The Venue to livestream May concerts, preview in-person outdoor shows

The Venue, the 200-seat music performance space in Aurora, will conclude its livestream performances in May with four shows.

All concerts will be broadcast live from The Venue’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. At each performance, a donation is suggested, and donations are split between the artists and the Fox Valley Music Foundation. All information and schedules can be found at

Andrea Dawn kicks off the month at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 2. A self-described “failed classical musician,” Dawn began composing her own material at age 10. Her music bridges the gaps between 1930s jazz singers, ’90s singer-songwriters, and the film scores of Danny Elfman and Jon Brion. Dawn doesn’t make too many live appearances these days, but when she does, it creates quite a stir, a news release stated, adding, “This show is not to be missed.”

Emily Tipping makes her solo debut at The Venue at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, but make no mistake, she’s been there before. She performed the music of Janis Joplin at The Venue’s Woodstock Festival and its Album Covers “Pearl” show. She also has sung there numerous times with singer-songwriter Dave Ramont. But her heart lies with her own music and her own accompaniment at the piano. It is sure to be an evening of unforgettable songs and the stories that join them.

Bill Grady, performing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, is no stranger around The Venue either. A former Berklee student with a penchant for slide, Grady follows a musical path of studying the past while pushing his music forward. He has played “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and the Chicago Blues Festival, and has graced The Venue’s indoor and outdoor stages. He captivates audiences far and wide with his soulful vocals, searing slide playing and vivid songwriting, concert organizers stated in the release.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, May 16, the first Venue Sneak Peek will take place.

“As we prepare our summer spectacular of outdoor shows in Mundy Park, we thought it would be fun to offer a taste of what is to come in livestream form,” concert organizers said.

The evening will be filled with show announcements and new programs, and will celebrate new members of the team (learn about one such newcomer below). The livestream will serve as a reminder of COVID protocols to make sure shows are as safe as possible.

All of The Venue livestreams remain available on the Facebook page and YouTube channel, but donations are only shared during the real-time livestreams with performers and other venues, so best to catch them while they are in progress, organizers advise.

Learn more at and

New hire announcement

The Venue has hired Donnie Biggins as talent buyer. An Oak Park native, Biggins began his career by booking his band in the mid-2000s. He was a founding member of The Chicago Roots Collective, a multiband collaboration that booked concerts throughout the Chicago area. Talent buying became a full-time profession in 2012, when Harmonica Dunn, his own promotion company, was founded. He owns the newly rebranded Golden Dagger (formerly Tonic Room), a coffeehouse/bar/live music venue, and is talent buyer for the famous Fitzgerald’s Nightclub in Berwyn.

“In addition to his experience, Donnie brings a positive energy and an enthusiasm to our team,” the release stated. “The Venue looks forward to having him onboard and seeing what opportunities he brings to our special Aurora listening space.”