It’s Not Just A Dream: Nelly Will Play Ribfest 2021!

Published 10/12/2020

To pick up where 2019 left off, next year’s festival season will be abuzz due to the appearance of rapper Nelly at the Exchange Club of Naperville’s 33rd Ribfest, to be held for the first time in Romeoville, Illinois (Deer Crossing Park; 1050 W. Romeo Road).

July 4, 2021 will be shakin’ to the sounds of this world-renowned and multi-talented artist, whose hits like “Hot In Herre,” “Ride wit Me,” “Cruise,” “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” and many more, have defined the summer music landscape for nearly two decades.

After a dearth of summer festivals in 2020 due to COVID-19 and its restrictions on gatherings, the Exchange Club of Naperville hopes to revitalize the live-music scene with an exciting – and safe – Ribfest festival over the 4 days ending with Independence Day fireworks. The Club greatly appreciates the support of early 2021 Grand Sponsors Citgo and Jewel-Osco!

“The main goal of Ribfest has always been fundraising for community-based anti-domestic violence & child abuse agencies,” stated Lisa Murtaugh Gangi, Ribfest PR & Media Chair. “But Nelly’s commitment to appear with us next year (since he couldn’t this year) is a huge win for current live music fans all over Chicagoland!”

Tickets for Ribfest 2021 will be available for purchase at; watch that website for announcements.


Diamond-selling, multi-platinum, Grammy-winning rap superstar, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor Nelly has continually raised the bar for the entertainment industry since stepping on the scene in 2000 with his distinctive vocals and larger-than-life personality. He became king of the “Summer Anthem” with songs like Hot in Herre, Ride wit Me, Country Grammar, Cruise, Shake Ya Tailfeather, Dilemma and Just a Dream. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Country Grammar disrupting the music scene with Nelly’s unique sound and vocals. Nelly’s collaboration with Florida Georgia Line received Diamond status and he is only one of seven rappers to date to reach this honor. Currently he is touring around the globe and recently was the first artist to play in Saudi Arabia with a mixed gender/family crowd. Nelly along with TLC and FloRida kick off a sure to be spectacular show this summer. Adding to his list of “firsts,” Nelly is the first hip hop artist to play with multiple symphonies nationwide and played himself in BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood with Kevin Hart for 6 seasons. His sports knowledge and love of all sports secured him a gig as a sportscaster with Skip Bayless. Billboard ranked Nelly the number three Top Artist of the Decade in 2009 and to date he holds the philanthropic honor of hosting the most African American attended donor registry to date. Nelly is the co-owner of the Charlotte Hornets with Michael Jordan and founded a college program that offers music production and Nelly-funded scholarships to students.



Exchange, America's Service Club, is a group of men and women working together to make our communities better places to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and its national program, the Prevention of Child Abuse. Exchange Club of Naperville chartered in 1987. Mission-driven and volunteer run, Exchange Club of Naperville's Ribfest is a premier midwestern 4th of July concert series and celebration. Ribfest, in its 33rd year, now draws more than 150,000 visitors annually. Net proceeds from Ribfest directly support 50+ agencies that work tirelessly to eliminate child abuse and domestic violence in all forms. To date, Exchange has donated over $18 million to these agencies.

For additional information and media materials, contact:
Lisa Murtaugh Gangi
(630) 200-1678

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