2017 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

From music to food, Chicago has some of the most diverse offerings of summer festivals. Take a look through to see when your favorites are coming and make plans to try new festivals too.

73 photos
Choose Chicago
Yumi Wilson
When: May 6n Where: Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park, Montrose and Wilson Hours: 10 a.m. to 4p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: The city will be providing kite kits for kids to build, decorate and fly. There will also be face painting, balloon artists and crafts.
NBC 5 News
When: May 6 & 7 Where: Van Buren and Halstedn Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Admission: Starts at $40, tickets can be purchased here Why Go: This is the first year of the festival, and the benefits go to the Greektown Chamber of Commerce. The festival will feature 50 Greek and Mediterranean European wines and food from local Greek restaurants.
Randolph Street Market Festival
When: Various days April through December here Where: 1340 W. Washington Blvd.n Admission: Tickets range from $5-$40 and can be purchased heren Why Go: With a variety of dates and both indoor and outdoor markets, the Randolph Street Market Festival has a variety of antique and new items to browse.
When: May 19 - 21 Where: 3100 N. Ashland Ave. Hours: Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-10pmn Admission: $10 Why Go: Mayfest is celebrating its 22nd year. They have a big-top heated tent, a beer garden and music from local artists.
Christina Miralla, NBCDFW.com
When: May 20-21n Where: Jonquil Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.n Hours: Saturday noon to 4pm and Sunday noon to 5pmn Admission: General admission $50 Why Go: The 3rd annual wine festival will feature wines from all around the world including: Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and domestic wines.
City of Chicago
When: May 26 to May 28n Where: 18th Street from Ashland to Loomis in Pilsen Hours: Noon - 10:00pmn Admission: Free, but suggested donation of $5 for individuals and $10 for families Why Go: Three stages of musical entertainment, Lucha Libre (wrestling performances) and a Mole cook-off where restaurants will compete for Mole de Mayo’s Best Mole Award.
When: May 27-28n Where: On N. Sheffield from Belmont to Roscoe Hours: Noon- 10 p.m. daily Admission: $5 suggested donation Why Go: This festival features Chicago’s favorite tribute bands and have food as well as art from local artists.
Lanny Nagler
When: June 2 & 3 Where: Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park Hours: June 2, noon-4pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, 6-9:30pm at Millennium Park. June 3, 4-9:30pm at Millennium Park Admission: Free Why Go: Come celebrate gospel in the city where the genre was born. The 32nd Chicago Gospel Music Festival will feature local and nationally known artists.
When: June 2-4n Where: 26th & Sacramento in Little Village Hours: Noon- 10 p.m. daily Admission: $5 suggested donation Why Go: Authentic Mexican food from more than a dozen Chicago restaurants cooking tacos, gorditas, flautas and enchiladas. There will also be live music and daily cooking demonstrations.
Getty Images
When: June 2-4n Where: On Sheffield between Diversy & Schubert Hours: Friday 5 p.m. - 11 p.m., Saturday & Sunday noon- 10 p.m. Admission: Free; any donation accepted Why Go: Experience the food, music and drinks of Greece—without having to leave Chicago. Donations are accepted and all proceeds go to the St. George Greek Orthodox Church.
City of Chicago
When: June 2-4 Where: Division Street from Ashland to Leavittn Hours: Friday 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday noon - 10 p.m. Admission: Free; suggested $5 donation Why Go: The sale spans 10 city blocks and has two live music stages; one booked by the Empty Bottle and the other by the Subterranean. They will also have a variety of vendors and kids’ activities in a Family Fun Fest area, which benefits local elementary schools.
Getty Images
When: June 3-4 Where: 57th Street at Kimbark Ave.n Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.n Admission: Free Why Go: This is will be the 70th annual 57th Street Art Fair. This is Chicago’s oldest juried art fair in the Midwest and all the proceeds are used for the annual fair.
Getty Images
When: June 9-11 Where: Millennium Park Hours: various hours check here for detailsn Admission: Free Why Go: This is the 34th annual Chicago Blues Festival. The headliners performing at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion over the three days include: Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with special guest Rhymefest, William Bell, Gary Clark Jr., Rhiannon Giddens, Ronnie Baker Brooks. The full schedule will be announced later this spring.
When: June 9-11n Where: 1600-2000 W. 47th St.n Hours: Fri. 5-10pm, Sat. & Sun. 12-10pm Admission: Free Why Go: The festival celebrates the heritage of the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Live music, dance groups, cultural performances and over 100 vendors are just some of what participants can expect.
