As the temperature Goes up, music lovers flock to massive Summer festivals around the world to see their favorite artists live and feed off the energy of fellow fans. And with each passing year, there are more and more options to choose from. From Chicago’s quintessential Lolapalooza to a global music showcase in Morocco, these festivals provide multiple days of entertainment!
Randolph Street Market
The kickoff to the summer season includes the Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago—200 vendors all told. There’s also food and a vinyl swap meet.
Sat 5/23-Sun 5/24, 10 AM-5 PM, Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington, randolphstreetmarket.com, $8-$10.
Pilsen Food Truck Social
More than 25 food trucks—Bridgeport Pasty, Windy City Patty Wagon, La Cocinita, and plenty more TBA—roll up on 18th Street between Throop and Racine. Twenty bucks gets a “sampler” ticket for five small portions, Revolution brews a beer especially for the occasion, and Thalia Hall brings the live music.
Sat 6/6-Sun 6/7, 11 AM-10 PM, Thalia Hall, 1227 W. 18th, pilsenfoodtrucksocial.com, $5 suggested donation.
Printer’s Row Lit Fest
The lineup at the midwest’s largest book fair is never less than impressive; this year it includes LeVar Burton, Elizabeth Berg, Elizabeth Alexander, Mimi Sheraton, Scott Simon—and some 200 others, plus the usual array of booksellers. Some events require tickets.
Sat 6/6-Sun 6/7, times vary, Printer’s Row, S. Dearborn between Congress and Polk, printersrowlitfest.org, free.
Windy City Burlesque Fest
Break out your feathers and tassels for a few days of parties, classes, workshops, and special themed performances: neoburlesque, classic burlesque, and more.
Wed-Sat 6/10-6/13, times vary, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, windycityburlesquefest.com, $10-$25, $117 festival pass.
Chicago Pride Fest
Headliners this year include Estelle, Big Freedia, and the Veronicas; there’s also the usual colorful street fair, comprising food and drink vendors, art items, and “unique merchandise tailored to the gay community.” The Pride Parade is next weekend.
6/20-6/21: Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-9 PM, Halsted and Waveland, chicagopride.gopride.com, free.
Windy City Ribfest
Barbecue specialists both local and national gather in the heart of Uptown; there’s also beer, wine, and live music.
7/3-7/5: Fri-Sat noon-10 PM, Sun noon-9 PM, Lawrence and Broadway, chicagoevents.com, $5 suggested donation.
Tour de Fat
New Belgium Brewing’s whimsical traveling party returns again to Chicago, celebrating “bikes, beer, and bemusement.” Things kick off with a costumed bike parade.
Sat 7/11, 10 AM-5 PM, Palmer Square, 3100 W. Palmer, newbelgium.com/events/tour-de-fat, free.
The north-side fest hosts two stages of live music and the wares of three dozen local artists, plus food, booze, and a stage devoted entirely to karaoke.
8/1-8/2: Sat noon-10 PM, Sun noon-9 PM, 5900 N. Broadway, starevents.com/festivals/edge-fest, $5 suggested donation.
Great American Lobster Fest
Lobster ain’t really midwestern, but don’t let that stop you. Lobsters are flown in each morning from Boston, fresh and ready to devour. The Wailer perform.
Sat 8/15-Sun 8/16, 10 AM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, americanlobsterfest.com, $10-$99.
Bucktown Arts Fest
Free and community-oriented, this annual street fest features food and beer, three stages of live music, 200-some artists, and activities for kids. Proceeds go toward arts education in Bucktown and Wicker Park.
Sat-Sun 8/29-8/30, 11 AM-7 PM, Holstein Park, 2200 N. Oakley, free.
For more information: Myth Festival Chicago