Hot days, hot mics: Music festivals getting set to fill the summer with tunes
As the warm weather surges in, the urge to hang outside catching some tunes often follows right behind. And as many music fans know, summer in Chicago and the suburbs is the best time to revel in some of the most fun the metropolitan area has to offer.
For every Lollapalooza (Aug. 3-6 at Grant Park), Pitchfork (July 21-23 at Union Park) and Riot Fest (Sept. 15-17 in Douglass Park), there are a number of neighborhood, venue and street festivals showcasing local artists, food vendors and musical performers.
The Windy City Smokeout brings country stars, craft beer and barbecue to Chicago’s United Center July 13-16. The American Music Festival hosts four nights of folk and Americana rockers at Berwyn’s FitzGerald’s June 30 through July 3. And Blues on the Fox treats guests to two days of the hottest blues along the banks of the Fox River in Aurora’s RiverEdge Park June 16 and 17.
The area is also alive with gospel and blues fests harking back to those genres’ deep roots in the city, and Chicago, also the birthplace of house music, naturally plays host to electronic and dance festivals that will keep fans moving well into the fall.
Chicago and suburban artists get their spotlight moments as well at the Bitter Jester Music Fest in Highland Park in June, the Homegrown Arts & Musical Festival in Lisle July 29 and the 56 Music Fix in Mount Prospect Aug. 18-20.
This summer also brings some changes to the standard lineup as a few of the major festivals (namely Summer Smash and Heatwave) change locations. And, as of press time, newcomer Re:Set Fest is still in negotiations for park permits (set for June 23-25 at Chicago’s Riis Park), so watch for further developments.
Here’s a list of highlights. Slather on some sunscreen, stay hydrated and enjoy the shows.
• Summer Camp Music Festival: May 26-28 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois, summercampfestival.com
• Suenos Music Festival: May 27-28 in Grant Park, Chicago, suenosmusicfestival.com
• Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival: May 27-28 on Sheffield, between Roscoe and Belmont, Chicago, chicagoevents.com
• Bitter Jester Music Festival: June 2-3 and 9-10 at Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park, bitterjesterfoundation.org
• Do Division: June 2-4 on Division Street, between Damen and Leavitt, Chicago, westtownchamber.org
• Chicago Gospel Music Festival: June 3 at Millennium Park, Chicago, chicagogospelmusicfestival.us
• Chicago Blues Festival: June 8-11 at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, cityofchicago.org
• Andersonville Midsommarfest: June 9-11 along Clark Street, between Foster and Gregory, Chicago, andersonville.org
• Heatwave Music Festival: June 10-11 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, heatwavemusicfestival.com
• A Day in the Country: June 11 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago, hideoutchicago.com
• Blues on the Fox: June 16-17 at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora, paramountaurora.com
• Winnetka Music Festival: June 16-17 in downtown Winnetka, winnetkamusicfestival.com
• Taste of Randolph: June 16-18 at 900 W. Randolph St., Chicago, starevents.com
• Cantigny Jazz and Wine Fest: June 18 at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, cantigny.org
• Long Grove Strawberry Fest: June 23-25 at 308 Old McHenry Road in downtown Long Grove, longgrove.org
• Chicago House Music Festival and Conference: June 23 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago; June 24 at the Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1301 N. Humboldt Drive, Chicago, ChicagoHouseMusicFestival.us
• Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash: June 23-25 at SeatGeek Stadium, 700 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, thesummersmash.com
• Logan Square Arts Festival: June 23-25 at Logan Square, Chicago, logansquareartsfestival.com
• Motoblot Road Show: June 23-25 outside the Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, motoblot.com
• Pride in the Park: June 23-24 at Butler Field in Grant Park, 377 E. Monroe St., Chicago, prideparkchi.com
• Re:Set Festival: June 23-25 at Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, chicago.resetconcertseries.com
• Miche Fest Latino Music Festival: June 24-25 at Harrison Park, 1824 S. Wood St., Chicago, michefest.live
• American Music Festival: June 30-July 3 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, fitzgeraldsnightclub.com
• Square Roots Festival: July 7-9 on Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Wilson avenues, Chicago, squareroots.org
• West Fest: July 7-9 on Chicago Avenue, between Wood and Damen, Chicago, westtownchamber.org
• Windy City Smokeout: July 13-16 at the United Center Parking Lot C, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, windycitysmokeout.com
• Sad Summer Festival: July 21 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, sadsummerfest.com
• The Rumble: July 21-22 outside the Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, cobralounge.com
• Pitchfork Music Festival: July 21-23 at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago, pitchforkmusicfestival.com
• SPACE’s Out of Space concert series: July 27-30 at Canal Shores Golf Course, 1030 Central St., Evanston, outofspaceconcerts.com
• Wicker Park Fest: July 28-30 on Milwaukee Avenue, from North Avenue to Paulina Street, wickerparkbucktown.com
• Homegrown Arts & Music Festival: July 29 at BaseCamp Pub, 5750 Lakeside Drive, Lisle, homegrownartsandmusicfestival.com
• PIQNIQ: July 30 at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, q101.com
• Lollapalooza: Aug. 3-6 at Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago, lollapalooza.com
• 56 Music Fix: Aug. 18-20 in downtown Mount Prospect, 56musicfix.org
• Ruido Fest: Aug. 19-20 at Chicagoland Fairgrounds, 2801 S. Washtenaw Ave., Chicago, ruidofest.com
• Ribfest Chicago: Aug. 18-20 at 4000 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, chicagoevents.com
• Chicago Jazz Festival: Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at Millennium Park (and citywide), Chicago, ChicagoJazzFestival.us
• North Coast Music Festival: Sept. 1-3 at SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, northcoastfestival.com
• ARC Music Festival: Sept. 1-3 at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago, arcmusicfestival.com
• Last Fling: Sept. 1-4 along Jackson Avenue in downtown Naperville, lastfling.org
• Taste of Chicago: Sept. 8-10 at Grant Park, with mini neighborhood pop-up events June 24 in Humboldt Park, July 15 in Pullman Park and Aug. 5 in Marquette Park, chicago.gov
• Lakeview East Festival of the Arts: Sept. 9-10 along Broadway between Belmont and Hawthorne, Chicago, lakeviewfestivalofthearts.com
• Riot Fest and Carnival: Sept. 15-17 at Douglass Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Drive, Chicago, riotfest.org
• Long Grove Apple Fest: Sept. 22-24 at 308 Old McHenry Road in downtown Long Grove, longgrove.org
• World Music Festival Chicago: Sept. 22-Oct. 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, (and citywide), WorldMusicFestivalChicago.org