Michael Garzel
When: June 10-11n Where: Lincoln Avenue and Wisconsin Streetn Hours: Saturday 10a.m.-7p.m. and Sunday 10a.m.-6p.m.n Admission: Free; $10 suggested donation Why Go: The Old Town Art Fair was voted #1 in America and named one of Chicago's favorite festivals.
Getty Images
When: June 9-11n Where: The intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road and Damen Avenue Hours: Friday 5p.m.-10p.m. Saturday & Sunday noon-10 p.m. Admission: $5 suggested donation Why Go: This is the 19th year of Ribfest and last year the festival was named Best Food Fest by the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago” reader’s poll.
When: June 9-11n Where: North Clark Street and West Rascher Avenue Hours: TBD check back here Admission: $10 suggested donation. Kids under 12 and seniors free Why Go: The annual Andersonville festival celebrates the neighborhood’s Swedish roots with music, dancing and great food.
John Minchillo/AP
When: June 10 & 11n Where: 18th Street at Allport in Pilsen Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily Admission: $5 optional donation Why Go: The festival will have over 25 food trucks and proceeds will benefit the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association, Pilsen’s St. Procopius Catholic Church soup kitchen and food bank, and Yollocalli Arts Reach.
Sarah Cammarata
When: June 10 & 11n Where: Wells Street between North Avenue & Division Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily Admission: Donations are encouraged Why Go: The street art festival is just minutes away from the Mag Mile and has over 225 juried artists, and a variety of cover and local bands that preform throughout the festival.
Amdur Productions
When: July 15 & 16 Where: On Southport Avenue from Waveland to Gracen Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: In addition to live music, visitors can see work from more than 75 artists who work in a variety of mediums. You can buy art and interact with artists through live demonstrations and booth chats.
When: July 16 Where: Chicago Chinatown – Wentworth Aenuen Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: The festival celebrates Far East beauty and culture with Chinese classical dance and music and demonstrations of martial arts. The festival typically draws a crowd larger than 40,000 people.
When: June 16 & 17nWhere: 2001 N. Clark St.nHours : 6 p.m.-10:30 p.m.nAdmission : General Admission $49 & VIP $79n Why Go: Drink craft beers at the zoo. The third annual craft beer festival will feature more than 75 specialty brews, and beer tasting stations will be in the zoo’s gardens. Tickets and more information here.
North Halsted Business Alliance
When: June 17 & 18n Where: 3200 N. Halsted St. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.n Admission: $10 suggested donation Why Go: Celebrate LGBTQ history and achievements with this two day festival leading up to the famous Pride Parade.
When: June 17 & 18n Where: Grant Park Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission: Suggested donation $5n Why Go: The festival is home to more than 300 artists who work in various mediums and whose work ranges in price from $25 to $25,000. There will be live demonstrations from artists, speed-painting and interactive art projects.
Chicago Ale Fest
When: June 23 & 24n Where: Butler Field in Grant Park Hours: General Admission: Friday 7:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Admission: Tickets range from $19-$59 and can be purchased heren Why Go: The fest will feature more than 200 American craft beers, live music and food trucks.
Getty Images
When: June 23-25n Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Islandn Hours: 2 p.m. - 11 p.m. daily Admission: Tickets range from $99.50 for a day pass to $599.50 for a VIP lounge 3-day reserved pass and can be purchased heren Why Go: The lineup includes country stars like Big & Rich, Miranda Lambert and Rascal Flats.
When: June 23- September 10n Where: Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park and other various locations Hours: Fridays & Saturdays - Dance Lessons: 6-7pm ǀ Music & Dancing: 7:30-9:30pm Sundays - Dance Lessons: 4-5pm ǀ Music & Dancing: 5-7pmn Admission: Free Why Go: Dance to the sounds of 43 different live bands on the recycled open-air dance floor designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman.
Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images
When: July 1 & 2 Where: Jackson Park Hours: Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Admission: Tickets range from $150 — $500 and can be purchased heren Why Go: Celebrate house music where it originated with world-famous DJs like Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders and Tony Hatchett.
When: July 1-4n Where: Union Park Hours: here Admission: General 1-day admission for adults $25 and for seniors $15n Why Go: This is the 25th anniversary of the African/Caribbean International Festival of Life. The four day festival celebrates the humanity of all people with music and culture.
