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Summer Music Festivals in Chicago

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 family-friendly attractions.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
May
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 Festival
May
Millennium Park, Chicago
Celebrated for over 30 years, 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. 

Chicago Blues Festival
June
Grant Park, Chicago
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.

Spring Awakening
June
Soldier Field, Chicago
World-renowned 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 – August
Jay Pritzker 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
FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, Chicago
Country music 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
Wicker Park, Chicago
Promoting 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
Jackson Park, Chicago
At this house music festival, 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
W. Grand Ave., along the Chicago River, Chicago
Barbecue, country 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
Union Park, Chicago
For over 10 years, 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.

Lollapalooza
August
Grant Park, Chicago
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 area.

Chicago Jazz Festival
September
Millennium Park, Chicago
A Labor Day weekend tradition, this free jazz festival attracts thousands of music lovers to hear national and international jazz musicians.

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