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Chicago Summer Music Festivals

 

 

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 2–3
Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center

Who’s Playing  Glenn Johnson, Jonathan McReynolds, VaShawn Mitchell, and more.

How much Free

Why go  For a cross section of new and old gospel music, including a tribute to Jesse Dixon.

 

 

Spring Awakening

June 9–11
Addams/Medill Park, University Village/Little Italy

Who’s PlayingDiplo, Die Antwoord, Alesso, Galantis, Afrojack, Griz, Paul van Dyk, Krewella, Felix da Housecat, and more.

How much $69–$319

Why go  You know the drill: Dancing, booze, DJs asking if you’re ready for the beat to drop. Plus: a set by early Chicago house DJ Felix da Housecat.

Chicago Blues Fest

June 9–11
Millennium Park

Who’s Playing Billy Branch, Rhymefest, Gary Clark Jr., Mike Wheeler, William Bell, and more.

How much Free

Why go  There’s a concerted effort to modernize the festival this year. Local rapper Rhymefest is playing—Blues Fest’s first-ever hip-hop billing—as is the 33-year-old Austin guitarist Gary Clark Jr. 

Ravinia

June 10–September 17
Highland Park

Who’s Playing John Legend, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Common, Beach Boys, Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow, Andrew Bird, Esperanza Spaulding, Santana, John Mellencamp, Stevie Nicks, and the final stop of the I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues tour, featuring TLC, Biz Markie, O-Town, and the guy from Sugar Ray.

How much Prices vary by concert. Check the site.

Why go  On top of the regular cast of living legends, Ravinia is rolling out the welcome mat for millennials (see the I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues tour, featuring TLC, Biz Markie, O-Town, and the guy from Sugar Ray).

Windy City LakeShake

June 23–25
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Who’s Playing Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Randy Houser, Big & Rich, Brothers Osborne, and more.

How much $100–$600

Why go  It’s Billboard’s Hot Country chart all in one place.​

Mamby on the Beach

June 24–25
Oakwood Beach, Bronzeville

Who’s Playing Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Local Natives, MGMT, Misterwives, BJ the Chicago Kid, Saba, Green Velvet, Walk the Moon, Ravyn Lenae, Sir the Baptist, and more.

How much $61–$190

Why go   It’s the only Chicago festival on an actual beach, and this year’s lineup—its third—is the best yet.

Chosen Few Picnic

July 1–2
Jackson Park

Who’s Playing  Wayne Williams, Alan King, Tony Hatchett, Jesse Saunders, Andrew Hatchett, Terry Hunter, Mike Dunn, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Mike Risk, and more

How much $50–$1,500

Why go  For old-school Chicago house in a setting refined over 27 years.

Taste of Chicago

July 5–9
Grant Park

Who’s Playing The O’Jays, Alessia Cara, Passion Pit, Ben Harper, ShowYouSuck, Twin Peaks, Eryn Allen Kane, the Waco Brothers, and more.

How much Free on the lawn, up to a couple hundred in the pavilion.

Why go  In addition to food on a stick? The local stage is a whole lot of good music for free. 

Ruido Fest

July 7–9
Addams/Medill Park, University Village/Little Italy

Who’s Playing Cultura Profética, Molotov, Intocable, Julieta Venegas, and more.

How much $50–$250

Why go  This three-year-old event (thrown by Riot Fest) focuses on Spanish-language rock—and punk and ska and rap and electronica and norteño.

Pitchfork

July 14–16 
Union Park

Who’s Playing Solange, A Tribe Called Quest, LCD Soundsystem, Danny Brown, Vince Staples, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Jamila Woods, Mitski, Thurston Moore, Angel Olsen, American Football, Joey Purp, Ne-Hi, and more.

How much $65–$165

Why go  This year’s lineup feels particularly local, and George Clinton is a once-in-a-lifetime get.

Chicago Open Air

July 14–16 
Toyota Park, Bridgeview

Who’s Playing Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Kiss, Rob Zombie, Korn, Anthrax, Norma Jean, Code Orange, and more.

How much $120–$400

Why go  Ozzy’s gigging days may be numbered (Black Sabbath finished what they say will be their final tour in February).

Lollapalooza

August 3–6
Grant Park

Who’s Playing Chance the Rapper, Run the Jewels, Lorde, the xx, Spoon, Tegan and Sara, Joey Bada$$, Lil Uzi Vert, Muse, Arcade Fire, the Killers, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Sylvan Esso, Tove Lo, Blink-182 (sans Tom DeLonge), Pup, Charli XCX, Ryan Adams, Kevin Devine, Liam Gallagher, Noname, Kewku Collins, the O’My’s, Whitney, and more.

How much Sold out; $128–$2,445 on Lolla’s verified ticket exchange.

Why go  If you’re into new hip-hop, this lineup is for you. The rock acts, on the other hand, skew 2001, and electronic music is conspicuously scant in comparison to recent years. 

Chicago Jazz Festival

August 31–September 3
Millennium Park and Chicago Cultural Center

Who’s Playing Joe Faddis, Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, Rebirth Brass Band, Allison Miller Boom Tic Boom, and more.

How much Free

Why go  In addition to regular performances, this year features tributes to three greats—Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald—by the likes of Dee Alexander, Jon Faddis, Sheila Jordan, and more.

North Coast Music Festival

September 1–3
Union Park

Who’s Playing Deadmau5 & Eric Prydz, Big Boi, STS9, Gucci Mane, Ween, Damian Marley, and more.

How much $149–$199

Why go You aren’t sick of festivals by Labor Day weekend.

Riot Fest

September 15–17
Douglas Park

Who’s Playing Nine Inch Nails, Jawbreaker Queens of the Stone Age, New Order, M.I.A., Wu-Tang Clan, Prophets of Rage, Dinosaur Jr., Bad Brains, Vic Mensa, Ministry, Peaches,  Pennywise, TV on the Radio, Alice Bag, the Orwells, Say Anything, the Menzingers, Beach Slang, the Hotelier, Fidlar, and more.

How much $150–$1,500

Why go  Until now, convincing the influential punk band Jawbreaker to reunite was considered largely impossible (to the degree there’s a New York band called Jawbreaker Reunion).

Aahh! Fest

September 24
Union Park

Who’s Playing Lineup to come.

How much $150.

Why go  It’s a mega-fest that feels like a neighborhood fest.

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