City of Chicago
When: June 30- July 2n Where: Lawrence & Broadwayn Hours: Friday & Saturday noon- 10 p.m. and Sunday noon - 9p.m.n Admission: $5 donation suggestedn Why Go: This will be the 9th year of the Windy City Ribfest in Uptown, and while the details are still being determined, last year’s festival had a variety of BBQ vendors and performances by CircEsteem and Uptown Underground.
Ruido Fest
When: July 7-9 Where: Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th ST.n Hours: TBD Admission: Tickets range from $50-$250 and can be purchased here Why Go: Confirmed musicians for 2017 include: Cultura Profética, Intocable w/ Alejandro Marcovich and Molotov.
Darron Cummings/AP
When: June 9-11 Where: Addams-Medill Park Hours: doors open at 1:00 p.m. daily, and the festival ends at 10 p.m. each night Admission: tickets range from $70-$289 and can be purchased here Why Go: This electronic music festival features artists like Armin van Buuren, Marshmello, Afrojack, Galantis, Datsik, Louis The Child, Diplo and others.
Chicago Margarita Festival
When: July 8 & 9 Where: South Shore Cultural Center Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. daily Admission: General admission tickets are $15 and VIP admission is $65 and can be purchased here Why Go: This festival has Margaritas, the beach and live music. They will also have games to play on the beach while you enjoy your drink.
Special Events Management Roscoe Village Burger Fest
When: July 8 & 9n Where: For this year, the event will be located at Clybourn and Diversey because of the water main replacement on Belmont Avenue. Hours: here Admission: $10 suggested donation Why Go: This is Burger Fest’s 10th year, and there will be activities for both kids and adults. For kids, there is a Kids’ Zone with instruments and a petting zoo. For the adults, there will be two stages with live music and an abundance of burgers to try.
Jeff Marini
When: July 14-16 Where: 560 W. Grand Ave Hours: Friday gates open at 2p.m., Saturday & Sunday gates open at noonn Admission: Tickets range in price from $40- $500 and can be purchased here Why Go: There are 13 professional pitmasters making BBQ and a variety of national and local breweries. There will also be live country music from both well-known and up and coming artists.
Choose Chicago
When: July 5-9n Where: Grant Park Hours: Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m.-9p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-9p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: Taste the variety of food Chicago has to offer, all without having to leave Grant Park.
When: July 7-9 Where: 4626 N. Knox Ave. Hours: Friday 6p.m. to midnight, noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday Admission: $10 if purchased by the end of the day on July 5, and $15 aftern Why Go: This is the 32nd annual Irish American Heritage Festival and it celebrates Irish culture through Irish and American food, step dance and Irish and American goods.
When: July 7-9n Where: On Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilsonn Hours: Friday 5:00 p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday noon- 10:00 p.m. and Sunday noon- 9:00 p.m.n Admission: Suggested donation $10 for adults, $5 for kids and $20 for familiesn Why Go: There will be multiple music stages, both indoor and outdoor with a variety of performers from local indie rock to Old Town School teaching artists and students. Donations help fund the Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship programs and Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce farmers market and concerts.
Amdur Productions
When: July 7-9nWhere: two blocks north of Millennium Park Hours: Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m.- 5p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: This is the ninth year of the festival, where people can interact with artists through demos and booth chats. There will also be live music and a variety of food.
When: July 14-16n Where: 1501 W. Randolph St. Admission: Tickets range from $55-$365 Why Go: The festival is known for having a variety of great music. This year’s artists include A Tribe Called Quest, LCD Soundsystem and Solange.
Chicago Open Air Festival
When: July 14-16n Where: Toyota Park in Bridgeviewn Admission: General admission one day tickets start at $50 and Weekend passes start at $119.50. Tickets can be purchased here Why Go: The festival will offer “gourmet man food” and craft beer. Some of the bands playing the festival include Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne and Korn.
City of Chicago
When: July 15 & 16 Where: 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave.n Hours: Noon to 11 p.m. daily Admission: $10 daily for adults, kids 12 and under are free with a paying adultn Why Go: The festival celebrates Colombian history, culture and independence. The festival director and founder Jorge L. Ortega was born in Colombia, but lives in Chicago.
City of Chicago
When: July 16n Where: 45 W. North Boulevardn Hours: noon- 5 p.m. Admission: $30 in advance/ $35 at the gate Why Go: The North Dearborn Association for look at 20 rear private gardens and an architectural walking tour of Dearborn Street.
