10 Best Music Festivals in Chicago

Experience the iconic symphony of music, culture, and art at the music festivals in Chicago.

By That Festival Site | 23 August, 2023

10 Best Music Festivals in Chicago Banner

With artists from diverse genres giving electrifying performances, delectable culinary delights at food trucks, to aesthetically pleasing art installations, Chicago's music festivals elevate the spirits of every attendee. We've rounded up a list of all the music festivals that you must attend in Chicago.

1. Heatwave Chicago

When: June

Where: Northerly Island, Chicago, Illinois

Genre: Dance/Electronic

Heatwave Chicago is an annual EDM and hip-hop event that takes place in Chicago. Launched in 2015, it takes place over two days in July and features artists from around the world, live electronic acts, and rappers. In addition to various stages with lights and visuals, the festival provides funfair games and attractions.

2. Lollapalooza

When: August

Where: Grant Park, Chicago IL

Genre: Dance/Electronic, Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, Indie, Folk, Country, Metal, R&B/Soul

The enormously popular Lollapalooza Music Festival takes place every year in Grant Park in Chicago. Over hundreds of artists in a variety of genres, including rock, pop, rap, and EDM performs at Lollapalooza every year. It's a major cultural event for Chicago with numerous stages and a large audience.

3. Pitchfork Music Festival

When: July

Where: Union Park, Chicago IL

Genre: Dance/Electronic, Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, Americana, Reggae

An annual three-day music festival called Pitchfork Music Festival takes place at Union Park in Chicago. This July event features up-and-coming and alternative rock, electronic, and hip-hop performers. Pitchfork provides a laid-back outdoor environment to music enthusiasts, with various music genres, food and drinks.

4. Sueños Festival

When: Late May

Where: Grant Park, Chicago IL

Genre: Hip-Hop, Indie, R&B/Soul

Chicago hosts the Suenos festival every summer in the month of June. This festival gives people a place to celebrate Latin culture through food, art, and live entertainment. If you are a big fan of Latin music, then you must attend.

5. Riot Fest

When: Mid-September

Where: Douglass Park, Chicago

Genre: Metal, Rock, and Punk

Riot Fest is a punk, rock, and hip-hop event held each September in Chicago. Over three days, renowned and rising stars perform to uplift the spirit of people. Since its inception in 2005, Riot Fest has included legendary performers for a multi-genre music experience.

6. Windy City Smokeout

When: July

Where: Chicago

Genre: Country Music Festival

Windy City Smokeout is Chicago's finest outdoor country music event that takes place over three days in August and features top performers in country, pop, and Americana. It provides an exhilarating experience to attendees by featuring music on numerous stages and multiple cuisines.

7. North Coast Music Festival

When: Early September

Where: Bridgeview, Illinois

Genre: Electronic, Hip-hop, Folk, and Rock

North Coast Music Festival is an EDM, hip-hop, and jam band festival in Chicago. It began in 2010 and takes place over three days at various Illinois stages. North Coast boasts stellar line-ups of performers that caters to the diverse music taste of attendees.

8. Chicago Jazz Festival

When: Late August- Early September

Where: Venues across Chicago

Genre: Jazz

This 4-day music festival, Chicago Jazz Festival is a free event held at Millennium Park. Since 1979, it has featured local and international jazz greats in a variety of settings. The festival turns the city's core into a massive jazz festival featuring performers from all over the world.

9. Pride in the Park

When: June

Where: Chicago

Genre: Pop, R&B

An annual LGBTQ music festival called Pride in the Park takes place in Grant Park every June. The festival celebrates equality and community with food, drinks, pride apparel, and live pop, rock, and dance performances.

10. Chicago Blues Festival

When: June

Where: Millennium Park, Chicago

Genre: Soul, R&B, Gospel, Rock, Hip-Hop and more

The Chicago Blues Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Chicago and takes place every June in Millennium Park. Over the course of three days, legends from all over the world and Chicago perform on several stages to honour the diverse music genres.