Windy City Smokeout

Chicago's Windy City Smokeout returns this week. Here's everything you need to know

From headliners to vendors, here is everything you need to know ahead of the four-day Windy City Smokeout outside of the United Center

The four-day Windy City Smokeout, one of Chicago’s well-known annual festivals, will start on Thursday.

The event is a classic combination of bands, barbecue and beer, making it a hit and drawing crowds from all over. From headliners to vendors, here is everything you need to know ahead of this weekend.

Who will be performing?

This year’s lineup is star-studded, from longtime favorites to rising stars in country music. Thursday’s headliner is award-winning singer and songwriter Thomas Rhett, who will close off the night was his 8:25 p.m. performance. Before Rhett takes the stage, there will be performances from Chase Rice, Ernest, Priscilla Block, Adam Doleac, Alana Springsteen and MC4D.

Friday will kick off with a DJ set from DJ Dan P at 2 p.m., followed by sets from The Castellows, Jake Worthington, Red Clay Strays, Corey Kent, DJ Pauly D and Lee Brice. The night will finish with Friday’s headliner, Parker McCollum, at 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the headliner is Cody Johnson, who will perform at 8:25 p.m. Prior to Johnson, performances by Billy Currington, Ian Munsick, 49 Winchester, Wyatt Flores, Lanie Gardner, Louie Thesinger and DJ Cabrera will take place.

The event will come to a close on Sunday, with a headline performance by Carrie Underwood at 8:15 p.m. Before Underwood takes the stage, there will be sets by DJ One Chance, Summer Dean, RVSHVD, Cooper Alan, Ashley Cooke, Muscadine Bloodline and Nate Smith.

Where is the festival taking place?

The stage, vendors and activities will be set up in parking lot C of the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. The entrance to the festival is located at Madison and Wood.

Although taking public transportation is possible, the festival encourages visitors to consider rideshare options before public transportation.

Who are this year’s food vendors?

Windy City Smokeout is aptly named for its extensive list of barbecue vendors. Restaurants will come to set up from all over the country. Many Chicago favorites will be there, including Bub City, Soul & Smoke, Chef Art Smith Restaurants, Green Street Smoke Meats and Lexington Betty Smokehouse. Other vendors will travel from North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas and seven other states to show off their food.

If you’re not a fan of barbecue- don’t worry. Non-barbecue vendors will also be in attendance. Chipperbec, Federales, Happy Camper, JoJo’s Shake Bar, Summer House Santa Monica, Tallboy Taco and Three Dots and A Dash will all be serving up favorites that don’t involve barbecue.

 In addition to food, the festival will also feature beer vendors from all over the country for concertgoers to enjoy.

What other events will be happening at the festival?

This year, there will be two major events: a special Friday happy hour and a Sunday barbecue brunch.

“The biggest happy hour of the summer” will take place on Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free with a Friday single day or 4-day pass, but drinks are not included. Drinks will cost between $6-10.

Sunday’s barbecue brunch event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and offers a bottomless meal with various dishes featured buffet style. Tickets for this event are sold separately.

Head to the festival website for more information on music, food and other questions.

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