Chicago summer festivals season jam-packed with options

Sunday, 02 July 2017, 01:29:03 AM. Here’s a look at where to find summer fun in the city and suburbs.

The weather is warming up and that can mean only one thing — summer festival season is back. While the big three — Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and Riot Fest — get a lot of attention, there are many others festivals that highlight Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. And the annual city-sponsored festivals (gospel, blues, jazz, world music) take place in Millennium Park with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. Here’s a look at where to find summer fun in the city and suburbs.


Gaelic Park Irish Fest, May 26-29, 147th Street, two miles west of Cicero or one block east of Ridgeland, Oak Forest; visit

Mole de Mayo: May 26-28, 18th and Halsted;

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The Belmont-Sheffield Music fest runs May 27-28, on Sheffield, from Belmont to Roscoe. | CHICAGOEVENTS.COM

Chicago House Party: With Maurice Joshua, House Legacy Project, DJ RP Boo, DJ Jes and more. May 27, Millennium Park, Randolph and Michigan;

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, May 27-28, on Sheffield, from Belmont to Roscoe;

Greek & Mediterranean Wine Festival: May 27-28, on Halsted between Van Buren & Jackson;

WOOGMS Memorial Day Parade: May 29, begins at Pine Grove and Wellington and on through the neighborhood


Pivot Arts Festival: June 1-11, throughout the Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods;

Chicago Gospel Music Festival: With the Rance Allen Group, Tye Tribbett, Jonathan McReynolds, Vashawn Mitchell and more. June 2-3, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph and Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington;

Do Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale: With The Ponys, Shannon & the Clams, Lucky Boys Confusion and more. June 2-4, on Division between Damen and Leavitt;

Taste of Little Village – Flavors of Mexico: June 2-4, 26th and Sacramento;

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Celebrate Greek culture at the Lincoln Park Greek Festival, June 2-4 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. | CHICAGOEVENTS.COM

Lincoln Park Greek Fest: June 2-4, on Sheffield between Diversey and Schubert;

Two Brothers Summer Festival: With Saint Motel, Blind Pilot, Savoir Adore, X Ambassadors, Knox Hamilton, The Way Down Wanderers and more. June 2-3, RiverEdge Park, Aurora;

Physical Festival Chicago: June 2-10, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont; visit

57th Street Art Fair: June 3-4, on 57th between Kenwood and Woodlawn;

Ravinia Festival: The summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and headliners that include Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, John Legend and Tony Bennett, June 5-Sept. 17, Ravinia, 418 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park;

Break Out Comedy Festival: June 8-10, UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North, 3rd Floor;

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Chicago’s Che “Rhymefest” Smith is among the headliners for the 2017 Chicago Blues Festival. | Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Chicago Blues Festival: With Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, Rhymefest, William Bell, Gary Clark Jr., Rhiannon Giddens and more. June 9-11, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph;

Andersonville Midsommarfest: June 9-11, Clark and Foster;

Spring Awakening Music Festival: June 9-11, Addams-Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th; visit

Ribfest Chicago: With Grizfolk, Susto, Banditos, Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line, June 9-11, At Lincoln, Damen and Irving Park;

Homewood Art & Garden Street Fair: June 9-10, on Martin between Ridge and Hickory, Homewood;

Wells Street Art Festival: June 10-11, on Wells between North and Division;

Old Town Art Fair: June 10-11, around Old Town Triangle Association building, 1763 N. North Park;

Green Music Fest: June 10-11, on Damen between North and Schiller;

6 Corners BBQ Fest: June 10-11, 4041 N. Milwaukee;

Printers Row Lit Fest: June 10-11, Dearborn and Congress;

Millennium Park Summer Music Series: June 12-Aug. 21, Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph;

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“Caddyshack,” starring Bill Murray, will screen on June 20 as part of the Millennium Park Summer Film Series. | FILE PHOTO

Millennium Park Summer Film Series, June 13-Sept. 5, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph. “The Blues Brothers (June 13), “Caddyshack” (June 20), “Julie and Julia” (June 27), “El Norte,” (July 11), “La La Land” (July 18), “Network” (July 25), “Bend It Like Beckham” (Aug. 1), “Ghost” and “The Shining” (Aug. 8), “Hidden Figures” (Aug. 15), “Five Heartbeats” (Aug. 22), “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (Aug. 24), “The Princess Bride” (Aug. 29), “Wayne’s World” (Sept. 5);

Grant Park Music Festival: With the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. June 13-Aug. 19, Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph;

Chicago Women’s Funny Festival: June 15-18, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont;

