If you have any questions about the Congress Theater or schedule, please review the following ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ before contacting us.
Q: Do you have a box office?
A: The Congress Box Office is located at the theater and is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is located to the left of the theater on the corner of Milwaukee and Rockwell. Fees and service charges may still apply, even if you pay with cash. The Congress Box Office is also open on show nights starting one hour before door times and usually only sells tickets for that evening’s show. Tickets for all shows can also be purchased through links on our homepage.
Q: Can I smoke cigarettes at the Congress?
A: As of January 1, 2008, the City of Chicago has banned smoking in all public places, including the Congress Theater. Pass outs are not allowed for smoking or any other purpose. Cigarette lighters will be confiscated at the door for all shows.
Q: Is my child safe attending a show at the Congress Theater by him or herself?
A: Your child is safer inside the Congress Theater than they are most any place in the city. There are staff, security and paramedics looking out for their well being and safety. As a parent, the only guaranteed way to ensure their safety is to attend the show with them. At the very least, you should take an active role in their trip to and from the theater. Outside the theater they face far more temptation and far less protection than they do here. The vast majority of police action involving patrons arises from their behavior prior to and after the show.
Q: Where can I get tickets without paying service charges?
A: On show nights where there is not a sell-out, individual tickets can be purchased at the theater for that show only with cash one hour prior to the ‘Doors Open’ time published on the website. For some shows ticket fees will still apply, as this is up to the discretion of the individual promoters who run the box office. Ticket scalping is not encouraged. Use reputable ticket brokers when purchasing tickets on the resale market. Please refer to the advertisements for individual shows for more information.
Q: I purchased will call tickets, what do I need to do to get in?
A: The box office generally opens one hour prior to door times, and that is the earliest that you may pick up your will call tickets. The box office may open early for certain shows, check the event listing through our homepage to get more details. In all cases, you’ll need to bring your ID, the credit card you used for the purchase and any confirmation number or printed confirmation you received from the ticketing service. If you won’t be able to bring the credit card with you, then you’ll need to have your tickets delivered to you. Contact your ticketing service for any changes to your tickets.
Q: How do I request a refund on a ticket that I purchased?
A: If you would like to request a refund, you will need to do so at the point of purchase. That means contacting the ticketing company that sold you your ticket. Individual ticketing companies policies regarding refunds vary, please reference their websites and customer service lines for more information:
Q: I’m a minor and the show I want to see is 17+ or 18+. Can I still get in?
A: City of Chicago curfew ordinances restrict the activity of minors under 17 yrs. old. Minors are allowed to be out after curfew only if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. That means that if you’re a minor, your parent or legal guardian must buy a ticket and accompany you to any show not listed as ‘All Ages’. And it must be your parent, not a friend who happens to be 17 yrs. old.
Q: Is there a dress code? What is prohibited?
A: Some items are prohibited from the theater, depending on the performance. In general, prohibited items include:
- Ticketmaster | 800-745-3000
- Ticketweb | 866-468-3401
- Front Gate Tickets | 888-512-SHOW
- Clubtix | Customer Support | 773-598-0852
- Ticketfly | Congress Line | 773-276-1235
- Ticketfly | General Line | 877-4-FLY-TIX
Q: Do you have a coat check?
A: Yes, during the colder months we provide coat check service right above the main entrance as you enter the theater. Coat check does NOT have unlimited capacity, so show up early to ensure you’ll be able to get your coat checked before it fills up. Be sure to check valuables separately from your coat to ensure they are not misplaced.
Q: Can I use a credit card/debit card at the Congress? Are there ATM machines at Congress?
A: Yes, most of the bars in the building (though not all) have the ability to process credit/debit card purchases. We do not require a minimum purchase amount, though a minimum $2 gratuity is required for all credit/debit purchases. In addition, we do have ATM machines available in our lobby.
Q: I want to get backstage passes, meet the band, etc.…how do I do that?
A: It is rare, but if there are these types of opportunities available for a show, it is almost always available through the band’s website/fan club. VIP Passes are available for certain shows. If VIP tickets are not listed for sale for that show, that means there is no VIP for that show.
Q: Can I bring a camera and take pictures?
A: Cameras are generally prohibited, unless expressly allowed. Click on the show pics on our homepage to get details on that show. Professional photography equipment and cameras are prohibited unless you have press access. If you would like press access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What time do doors open?, What time is the show?, What time is the show over?
A: Door times for all shows are listed on our homepage and/or the individual show pages (click on the picture for each show on the homepage to see the individual show page). Lines will not be formed until 1 hour prior to doors opening. Please be respectful of our neighbors, and refrain from making loud noises, littering or trespassing on private property. Music usually starts 30-60 minutes after doors open. Show lengths vary, so ask the box office for estimated ending times upon entry to the theater. The event promoter is solely responsible for establishing and maintaining the timeliness of their show.
Q: How early can I show up?
A: Lines for shows form 1 hour prior to door times. If you have to get into the city early, there are a host of shopping and cultural options in the Logan Square neighborhood, we encourage you to enjoy. But don’t plan on getting to the theater too early. There is no shelter from the heat or cold and no restroom facilities while you wait for doors to open. If you want to line up early, please be respectful of our neighbors and line up along the Milwaukee Ave. corridor and not in front of the residences to the rear of the building.
Q: How do I get to the theater?
A: We recommend taking one of the various public transportation options available. There are full instructions on getting to the Congress on the Directions page.
Q: Are there any hotels in the area?
A: Most hotel rooms in Chicago are available downtown or by O’Hare airport. Luckily, both provide easy access to the Congress through the CTA Blue Line train, which runs 24/7 in front of the Congress and has stops at the airport, downtown and many locations in between. Research local options at the Wicker Park – Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and Logan Square Chamber of Commerce.
Q: Is the Congress accesible to the physically disabled?
A: Yes, the physically disabled can smoothly get from the front door to the front of the stage without stairs or steep inclines and declines. The main floor does not have permanent seating, so if you require special assitance in getting temporary seating, simply inform security as you enter the building and we will accommodate your needs.
Q: I lost something at the theater, how do I get it back?
A: If you lost a personal item, ask security to help you search for it before you leave. If you still have not found it, send an email with your contact info and a full description of the item to email@example.com for assistance. The vast majority of valuables lost at the theater are picked up by other patrons, so be sure to leave valuables at home, or keep a tight grip on them.
Q: What does my band do to be considered to play a show at the Congress Theater?
A: Individual promoters book the vast majority of the shows at the Congress Theater and they decide the lineups of their shows. If you’re interested in getting on a current bill, or being considered for a future bill, pursue those opportunities through promoters in the entertainment community. Draw well at smaller venues in the city, and you won’t have to call them. They’ll call your agent.
Q: I’m interested in renting the theater, how do I do that?
A: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
- Baseball caps, bandanas and any other gang-related clothing
- Chains, long spikes and any other clothing accessories that could be used to cause harm
- Photography equipment
- Food and Alcohol
- Cigarette Lighters
- Aerosol Cans
- Weapons of any kind, or anything that security deems could be used as a weapon. This includes weapons for self-defense, such as mase or pepper spray. We are not obligated to return any such item once it enters the building.