Every Single Festival in Chicago This Summer


Do you like festivals? Good thing you live in Chicago, because there are about a billion to choose from. Luckily, we put together this handy guide to EVERY summer festival in the vicinity. You’re welcome.

swimfinfan/Flickr (Edited)

Fiestas Puertorriqueñas

The largest Latin event in the nation takes over Humboldt Park with authentic Caribbean cuisine, arts and crafts, carnival rides, and plenty of Puerto Rican flags.

Chicago Ale Fest

200+ craft beers from 100+ American breweries, all bordered by the Chicago skyline and lake. What’s not to like?

Brew to Be Wild

The zoo hosts a full-blown brew fest with 75+ specialty craft beers produced by 35 local and regional breweries, plus lawn games, a DJ, and tasting tents set up on zoo grounds.

Windy City LakeShake

Chicago goes country with this 3-day extravaganza of mainstream country acts including Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, and Tim McGraw. Better pack your cowboy boots.

Taste of Randolph

Chicago’s finest food hood also boasts one of the best music lineups of the summer with Peter Bjorn & John, Ms Mr, and Atlas Genius. This year you can even party at a replica stage of Colorado’s Red Rocks, should you crave a change of scene.

Oakley Festa Pasta Vino

Did you know where Chicago’s real Little Italy is? It ain’t Taylor Street. It’s Little Village Heart of Italy, as one trip to this celebration of all things Italy clearly demonstrates.

6 Corners BBQ Fest

What goes better together than BBQ ribs and pro wrestling? Nothing, apparently, as this fest indicates.

Gold Coast Art Fair

One of the country’s top juried art fairs welcomes more than 300 artists selling art that will finally replace that old Bob Marley poster from college.

Green Music Fest

Party eco-style with a people-powered bicycle stage, ecologically crafted brews by Lagunitas, and a killer indie music lineup featuring Black Joe Lewis, King Khan & the Shrines, and Waxahatchee.

Pride Fest

A weekend-long celebration of LGBT pride culminates in the annual Pride Parade’s four-mile route from Uptown to Lincoln Park.

Logan Square Arts Fest

One of Chicago’s coolest fests takes place (naturally) in one of its coolest hoods with live bands, art, and local eats from the hood.

World’s Largest Block Party

Formerly know as the Old St. Pat’s Block Party, this year’s megafest is headlined by Passion Pit and features a “Pot O’Gold Raffle” to win $20K.

Chicago Food Truck Fest

Like food trucks? Then park it here (get it?). 2016’s lineup is TBA, but last year’s trucks included Tamale Spaceship, Haute Sausage, and Fat Shallot.

Elston Avenue Sausage & Music Fest

Encased meats, indie bands, and art converge in front of Abbey Pub for this Chicago sausagefest. Someone alert Abe Froman.
swimfinfan/Flickr (Edited)

Windy City RibFest

Another Chicago weekend, another Chicago ribfest. Bring napkins.

International Festival of Life

The African/Caribbean heritage celebration sets up shop in Union Park with live music, reggae, soccer, food, and plenty of good vibes.

Mamby on the Beach

Chicago’s best summer music fest takes over a laid-back South Side beach with a diverse range of acts including Animal Collective, Atmosphere, and Chromeo.

Chosen Few DJs Music Festival

The annual Chosen Few Picnic has evolved into this new two-day DJ music festival featuring the best in local house music.

Taste of Chicago

It’s Taste of Chicago -- the world’s largest outdoor food festival. Ever heard of it? This year’s bands include The Roots, Billy Idol, and The Decemberists.

Irish-American Heritage Fest

Why wait for St. Patrick’s Day when you’ve got this green rager with live music, Irish dancers, a craft beer tent, a “men in kilts” contest, food from local restaurants, and a mashed potato eating contest?

Ruido Fest

Latin alternative music fest, with plenty to wash down the sounds.

West Fest

Some of the coolest bands in town hit this underrated fest, which also includes a pet obstacle course and DJ stage.

Millennium Art Festival

Get in touch with your inner Jackson Pollock by painting part of the freestanding graffiti wall at this downtown art fest.

Square Roots Festival

Roots rock takes center stage, headlined by Robbie Fulks’s Bluegrass Explosion alongside Old Town School of Folk teachers and a deep lineup of 30+ craft brews.

Roscoe Village Burger Fest

Sample inventive burgers from top local restos including Butcher & the Burger, Chubby Weiners, Dive Bar, Reggie’s, and Fatso’s Last Stand with live music and an audience vote for best burger.