Activate: The event transforms downtown alleys into creative exhibition spaces for artists. June 15, July 26, Aug. 24, Sept. 28;

Blues on the Fox Festival: With Mavis Staples, Shemekia Copeland, Jonny Lang, Elvin Bishop, Devon Allman and Guy King Band. June 16-17, RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora;

Taste of Randolph Street: With Dawes, Eden, Emancipator Ensemble, Here Come the Mummies and more. June 16-18, Randolph and Halsted;

Gold Coast Art Fair: June 17-18, Grant Park, Butler Field, between Monroe and Jackson;

Scottish Festival and Highland Games: June 16-17, Hamilton Lakes, 1 Pierce Place, Itasca;

Chicago Pride Fest: June 17-18, Halsted and Waveland; Chicago Pride Parade, June 25, on Halsted and Broadway between Montrose and Diversey;

Taste of Bolingbrook: June 17-18, The Promenade, 631 E. Boughton, Bolingbrook;

Family Fun Festival: June 19-Aug. 20, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph, under the tent on the Chase Promenade North;

Snubfest Comedy Festival: June 21-24, Zanies, 1548 N. Wells and Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport;

Chicago SummerDance: June 23-Sept. 10, Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan;

Strawberry Fest: June 23-25, downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry, Long Grove;

Windy City LakeShake Country Music Festival: With Thomas Rhett, Randy House, Big & Rich, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Brothers Osborne and more. June 23-25; Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island;

Logan Square Arts Festival: June 23-25, Illinois Centennial Monument on Logan Square;

Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party: With Wedding Banned, Elevation, 7th Heaven and more. June 23-24, on Desplaines from Adams to Madison;

Evanston Chamber Artisan SummerFest: June 24-25, Church and Sherman, Evanston;

Mamby on the Beach: With MGMT, Local Natives, Misterwives, Walk the Moon, Flying Lotus and more. June 24-25, Oakwood Beach, 4100 S. Lake Shore Dr.;

Chicago Taco & Tequila Festival: June 24-25, Jackson Park, 6300 S. Lake Shore;

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers (shown at Lollapalooza in Grant Park on Saturday, July 30, 2016) are on the Summerfest bill June 28 in Milwaukee. | Lou Foglia/Sun-Times

Summerfest: With Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Pink, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Chris Stapleton and more. June 28-July 9, along the lakefront, Milwaukee;

FitzGerald’s American Music Festival: Dave Alvin, Shinyribs, Los Straitjackets with Marshall Crenshaw, Marcia Ball, C.J. Chenier, Ike Reilly, Shemekia Copeland, Eric Lindell, Commonheart and more. June 30-July 3, FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn;

Naperville Ribfest: With Toby Keith, The B-52s, A Flock of Seagulls, Collective Soul, The Wallflowers, Better Than Ezra. June 30-July 3, 724 S. West St., Naperville;

Lisle Eyes to the Skies: June 30-July 2, Lisle Community Park, 1825 Short, Lisle;

Windy City Ribfest: June 30-July 2, Lawrence and Broadway;


Live on Lincoln: With Polica, Chicago Batman, The Motet, Turkuaz and more. July 1-2, Lincoln and Belmont;

*International Festival of Life: July 1-4, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph;

Fireworks at Navy Pier: July 4, 600 E. Grand;

Taste of Chicago: With Alessia Cara, Café Tacvba, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Passion Pit, The O’Jays and more. July 5-9 in Grant Park, Jackson and Columbus;

Ruido Fest: With Intocable, Cultura Profetica, Molotov, Julieta Venegas and more. July 7-9, Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th;

Irish American Heritage Festival: With Bua, Michael McDermott, Gaelic Storm, The Dooley Brothers and more. July 7-9, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox;

West Fest: With ESG, Royal Headache, Har Mar Superstar. July 7-9, on Chicago between Damen and Wood;

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Some of Chicago’s finest burger purveyors will be serving up their best hamburgers at the Roscoe Village Burger Fest July 8-9. Two stages will feature live music. | CHICAGOEVENTS.COM

Roscoe Village Burger Fest: July 8-9, Belmont and Damen;

Pitchfork Music Festival: With LCD Soundsystem, Dirty Projectors, A Tribe Called Quest, PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, Solange, Nicholas Jaar and more. July 14-16, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph;

Chicago Open Air: With Kiss, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Megadeath and more. July 14-16, Toyota Park, 7000 Harlem, Bridgeview;

BenFest: July 14-16, St. Benedict Parish, 2215 W. Irving Park;

Windy City Smokeout: With Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Lee Brice and more. July 14-16, Grand and the Chicago River;

