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Summer concert preview 2012, indoors and out

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Summer 2012 looks bustling and healthy, compared with recent summer concert seasons, since it offers more big headliners and a growing crop of festivals.

The city may be charging for the close-up seats at this year's Taste of Chicago, but its other festivals have found new life on their own again (rather than last year's budget-inspired experiment of packing them into themed days at Taste). Multi-day celebrations like the Chicago Gospel Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival are spreading out this year, programming events in the downtown parks but also other locations in an effort to achieve wider inclusion above focused destination.

The free Monday evening Downtown Sound series of concerts is back in Millennium Park, and an additional regular schedule of cutting-edge shows has been added: the Loops & Variations series, focusing on electronic and experimental music.

Click here for a list of some of the biggest and most noteworthy shows scheduled in the area thus far.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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