Music

Tomorrow Never Knows Highlights Emerging Indie Music and Comedy

Photo courtesy of Taylor McFerrin/Facebook

After the excitement of the holiday season, you might be sinking into the New Year’s blues. Tomorrow Never Knows is a winter music festival designed to shake you out of your January slump.

Named after a Beatles song, Tomorrow Never Knows has been highlighting up-and-coming indie musicians since 2005. The 16th annual festival returns January 15–19.

Photo courtesy of Deeper/Facebook

TNK invites Chicagoans to explore six venues around town. The folks at Lincoln Hall and Schubas, who organized the festival, will host several shows, along with the Hideout, Metro, Smartbar, and Sleeping Village.

The five-day event assembles emerging comedians and indie musicians in genres ranging from folk to hip hop. Past musical performers have included big names like Bon Iver, Father John Misty, and Sharon Van Etten, and comedians Tim Heidecker and Hannibal Buress.

Photo courtesy of Lala Lala/Facebook

This year’s festival brings both local and national touring acts to Chicago’s stages. It kicks off with the dreamy electro-pop of Caroline Polachek, a former member of Chairlift, at Lincoln Hall. Schubas will groove to hip-hop beats courtesy of Taylor McFerrin’s jazzy pedigree, the futuristic funk of Harriet Brown, the nonbinary rapper CJ Run, and the melodic R&B of Wyatt Waddell.

Photo courtesy of Stella Donnelly/Facebook

Elsewhere in the lineup, an all-Chicago bill offers a dose of local talent, including indie songwriter Lillie West (Lala Lala) and multi-instrumentalists Nnamdi Ogbonnaya and Sen Morimoto. Chicago jazz collective Resavoir brings together a stageful of talented musicians playing orchestral sketches. Australian songwriter Stella Donnelly cuts through toxic masculinity with her clever brand of rock. Chicago indie-rockers Deeper are joined by surf-rock-by-way-of-Montreal band Corridor and local art-rockers the Hecks.

Attendees can opt to purchase individual tickets to shows or buy a five-day pass ($100) to attend any shows at Lincoln Hall, Schubas, and Metro. Five-day pass holders may RSVP to shows at Hideout and Sleeping Village due to limited capacity. If you’re short on cash after the holidays, a handful of TNK events are listed as free.

Photo courtesy of Resavoir/Facebook

Why not start the year off supporting indie artists and local venues? Braving the January cold is worth the bragging rights of being the first to catch these up-and-comers!

Tomorrow Never Knows Festival
Various venues
January 15–19
Free–$100