Chicago and suburban music fans are deep in the jaws of summer festival season, that time when we answer the call of live performances in outdoor settings.
Along with suburban and neighborhood street fests thumping with live beats and crackling with energetic performances, there are many major musical milestones on the road through summer.
If you don’t already have tickets, here’s what’s coming up. Don’t forget, most of these ticket prices don’t include taxes and service fees. (And don’t forget to factor in parking or transportation.)
Editor’s note: Mamby On the Beach was recently canceled.
Pitchfork Music Festival
When: Friday through Sunday, July 19-21
Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Tickets: $85 for single-day pass; $190 for three-day pass; $170-$390 for Pitchfork PLUS packages; see pitchforkmusicfestival.com for details.
Pitchfork knows its audience, going heavy on the indie rock, with a decent serving of hip-hop and experimental pop and a few surprises for dessert. Now in its 11th year in Chicago, the festival is packing three stages with a good mix of festival newbies and return appearances. Haim takes the main slot Friday, along with Motown legends The Isley Brothers Saturday and Robyn Sunday. But be sure to save time for Grapetooth, Standing on the Corner, Stereolab, Belle & Sebastian (in the band’s only U.S. festival appearance this year), Charli XCX, Neneh Cherry and a lengthy list of Chicago artists, including Whitney, Jeremih and gospel hero Mavis Staples.
When: Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 1-4
Where: Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago
Tickets: General admission tickets are $130 for single-day passes and $340 for four-day passes; GA+, VIP and Platinum and Cabana packages are also available.
Lollapalooza has made a name as the place to be for summer music. With a firm foothold on Grant Park every summer, Lolla draws music fans from across the country for one of the city’s biggest gatherings. With its recent expansion from three days to four, organizers have upped the ante, bringing even more acts across nine stages and performance areas. Don’t miss the likes of Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, The Strokes, The Chainsmokers, Twenty One Pilots, Judah & the Lion, AJR, Janelle Monáe, Death Cab for Cutie, The Revivalists and more.
North Coast Music Festival
When: Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30-31
Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago
Tickets: Various tiers and packages available; see northcoastfestival.com for details.
North Coast Music Festival picks up where Spring Awakening and Mamby leave off – slinging a bright and colorful EDM experience during Chicago’s sultry late summer days. The big names on hand for this year’s edition, in a new home on Northerly Island, feature Bassnectar’s return and Major Lazer on the main stage, with Flux Pavilion and Jauz on the Hangar Stage. The rest of the lineup, featuring standouts such as Tchami, Gorgon City, Wooli, Kyle Walker and more. And don’t miss our Chicago artists INZO, ALIGN, Stratus, GoodSex and ELEVATD getting their moments on the big stage.
When: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 13-15
Where: Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago
Tickets: $139.98 for three-day general admission pass; $249.98 for three-day VIP passes; deluxe and Ultimate packages are also available; see riotfest.org.
Riot Fest doesn’t skimp when it comes to variety; the late-summer fest, with hearty roots in the punk rock scene, delivers again on its traditionally eclectic lineup. Blink-182 AND Slayer? OK! Jawbreaker alongside Dashboard Confessional? Sounds great! Bloc Party on the bill with the Violent Femmes? Sign me up! And save me some space at the Rise Against, Manchester Orchestra, the Struts and Descendents sets, too! And maybe even perennial favorites GWAR. Check the full lineup to see just how many bands are doing full album playthroughs this year. Hint: It’s quite a few.