For groups visiting during one of these summer music festivals, plan for a day of live
music, local vendors, mouthwatering street fare and an only-in-Chicago
experience. Some of these festivals offer free admission, and many offer
Orchestra Spring Festival
May 3 – 24, 2015
annual spring festival assumes a different theme each year. For the 2015
festival, dubbed Reveries and Passions,
a distinctly French focus features 20th century operatic works influenced by
themes of fantasy, nocturnal darkness and beauty.
May 23 – 24, 2015
N. Sheffield Ave.
from Belmont to Roscoe, Chicago
As the unofficially
kick-off event for Chicago's summer street festival season, this Memorial Day
weekend fest features a lineup of local tribute bands, food and drinks, and
arts and craft vendors.
Chicago Gospel Music
May 29 – 31, 2015
30th year, this gospel music festival continues the tradition of celebrating
Chicago’s musical roots with a lineup of renowned gospel musicians, traditional
choir performances and contemporary urban gospel music.
June 1 – July 23, 2015
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago
This concert series takes place Monday and Thursday nights, featuring everything from electronic DJs and world music performers to pop bands and rock legends. Most concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.
Chicago Blues Festival
June 12 – 14,
Keeping up with
its reputation as the Blues Capital of the World, this annual Chicago music
event is the largest free blues festival in the world, drawing more than
500,000 fans to watch performances on five stages. This year, Chicago legend
Buddy Guy will headline.
June 12 – 14, 2015
DJs come together for this three-day electronic dance music festival, which
transforms Soldier Field into a hotbed of music, costumed partiers and
performers, light shows and pyrotechnics. Attendees must be 18 years of age.
Grant Park Music Festival
June 17 – Aug.
Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago
This free series
of classical music concerts takes place outdoors on the Chicago lakefront, and
attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and snacks to enjoy under the
stars. The ten-week concert series features the Grant Park Orchestra &
Chorus, as well as featured guest performers. Reserved seating options are available for groups.
Windy City LakeShake
June 19 – 21,
lovers won’t want to miss this three-day festival on the 91-acre Northerly
Island peninsula, located on the waterfront of Lake Michigan.
Green Music Fest
June 20 – 21,
environmental sustainability, this music festival features big-name musical
acts, a stage powered by stationary bicycles, eco-conscious breweries and
vendors showcasing green products. A family-friendly area offers arts and
crafts, interactive activities, music and games.
Chosen Few Picnic
July 2 – 5, 2015
As the 25th
anniversary of this house music festival, the Chosen Few Picnic will celebrate
Chicago’s homegrown dance genre with a roundup of DJs. This annual event has
grown into one of the largest house music festival events in the world,
attracting more than 45,000 dance music fans every year.
Windy City Smokeout
July 10 – 12,
W. Grand Ave., along
the Chicago River, Chicago
music and craft beer come together for this music and food festival. Attendees
can listen to nearly 20 bands while indulging in flavorful barbecued
specialties from renowned pitmasters.
Pitchfork Music Festival
July 17 – 19,
As the 10th anniversary,
this independently run music festival is known for being reasonably priced and
a place to discover up-and-coming musicians. More than 50,000 attendees come to
enjoy the music, concert poster art, the vinyl market and indie craft vendors.
Celebrate Clark Street World Music
July 18 – 19,
between Morse and Estes, Chicago
street festival in Rogers Park neighborhood draws more than 30,000 people
annually with its eclectic lineup of world music, lively dance performances,
local bands, live painting and art installations, family-friendly attractions
and global cuisine.
July 31 – Aug. 2,
This three-day cultural experience is spread out across 115
acres between downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, where attendees can enjoy
everything from big-name headliners and indie bands to delicious festival food
in Chow Town and one-of-a-kind wares and artwork for sale in the Green Street
Chicago Jazz Festival
September 3 – 6,
A Labor Day
weekend tradition, this free jazz festival attracts thousands of music lovers
to hear national and international jazz musicians.