Tomorrow Never Knows

Tomorrow Never Knows 2024

JANUARY 14, 2024


Indie concert hop your way through a Chicago winter at small clubs around the city.

2024 dates for this festival have not been announced at the time of this writing. 

Founded in 2005, Tomorrow Never Knows has survived for over two decades by showcasing indie music and comedy talent in a city known extensively for both. Months away from music festival season — and in the frozen hellscape that is Chicago in January — this five-day lineup fills that wintery lull with five full days of alternative bands rolling through the city. 

This festival is unique in that acts are spread out among four or five different clubs instead concentrated on a single festival ground, giving it the vibe of a smaller indie concert. Organized in part by the venues themselves, the festival promotes smaller, up-and-coming indie bands in addition to already beloved acts in the scene. You’ll forget all about the weather once you’re surrounded by hundreds of personal space heaters in clubs like Lincoln Hall, a 507-person, standing-room-only venue in an old nickel movie theater with a stage low enough to feel like you’re partying with the band, or it’s sister venue Schubas Tavern, an even smaller space reminiscent of a church’s rec room tucked away behind the bar. 

Past years’ lineups have seen the likes of Still Woozy, Late Night Drive Home, Snail Mail and Rat Boys, not to mention performances by comedy troupes and stand-ups like Michelle Wolf, Tim Heidecker, and Sarah Sherman (now of Saturday Night Live fame, but formerly of Helltrap Nightmare Birthday Funeral relevance). Tickets are sold on a show-by-show basis, just in case you blow your money on Sherman’s body horror comedy show and her body horror comedy only. This year’s lineup has not yet been announced. 

The Specs

  • Several hundred people are expected to attend in 2024.
  • Tickets generally range from $12-$25 for general admission.
  • Participating venues have different age restrictions, many shows will likely be 18 or 21+. 
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to the best of Chicago here


Where is the nearest airport?

O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is closest to the festival, located around 18 miles from the city center. It’s a quick drive or bus ride.

Where’s the festival happening?

Tomorrow Never Knows is split across multiple venues in Chicago each year. The five venues in 2023 were Lincoln Hall, Schubas Tavern, Metro, Sleeping Village, and Golden Dagger. 

Is other transportation available?

Public transportation to, from, and between venues is widely available. The L— Chicago’s subway system— and local buses are the best way to get around if you don’t have access to a car.

Who’s playing this year at Tomorrow Never Knows?

The lineup for 2024 has yet to be announced.

Who played at Tomorrow Never Knows 2023?

Artists who performed in 2023 include 700 Bliss, Advance Bass, Ana Everling Quartet, Angelenah, Ariel Zetina, Armand Hammer, Blue Dream, Brigitte Calls Me Baby, Casper McFadden, Cheekface, Cloakroom, Courtesy, The Curls, Dazy, Doss, Elton Aura, Fatboi Sharif, Fénix Dion, Flowurz, Footballhead, Free Range, Fury, Girl K, Global Currency, Graham Hunt, Jaguar Sun, Late Night Drive Home, Late Night Laundry, Lifeguard, Madame Reaper, Mariah Colon, Mavi, Morinda, Mother Nature, Ok Cool, Pink Frost, Piwa, Plastic Picnic, Queen!, Quin Kirchner, Rose Hotel, Saltwater Tap, Shane Guerrette, The Slaps, Solddal, Sqip, The Stone Foxes, Stoop Lee, Ted Tyro, Tomberlin, V.V. Lightbody, Work Wife, and Yungmorpheus.


BY Emily Frantz