music festivals

Music Festival Guide: Tune Into Chicago's Summer Lineup

Don't miss a single beat across the festivals queued up to take over the Chicago area

As Chicago’s summer scene inches closer, music festivals are brewing on the horizon.

Illinois and Chicago eased their health and safety guidelines Feb. 28, and festivals are billed to return to a scope not seen in the past two years with the pandemic.

Here are the festivals announced we currently know about in chronological order:

KCON

KCON, a global celebration of Korean culture and music, is returning with its first in-person event in two years, this time branching into a new city: Chicago.

The festival will step off its 2022 run in May with events aimed at commemorating the festival's reemergence from the pandemic along with its 10-year anniversary.

During the festival, fans will get a taste of Korean culture with opportunities to explore and interact with K-pop, K-beauty and K-food from May 20-21 at the Rosemont Theatre located just outside the city.

While tickets and lineups are set to be announced at a later date, “performances from the biggest acts to groups” can be expected, organizers said in a release.

More information is available here.

Ravinia Festival

Suburban Highland Park is scheduled to open Ravinia Festival for live music throughout its three venues this summer.  

The performance series will feature more than 100 concerts, featuring artists like Pitbull, Stevie Nicks and Ziggy Marley, and run from May 20 to Sept. 18, organizers said.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return once again for a six-week summer residency beginning in July, featuring 15 programs led by Marin Alsop.

Click here for the full summer lineup. Tickets will go on sale May 4.

Summer Camp

Tapping in for the 21st time, Summer Camp will celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Chillicothe from May 27-29. 

The lineup includes Umphrey’s McGee, Zed’s Dead, Whethan and Moe. among others.  

Tickets are available for purchase now with prices and packages ranging. Click here to purchase. 

All attendees, according to the festival’s website, are encouraged to be vaccinated “to curb the coronavirus pandemic” and enjoy the weekend. 

Sueños Festival

Sueños is stepping into Chicago for the first time, bringing with it Reggaeton and Latin music artists J Balvin, Ozuna and more throughout Memorial Day weekend from May 28-29.

The festival is open to those ages 18 and older and will feature a main stage, multiple bars, Latin food vendors and a Ferris wheel in Grant Park.

There is currently a low inventory of tickets remaining, according to the website, with two-day general admission passes going for $275 plus fees. More ticket information can be found here

Organizers said proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required to enter the event, though official details will be announced at a later date.

Chicago Blues Festival

Get a feel for the Chicago-born blues at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion from June 9-12.

After a two-year hiatus, the Chicago Blues Festival will return to its regular programming with a pre-pandemic size-and-scope event filled with a diverse cast of music rooted in the long-standing blues tradition.

For over 40 years, the festival has welcomed fans to tune in for free.

Summer Smash

The Summer Smash festival brought by Lyrical Lemonade, an Illinois-made multimedia company, announced it will run it back in Chicago from June 17-19. 

Lineup information will be posted soon, according to a Tweet, but a limited quantity of discounted blind pre-sale passes are for sale now on the festival's website.

Over 75 artists, including A$AP Rocky, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Swae Lee and Baby Keem, performed at the Douglass Park Golf Course for last year's festival. 

Michelada Fest

The festival calls all michelada enthusiasts to its fourth annual cultural celebration, which will spill over three days this summer.

From June 24 -26, Chicago's first and only Michelada Fest will showcase a variety of micheladas, food and music.

Tickets, lineup, vendors and other details will be announced soon, according to an announcement. Three-day presale passes are for sale now at $75 here.

Organizers of the family-friendly festival said attendees may be subject to vaccination, testing, masking or social distancing requirements. More information will be released closer to the festival date.

Pride in the Park

Pride in the Park will take over Grant Park with an outdoor festival in June. 

While the lineup has not been announced yet, a series of national and local artists can be expected to take the stages from June 25-26. 

Tickets start at $90 for an individual two-day general admission pass.   

The festival “will follow all currently city of Chicago health guidelines” and post wellness updates as the celebration nears. 

Summerfest

Justin Bieber, Jaden and Halsey will don the main stage at Milwaukee's popular festival, which will spill over three weekends from June to July. 

Summerfest will highlight over 1,000 performances, 12 stages, food, drinks and interactive activities throughout June 23-25, June 30 to July 2 and July 7-9. 

A variety of tickets are available to purchase here. Additional lineup information will be released at a later date. 

Pitchfork

Pitchfork Music Festival is set for its return to Union Park from July 15-17 with headliners like The National, Mitski and The Roots.

By bringing back a few of its original headlining groups alongside several newer acts, the festival will pay an ode to the “rising indie class.” 

The festival is working with local officials “to create the safest possible environment” and will release further health guidelines when they are available. 

Single-day passes are on sale starting at $99 plus fees, and three-day passes are available starting at $399 plus fees. For more ticket information, click here

Mas Flow Fest

The first ever Mas Flow Fest is bringing a over 40 reggaeton stars to Chicago's Calument Park.

Don Omar, Zion & Lennox and Ivy Queen are among the artists set for the event, which is presented by Grass Root Events and Chicago Michelada Fest.

