On neighborhood streets, in downtown
parks, on stage of the stunning Jay Pritzker Pavilion, even in Soldier Field
stadium - music lives big in Chicago. Lollapalooza (it's FOUR amazing days long this year in celebration of
its 26th anniversary) and the Chicago Blues Festival
vie for the title of the city's largest summer music fests, but don't miss out
on the top Chicago music festivals below for a full calendar of summer music.
And if you don't get your fill on
these, check out our guide to all of the biggest 2017 Chicago events, from comic conventions, taco festivals and art fairs, to
the gay pride parade and outdoor film series.
Celebrating its 33rd year in 2017,
Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest will kick off Chicago's outdoor street fest season
when it again welcomes the start of summer and the warm weather. Start off the
summer right, with fun tunes, good food and a chance to check out local arts
and crafts vendors. Local tribute bands are ready to pump up the crowd at this
Lakeview music fest!
With a reputation for elevating the
sometimes ho-hum music lineups found at weekend street fests, Do Division sets
the bar high when it kicks off the beginning of each summer. Original bands and
up-and-coming DJs make up the carefully-curated stages, booked by two of the top
local music clubs: Empty Bottle and Subterranean. And with a suggested donation
of only $5 for admittance, the festival concerts are a steal! The 2017 lineup
will be revealed soon!
Settle in for some powerful
performances at the 31st Chicago Gospel Music Festival. The FREE admission
festival celebrates the genre's foundational roots in Chicago and will bring
together local and national artists to the stunning downtown stage of the Jay
Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park.
The world's largest free blues
festival has been busting out tunes for over 30 years. Grab a seat for daytime
concerts on three stages in Grant Park and make your way to the Petrillo Music
Shell for evening concerts under the stars. Expect over 500,000 people to swarm
the FREE admission lakefront festival all weekend. This year's headliners
include Lurrie Bell, Carl Weathersby, Carlos Johnson, Che "Rhymefest" Smith
Join 100,000 fans at Adams-Medill
Park for Chicago's largest outdoor all electronic dance music festival,
featuring top producers and DJs from all over the world. Celebrating six years,
Spring Awakening will present six stages, with two main stages featuring
both live electronic acts and world-renowned DJs, over the course of three
It's the nation's only FREE, outdoor
classical music series of its kind! Comprised of the Grammy®
nominated Grant Park Orchestra led by Artistic Director and Principal
Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus led by
Chorus Director Christopher Bell, the festival have 32 spectacular summer
concerts. Spread out on the Great Lawn or grab a seat near the Jay Pritzker
Pavilion in Millennium Park for an alfresco picnic under the stars.
Chicago's 3-day country music
festival takes place literally on Lake Michigan: Northerly Island is a 91-acre
peninsula that juts right out into waterfront. Surround yourself with stellar
skyline views and big name country acts. The outdoor amphitheatre, First
MeritBank Pavilion, will house megastars Mo
Pitney, Chase Rice and Michael
Ray, as well as numerous other national artists.
Marking 21 years in 2017, Taste of
Randolph overflows the streets of the West Loop neighborhood with food and
music fans alike. Dozens of restaurants from Chicago's famed "Restaurant
Row" set up booths along Randolph Street and three unique performance
stages anchor the six-block stretch. Work off all those calories at the DJ
dance stage, presented by neighboring nightclub The Mid, or kick back with
eclectic indie sounds. Check back soon for 2017's lineup.
One part music + one part eco-living
is the basic recipe behind this annual fest. Combine together for a fun time
that is underscored by the idea of making environmentally conscious lifestyle
choices. Concerts are programmed by Wicker Park's own Subterranean.
For 11 weeks each summer, the Spirit
of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into a downtown dance party. The FREE
series SummerDance welcomes the sounds of 44 different live bands over the
course of the season, from Indian to African to Cuban and more. But don't just
sit on the sidelines and listen! This festival will have you on the
4,900-square-foot, open-air dance floor with introductory one-hour lessons
by professional instructors, followed by the two-hour concert performances.
