Grant Park’s Lollapalooza is the most sought after and admired festival in Chicago, but it’s not the only festival worth attending this summer. With a focus on popular music and culture, local producers have been determined to fill the gap for more diverse audiences, or those looking for a different festival experience. If you weren’t able to score Lollapalooza tickets, or you’re looking for something new, here are five summer music festivals to look forward to.
Ruido Fest: June 22-24
Ruido Fest, created by the founders of Riot Fest, is Chicago’s newest alternative Latin music festival in Pilsen. Taking place in Addams/Medill Park, the festival features three stages, some of the best street food in Chicago, live painting and a luchador wrestling ring. This year’s lineup features international acts such as Divino Nino, Omar Apollo, Silverio and more.
Mamby on the Beach: June 23-24
Only in its fourth year, Mamby on the Beach has set itself apart from the rest of the music sector with a beachside stage and laid-back atmosphere. Chicago’s Oakwood Beach transforms into a paradise complete with a silent disco, tarot card readings, henna tattoos, tiki bars, water balloon fights and group yoga for two days. Indie-rock outfit Spoon and Cold War Kids will play alongside local artist’s such as Towkio, Kami and Cupcakke. What’s not to love about watching the sunset with your toes in the sand as music fills the air?
Country LakeShake: June 23-24
Country music isn’t often talked about in the city where house music was born, but LakeShake music festival aims to change that. Country LakeShake, Chicago’s premiere country music festival, will bring Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line to Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. The festival will feature amusement park rides, face painting and cornhole stations throughout the venue. In past years, the festival has partnered with PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter, to pair festival-goers with a new furry friend.
Pitchfork Music Festival: July 20-22
The most trusted voice in music journalism returns to Union Park with another home run lineup made up of headliners like Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tame Impala and Fleet Foxes. Exclusive installations, Chirp Radio’s vinyl market and Renegade Craft fair, are open for listeners ready to take a break from the plethora of good music. This year’s festival will feature an abundance of local talent, from Ravyn Lenae to Melkbelly. Take a listen to their newest Spotify playlist, “What’s Good”, curated by Founder and Editor in Chief Ryan Schreiber.
North Coast Music Festival: August 31-September 2
Although it has yet to release its 2018 lineup, North Coast isn’t a festival to miss. The festival fills Union Park with large scale art installations, stages shaded by luscious trees and canopies meant to bring the bass. Last year’s lineup featured crowd-pleasers like Deadmau5 B2B Eric Prydz, Gucci Mane and Damian “JR. Gong” Marley. Make sure to keep your eye out for this late summer extravaganza lineup.