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Chicago Summer Music Festivals

 

 

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

May 31–June 1
Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center

Who’s Playing  Dave Martin & GSM, Angel Sharkey, Providence St. Mel School Choir, and more.

How much Free

Why go For homages to both Chicago gospel music and the late Aretha Franklin.

Ravinia

May 31–September 15
Ravinia Park (Highland Park)

Who’s Playing  Lionel Richie, Tony Bennett, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Antebellum, Sting, Kesha, Lenny Kravitz, Mary J Blige, Pentatonix, Nickelback, Weird Al Yankovic, Counting Crows, Little Big Town, and more.

How much Prices vary by concert — check the site.

Why go Besides attending the oldest outdoor musical festival in the United States, for a Ravinia debut by Lionel Richie and a cathartic performance by Kesha, who’ll perform songs from 2017’s Rainbow.

Spring Awakening

June 7–9
Millennium Park

Who’s Playing DJ Snake, Galantis, Zedd, J Worra, Space Jesus, Oliver Smith, Benny Benassi, Chris Lake and more.

How much $69-$309

Why go  Dancing, booze, DJs asking if you’re ready for the beat to drop — all in a new suburban location (the festival previously happened at Soldier Field).

Grant Park Music Festival

June 12–August 17
Grant Park

Who’s Playing The Grant Park Orchestra with conductors Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell, plus starry guests like Inon Barnatan, Augustin Hadelich, and J’Nai Bridges.

How much Lawn free; seats $26–$99

Why go Pritzker Pavilion just got a $2.5 million upgrade to its sound system.

Country LakeShake

June 21–23
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Who’s Playing Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Elizabeth Lyons, Luke Bryan, and more.

How much $150–$649

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

Ruido Fest

June 21–23
Union Park

Who’s Playing Los Tigres del Norte, DJ Chava, Jarina de Marco, El Tri, Hombres G + Enanitos Verdes, Ela Minus, Tatiana Hazel, and more.

How much $75–$250

Why go  The en español indie/rock fest moves to a new location, Union Park, from Addams/Medill in Pilsen; the former has always served Pitchfork and North Coast well, so we’ll take it. This year’s lineup also features some Latinx icons like Hombres G and Los Tigres del Norte.

Chosen Few Picnic

July 6
Jackson Park

Who’s Playing  David Morales, Thelma Houston, Taana Gardner, Lady Alma, Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Alan King, Tony Hatchett, and more.

How much $40–$450

Why go  To see Chicago’s pioneering dance music in the city where it was born.

Taste of Chicago

July 10–14
Grant Park

Who’s Playing Courtney Barnett, India Arie, Bomba Estereo, De La Soul, Taylor Bennett, Lovelytheband, the Strumbellas, and more.

How much Free on the lawn; concert prices vary.

Why go  If a whole lot of street food isn’t a big enough draw, Courtney Barnett for free might be.  

Pitchfork

July 19–21 
Union Park

Who’s Playing HAIM, Mavis Staples, Belle & Sebastian, Robyn, Kurt Vile, Jeremih, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, Sky Ferreira, Pusha-T, Earl Sweatshirt, Clairo, Dreezy, The Isley Brothers, and more.

How much $75–$400

Why go  It’s always good — laid-back, easy to navigate, and with plenty of local acts. And if you can’t make the festival proper, Pitchfork Radio is live streaming the whole thing alongside artist interviews et. al.

Lollapalooza

August 1–4
Grant Park

Who’s Playing Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, the Strokes, Tame Impala, Kacey Musgraves, Mitski, Meek Mill, Janelle Monáe, Lil Wayne, Fitz and the Tantrums, Alesso, the Revivalists, Maggie Rogers, Normani, 21 Savage, Louis the Child, Jeremy Zucker, and more.

How much $130–$4,200 (seriously)

Why go  The mega-fest of all mega-fests, which conveniently (or lamentably) falls one month before high schoolers and college kids go back to class, features our savior Ariana Grande and new Song of the Year winner Childish Gambino — pretty good!

Mamby on the Beach

August 23–24
Montrose Beach

WHO’S PLAYING Brockhampton, Flying Lotus 3D, Troye Sivan, Sylvan Esso, Santigold, and more. 

HOW MUCH $69–$159

WHY GO  It’s the only Chicago festival on an actual beach.

North Coast Music Festival

August 30–31
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

WHO’S PLAYING Major Lazer, Snakehips, Bassnectar, Big Wild, Tchami, Dirt Monkey, Wooli, and more.

HOW MUCH $28–$255

WHY GO The electronic, hip-hop, and jam festival turns ten (in a new location far from its former home in Union Park). Plus, it’s a three-day weekend.

Chicago Jazz Festival

August 31–September 1
Millennium Park and Chicago Cultural Center

Who’s Playing Cécile McLorin Salvant, Roscoe Mitchell, Ambrose Akinmusire, Camila Meza, Eddie Palmieri Sextet, Camila Meza, Joel Ross, Christian McBride, George Freeman and Billy Branch, and more.

How much Free

Why go  For Roscoe Mitchell with the Art Ensemble in the flesh.

Riot Fest

September 13–15
Douglas Park

Who’s Playing Blink-182, Slayer, Bikini Kill, Rise Against, Jawbreaker, Ween, Patti Smith, the Raconteurs, the Flaming Lips, Bloc Party, American Football.

How much $115–$1,500

Why go  It’s Slayer’s last Chicago show; Bikini Kill is headliing; Ween is playing The Mollusk; Jawbreaker is playing again!

Chicago World Music Festival

September 13–29
Chicago Cultural Center and other locations

WHO’S PLAYING TBD

HOW MUCH Free

WHY GO With music native to every continent, you’re bound to find something you like.

Chance the Rapper’s Fest

TBD
TBD

WHO’S PLAYING TBD

HOW MUCHTBD

WHY GO  Chance’s 2016 festival at Sox park, Magnificent Coloring Day, was dope, featuring Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, Tyler, The Creator, 2 Chainz, and others. Chance hinted at some sort of festival on Twitter in March, promising little more than to throw a festival when his album drops (allegedly in July). Stay tuned?

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