Start Your Summer with these 13 Chicago Festivals

Celebrate like a local at these favorite food, music, and cultural festivals.

Mamby on the Beach
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Fill  the Belly

You know that summer beach body you’ve been working on? Prepare to kiss it goodbye with these food and drink festivals. Find your favorite grilled meats at Ribfest Chicago, Windy City Ribfest, and Windy City Smokeout. At Taste of Chicago not only can you sample all of Chicago’s iconic foods at Grant Park, but you can enjoy music from stars like Alessia Cara, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and Passion Pit. Wash down all the food with what Chicago does best: craft beer. The Chicago Ale Fest celebrates American craft beer with over 100 craft breweries pouring samples at Grant Park. The Chicago Craft Beer Fest in Lincoln Park is where you go to sample the best local brews.

Chicago Festivals

Windy City Smokeout. Photograph by Jeff Marini.

Summer Sounds

Lollapalooza may be in August, but there are some equally impressive and iconic music festivals taking place in June and July. Start off with a celebration of Chicago’s most iconic sound at the Chicago Blues Festival at Millennium Park. Enjoy headliners like Gary Clark Jr., William Bell, and Nellie Tiger Travis at the world’s largest free blues festival.

After you’ve conquered the blues, take on country at Country LakeShake at the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. The three-day festival includes country music stars Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, and many more.

Chicago Festivals

Pitchfork Music Festival. Photograph by Garrett Duncan.

Head to one of the few music festivals that takes place south of downtown Chicago at Mamby on the Beach. Bands like MGMT, Local Natives, and MisterWives are sure to provide some typical summer tunes.

Make sure you don’t miss the Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago’s most anticipated music festival after Lollapalooza. This year Pitchfork not only includes indie favorite Solange but older groups like A Tribe Called Quest, PJ Harvey, and LCD Soundsystem.

Culture Club

Chicago is a beautiful melting pot as seen by these cultural festivals. Held during National Pride Month, Chicago Pride Fest is a celebration of Boystown with great food, drinks, and performers including Taylor Dayne and Thelma Houston.

Celebrate Puerto Rican culture at Humboldt Park during Fiestas Puertorriqueñas with your favorite Puerto Rican food, drinks, and music.

Celebrate Independence Day at Freedom Fest at Navy Pier. Guarantee yourself a fantastic view of Navy Pier’s fireworks from Navy Pier’s 27,000-square-foot rooftop where you’ll not only have a spectacular view but delicious barbecue food and music from a live DJ.


Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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