Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 3
Headliners: Karen Clark Sheard, Tye Tribbett
Where: Millennium Park
Why you should go: Start your summer by engaging with Chicago’s rich history of Gospel music. Go on a journey through both traditional and contemporary gospel, as some of the most talented vocalists and choirs in the country turn in some powerful performances, all for free.

Mavis Staples performs at the 2018 Blues Festival. Photograph: Chicago Tribune

Chicago Blues Festival

June 8–11
Headliners: Los Lobos, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Primer, and more
Where: Millennium Park
Why you should go: This free four-day event will focus on the past, present, and future of blues, including all of the genres it has inspired since its inception. The festival also features a new blues-inspired BBQ pop-up — Wally’s BBQ Pitt — for when your soul and stomach need a little reinvigorating.

Heatwave Music Festival

June 10–11
Headliners: Griz, Kx5, Gryffin, Slander, Tiësto
Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Why you should go: After you’re done tearing up the festival grounds, it’s time to keep the night alive by stopping by one of Heatwave’s afterparties, located at five different venues.

Crowds at 2022’s Hyde Park Summer Fest. Photograph: Terence Crayton

Hyde Park Summer Fest

June 17–18
Headliners: Clipse, 2 Chainz, Lil Kim, Tobe Nwigwe
Where: Midway Plaisance Park
Why you should go: 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, and Hyde Park Summer Fest is celebrating with a Chicago rap tribute featuring the likes of Vic Mensa, Twista, and Crucial Conflict.

Lil Uzi Vert performs during The Summer Smash Festival at Douglass Park Friday, June 17, 2022. Photograph: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Summer Smash

June 23–25
Headliners: Kid Cudi, Future, Playboi Carti
Where: Seatgeek Stadium
Why you should go: If you’re a hip-hop head, Summer Smash is a can’t-miss experience that focuses on talented young performers. This year, Lyrical Lemonade promises a very special Chicago guest, which will make this summer just a bit hotter.

River North Live

June 24
: The Calling, Letdown., Jaclyn Heuser, EMO Night Brooklyn, Michigander, Wildermiss, Baysik, Old Shoe
Where: River Park at theMART
Why you should go: The only thing better than a music festival with great food and drink is a music festival at a scenic riverfront location. Luckily, this festival has all of the above. 

Pride in the Park

June 23–24
Headliners: Zedd, Saweetie
Where: Grant Park
Why you should go: Pride month may be coming to a close, but the real party hasn’t started until you’ve experienced LGBTQ+ icons like Saweetie and Zara Larsson in Grant Park. Make sure to partake in the many vendors and artists located around the festival grounds. 


June 23–25
Headliners: Steve Lacy, boygenius, LCD Soundsystem
Where: Riis Park
Why you should go: The first edition of the traveling festival promises to be an “artist- and fan-friendly” event. Each headliner curated their supporting acts, and a single stage means no set conflicts.

Miranda Lambert performs during the final day of the Windy City Smokeout festival outside the United Center Sunday August 7, 2022. Photograph: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune

Windy City Smokeout

July 13–16
Headliners: Zack Bryan, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band
Where: United Center
Why you should go: There’s veteran talent, but you can also catch some Gen Z country stars, such as Megan Moroney, Bailey Zimmerman, and Lauren Watkins.


July 15–16
Headliners: Don Diablo, Sam Feldt, Dillon Francis, Crankdat
Where: North Avenue Beach
Why you should go: The sand and sun. Plus, where else can you catch a volleyball tournament between sets?

Sad Summer Festival

July 21
Headliners: Taking Back Sunday, The Maine, PVRIS, Hot Mulligan, Mom Jeans, Stand Atlantic
Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Why you should go: Meet your favorite pop punk or emo performer — literally. According to Sad Summer’s website, “several artists plan on hanging out with fans” prior to the opener.

Cate Le Bon performs on July 17, 2022, at Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park. Photograph: Dave Flores

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 21–23
Headliners: The Smile, Alvvays, Perfume Genius, Big Thief, Weyes Blood, King Krule, Bon Iver, Kelela, Koffee 
Where: Union Park
Why you should go: Be there for Bon Iver’s return to Chicago. The three-time Grammy winner hasn’t performed in any part of Illinois since 2019.

Out of Space

July 27–30
Headliners: Dawes & Lucius, Lord Huron, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird
Where: Canal Shores
Why you should go: If the star-studded skies, twinkling lamps, and lush green space weren’t enough to convince you that this is the quintessential summer experience, the unparalleled vibes will. 

Billie Joe Armstrong performs with Green Day on the final day of Lollapalooza Sunday, July 31, 2022. Photograph: Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune


August 3–6
Headliners: Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ODESZA, Lana Del Rey, Karol G, The 1975, Tomorrow X Together
Where: Grant Park
Why you should go: 2023 brings some Lolla firsts, such as the first female Latin artist and first K-pop group to headline. There’s also an impressively deep pop and EDM contingent.

My House Music Festival

August 13–14
Headliners: Derrick Carter, Joeski, Armand Van Helden, Bad Boy Bill
Where: Harrison Park
Why you should go: This lineup screams hometown pride. Seven artists from the top line are Chicagoans.

Kali Uchis performs during the Ruido Fest in Pilsen on July 12, 2015. Photograph: Michael Noble Jr./Chicago Tribune

Ruido Fest

August 19–20
Headliners: Kali Uchis, Juanes
Where: Union Park
Why you should go: Kali Uchis alone might be worth the price of admission, but there’s a broad spectrum of Latin genres before she takes the stage. Hear a trap and a psychedelia show back to back.

North Coast Music Festival

September 1–3
Headliners: Marshmello, Alesso, Zed’s Dead, Flume
Where: SeatGeek Stadium
Why you should go: North Coast’s five stages and a compact night schedule make for tough choices. Labor Day weekend means plenty of after shows if you missed anyone, though.

ARC Music Festival

September 1–3
Headliners: Eric Prydz, John Summit, FISHER, Fatboy Slim
Where: Union Park
Why you should go: The neon posters are not lying. Last year’s edition featured vibrant light setups and colorful stage elements.

Gerard Way leads My Chemical Romance at Riot Fest in Chicago’s Douglass Park on Friday, September 16, 2022. Photograph: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

Riot Fest

September 15–17
Headliners: Foo Fighters, The Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie, The Cure, Queens of the Stone Age
Where: Douglass Park
Why you should go: This year’s last-gasp summer festival has headliners for all ages, but between 100 Gecs, Death Grips, Insane Clown Posse, and Corey Feldman, there are plenty of artists for your slightly weird friends of any generation.