Fall in Chicago means festival favorites, cultural celebrations and epic live music across the city. Join the party with these 13 Chicago autumn fests in our go-to 2016 guide.


Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival

September 1 - 4, 2016
Millennium Park

As the largest free festival of its kind in the world, expect hundreds of thousands of attendees flocking to Millennium Park to watch top name jazz performers as they take the stage in Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Chicago Fringe Festival

September 1 - 11, 2016
Multiple Chicago Locations

The Chicago Fringe Festival, now in its seventh year, unites daring theatergoers with emerging and boundary-pushing local, national and international performing artists while seeking to engage nontraditional audiences through a commitment to low ticket prices and outreach into artistically underserved communities.

lobster festGreat American Lobster Fest
September 2 - 3, 2016
Navy Pier

The Midwest's largest lobster and seafood festival returns to Chicago's legendary Navy Pier on Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy a Lobster Brunch Cruise, live lobster flown in fresh from the cold waters of the East Coast, live music performances, family-friendly games and activities, unique craft shopping, Land Food options, and cold beverages.

North Coast Music Festival

September 2 - 4, 2016
Union Park

See the best in dance, hip-hop, indie, funk, jam bands, and everything else sprinkled in between at the North Coast Music Festival over Labor Day weekend in Union Park. The eclectic mix brings together music fans of all kinds of genres, celebrating their love for music.

Windy City Wine Festival

September 9 - 10, 2016
Buckingham Fountain

Sample from more than 300 wines from around the world. Learn about new and exciting varieties from the experts in a relaxed festival setting as well as enjoy bites from some of our city's best restaurants and caterers and live music on the festival stage.

Celebrating in Little Village Chicago

Festival de La Villita
September 9 - 11, 2016
Plaza Garibaldi

Held in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, this community cultural event celebrates Mexico's independence from Spanish rule. Highlights include food, music, carnival rides and kids' entertainment. On Sunday, the festival is the end location of the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade, one of the largest celebrations of Hispanic culture in the Midwest. 

World Music Festival Chicago

September 9 - 25, 2016
Multiple Chicago Locations

Showcasing international musicians at venues throughout the city, the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago celebrates diverse music from around the world with free musical performances at Jay Pritzker Pavilion and an array of cultural performances, such as contemporary Moroccan music in the Gnawa tradition and Southern Slavic folk played by a tamburitza band.

Riot Fest & Carnival

September 16 - 18, 2016
Douglas Park

Carnival rides, Lucha Libre, and much more mark this 12th annual fest. Headliners include The Original Misfits, Morrissey, Ween, Death Cab for Cutie, and Rob Zombie.


Oktoberfest Chicago
September 23 - 25, 2016
John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza

Get ready to toast to the 30th anniversary of this free annual event — Chicago's largest and longest-running Oktoberfest party — which includes festivities such as a tapping of the keg, live music, dancing and classic German dishes such as bratwurst and Bavarian soft pretzels.

Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet
September 23 - 25, 2016
Millennium Park

Imbibe on wine, feast at the 200+ tasting tents and rub elbows with top chefs at this foodie fete. Hosted by famed Chicago restaurateur and tv personality, Chef Rick Bayless, the ninth gathering will see the return of the Hamburger Hop competition and Late Night Gourmet party over the weekend, plus new addition The Tao of Tacos.

Chicago Gourmet

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

September 24 - 25, 2016
Hyde Park

For their 10th anniversary year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival will bring national, international, and critically acclaimed local performers to a dozen venues through out Hyde Park.

Rocktober Beerfest

October 7 - 9, 2016
Union Park

Rocktober Beerfest's inaugural event in West Loop will feature Goose Island beer, Publican Quality Meat Brats and live music.

film fest

Chicago International Film Festival

October 13 - 27, 2016
AMC River East 21

A must for movie lovers, this annual festival screens more than 150 works from more than 60 countries, from narrative features and documentaries to short films.


And that's not all! From the 5th Annual EXPO CHICAGO in September, to the debut of Ear Taxi Festival
 and return of Open House Chicago in October, to the Thanksgiving Parade each November, the fall season boasts events every week. Check out the full 2016 Chicago festivals guide to find the highlights by month.

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