City of Chicago
When: July 16n Where: Woodlawn, 501 E. 61st St. (61st St. between Cottage Grove and King Dr.)n Hours: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: The outdoor book fair celebrates reading and literary arts on the South Side of the city. The fair brings in a large selection of Black authors and organizes the blocks of the festival by literary genre.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
When: July 21-23 Where: 435 N. Michigan Ave.n Hours: from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily Admission: Free Why Go: The festival takes place at the base of the Chicago Tribune building overlooking the river. The festival will feature 100 juried artists for this "all art" show.
When: July 7-9 Where: On Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street Hours: Friday 5p.m.-10p.m.n Admission: $5 donation request Why Go: The festival is locally planned and managed by the West Town Chamber of Commerce, meaning that all the food and talent are local. The music stage is booked by the Empty Bottle, which offers diverse and original music.
When: July 21-23n Where: Ward Park at the corner of N. Kingsbury and W. Erie Hours: Friday 5p.m.-10p.m., Saturday noon – 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Admission: $5 suggested donationn Why Go: Come taste around the restaurants of the River North area. While the vendors and bands are still being selected, bands from last year include Lucky Boys Confusion and Sixteen Candles. Participating restaurants from 2016 include Redhead Piano Bar, Da Lobsta and El Hefe.
Fiesta del Sol
When: July 27-30n Where: 1400 W. Cermak Roadn Admission: Free Why Go: Fiesta del Sol is Pilsen Neighbor Community Council’s annual fundraising event. The proceeds help provide scholarships to Latino youth, help create jobs and allow local organizations and schools to raise money.
When: July 29-30n Where: North Avenue & Damen Hours: Saturday and Sunday noon- 10p.m. Admission: suggested $10 donationn Why Go: The donations go to Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit which helps promote the community. 100% of ticket sales from activities in the Kids Fest area will go to Burr Elementary School.
City of Chicago
When: July 29 Where: Midway Plaisance, 60th & Ellisn Hours: 10 a.m.-10p.m.n Admission: Free Why Go: Bantu Fest promotes cultural exchange and diversity among nations. There will be food, art and music from more than 20 different countries around the world.
Telemundo San Antonio
When: July 29 Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Driven Hours: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.n Admission: General admission tickets are $25 Why Go: The Roots will be playing, and there will also be a variety of circus performers, magicians and comedians. Costumes are highly encouraged, and proceeds will benefit West Town Bikes.
When: August 3-6 Where: Grant Park Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily Admission: general admission is sold out, but can still be purchase a verified resale ticket. VIP and platinum tickets are still available and range from $650-$4,200. Why Go: This year’s lineup includes artists like Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Blink-182 and Foster the People.
Special Events Management
When: August 4-6n Where: Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long Ave. Hours: TBA Admission: TBA Why Go: The Buckinghams will be preforming this year at the festival. All proceeds from the festival go back into the Jefferson Park community to help fund local scholarships, as well as community-wide events. check back for details.
City of Chicago
When: August 5 Where: Ada Park, 11250 S. Ada St.n Hours: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: This festival event promotes peace, love and unity in the community through music, line dancing, food and other activities.
City of Chicago
When: August 11-13n Where: 435 W. Menomonee St.n Hours: Friday 5:30 p.m.-9p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m.-8:30p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission: $5 donation suggestedn Why Go: This festival celebrates Japanese culture and will have stage performances, cultural displays and food. Aikido and Judo schools will demonstrate self-defense for the crowd. The temple will also be open for visitors who are interested in observing and learning about Buddhism.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
When: August 11-13 Where: Stockton and LaSalle Drive Hours: check back for details Admission: Free; $5 suggested donation Why Go: Sample the best hot dogs the city has to offer, including traditional and new dogs from city vendors. Also, proceeds from the festival go to benefit the Chicago History Museum.
City of Chicago
When: August 19 & 20 Where: Glenwood & Morse Avenuesn Hours: 11 a.m.-9p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: The free fest will feature more than 120 artists and live entertainment on three outdoor stages. There is a free Fest launch party on August 18, from 6p.m. to 10 p.m. The Friday Night Cobblestone Jam is located at the South Stage, 6900 N. Glenwood Ave.
When: August 25-27n Where: 400 S. Halsted St. @ Van Buren Hours: Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday noon-11p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: This will be Taste of Greektown’s 28th year—and while the restaurants for the festival have not been announced yet— there will be Greek food, music and games for kids and families. check back for details.
Raney Images
When: August 5 & 6 Where: Broadway between Thorndale and Ardmoren Hours: Saturday noon- 10 p.m. and Sunday noon- 9p.m. Admission: $5 suggested donation Why Go: Edge Fest is a fundraiser for the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. All donations go to pay for the festival, and any money left over is invested in the community.
