Chicago Gospel Music Festival
How much Free
Why go For homages to both Chicago gospel music and the late Aretha Franklin.
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.
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
How much Lawn free; seats $26–$99
Why go Pritzker Pavilion just got a $2.5 million upgrade to its sound system.
How much $150–$649
Why go It’s Billboard’s Hot Country chart all in one place.
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
How much $40–$450
Why go To see Chicago’s pioneering dance music in the city where it was born.
Taste of Chicago
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.
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.
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
HOW MUCH TBD
WHY GO It’s the only Chicago festival on an actual beach.
North Coast Music Festival
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
How much Free
Why go For Roscoe Mitchell with the Art Ensemble in the flesh.
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
HOW MUCH Free
WHY GO With music native to every continent, you’re bound to find something you like.
Chance the Rapper’s Fest
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?