With so many music fests happening in Chicago this summer, which one do you even choose? Should you just go to all of them? To make that decision easier for you, we’ve listed the 10 best and biggest music festivals happening in Chicago this summer and whether you should go (based one what you like or what you want out of a festival). Happy jamming!
When: June 23 – 25
You Should Go If: You love country music! It’s as simple as that. Anyone who’s anyone on the country charts are going to be there. Think Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts is enough? Try all of them and so many more in the span of three days for only $50! Granted, that only gets you lawn access for one day, but you can experience the whole thing for $100 (for one day), and if you want to just vibe to the music, that pass is great for you. So get your cowboy boots and shake it on over to LakeShake this weekend.
When: June 24 – 25
You Should Go If: You want a really nice beach party with good music. There’s a nice, diverse lineup (you can get down to BJ the Chicago Kid, Saba and Flying Lotus and then jam out to MGMT and Walk the Moon all in the same weekend). Located at Oakwood Beach, take contrtol of one of the best aspects of Chicago – the beaches! Also, if you’re a total beach bunny or just love the sand, this is also for you.
When: July 5 – 9
You Should Go If: You want free music, food and to partake in one of Chicago’s best traditions. If you’re a huge fan of the headliners this year (Alessia Cara, Passion Pit and the O’Jays) you can also purchase relatively cheap tickets for the Petrillo Music Shell. Otherwise, you’re free to come and go while listening on the lawn. There’s also a smaller stage (the Bud Light Stage) to bop to while chomping on those massive turkey thighs and downing a beer.
When: July 7 – 9
You Should Go If: You love latin music! It’s as simple as that; Ruido Fest has a three-day lineup of some great Spanish-speaking bands (rock, ska and otherwise), definitely make this a part of your post-July 4th weekend festivities. Plus, with one day, general admission passes starting at $50, what’s stopping you?
When: July 14 – 16
You Should Go If: You really just love music. If you’re the type of music fan who just wants a good set by good performers, regardless of the music-type, Pitchfork is your cup ‘o tea. There are some bigger names – A Tribe Called Quest and Solange, to name a couple – but it’s also a great place to explore new genres and bands as well as discover some great new, up-and-coming artists.
When: July 14 – 16
You Should Go If: You need to rock the f*ck out. The type of rocking out that comes from bands like Korn, KISS, Ozzy Osborn, Seether and Megadeth. Your weekend will consist of the best of Heavy Metal Rock and located at Toyota Park, you’ll be able to air-guitar with many other fans as well. There’s also going to be a Bier Hall, Wine Garden, Tiki Bar and more. Plus, a full weekend, general admission ticket is only $130!
When: Aug 3 – 6
You Should Go If: You want the music festival experience of the summer. Lolla is the epitome of a music fest and the biggest one the Windy City has to offer. The headliners feature Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Blink-182, Lorde, Big Sean and more. And while those are the headliners, almost all the acts playing that weekend have made a name for themselves. Lollapalooza is the place to be to show off your festival outfits, chill with your friends on one of the many lawns in Grant Park and just have a fun-filled, (hopefully) sun-filled time.
When: Aug 31 – Sept 3
You Should Go If: You are all for sipping your rosé in Millennium Park as Jazz hits your senses. Nice picture, right? Well you can do this at Chicago’s Jazz Fest. It’s FREE of charge and includes some of jazz’s biggest names (Jon Faddis, the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, Allison Miller Boom Tic Boom, and the Rebirth Brass Band, etc.). There’s also a George Freeman tribute, a Dizzy Gillespie celebration and an Ella Fitzgerald 100 year tribute.
When: Sept 1 – 3
You Should Go If: You want a last (summer) hurrah with your squad. The headliners include Deadmau5, Gucci Man, Carnage, Hippie Sabotage and Post Malone. Much like Mamby on the Beach, this eclectic mix of artists is sure to vibe with each member of your group and give you a very eventful weekend.
When: Sept 15 – 17
You Should Go If: You live punk rock. The biggest names in punk, rock and the alternative scene will be in one place this September weekend and it only costs $70 for one day. Tickets go on sale June 23rd (tickets are already available for 3-day passes) and it’s your chance to see Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Taking Back Sunday, Jawbreaker, Paramore and so, so many more.