Metal Threat Fest with Profanatica, Antichrist, Demona, Perversion and more. July 14-15, Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland;

Southport Art Festival: July 15-16, Southport and Waveland;

Forest Park Music Fest: July 21-23, Madison and Des Plaines, Forest Park;

V103 Summer Block Party: With Jill Scott, Bell Biv Devoe, SWV, Kelly Rowland and more. July 22, Huntington Bank Pavilion, Northerly Island, 1300 S. Lynn White Drive;

Chicago Craft Beer Fest: July 22-23, Sheffield and Webster;

Sheffield Music Fest & Garden Walk: July 22-23; on Sheffield between Webster and Fullerton;

Fiesta del Sol: July 27-30, 1400 W. Cermak;

Taste of Lincoln Avenue: July 29-30, on Lincoln between Fullerton and Wrightwood;

Wicker Park Fest: July 29-30, on Milwaukee between North and Paulina;


Lollapalooza: With Muse, Lorde, Cage the Elephant, Wiz Kahalifa, The Killers, Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, The XX, Alt-J, Arcade Fire, Big Sean, The Shins, The Head and the Heart and more. Aug. 3-6, Grant Park;

Jeff Fest: Aug. 4-6, Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long;

Edge Fest: Aug. 5-6, Broadway and Thorndale;

Black Harvest Film Festival: Aug. 5-31, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State;

Retro on Roscoe: Aug. 11-13, Roscoe and Damen;

Ginza Holiday Festival: Aug. 11-13, 435 W. Menomonee;

Chicago Hot Dog Fest: With Sixteen Candles, Robert Cornelius & Friends Salute Prince, Mike & Joe. Aug. 11-13, 1701 N. Stockton;

North Halsted Market Days: Aug. 12-13, on Halsted between Belmont and Addison;

Veggie Fest: Aug. 12-13, Benedictine University, 5600 College, Lisle;

Clark After Dark: Aug. 17, Clark and Hubbard;

Chicago Festa Italiana: Aug. 18-20, Taylor and Ashland;

Chicago Air and Water Show: Aug. 19-20, North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore;

Taste of Greektown: Aug. 25-27, Halsted and Van Buren;

Wicker Park Bucktown Summer Sidewalk Sale: Aug. 26-27, on Damen, Division, North and Milwaukee;

Bucktown Arts Fest: Aug. 26-27, 2200 N. Oakley;

Wizard World Comic Con Chicago: With John Cusack, Gene Simmons, Jewel Staite, Dean Cain, Lou Ferrigno. Aug. 26-27, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont;

Chicago Fringe Festival: Aug. 30-Sept. 10, various venues in Jefferson Park;

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Donny McCaslin is among the lineup for the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug. 1- Sept. 3. | PHOTO BY JIMMY KING

Chicago Jazz Festival: With Donny McCaslin Group, Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, Dr. Michael White Quartet, Allison Miller Boom Tic Boom, Rebirth Brass Band and more. Aug. 31-Sept. 3, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph and Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington;


North Coast Music Festival: With Deadmaus & Eric Prydz, Gucci Mane, Damian Marley, STS9, Ween and more. Sept. 1-3, Union Park, 1401 W. Randolph;

African Festival of the Arts: Sept. 1-4, Washington Park, 5100 S. Cottage Grove;

World Music Festival Chicago: Sept. 8-24, Millennium Park, Michigan Randolph and Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington;

Rocktober Beerfest: Sept. 8-10, Randolph and Ogden;

Throwback Music Festival: Sept. 8-10, 6030 N. Milwaukee;

Fiestas Patrias: Sept. 8-10, 26th and Kostner;

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts: Sept. 9-10, on Broadway from Belmont to Hawthorne;

Riot Fest: With Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Jawbreaker, M.I.A., Wu-Tang Clan, TV on the Radio, Gogol Bordello and more. Sept. 15-17, Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento;

West Loop Art Fest: Sept. 16-17, Fulton and Racine;

Sam Adams Taco Fest: Sept. 16-17, on Southport between Addison and Roscoe;

Hyde Park Jazz Festival: Sept. 23-24, Midway Plaisance and Woodlawn;

Oktoberfest Chicago: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, at Southport, Wellington and Lincoln;

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer. Festivals/lineups are subject to cancellation or change without notice.

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Trent Reznor (shown in concert in Mexico in 2014) and the rest of Nine Inch Nails are on the bill for Riot Fest 2017. | ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Trent Reznor (shown in concert in Mexico in 2014) and the rest of Nine Inch Nails are on the bill for Riot Fest 2017. | ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

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