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Chicago Summer Music Festivals: The 2014 Guide

Here’s all the latest info on lineups, dates, and tickets for this summer’s big shows.

Having an incredible time at the Mastodon show at Pitchfork a few years ago.   Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo Chicago Tribune

Festival season is right around the corner, and lineups are dropping quicker than you can say Lollapalooza. With more than a dozen shows coming through Chicago this year, it’s time to start pinching pennies (and vacation days).

Here’s a list of dates and bills to keep an eye on—we’ll update as details surface through the spring.

Most recent update: 5/28/14

Summer Camp

Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

It doesn’t take a Deadhead to know that jam bands dominate the festival circuit, and Summer Camp is the jammiest of them all. (Band names on the lineup include Bro Safari and Family Groove Company.) If you head to Chillicothe, don’t forget a tent—the nearest hotel is 30 minutes away in Peoria.

Where: Three Sisters Park, Chillicothe
When: May 23-25
How Much: Tickets from $175.
Who’s Playing: Trey Anastasio, Primus, Umphrey’s McGee, Bassnectar, moe. Full lineup.

Spring Awakening

Photo: Ratko Radojcic

This young festival draws a young crowd. Now in its third year, EDM rave Spring Awakening should occupy the candy kids eagerly awaiting Perry’s Stage in August.

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
When: June 13-15
Who’s Playing: Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Big Gigantic, Knife Party, Diplo. Full lineup.
How Much: Tickets: $179-299.

Chicago Blues Festival

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

This year, New Orleans bluesmen Aaron Neville and Dr. John bring zydeco to the Midwest while Bettye LaVette headlines her third Blues Fest.

Where: Grant Park, Chicago
When: June 13-15
How Much: Free!
Who’s Playing: Bettye Lavette, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Billy Boy Arnold, Diamond Jim Greene, Kenny Smith, Matthew Skoller, Nellie Travis, Nikki Hill, Otis Taylor, Sam Lay, Vance Kelly, Vick Allen, Willie Clayton. Full lineup.

Summerfest

Photo: Courtesy of Pamela Littky>

WHERE: Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
WHEN: June 25-29, July 1-6
HOW MUCH: Tickets: $9-70
WHO’S PLAYING: Outkast, Dave Matthews Band, Ludacris, Bruno Mars, New Order, Lady Gaga, Fall Out Boy, Tegan and Sara, Nas,Joan Jett,Paramore, Mötley Crüe, Bonnie Raitt, Atmosphere, Girl Talk, Brand New. Full lineup.

Taste of Chicago

Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples at Taste 2012. Photo: Lane Christiansen/Chicago Tribune

WHERE: Grant Park, Chicago
WHEN: July 9-13
HOW MUCH: Ticket price TBA. On sale May 22.
WHO’S PLAYING: Jeff Tweedy, Janelle Monáe, Aloe Blacc, Emmylou Harris, Awolnation, Nickel Creek. Full lineup.

Pitchfork

Photo: Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune

Where: Union Park, Chicago
When: July 18-20
How Much: Tickets: $60-130.
Who’s Playing: Kendrick Lamar, Beck, St. Vincent, Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Grips, Sun Kil Moon, Tune-Yards, Danny Brown, Twin Peaks, Earl Sweatshirt. Full lineup.

Lollapalooza

Photo: Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune

Where: Grant Park, Chicago
When: August 1-3
How Much: One-day passes: $100.
Who’s Playing: Outkast, Eminem, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex, The Avett Brothers, Childish Gambino, Foster the People, Nas, Broken Bells, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Krewella. Full lineup.

Chicago Jazz Festival

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

Where: Millennium Park, Chicago
When: August 28-31
How Much: Free!
Who’s Playing: Terence Blanchard, Ravi Coltrane, Rufus Reid, Lionel Loueke, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Gary Burton, Dave Holland’s Prism, members of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Full lineup forthcoming.

North Coast

Photo: Brent Lewis/Chicago Tribune

Where: Union Park, Chicago
When: August 29-31
How Much: Tickets: $150-300.
Who’s Playing: Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, STS9, Bassnectar. Full lineup.

Hideout Block Party & Onion A.V. Fest

Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

WHERE: 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago
WHEN: September 5-6
HOW MUCH: Tickets: $65.
WHO’S PLAYING: Death Cab for Cutie, The War on Drugs, The Dismemberment Plan, and more.

Riot Fest

Photo: Jeff Callen/Riot Fest

Where: Humboldt Park, Chicago
When: September 12-14
How Much: Tickets: $120-260.
Who’s Playing: The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against, Weezer, Social Distortion, Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, Tegan and Sarah, Cheap Trick, Pussy Riot, Patti Smith, Taking Back Sunday. Full lineup.

 

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