Music is a big part of life in Chicago. You can hear it on the streets, in the parks downtown, on stage at the beautiful Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and along the lakefront in Grant Park, a famous place. The biggest and most well-known summer live music in Chicago is Lollapalooza and the Chicago Blues Festival. However, dozens of smaller festivals happen all over the city during the summer. Here is a guide to the summer music festival scene in Chicago.
One of the best music festivals in the world comes back every year to Grant Park in Chicago. Every year, more than 100,000 people go to Lollapalooza to see the biggest names in hip-hop, eggae, modern roots, indie, and other types of music. Headliners have included Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty-One Pilots, Tame Impala, the Strokes Flume, the Chainsmokers, and many more. Chow Town is a “food festival within a music festival” that serves gourmet festival food in between sets.
Smokout in the Windy City
There will be bands, BBQ, and beer! This summer festival has a great country music lineup with top country acts playing over three days. Old Dominion, Chris Young, Miranda Lamber, and Cole Swindell were among the big names who played. But there’s more! Windy City Smokeout is a three-for-one deal: you can eat some of the best barbecues from some of the best pitmasters in the country, and you can drink craft beer from breweries all over the country.
Pitchfork Festival of Music
This festival, known worldwide, takes place in Union Park on the Near West Side of the city. Pitchfork takes place over three days and is attended by about 50,000 people yearly. Performers come from various genres, such as alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, electronica, avant-garde, and hardcore punk. Local people sell crafts, gifts, and much more at the famous festival. There have been big names like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels, and The National as headliners.
Music festival on the North Coast
This will take over SeatGeek Stadium for an end-of-summer party focusing on music. The biggest names in music, like Major Lazer, Bassnectar, and Flux Pavilion, have played on the two stages at North Coast. There are also large-scale works of art and interactive installations at the fest.
Festival of House Music in Chicago
Feel the excitement of house music in the city where it started. The house music genre changed the way people danced all over the world. DJs play different kinds of house music at this free outdoor festival and have all played at the House Music Festival. Also, check out the official after-party shows at venues all over the city.
The comedy show with a Shakespeare theme is just what it sounds like. One of five actors with classical training takes five shots and then (overconfidently) portrays the lead in a Shakespeare play. The other four sober actors try to keep the play going, but their drunk co-star always makes strange choices for his character. Each comedy show in Chicago differs depending on what people are drinking, but the result is always a 90-minute performance of Shakespeare like you’ve never seen before.
The Blues Festival in Chicago
The Chicago Blues Festival is the world’s largest free blues festival and the biggest music festival in Chicago. Over 500,000 blues fans gather at Millennium Park for three days on five stages to show that Chicago is the “blues capital of the world.” Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the late Bo Diddley, and the late Koko Taylor have all played there in the past.
If you are new to Chicago and want to make your holidays memorable with some events, these concerts, as mentioned above, are the best option for you. There is a plethora of live music in Chicago by which you can make your day amazing.