The festival will take place July 15-17. Tickets are available here. Attendees may be subject to following health and safety protocols that align with the city and state, according to the website.

Country Thunder

Fans can return to Country Thunder’s stomping grounds in Wisconsin’s Twin Lakes for headliners Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young and Lee Brice.

The 16-act festival will take place from July 20-23, offering attendees single day, weekend and camping passes. 

Starting at $225 for a general admission four-day ticket, passes are available to purchase here.

Lollapalooza

Crowds can hit Grant Park to catch artists perform at Chicago’s biggest music festival Lollapalooza from July 28 to 31.

Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole and Green Day are slated to headline Lollapalooza, with Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Kygo, Glass Animals and Big Sean among others also billed to perform at the festival.

Four-day tickets, which include options for general admission, GA+, VIP, Platinum and hotel packages, now are available on Lollapalooza’s website. Single-day lineups and tickets will be released at a later date. 

Organizers noted that health and safety policies — such as negative tests, masks and proof of vaccination — may be required for the event, similar to last year. Details of any necessary measures will be announced ahead of the festival. 

Windy City Smokeout

The outdoor country music and BBQ festival will give fans a taste of headliners like Sam Hunt and Miranda Lambert, as well as dozens of local and national BBQ pitmasters and restaurants. 

Windy City Smokeout is scheduled to get underway outside the United Center from Aug. 4-7, and a variety of tickets are available for purchase now.     

More information on the festival's lineup can be found here, while the food and beverage lineups have yet to be released. 

While organizers “are unable to dictate what COVID-19 protocols will look like,” they will work with the city and release details as the event nears, according to the website.  

Illinois State Fair

Pop singer Demi Lovato will hit the Illinois Grand Lottery stage alongside at least six other popular artists in August at State Fair.

So far, the additional headliners announced range in genre from country, pop, reggae to rock: Sam Hunt, Brooks & Dunn, TLC and Shaggy, Jon Pardi and Disturbed are billed to perform in Springfield throughout Aug. 11-21.

On top of the music, the fair will include activities fit for all ages from petting zoos to exploration with "Conservation World," a 30-acre tract of rolling hills and woodlands.

Tickets are available for purchase here.

Grant Park Music Festival

The Grant Park Music Festival is holding shows 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from June 15 through Aug. 21.  

The lineup consists of musical mixes of contemporary compositions and classical favorites, including Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2. 

Events also include Independence Day celebrations and shows such as Lights on Broadway show and Cirque Goes to Hollywood with live aerialists. 

Ruido Fest

Barring a remote festival in 2020, Ruido Fest has brought a class of Latin alternative music to Chicago's Union Park since 2015.

The festival is set for Aug. 19-21 this year with Los Fabulosos Cadillacs headlining the first night. The band initially was listed to perform as part of the festival's star-studded lineup in 2021, but COVID-related reasons forced them reschedule.

More artists will be announced in the spring. Three-day passes are for sale now starting at $129.99 here. Single day tickets will be released at a later date.

Sacred Rose

Illinois is making room for another summer festival, this time bringing Sacred Rose to its grounds in suburban Bridgwood from Aug. 26-28. 

Phil Lesh & Friends, Khruangbin, The War on Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are among the artists listed to headline the indie-rock bill. 

The full lineup can be found here. Tickets will be released on the festival’s website March 21. 

Chicago Jazz Festival

Having started in 1974 as the city's first festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival has a rich history that runs deep with the city.

The festival was lulled into a hiatus the past two years because of the pandemic, but will return in full swing from Sept. 1–4 at Millennium Park.

Admission for the festival is free. More information can be accessed at the city of Chicago's website.

ARC

After debuting in 2021, ARC is no longer a rookie to Chicago’s festival scene. 

ARC will ring dance music throughout Union Park over Labor Day weekend for a newly-expanded three days instead of two from Sept. 2-4. 

The festival’s lineup includes Adam Beyer x Cirez D, Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, DJ Tennis and Skream among others. 

Three-day passes are on sale now starting at $279 here

North Coast

North Coast also is kicking off Labor Day celebrations from Sept. 2-4.

Located at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago's Bridgeview neighborhood, the festival will spotlight electronic artists. 

Illenium, Diplo, Kaytranada, Armin van Buuren and Madeon will be joined by a handful of others on the lineup

Tickets for the 17-years-and-up event are on sale now. An updated health and safety guideline will be released prior to the festival. 

Riot Fest

Riot Fest is locked in to bring alternative, punk, metal and hip-hop artists to Douglass Park from Sept. 16-18.  

The festival has been trickling out its lineup, with the announced artists so far including My Chemical Romance and The Original Misfits.

Three-day tickets are on sale now, starting at $199.98 plus fees. 

Organizers launched a merchandise fundraiser in support of Ukraine in which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to organizations supporting the country. According to its website, the festival currently has raised $65,000 for the cause. 

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is scheduled to commence Sept. 24 in the place of its namesake.

Limited information is available for the 2022 event, as organizers of the two-day festival will release them on the website once September nears. 

Last year’s free festival presented 30 bands across 14 stages and welcomed over 15,000 people. 

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