Chicago's premiere lakefront music
festival returns over the 4th of July holiday weekend at Oakwood Beach.
Featuring an all-inclusive and diverse musical experience, Mamby is where indie
and electronic meet for a weekend of fun under the sun. From dancing with the
sand beneath your feet to cooling off with a refreshing dip in the lake, Mamby
On The Beach offers an unmatched setting in Chicago that gives attendees a
chance to get away from the city without ever having to leave.
Rachael Ray's Feedback in Chicago is
a celebration of two of her favorite things: music and food - inspired by her
beloved festival during SXSW in Austin. Chicago's iconic Lincoln Park Zoo is
the backdrop for this signature all ages, family-friendly event and the
resident animals will be in attendance as well. Feedback will feature some of
Rachael's favorite musicians as well as food creations + beer & wine
pairings curated by Rachael herself.
St. Pat's Church, Chicago's oldest public building and a treasured historic
landmark, knows how to throw a party! Locals know this West Loop block party as
a big bash for singles to meet and mingle - it's a 21 and over event. For the
music lover, it's an easy match too as the festival lineup draws big national
acts every year with concerts presented by radio stations WXRT and WKQX.
Encased meats and indie music acts
will be in the spotlight at this second annual fest just two blocks north of
the busy intersections of Addison Street and Elston Avenue. Adding to the
weekend's happenings will be arts & crafts and activities for kids.
Burgers & beats: this year's
26th anniversary event brings musical fireworks to Chicago's Jackson Park over
Independence Day weekend. What started as a small gathering has grown into a
massive 50,000 fan celebration - one of the oldest and largest house music
festivals in the world. In between all the music, dancing and socializing, it's
tradition to pitch tents and grill out each day in a true family reunion
The mother of all food festivals is celebrating
36 years of delicious food and great music! Petrillo Music Shell in Grant
Park packs a massive crowd for evening headliner performances, which are FREE
admission for lawn seating and as low as $18 for pavilion seats.
With more than 50 acts on the
lineup, this annual dance party is a gathering of global music drawing artists
from Africa, New Zealand, Haiti, Brazil and beyond. Two outdoor stages and two
indoor stages curate an international soundtrack like no other: imagine
American folk rock straight from the Midwest + Cajun French music hailing from
Louisiana + roots reggae birthed from the island of Dominica. Combine these
beats and rhythms with craft beer, family fun, a craft market and plenty of
food vendors for a full weekend of activity that shows off the eclectic tastes
of its Lincoln Square neighborhood.
West Fest shows why West Town is one
of the hottest up-and-coming destination neighborhoods in the city. Along the
streets you'll notice the emphasis is on "local" - from the
restaurants and cafes to the independent artisan shops and retail boutiques.
Many are represented here at the festival, and for music, the nearby club Empty
Bottle books the Main Stage.
The second annual Chicago Open Air
will bring together an all-star lineup of rock's top artists on Friday, July
14, Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16 at Toyota Park. The three-day music,
craft beer and Gourmet Man Food festival will feature over 40 performances,
including legendary rock artists Ozzy
Osbourne, KISS, and Korn, along with Rob Zombie, Slayer, Godsmack, Stone Sour,
Megadeth, Lamb Of God, Seether, Meshuggah, Anthrax, Clutch, Body Count, and
many more. In addition to three days of nonstop rock, Chicago Open Air's
celebration of everything loud will also include Gourmet Man Food featuring
local and regional cuisine, the Headbangers Bier Hall highlighting top brews
from the region, other entertainment and fan experiences, and will be hosted by
SiriusXM's Jose Mangin. The weekend gets started with The Chicago Open Air Kick
Off Fiesta and the official Chicago Open Air Pre-Party at Concord Music Hall on
Thursday, July 13.
