Festival season in Chicago might look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to totally miss out on your favorite fests. The city has tons of virtual festivals and socially distanced events to keep you busy all summer long, like at-home dance parties, drive-in movie nights, and beer tastings in your living room.
Lollapalooza is a staple of Chicago’s music festival scene. The fest will celebrate this year with a live stream from
Millennium Park at Home
Millennium Park’s popular event series, like movie nights under the stars, will stay dark this year. But you can still get your music and fitness fix at home with these virtual festivals:
Millennium Park Summer Music Series: Catch this genre-blending music series online each Thursday with Jon Langford, The Braided Janes, Zeshan B, and Sen Morimoto.
Millennium Park Summer Film Series: The Chicago Park District is planning six drive-in movie nights across the city. The events will have a limited capacity of 50 cars and registration is required. Stay tuned for details.
Millennium Park Summer Workouts: Get your workout in with an alternating weekly schedule of tai chi, yoga, pilates, and Zumba online every Saturday at 8 a.m. from June 6 – Aug. 29.
Chicago Blues Festival: Celebrate Chicago blues with this online music festival each evening from July 31 through Aug. 2. Performers include Guy King, John Primer, Melody Angel, Toronzo Cannon, Mike Wheeler, and Ivy Ford.
West Town’s signature summer festival, West Fest Chicago, is returning virtually this year from July 15 to 22. The event will feature special promotions from West Town’s small businesses and two nights of live streamed music programmed by the legendary Empty Bottle and DJ performances. The music portion of the fest will take place on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, June 18, starting at 6 p.m. Catch the performances here.
Chalk Howard Street
Chicago’s only chalk art festival is moving online this year. Chalk Howard Street is a popular Rogers Park fest that features mind-blowing works of 3D chalk art. Local artist Nate Baranowski will be showing off this chalk skills via live streams July 17 and 24. The works will all showcase different aspects of Rogers Park, from cuisine to local businesses. Watch the live streams here.
Andersonville at Home: A Midsommarfest Experience & Fundraiser
Midsommarfest, the popular Andersonville festival, will be held virtually this year on June 12. The event will feature typical Midsommarfest entertainment, including performances from past musical acts and contributions from local businesses, including cocktail lessons, trivia, dance performances, and more. Donations will benefit the Andersonville chamber.
Do Division Virtual Street Festival
The Do Division Virtual Street Festival will be a week-long online event in the spirit of the West Town music fest. Enjoy special promotions and programming from local retailers and restaurants, a virtual fashion show, and a live stream of music from Empty Bottle and Subterranean. Don’t miss performances from Ohmme, Pedro The Lion, Ratboys, and much more. The event will run from June 24 — July 1.
Virtual Puerto Rican Fest
The annual Puerto Rican Fest, which has drawn revelers to the Humboldt Park neighborhood for more than 50 years, will go virtual this year. The new format will include an online arts experience showcasing local artists, in-person pop-up shops from local vendors and artisans, a virtual film festival, and more from June 18 – 21, 2020.
Old Town Art Fair virtual art sale
One of the best parts of summer is strolling the streets of Old Town, browsing works from hundreds of artists at the Old Town Art Fair. This year, you can still discover new artists and support the local art scene with their virtual art fair. Browse artworks from dozens of painters, sculptors, crafters, and more, then purchase your favorite pieces online.
SummerDance in Place
The citywide dance festival is debuting an at-home version that invites Chicago residents to plan socially distant dance parties of up to 10 people in their homes and backyards, porches, balconies, and sidewalks. Programs will include a 30-minute dance lesson followed by 60 minutes of music on Wednesday evenings in July and a special edition on the Fourth of July. Dance genres include salsa, swing, and line dancing.
Taste of Chicago To Go
Taste of Chicago is one of the biggest culinary events of the year. The spirit of the giant food fest lives on with the Community Eats program. The program will support neighborhood restaurants and food trucks while providing free meals to nonprofit organizations serving healthcare and other frontline workers. There will also be a food truck procession from downtown to select neighborhoods on July 8 and online cooking demos from July 8 – 12.
SIP Virtual Beer Festival
Join this virtual beer festival on Saturday, July 11. Attendees will receive a dozen beers from Chicago-based breweries and access to a two hour virtual festival featuring Q&As with the brewers, beer cooking demos, music, celebrity appearances, and more. Tickets are now on sale. Pickup at Craft Beer Temple, delivery is available within Illinois.
Grant Park Music Festival virtual season
The Grant Park Music Festival won’t happen this year for the first time since it began in 1935. Fortunately, that long history means they have plenty of recordings and footage for a full virtual season. Festival Remixed will feature a variety of radio broadcasts, streaming videos, online master classes, and more ways to connect with the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra.