The Joliet Area Historical Museum will host its second-annual Blues Brothers Con featuring actors Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, reprising their roles as “The Blues Brothers” at Old Joliet Prison on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.
The festival will once again transform the 16-acre historic prison site into a tapestry of sights and sounds to honor the iconic “Blues Brothers” film (1980) — that was partly shot on its grounds — as well as celebrate Blues music’s influence on the prison throughout its history, according to a Thursday release from the museum.
“The ‘Blues Brothers’ film is about passing on the love of Blues music to a new generation,” said Greg Peerbolte, chief executive officer of the Joliet Area Historical Museum. “The prison’s connection to the blues dates back to the 1932 recording of Memphis Minnie’s ‘Joliet Bound.’
“Blues music helps us to confront – and heal – the prison’s often difficult historic legacy,” he said. “Following the incredible fan response to last year’s event, we are extremely grateful to Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi Pisano and the Belushi family to pass on the film itself — and the music it cherishes – to new generations.”
Aykroyd and John Belushi originally starred as brothers “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues; Belushi died in March 1982 at 33 from a drug overdose. Actor John Goodman co-starred with Aykroyd in an unsuccessful movie sequel, “Blues Brothers 2000” (1998).
Aykroyd and Jim Belushi in the Joliet event (two hours from Rock Island) will emcee a stacked lineup of iconic and diverse Chicago Blues performers featuring Al Spears & The Hurricane Project, Joanna Connor & The Wrecking Crew, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Toronzo Cannon and Ronnie Baker Brooks, the museum said.
The evening will be appropriately capped off by a Maxwell Street-style Blues jam session where Dan, Jim and other “Blues Brothers” alumni will take part in a special encore performance featuring hits from the film. “Blues Brothers” fans can also expect a variety of experiences, appearances and one-of-a-kind photo ops throughout the day.
Proceeds from the event support the operations of the Joliet Area Historical Museum, a nonprofit that has operated educational tours and community programs at the Old Joliet Prison Historic Site since 2018.
Event location is at Old Joliet Prison, 1125 N. Collins St., Joliet, Ill., and gates will open at 1 p.m. Sept. 9. Tickets ($55 for adults and $25 for children 18 and under) are available HERE.
Limited onsite parking will be available for $30.
The Joliet Area Historical Museum was founded in 2002. It operates a contemporary museum facility in Joliet’s City Center in the historic 1909 Ottawa Street Methodist Church. Since 2018, JAHM has operated the Old Joliet Prison Historic Site.
The Old Joliet Prison is currently undergoing restorations but is still open to visitors daily for self-guided tours. Learn more at JolietPrison.org.