Union Park on the city's Near West
Side plays host to this internationally known, indie-rock centric festival.
Pitchfork spans three days, attracts some 50,000 attendees annually and draws
performers from various backgrounds, including alternative rock, rap and
hip-hop, electronica, avant-garde rock and hardcore punk. The highly popular
fest also features local vendors selling crafts, gifts and much more.
BBQ, bands & beer! The killer
country music lineup at this summer fest features 12 top country acts across three
days. This year's stage-stompers include Kip
Moore, Lee Brice and Brandy Clark. But that's not all! This
riverfront party is a triple threat: fuel up with some of the top 'cue from
Chicago and premier pitmasters from across the US. And enjoy the Father vs. Son
BBQ led by famed father/son pitmaster duo Myron and Michael Mixon. Participants
will be split into two teams and led through a live demo, showing them how to
barbecue both ribs and chicken wings.
In celebration of its big 15th
anniversary, over 50,000 are expected to attend the three-day food and music
bash, which encompasses the picturesque riverfront green setting of Ward Park
in the heart of River North.
In addition to two stages of live
entertainment by some of Chicago's and North America's finest bands, more than
80 of the neighborhood's lush residential gardens will be open for the public
to explore. The weekend also includes food and, for children and families, the
Kids' Corner with entertainment and activities.
While some Chicago street festivals
are known for a standard lineup of cover bands that play up all the familiar
tunes, Wicker Park Fest breaks the mold. Three stages of live action are
programmed by Subterranean, a mainstay in the music scene. The festival
regularly boasts local and national acts that are praised by critics as being a
reflection of the neighborhood: hip, diverse and eclectic. This year's lineup
will be announced soon.
One of the world's premier music
festivals makes its annual return to Chicago's Grant Park. Lolla rocks out with
the biggest names in music across all the genres: hip-hop, electronica, reggae,
indie, modern roots and more. Fuel up at Chow Town, the "food fest within
a music fest" that serves up gourmet festival grub. And if kids are in
tow, bring them along! Kidzapalooza entertains future singers with rock-star
yoga, funky hairstyling, prop-filled photo shoots, hip-hop workshops and
Chicago's inaugural Reggae Fest sets
out to make its anticipated debut this summer. With live reggae of the
"highest caliber" programmed by Wicker Park's infamous music venue,
Subterranean, Reggae Fest Chicago will bring an authentic, family-friendly
island style vibe to the Windy City masses. Featuring two live music stages,
Reggae Fest Chicago will be a One Day, One Love celebration of various reggae
genres including ska, reggaeton, roots reggae, Caribbean dance hall, Spanish
reggae and world music.
The longest running of the city's
lakefront music festivals, Chicago Jazz Festival has been a Labor Day weekend
tradition for over 30 years. Known for its artistic creativity, the festival
promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through FREE, quality
live musical performances at two stunning downtown venues, the Chicago Cultural
Center and Millennium Park.
Close out the summer at one of
Chicago's most eclectic music festivals. Held in Union Park, North Coast Music
Festival has transformed from an electronic-focused event to one that includes
hip-hop, indie, funk, jam bands and everything else sprinkled in between. No
matter what tunes you prefer, you will find it at this end-of-summer
An inaugural event, this 3-day
festival celebrates hip hop old and new, with many hip hop legends. Over 125
artists and DJs will fill out the lineup and Addams/Medill Park will serve as
the outdoor venue.
This city-wide, multi-venue festival
has attracted over 600,000 concert-goers and has presented more than 600
artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999. FREE
performances take you into at all of Chicago's top live clubs, while marquee
names also take to the gorgeous, open-air stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in
Bridging the generations of punk
rock fans for a decade, Riot Fest has become one of the most unique and popular
music fests in Chicago. A mash up of big-name artists head to Douglas Park in
2017. The rock ‘n roll carnival (yes, there are rides) will be taking over the
neighborhood with three days of loud music, local food and colorful