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2023

Chicago Festival Guide

Chicago's Summer Festival Scene offers an unparalleled experience. Soak up the sun, the sound of music, and the eclectic energy behind each festival and month here in Chicago.

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Credit: Julian Bajsel

June

Chicago Blues Festival

The Chicago Blues Festival is an annual celebration of Blues tunes that takes place at Millennium Park. Talented musicians performing this year include headliners Los Lobos, Blind Boys of Alabama with Bobby Rush, and Mud Morganfield. The Chicago Blues Festival is a unique opportunity for Blues lovers to listen to some of the best Blues performers in the world gathered in one place. Festival guests can enjoy Wally’s BBQ Pit featuring an elevated, Blues-inspired smokehouse experience with tasty cornbread, specialty drinks, and a vibrant atmosphere — perfect for enjoying a summer weekend.

Citywide including Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, June 8 – 11, 2023
www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_blues_festival

 

Old Town Art Fair

Art lovers gather in Chicago’s Old Town Triangle Historic District for the Old Town Art Fair, bringing together a juried selection of work from more than 200 artists from around the world. Whether you’re an avid collector or just browsing, there’s something for everyone at the Old Town Art Fair. From paintings to sculptures, jewelry to pottery, and everything in between, you’ll be able to find unique pieces to add charm and character to your home. In addition to the art, there will also be live music, delicious food vendors, and plenty of activities for children.

Old Town Triangle, Chicago, IL, June 10 – 11, 2023
www.oldtownartfair.org

Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2023

The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash 2023 is back for a fifth year featuring headlining sets from Kid Cudi, Future, and Playboi Carti. Special guests include $uicideboy$ and Lil Uzi Vert. The event is known for its extensive mix of hip-hop and promises to deliver an unforgettable three days of non-stop music, food and drinks.

SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL, June 23 – 25, 2023
www.thesummersmash.com

 

Chicago House Music Festival & Conference

When House Music was born at Chicago warehouse parties in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, its pioneering DJs had no idea the genre would spread around the world and revolutionize dance music. With the conference on Friday, June 23 and the festival on Saturday, June 24, the Chicago House Music Festival and Conference includes panel discussions on various sounds and styles of House Music as well as a full day of DJs on the main stage, including DJ Roy David Jr., DJ Psycho-B, NoshaLuv, DJ Emmaculate, and DJ V. The party continues Sunday with local House DJs spinning at the historic Maxwell Street Market in the afternoon. 

Chicago Cultural Center, Humboldt Park Boathouse Lawn, Maxwell Street Market, Chicago IL, June 23 – 25, 2023
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_blues_festival.html

 

Chicago Food Truck Festival

Foodies rejoice! This year’s Chicago Food Truck Festival promises to be one of the best yet! Celebrating its 10th year, the festival will feature the city’s most popular gourmet food trucks serving appetizing dishes in a range of culinary styles in the South Loop. Grab a snack from the Yum Dum Food Truck and then get your hands dirty eating I94 Ribs.  Mark your calendars for June 24 and 25 for the opportunity to try out new dishes and enjoy some of the city’s best food trucks. Bring your friends and family along for a fun-filled gastronomical adventure. South Loop, Chicago, IL, June 24 – 25, 2023 

www.chgofoodtruckfest.com

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July

NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend

Get ready, racing fans! The NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend is set to debut in 2023 and promises a high-octane experience for all. Drivers will navigate the twists and turns of Chicago’s streets for the first time ever against the backdrop of the beautiful Grant Park and the stunning Lake Michigan shoreline. After a day of exceptional racing, additional festivities include musical performances from The Chainsmokers, The Black Crowes, Miranda Lambert, and Charley Crockett. Make sure to book your tickets early, you don’t want to miss out on this unforgettable event. Read more on page 44.

Grant Park, Chicago, IL, July 1 – 2, 2023
www.nascarchicago.com

 

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

If you’re a burger lover and enjoy fun outdoor festivals, then Roscoe Village Burger Fest 2023 is the place to be. A wide range of mouth-watering burger offerings are available from some of the best burger makers in town. This festival is a treat for your tastebuds. With plenty of grub, two stages of live music, arts and crafts and activities for kids, there is something for everyone. Who will win best burger?

Fellger (Charles) Park, Chicago, July 7 – 9, 2023
www.lakeviewroscoevillage.org/rvburgerfest2023

 

West Fest Chicago

Featuring neighborhood retailers and restaurants of West Town, West Fest Chicago is going to be a blast! The festival features a wide range of activities and events for people of all ages, including cutting edge live music performances and a house DJ, food and drink vendors, local crafts and art exhibits, as well as Kid Fest and Pet Fest which features a dog obstacle course, paw painting and pet-related vendors and demonstrations. 

Chicago Ave. between Wood & Damen, Chicago, IL, July 7 – 9, 2023
www.westtownchamber.org/west-fest-chicago

Windy City Smokeout

The much-awaited Windy City Smokeout 2023 schedule has been announced! Get ready for an unforgettable weekend filled with mouth-watering barbeque, cold beer, and incredible live performances. The Windy City Smokeout is a food, music, and barbecue festival that brings together some of the best pitmasters, country musicians, and eager barbeque fans every summer. Some of the world-renowned performers this year include Zach Bryan, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan and the Zac Brown Band. 

