There are a lot of music festivals around Chicago. Which one should you go to? Take this quick quiz for our recommendation.
Metallica and Sir Paul McCartney may be headlining, but this year’s 300,000-strong crowd will skew just as young and buzzed as ever (passes sold out in hours in March). July 31 to August 2. Grant Park. Sold out. lollapalooza.com
North Coast Music Festival
Once an unabashed bro fest, North Coast adds some sorely needed variety this year in the form of D’Angelo (R&B) and Lili K (jazz). Still, expect jam bands and neon tank tops. September 4 to 6. Union Park. $159. northcoastfestival.com
Last September, Common’s beloved day fest played like a who’s who of Chicago rap legends (Kanye, Lupe Fiasco, Twista); expect this year’s expanded program to include plenty of younger locals too. Expect the schedule soon at aahhfest.com.
Local artists both green and seasoned rule the refreshingly manageable three-day festival this year, with sets by Wilco, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Ryley Walker, and Jimmy Whispers. July 17 to 19. Union Park. $65. pitchforkmusicfestival.com
Mamby on the Beach
New from the crew behind North Coast and Spring Awakening comes another EDM fest blending crowd pleasers (Passion Pit) with deep-house gems (Art Department). July 11 to 12. Oakwood Beach. $99 to $199. mambybeach.com
Alderman Roberto Maldonado protested the return of Mike Petryshyn’s punk-rock carnival to Humboldt Park, so Riot Fest moves to Douglas Park this year, with No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, and Iggy Pop headlining. September 11 to 13. Douglas Park. $170. riotfest.org
Square Roots Festival
For you: craft beer and folk tunes. For the kids: face painting and an instrument petting zoo, where they can try their hand at all kinds of wacky instruments. July 10 to 12. Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson. $5 to $20 donation. squareroots.org
Come late, leave early, nap through the third movement: Anything goes at these grassy plein air shows, which range from indie rock (Mondays and Thursdays) to orchestral classics (Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays). Through August 22. Millennium Park. Free. cityofchicago.org
Chicago Jazz Festival
The fest hits a high note with nu-jazz singer José James toasting Billie Holiday’s centennial and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the experimental group the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. September 3 to 6. Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. Free. cityofchicago.org
You’re gonna pay for them, but this Highland Park staple brings the stars. This year’s include Aretha Franklin, Brian Wilson, ZZ Top, Santana, Chicago, and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. And the CSO, natch. Through September 12. Highland Park. Free to $195. jamusa.com/ravinia-theatre