When: August 11-13n Where: Addams Medill Park Hours: Friday 5p.m.-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday noon- 10 p.m. Admission: TBD check back for details Why Go: This festival celebrates different reggae genres like ska, reggaeton and root reggae. There will be two stages alternating music throughout the festival. Last year’s guests included Toots & the Maytals, Iration and Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Raney Images
When: August 11-13n Where: 2000 W. Roscoe St.n Hours: Friday 5 p.m. - 10:00p.m. & Saturday and Sunday noon-10p.mn Admission: $10 suggested donation Why Go: Return to the past with Retro on Roscoe through retro music, vendors and food. The festival will also have more than 50 antique cars. The proceeds from the festival go to local projects and schools.
Foto: NBC Deportes
When: August 12 & 13n Where: Halsted Street between Belmont and Addisonn Hours: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.n Admission: Suggested donation of $10 Why Go: It is the largest outdoor street festival in the Midwest, drawing a crowd of more than 180,000 people.
When: August 18-20n Where: Taylor Street at Ashlandn Hours: Friday 5p.m.-11p.m., Saturday noon-11p.m. & Sunday noon-10p.m. Admission: Free Why Go: The fest celebrates Italian heritage with lots of food like authentic pizza, eggplant sandwiches and cannolis. There is also a meatball eating contest. Proceeds benefit the University Village Association.
Davdgreat Photography
When: August18-20n Where: Edison Park Hours: TBD check back for details Admission: Free Why Go: Park Fest first started in 1972 as a sidewalk sale on Northwest Highway. The annual community fundraiser draws about 20,000 people, and the proceeds help free community programs and beautification projects.
When: August 30- September 10n Where: Jefferson Parkn Hours: TBD check back for details Admission: $10 for each performancen Why Go: The Chicago Fringe Festival is unique because it selects its performance groups by lottery, and performers get 100% of their box office revenue. The festival is put on by an all-volunteer group, and allows news artist to break into the film scene and allows established artists to share their work.
When: June 24 & 25 Where: Ravenswood and Berteaun Hours: 3 p.m. - 9p.m. daily Admission: $5 suggested donation Why Go: This will be the inaugural year for the Ravenswood on Tap. The outdoor festival will feature beer and spirits from local breweries, and people will be able to get something to eat at a variety of food trucks.
Choose Chicago/Abel Arciniega
When: Various days June 14 through August 18 here Where: Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Parkn Admission: Free Why Go: Enjoy free music from the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. There is free seating in the Seating Bowl and on the lawn, and if you’re sitting on the lawn, you can pack a picnic. If you want to sit close to the stage tickets and membership are available here.
ferdinand vargas
When: August 19 & 20 Where: North Avenue Beach Hours: 10 a.m. -3 p.m. dailyn Admission: Free Why Go: This is the largest free show of its kind in the United States. The show can be seen along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street and from Ohio Street Beach. Food vendors will be stationed along the lakefront selling food like hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream.
Taste of Randolph Facebook
When: June 16-18nWhere: 900 W. Randolph StnHours : Friday 5 p.m.-10p.m., Saturday & Sunday noon-10 p.m.nAdmission : Ticket prices range from $40-$100 and can be purchased heren Why Go: this is the street festival’s 21st anniversary and will feature food from 18 different restaurants like Chicken Shop, bellyQ and CONE. Proceeds will benefit the West Loop Community Organization.
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
When: June 12—August 21, every Monday and ThursdaynWhere: Jay Pritzker Pavilion Hours : concerts start at 6:30 p.m. Admission :Freen Why Go: Enjoy a variety of music in Millennium Park for free during the summer. Genres include Soul Jazz, Indie and African Electronic. Full schedule here
Joshua Timmermans/North Coast
When: September 1—3
nWhere: Union Park
nHours : Schedule not yet announced
nAdmission :Tickets range from single-day passes for $59 to weekend passes available for $149
n Why Go: Enjoy everything from electronic to hip hop to jam band to indie rock music at this end of summer festival in the city. Tickets available here.
Mamby on the Beach
When: June 24-25
nWhere: Oakwood Beach
nHours : Music begins at noon
nAdmission :Tickets range from single-day passes beginning at $66.50 to weekend passes for up to $189.99
n Why Go: Enjoy the summer sun and everything Chicago beaches have to offer while listening to some of your favorite bands. Take in a skyline view and dip your toes in Lake Michigan as you dance into the night. Tickets available here.
Contact Us