Music Festivals in Chicago You Can’t Miss this Summer

FSD Staff

Who doesn’t love a good festival? It’s basically a place where they blast your favorite music on different stages, and you get to share that bonding experience with thousands of other people just like you! The songs, the socialization, getting to see your favorite artists perform live… These are all some of the most obvious reasons why music festivals seem to be so packed full of people. It’s just an overall good time for everybody involved! 

After the isolation that COVID-19 forced us to go through in both 2020 and 2021, people are eager to have some good, social fun in 2022. Luckily, that’s just what Chicago has in store for music festival-goers this summer! Grab your sunscreen and your water bottles, and get ready for some exciting stuff. This summer is going to be completely packed full of some amazing music festivals that are sure to give you some unforgettable experiences.

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is a massive annual 4-day music festival that draws out hundreds of thousands of people every day, with around 400 000 attendees having been present at the festival last year. Music genres that you’ll usually find being played at this festival are heavy metal, punk rock, alternative rock, hip hop, and electronic dance music. That being said, the Lollapalooza celebrates many other types of music genres and does not limit itself to only featuring the aforementioned music genres. Lollapalooza doesn’t even limit itself to music only, and it has been known to feature various visual artists and other types of entertainers. 

Lollapalooza is one of the biggest and most popular music festivals in the US, as well as being quite long-running by music festival standards. It was created in 1991 as a farewell tour by the lead singer of the rock group Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrell. It started as a tour, featuring a wide variety of diverse bands. After reaping massive success, it became a music festival with a permanent place in Chicago. Although Chicago remains the main headquarters of Lollapalooza, there are many offshoots of the festival in various other foreign countries. 

Needles to say, the festival sells out every year, so get your hands on a ticket as fast as you can! 

The time: July 28 to July 31 

The place: Grant Park

The lineup includes artists from all sorts of music genres, from Metallica to Doja Cat. Even the band that helped in founding the Lollapalooza, Jane’s Addiction, is going to be performing. 

 

Entry: There are various tiers to choose from, but General Admission Tickets for all 3 days start at $330 per person. 

Pitchfork Music Festival

This annual 3-day music festival started as a festival featuring only the “cutting edge” of music, with a primary focus on alternative rock, hip hop, as well as electronic dance music. After many years of operation, the Pitchfork Music Festival has broadened its vision. Now, they feature some big names in the music industry, while still taking special care not to lose their cutting edge focus on lesser-known music. 

If you want to listen to something new and discover you like something you never knew you would, Pitchfork Music Festival is most definitely the festival to go to this summer! What is a music festival experience without the moments where you get out of your comfort zone and find a new artist that you love, after all? Some would say, that is what music is all about. 

Though the Pitchfork Music Festival is a music festival, it also includes things like featuring local art, good food, and drinks, as well as advertising gigs from new performers. 

Due to the popularity of the Pitchfork Music Festival, Friday Plus and Saturday Plus tickets are already sold out, so hurry and get your very own ticket. 

The place: Union Park

The time: July 15 to July 17

The lineup includes big names like Mitski and CupcakKe, but also plenty of lesser-known artists.

Entry: The 3-day General Admission Tickets start at $200, though there are various types of tickets whether you’d like to spend a single day in the Pitchfork Music Festival or get a higher tier ticket.

Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival

This epic hip hop festival that takes place in the Midwest makes a grand entrance into the music festival scene to make up for the lost fun of the previous years. Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash is centered around celebrating big and small artists in the rap genre. 

It also fosters a really positive community, and it’s clear that they care about the park they’re performing in. They host monthly community cleanups of Douglass Park, with free tickets as a special incentive, from April to June. 

The place: Douglass Park

The time: June 17 to June 19

The lineup includes many well-known artists, like Post Malone, Playboi Carti, Wiz Khalifa, and many more. 

Entry: 3-day General Admission Tickets start at $300, but they may vary so make sure to stay up to date! 

Taking a Break from All the Good Music

Going to music festivals is as fun as it is tiring, and the cost can quickly add up. If the diversity of attractions caught your interest, check out this list for more festivals – including food and wine festivals! While you’re in Chicago, you should sample a little bit of everything that the city has to offer. Recharging before and after a big music festival is important so that you don’t burn out. 

Riot Fest

Riot Fest is another annual 3-day music festival, though it first started as a multi-venue festival in 2005. As the years have gone by, Riot Fest has grown and expanded into two other locations. 

This festival’s specialty lies in attracting artists from rock, alternative rock, punk, and hip-hop genres. The most heavily featured genres in Riot Fest have been punk rock, hardcore punk, new wave, and metal. So if you’re a fan of anything within the punk spectrum, you’re sure to have a blast during this festival! 

The place: Douglass Park

The time: September 16 to September 18

The lineup consists of some highly-anticipated artists, from My Chemical Romance to the Original Misfits. 

Entry: 3-day General Admission Tickets start at $300, which is a pretty standard price. 

ARC Music Festival

For its second year in business, the ARC Music Festival returns to Chicago during Labor Weekend. This festival pays homage to Chicago’s well-known history of house music. So it’s no surprise that the ARC Music Festival has featured many artists spanning the entirety of this genre of music, both Chicago-born and foreign. Though still in its infancy, this festival is already gaining popularity with fans of the genre. 

Stuart Hackley, one of the founders, puts it best when he says that there’s no shortage of festivals that incorporate well-known and underground artists, though they’re usually shoved to the sidelines. Though this may simply be related to finances, it hurts the Chicago music scene. ARC’s mission is to put the pioneers of house music in Chicago right next to larger house musicians. 

If you’re a fan of house music, you’re going to have an absolute blast! If you’re not a diehard house music fan, you will still most definitely find something to enjoy in this fun festival. With all the different flavors of house music featured in the ARC Music Festival, you really might find yourself enjoying house music after all. 

The time: September 2 to September 4

The place: Union Park

The lineup consists of countless music artists, from big to small, and from all flavors of house music. 

Entry: The Three-Day ARCitect Tickets, which are basically the equivalent of General Admissions Tickets, start at $289 per person. 

Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival is celebrating all big and small blues artists and paying homage to the diverse history of the genre and those that have contributed to it. 

This year we will see a special “Women in Blues” showcase, which will pay homage to the famous Chicago blues singer Mary Lane. If you’re a fan of this genre or you have any amount of interest in it, this is a music festival you shouldn’t miss. 

The time: June 9 to June 12

The place: Millennium Park 

The lineup this year consists of headliners like Shemekia Copeland, Jamiah Rogers, and Eric Gales, but many more incredibly talented blues singers. 

Entry: Admission to the Chicago Blues Festival is absolutely free, which is another reason to check them out! 

We all work ourselves to the bone all year round, so it’s important to pamper yourself and remember that you deserve some time off. As we approach festival season, more and more lists on festivals you simply can’t miss when you visit Chicago are popping up. Though this is one of many, all of them are good. Chicago is a bustling city where you can find endless entertainment, be it music, food, drinks, and anything in-between! In one way or another, you really are bound to have a good time. Take your pick, and enjoy your time in the Jewel of the Midwest. 

 

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