long wait?

The gates open at 4:30 pm, but visitors often start lining up around 4 pm. If you are particular about where you sit, we recommend arriving by 4 pm to have the most varied seating choices. Otherwise you can arrive at any point during the evening, though entrance is subject to capacity. Once we have reached fire code capacity, visitors will only be allowed to enter as others leave for the evening.

What information do I need for check-in?

Tickets are free, so all we will ask for is your US zip code or country of residence.
Knowing where our visitors come from helps us understand the communities
we need to serve better and can influence our funding, which helps support the
MCA’s mission.

What sort of seating is there? Can I bring my own seats?

We have approximately 33 tables and chairs, seating two to four people, on the upper terrace, and approximately 100 single chairs on the lower terrace. You are also welcome to sit on the lawn.

The MCA has a limited number of lawn chairs available to borrow, but you’re welcome to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and other forms of seating for use on the lawn. Lawn chairs, blankets, and other non-MCA furniture are not allowed on the terrace.

How do I get a table?

If you’d like a table, we recommend arriving by 4 pm to give you the best chance of entering early and claiming your spot as seating is first come, first served. A small number of the tables are reserved, however, for the artists’ guests and special invitees.

Can I save a seat for my friend if I get in first? Can I move furniture around?

Unfortunately, due to capacity restrictions, spots are first come, first served. MCA staff may ask you to free up space for others and/or pack up extraneous lawn furniture.

For the safety of our staff and audience, MCA furniture must remain as arranged.

Is there food and drink available? Can I bring my own?

Absolutely! Marisol Restaurant offers snacks and light fare each week. There is also a bar on the terrace where you can purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including water). You’re also welcome to bring your own food, water, and other non-alcoholic beverages to Tuesdays on the Terrace. Outside alcohol is not allowed, and bags are subject to random searches.

Can I leave and re-enter Tuesdays on the Terrace?

Once you have checked in, you are welcome to leave and re-enter through the back gate or the MCA Commons. You will be asked to display the wristband you are given at check-in.


Tuesdays on the Terrace is presented by NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago.

Tuesdays on the Terrace is made possible in part by a generous gift from Luminarts Cultural Foundation.

NBC Channel 5 Chicago logoTelemundo Chicago logoLuminarts Cultural Foundation Logo