DuSable Museum Arts & Crafts Festival

Chicago’s premier celebration of African-American culture, with entertainment lineup TBA.


One of Chicago’s more family-friendly fests goes down at St. Benedict Parish with live bands, raffle, and a 3-on-3 hoops tourney.

Windy City Smokeout

BBQ, country music, and beer. What more do you need to know?

Chicago Open Air

Music, craft beer, and “gourmet man food” collide at this inaugural metal fest featuring Ministry, Chevelle, and Rammstein.

Columbian Fest

Artists, DJs, and a car show, plus Columbian coffee, steak, pina coladas, and more.

Southport Art Festival

Peep the work of 75+ local artists’ work in oil, acrylic, watercolor, jewelry, sculpture, photography, glass and mixed media. Also, chat with the artists and check out live demos.

Celebrate Clark Street World Music Festival

This world music fest sets up shop in one of Chicago’s most culturally diverse hoods, with 2016 lineup TBA.

Pitchfork Music Festival

This year’s hipster Lollapalooza features Brian Wilson, Beach House, Sufjan Stevens, Broken Social Scene, and more.

Chinatown Summer Fair

One of Chicago’s more ethnically unique fests features a lion dance procession, a “traveling Children’s Museum”, a petting zoo, pony rides, a "hot legs" contest for men, a cutest baby contest and, of course, a ton of Chinese food.

Taste of River North

Lucky Boys Confusion headline this celebration of River North eats with Goose Island beer, a pet zone, and morning workouts at East Bank Club.

Sheffield Music Fest & Garden Walk

Like gardens? Like drinking? Look no further, you’ve found your fest.

Chicago Craft Beer Festival

Held in collaboration with the Sheffield Garden Walk, tickets include 15 3oz samples and live music.

Chicago Hot Sauce Fest

Vendors include Wicked Pepper, Tongue Spank, and Voodoo Chile, so… you get a pretty good idea of the type of cuisine you’re about to inhale.

Taste of Latin America

Immerse yourself in all things Central and South American -- music, cooking demos, and (of course) food, from fish panades and empanadas to Brazilian sausage and fried plantains.

Wicker Park Fest

Expect Pitchfork-caliber bands and plenty of oddball art at this annual neighborhood throwdown, plus the Redmoon mobile photo factory.


This year, Perry Farrell’s mighty Chicago extravaganza expands to four days, and headliners include Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Fiesta del Sol

The largest Latino festival in the Midwest features live music, DJs, food vendors, carnival rides, soccer games, and a 5K.

Jeff Fest Arts & Music Fest

Jefferson Park gets into the festival game with Journey, The Who, Pearl Jam, and Led Zeppelin cover bands plus food, drink, and art.

Chicago Margarita Fest

Why does the margarita merit its own fest? Because why the hell not. It’s summer in Chicago.
Patrick Anenen/Flickr (Edited)

Chicago Food & Wine Fest

Join top Chicago chefs and wine enthusiasts as you taste during the day and dine under the stars in Lincoln Park. This year’s lineup TBA.

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Stuff your face in front of the Chicago History Museum with creative hot dog offerings from top local restos. What the hell this has to do with history we don’t know, but do we really care?


Bands, food, booze, you know the drill.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Blues Traveler and Talking Heads cover band, Start Making Sense, headline one of Chicago’s largest street fests with 250+ vendors, 30+ bands, and a mini craft fair.

Wrigleyville Summerfest

Until the Cubs win the World Series this fall, this is the biggest party in Wrigleyville.

Retro on Roscoe

Throwback jams, an antique car show, and kids’ rides headline this annual blast from the past bash.

Chicago Festival Cubano

Cigar rolling, dominos, pony rides, and classic cars converge at this celebration of all things Cuban. Did we mention they have a white tiger?

Ginza Fest

Japanese folk dance, taiko drumming, judo, and wood carving art make this no ordinary street fest.

Color Fun Fest 5K

Get blasted with 10,000 pounds of colorful paint as you run a 5K around Soldier Field, then follow it up with a massive post-race party.

Bud Billiken Parade & Picnic

This annual back-to-school party is the oldest and largest African-American parade in the country, stretching from Bronzeville to Washington Park, where a post-parade picnic is held.

Northalsted Market Days

The Midwest’s largest outdoor street festival turns 35 this year, so yeah, it might be fun.

Clark After Dark

Red, white, and blue and camo will be on full display at this annual tribute to Illinois troops.

Chicago Festa Italiana

Italian card games, Italian singers and dancers and, duh, Italian food takes center stage, plus totally necessary meatball and cannoli eating contests.

Edison Park Fest

Edison Park is a neighborhood in Chicago. Which is good enough reason for a festival.

Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest

Check out open studios, live bands, theatre groups, and food/drink as you stroll the cobblestone streets of the underrated Glenwood Avenue Arts District.

Windy City Carnival

Brazilian Carnival comes to Chicago. Be there.

Chicago Westside Music Festival

Free fest features top hip-hop acts plus food and drink, with this year’s lineup TBA.

Albany Park World Fest

The melting pot that is Albany Park gathers cultures and cuisines from all over the world. The live music covers Brazilian beats and salsa to calypso, West African folkloric and Asian drums.

Chicago Air & Water Show

One of the highlights of any Chicago summer will have you peering up into the roaring skies from the beach or, better yet, from your buddy’s boat on the lake.

South Shore Summer Festival

Cultural happening at Chicago’s iconic South Shore Cultural Center with a range of acts, food, and merchants along the lakefront.

Slow & Low: A Community Lowrider Festival

Tricked-out cars and bikes do their thing plus film screenings, mariachi bands, and Mexican cuisine.

Taste of Greektown

Do you think there will be Greek food at Taste of Greektown? We’ll let you answer that one.

Bucktown Arts Fest

Art, poetry, theatre, and dance plus live bands, food trucks, sangria and craft beer.

Chicago Fashion Fest

Check out live runway shows as you consume local eats and drink at this annual fashionista flash mob.

Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival

Chicago’s historic Motor Row automotive district springs back to life in a river of craft beer and wine.
tambourineilene/Flickr (Edited)

Hideout Block Party

After taking last year off, one of Chicago’s most beloved fests is expected to return this year, although details remain scarce.

79th Street Renaissance Fest

Dates are still TBA for this year’s famous South Side block party with live bands, horseback rides, and South Side food vendors.

Berghoff Oktoberfest

Never fear; there will be a Berghoff Oktoberfest this year, we’re just not sure of the dates yet.

Great American Lobster Fest

The Midwest’s largest lobster fest features fresh Boston lobster, surf and turf, live music, and games.

North Coast Music Festival

Chicago’s most unique music fest brings together hip hop, dance, rock, and jam bands for its annual farewell to summer in Union Park.

African Festival of the Arts

Every Labor Day weekend, Washington Park transforms into an African village with tribal drumming, spirituality, and interactive engagements. Not to be missed.

Taste of Polonia

Live bands, folk dancing, casino gambling, and of course, plenty of Polish eats and weirdly awesome Polish beers.

Windy City Wine Festival

Buckingham Fountain isn’t just that place from Married With Children where lost kids at Lolla text their parents. It’s also the site of this wine fest, where you can sip 300+ wines with wine seminars, local eats, and live music.

Throwback Music Festival

This new fest is all about retro tunes, and we’re not talking ‘90s retro. We’re talking ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s retro plus craft beer tastings, art, and kid’s activities.

Chicago German-American Fest

Yes, there will be pretzels. Yes, there will be massive beer steins. Yes, there will be lederhosen. Yes, this is a German fest.

Festival de la Villita

This outdoor gala of Mexican heritage breaks out at the terminus of the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade with food, music, art, and carnival rides.

Shock Top Oyster Fest

Are there better ways to kick off the unofficial start of autumn than by slurping oysters in tents housing fresh seafood and other local culinary delights? Not according to this fest.

Ravenswood Art Walk

Experience a weekend of art, music, food, and community while getting a peek inside the spaces that have helped define Ravenswood.

Renegade Craft Fair

Indie arts and crafts, indie bands, and food/drink from local vendors.

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

Peep fine art and crafts from 125+ juried artists plus music, food, and family activities.

Riot Fest

All we know at this point is that the original Misfits will be reuniting for the first time in 33 years at this year’s annual punk rock carnival, which is all we really need to know.

Andersonville City Made Fest

Post up in one of America’s hottest hoods for the only street festival that exclusively features Chicago-made craft beers, Chicago music, Chicago food, and a Chicago-made art marketplace.

Lakeview Taco Fest

Combine crazy tacos with Mexican wrestlers and beer/taco pairings and violà, you’ve got yourself a festival.

West Loop Art Fest

150+ juried artists from across the country in a variety of mediums, including paintings, glass, ceramics, photography, and jewelry plus, naturally, food and music.

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Jay Gentile is a Thrillist contributor and he always prefers a festival with Mexican wrestling. Follow @innerviewmag.