Summer is the best season in Chicago, and not just because it’s no longer covered in snow or bitterly cold. Chicago residents have a lot to look forward to between tons of music and food festivals. If you’re anxious to get your groove on, or eat some delicious food, here are some upcoming festivals in Chicago, happening between April and June.
Red Line Tap, 7006 N. Glenwood Ave
Friday April 21, 2017 to Saturday April 29, 2017
The International Pop Overthrow (IPO) is a pop music festival that has been held in Los Angeles for the past 18 years, and has branched out to many different locations, including Chicago, San Diego, Vancouver, Liverpool, and Stockholm. The event features 25 to 180 of the best global pop bands. This year, IPO up-and-coming bands include Mike Vanderbilt & the Suburban Garage Sound, The Jeremy Band, Big Plastic Buddha and many more.
McGee’s Tavern & Grille, 950 West Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614
Tickets: $200 for 4 people
Saturday, May 20, 2017 (11am to 3pm)
McGee’s is celebrating the 28th installment of its much-loved Cajun party by bringing in 2,500 lbs of fresh crawfish straight from the bayou. The crawfish are then served up with their famous jambalaya & gumbo, free flowing all day (or until supplies last)! Paired with beverage specials and your favorite Zydeco jams, it’ll be an event you don’t want to miss!
Ashland Ave. & W. 18th St, Chicago IL
Friday May 26, 2017 (5pm to 10pm) to Sunday May 28, 2017 (noon to 9pm)
Prepare for a Mexican food festival like no other! Mole de Mayo pits different chefs from all over Chicago against each other in a competition to determine whose version of this Mexican staple is truly the best. Besides an intense focus on mole, this summer 2017 Chicago food festival features an open air mercado (market) filled with local food vendors and crafters, 2 stages of live music, and a lucha libre wrestling ring at the heart of it all.
Vic Theatre, 3145 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago
Suggested donation: $5
Saturday May 27, 2017 to Sunday May 28, 2017 (noon to 10pm)
Now on its 33rd year, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival kicks off Chicago’s outdoor festival season, and will make your Memorial Day weekend one you won’t forget. Showcasing the region’s favorite tribute bands such as Boy Band Review, Wedding Banned, One Night Band and Eliminator, the event is free but requests a $5 donation to benefit Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.
St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Sheffield between Diversey & Schubert, Chicago
Friday June 2, 2017 (5pm to 11pm) to Sunday June 4, 2017 (noon to 10pm)
Yiasou! Chicagoans, prepare for a weekend of anything and everything Greek as the St. George Greek Orthodox Church brings you a taste of Greece at their Annual Greek Fest! Feast on some Gyros, Tzatziki, Moussaka and more while experiencing the Greek filoxenia (hospitality), along with some great music and dancing.
Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park
Friday June 2, 2017 to Saturday June 3, 2017, noon to 8:30pm
The Chicago Gospel Festival celebrates how Gospel music came together in Chicago, from its ceremonial music origins in Africa, hymns of the South ,and jazz/blues of the North. Now in its 32nd year, the festival celebrates the love for joyous congregational singing of the African Americans that migrated to Chicago from the South. This year’s headliners include The Rance Allen Group, Jonathan McReynolds, and VaShawn Mitchell.
Lincoln / Irving Park / Damen
Tickets: $10 suggested donation at the gate ($20 per family)
Friday June 9, 2017 (5pm to 10pm) to Sunday June 11, 2017 (noon to 10pm)
Ribfest Chicago, named one of the 10 best food fests by USA Today, will be holding their 19th annual installment in 2017. Enjoy finger lickin’ good ribs, accompanied by 20 hours of live music from premier touring bands of different genres: everything from honky tonk to indie to rock. Stick around for Ribmania VIII, the rib eating contest, to see who will reign supreme!
Addams-Medill Park Chicago
Tickets start at $69
Friday June 9, 2017 to Sunday, June 11, 2017
There are tons of summer music festivals in Chicago, and Spring Awakening is one that’s highly anticipated each year. This gigantic congregation of electronic dance music (EDM) lovers features 5 stages and 80 DJs/artists over 3 days of nonstop partying! This year’s lineup features headliners like Armin van Buuren, Marshmello, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, and Alesso – to name a few!
Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 205 E Randolph St, Chicago
Friday June 9, 2017 to Sunday, June 11, 2017 (11am to 9:30pm)
The world’s largest free blues festival is back this year with even more pizzazz than previous years. This 3 day event, which started in 1984, expects over half a million attendees to show the world why Chicago is the blues capital of the world. Past performers include Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, and the late Koko Taylor. This year’s headliners include Texas blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr., Stax Records soul singer-songwriter William Bell, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.
18th Street at Allport, Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood
Saturday June 10, 2017 to Sunday June 11, 2017, 11am to 10pm
Over 25 Illinois food trucks are rolling out onto Chicago’s Lower West Side for a weekend of good eats and lively beats. The $20 sampler ticket gives you 6 sample sized portions from the food trucks and restaurants onsite, and samples from other local vendors. Other food and beverages are also available at their regular prices. A $5 optional donation benefits four different non-profit organizations.
Huntington Bank Pavilion, 1300 S Linn White Dr, Chicago
Tickets: $99.50 to $599.50
Friday June 23, 2017 to Sunday June 25, 2017 (2pm to 11pm)
Some of country music’s biggest names, including Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Little Big Town, will share the stage at the Huntington Bank Pavilion in Chicago’s Northerly Island for the Midwest’s biggest country music festival. Get your tickets on their website, and don’t forget your cowboy hat! Tickets start at $99.50 for a one day pass.
Which one of these Chicago festivals will we be seeing you at? Tweet your excitement at @ParkWhiz!