United Center Parking Lot C, Chicago, IL, July 13 – 16, 2023
www.windycitysmokeout.com

Pitchfork Music Festival

Music festival season is just around the corner, and one of the most highly anticipated events for hip-hop and indie rock fans is the Pitchfork Music Festival. The festival, which takes place annually in Chicago’s Union Park, is known for its diverse lineup and showcases some of the best up-and-coming artists as well as established names in the industry. The lineup for 2023 includes The Smile featuring Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, Leikeli47, Bon Iver, Big Thief, Killer Mike and Mdou Moctar, as well as a fantastic lineup on their smaller stage.

Union Park, Chicago, IL, July 21 – 23, 2023
pitchforkmusicfestival.com

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Credit: Roger Ho for Lollapalooza 2022

August

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is one of the most highly anticipated and beloved Chicago summer events. Music fans from around the world gather to enjoy a diverse lineup of musical acts spanning multiple genres. This year’s headliners include Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Karol G, Tomorrow X Together, and Lana Del Rey. Expect an electrifying atmosphere filled with great music and camaraderie, as well as a chance to make new friends and lasting memories.

Grant Park, Chicago, IL, August 3 – 6, 2023
www.lollapalooza.com

Ribfest Chicago

Ribfest Chicago is the ultimate haven for carnivores and BBQ lovers alike. This year’s event will include a spectacular lineup of BBQ vendors, live performers, and family-friendly activities to enjoy. You can look forward to indulging in a variety of ribs, from classic BBQ styles to more unique flavors. Located in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, Ribfest attracts thousands of foodies who come to taste some of the best ribs, pulled pork and brisket in town.

North Center, Chicago, IL, August 18 – 20, 2023
www.ribfest-chicago.com


Sangria Festival

Chicago comes alive with the fruity flavors and festive atmosphere of Sangria Festival — a weekend filled with fun and excitement for all attendees. Whether you’re a fan of classic red or white sangria, or love to explore unique and creative twists on this beloved drink, this fest is the perfect opportunity to taste and savor a wide variety of sangrias. We couldn’t be more excited about the live music, pop-up food vendors and paint and sip stations to enjoy summer fun.

Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL, August 19 – 20, 2023
www.sangriafestivalchicago.com

Bulls Fest

Bulls Fest 2023 is an exciting event that brings fans together for a massive celebration of Chicago Bulls basketball. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply someone who enjoys watching the game, Bulls Fest 2023 is the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow basketball enthusiasts and have a great time. Fans can expect to meet some of the team’s biggest stars, participate in interactive games and challenges, attend talks and panels on Bulls history and strategy, and shop for exclusive merchandise and memorabilia.

United Center, Chicago, IL, August 19 – 20, 2023
www.nba.com/bulls/bullsfest

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago Jazz Festival has been a highlight of Labor Day weekend in Chicago for more than 40 years. You won’t want to miss out on the amazing performances and vibrant atmosphere that this festival has to offer. With past performers like Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, and Orbert Davis, this year’s lineup is sure to be just as exciting. The Chicago Jazz Fest is free, so grab your friends and family and head to Millennium Park for an unforgettable weekend filled with world-class music. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and pack some snacks and drinks to enjoy while you bask in the lively tunes.

Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, August 31 – September 3, 2023
www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_jazz_festival

 

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North Coast Music Festival

With a diverse lineup of top-tier artists from various genres, North Coast Music Festival truly sets itself apart as one of the premier music festivals in Chicago. The annual Labor Day weekend music festival combines a mix of electronic music, hip-hop, and rock acts with massive, immersive art installations, elaborately costumed performers and food vendors. This year’s lineup includes Duke Dumont, Flume, and Marshmello. 

Seat Geek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL, September 1 – September 3, 2023
www.northcoastfestival.com

 

West Loop Art Fest

The annual West Loop Art Fest is where creativity knows no bounds! Featuring an array of talented artists and unique works of art, the festival kicks off on Friday at noon with the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting by local officials. Throughout the weekend, visitors can expect a plethora of engaging activities and exhibits such as face painting for kids, street art, murals and giant sculptures made of recycled materials, as well as food vendors and live performances. This year’s festival will have more than 100 participating artists from across the country showcasing their stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

West Loop, Chicago, IL, September 2 – September 3, 2023
www.starevents.com/event/west-loop-art-fest

 

Riot Fest

Closing out Chicago’s summer of music is Riot Fest, a raucous weekend of punk rock and carnival attractions. Complete with sideshow acts, rides and a Ferris wheel, Riot Fest is simultaneously one of Chicago’s most popular, most unique and loudest annual events. The three-day extravaganza takes place in Douglass Park and features multiple stages, VIP cabanas, and dozens of food vendors. The annual punk rock carnival features charismatic performances that are sure to make for an unforgettable show.

Douglass Park, Chicago, IL, September 15 – September 17, 2023
riotfest.org

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Credit: Zhu by Shea Flynn for Lollapalooza 2022

Credit: Roger Ho for Lollapalooza 2022

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