Ticketing Policies

How to Order Tickets


Browse and buy tickets on the Tickets page, 24 hours a day

By Phone

Call 312-605-8444, Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm


In advance
Payment may be made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Per-ticket processing fees are applied to all orders.

At the door
Ticket sales at the door are subject to availability.

Student and Teachers

Reduced-price tickets are available for students and teachers to many programs (with valid ID).


Free tickets to many programs are available to registered Festival volunteers. Volunteer ticket orders must be made over the phone at least 48 hours prior to the event.


Groups of 10 or more general public tickets are eligible for reduced-price tickets. Student groups for youth matinees may be eligible for reduced-price or free tickets. Call the Box Office at 312-605-8444 for more information.

Processing Fees

Processing fees are applied to all orders at $1.50 per ticket.

Fees are capped at $6.00 per order. Processing fees are used to offset the costs of fulfilling your order and ensure you receive high-quality customer service before, during, and after our programs. We appreciate your support.

Ticket Policies

All ticket sales are final. Tickets are nonrefundable except in the event of a program’s cancellation. If you are unable to attend a program for which you have purchased a ticket, please call the box office at 312-605-8444 for information on exchanging or donating tickets.

Ticket holders and Red Badge members are only guaranteed admission until 10 minutes prior to the program’s start time. Unclaimed seats may be reassigned.

CHF limits its advance reservations and ticket sales to venues’ capacities. Seats may be available at sold-out programs. If available, tickets will be sold at the door to the wait list (if applicable) or on a first-come, first-served basis, 10 minutes prior to the start of each program.

Due to external variables, programs, dates, venues, and presenters are occasionally subject to change. For up-to-date program information, please visit the Tickets page.

Wait List

As a courtesy to our customers, the CHF Box Office will begin a wait list the moment a program sells out. The first caller to request tickets to a sold out program will be added as #1 on the wait list. If caller #1 is requesting 3 tickets, their guests will be added to the #2 and #3 positions. The next caller will be added as #4, and so on.

If tickets are released in the weeks leading up to an event, the Box Office will call members of the wait list in order, asking if they are still interested in purchasing tickets. A deadline is given for an affirmative response before we move on to the next member of the wait list.

If no tickets are released before the event, members of the wait list will receive emailed instructions about their eligibility for standby. Wait listers invited to be on standby will line up at the event 15 minutes before start time. If any seats remain open 10 minutes before start time, the Box Office can begin selling tickets at the door, honoring the original order of the wait list.

Due to limited capacity of venue lobbies, some members of the wait list may not be eligible for standby. Wait lists may become capped if the list is too long to realistically accommodate further requests for tickets.

The wait list is not guaranteed entry to any program.


In addition to an invaluable behind-the-scenes Festival experience, all volunteers receive free Festival tickets, based on shifts worked. To volunteer, visit the Volunteers page, send an email to [email protected], or call 312-661-1019.


The Chicago Humanities Festival strives to ensure accessibility for all our patrons. Most venues offer wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms. To inquire about a specific venue, or to make a specific accessibility request, including assisted listening devices or sign language interpretation, please fill out our accessibility request form at least one week in advance of the program date, or submit your request while purchasing tickets.