Aragon Ballroom

Before I went to my first show at Aragon Ballroom, I remember my aunt – a heavy metal fan from the 1980s – asking me, incredulously, how “that dump” was still around.

It’s been renovated many times since then, of course, and the venerable theater at 1106 W. Lawrence Avenue has of late become the Chicago stop for many EDM tours as well as other genres. And now it gets a corporate sponsor to its name.

The Aragon Ballroom will now be known as “Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom,” the naming rights sold by Live Nation, according to NBC Chicago.

“Byline Bank is committed to building relationships within the community, which is why we felt they are such a natural partner for this historic venue,” Live Nation President Jason Wright said in a statement. “Together, we will be able to establish genuine bonds with members of the community who have a passion for live music through seamless brand integration.”


(Because when you want to form “genuine bonds with members of the community”… you sell naming rights to a bank.)

The Aragon was built in 1926 and has been been subject to some rather garish headlines in its history, such as a 2011 incident when a chunk of the ceiling smashed a woman’s head open or the 2015 incident when a man fell from a catwalk he allegedly believed lead to a balcony.

Of course it’s not the only venue in Chicago where strange things have fallen from the sky.

The Aragon – which I would guess everyone will still call it – will likely get Byline Bank’s logo on its iconic sign.

Photo: Goldnpuppy [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons