Festivals

The Ultimate Guide to Summer’s Must-See Music Festivals

Photo by Fly Hi Films/Courtesy of Country LakeShake

Chicagoans celebrate the return of summer with a festival around every corner. June offers something for everyone with musical lineups celebrating LGBTQ Pride, alternative Latin American music, emerging hip hop, and good old country.

Real Estate to perform at Taste of Randolph Street./ Photo courtesy of Real Estate/Facebook

Taste of Randolph Street
Randolph Street is better known for food than music, but the 23rd annual Taste of Randolph Street festival boasts a concert lineup worth battling crowds of foodies. Indie rockers Real Estate will set the summery mood, while the R&B of Anderson East smooths things out, and Brooklyn synth-pop outfit Holy Ghost! gets everyone moving with some disco revival. After all that dancing, you’ll be ready to chow down at any of the 16 restaurants at the fest.
Details: 900 West Randolph Street, June 14 (5–10 p.m.) and June 15 (noon–10 p.m.); $10 donation

What’s for Brek-Fest 2
Chicago label What’s for Breakfast? Records presents its second showcase in partnership with Rad Fake Productions. Boogie with 12 bands from Chicago and beyond, like new wave surf rockers Ovef Ow and garage punks Speed Babes. This Father’s Day, treat Dad to Chop Shop brunch specials and the chance to brag to his friends about all the up-and-coming bands he saw here first.
Details: June 16, 1:30 p.m., at Chop Shop; $10–$12

Ruido Fest
Chicago’s alternative Latin music festival will be held in Union Park for the first time after previously taking place in the historically Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen. The eclectic lineup features Latin American artists performing everything from polka to rock to electronic. Headliners include experimental pop’s Helado Negro, Spanish pop stars Hombres G, and pioneering Argentine rockers Enanitos Verdes, who will be performing their album Huevos Revueltos.
Details: Union Park, June 21 (2–10 p.m.) and June 22 and 23 (1:30–10 p.m.); $79.95–$249.89

Helado Negro is set to perform at Ruido Fest./Photo courtesy of Helado Negro/Facebook

Country LakeShake Festival
You don’t see many cowboy hats in the Loop, but Country LakeShake Festival is here to remind us that we are in the Midwest. Where else can you sing along to country superstars like Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, and Clint Black while enjoying a view of the skyline from Northerly Island? Don’t miss Friday night’s lineup of almost all women, including Miranda Lambert, Rita Wilson, and Maren Morris.
Details: June 21–23, 2–10 p.m., at Huntington Bank Pavilion; $80–$649.50

Pride in the Park
Kick off your LGBTQ Pride celebrations a day before the city’s parade with this one-day festival in Grant Park. The inaugural event commemorates Chicago’s 50th anniversary of celebrating Pride with performances by rapper Iggy Azalea and DJ Steve Aoki, plus RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants, including Shea Coulee and Coco Montrese. A portion of ticket sales benefit local organizations Center on Halsted, Stonewall Sports, and Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Details: June 29, 1-10 p.m., at Grant Park; $55–$125

Iggy Azalea is a headliner at Chicago’s inaugural Pride in the Park./ Photo courtesy of Iggy Azalea/Facebook

Logan Square Arts Festival
Chicago takes its street festivals seriously, and even neighborhood fests often book beloved and buzzworthy musical acts over cover bands. In addition to its food and arts vendors, the Logan Square Arts Festival’s musical lineup never disappoints. Catch synth-y indie rockers Speedy Ortiz, Philly folk rockers Hop Along, and local noise punks No Men.
Details: Illinois Centennial Monument, June 28 (5–10 p.m.) and June 29 and 30 (noon–10 p.m.); $5 donation

The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash
Hip-hop heads converge on Douglas Park for this two-day festival, organized by local blog Lyrical Lemonade. The event has expanded its site map and added a second day to accommodate a lineup packed with rap talent. Big names such as Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and Kodak Black headline, but arrive early to discover the hottest emerging talent in hip hop.
Details: June 29 and 30, noon–10 p.m., at Douglas Park; $149–$215