Chicago Summer Festival Guide

Nick Amati, '18, Editor

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It may not feel like it right now, but summertime is right around the corner, and with summer comes festivals. Every year, Chicago has a full slate of events to attend between May and September. Whether it be a weekend of concerts in Grant Park or a Sunday stroll through the Randolph Street Market, here’s a list of the best fests to check out this season.


Randolph Street Market Festival: May 26-27

The Randolph Street Market Festival is the destination to be at if you’re into shopping. The Fest is home to the Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago and the Holiday Market. Although held every month, the May Street Fest kicks off the outdoor festival season.

Ravinia: June 1-September 16

The Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, but its age doesn’t show. Musically speaking, Ravinia is the most diverse event with outdoor concerts and performances held every summer between June to September.  Guests can bring their own picnics into the 36-acre park in Highland Park and enjoy terrific music on the the lawn.

Spring Awakening: June 8-10

Spring Awakening Music Festival has outgrown its roots of a concert series and become a hallmark outdoor festival for electronic dance music in the city in only a matter of ten years. EDM fans from not just Chicago but around the world come to experience what SAMF has to offer. Featuring four main stages with the hottest acts in EDM, Addams/Medill Park is the best three day rave to attend.

Taste of Chicago: July 11-15

Since 1980, Taste of Chicago has turned itself into the largest food festival in the world, showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s restaurants and vendors. Bring an appetite to Grant Park, because there’s an abundance of offerings to choose, from the smokiest of barbecue to the sweetest of pastries. All of the delicious food found at Taste of Chicago is paired perfectly with music and exciting activities for the entire family.

Lollapalooza: August 2-5

“an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.” is the definition of lollapaloosa, a term once used in the 19th century. 200 years later, the word’s meaning has not changed thanks to the ultimate music festival held here in Chicago. Lollapalooza is the Mecca of all music festivals, bringing every popular genre of music into Grant Park. Lolla features seven stages, making it impossible to see every performance, so make sure you plan ahead on who you want to see. The biggest names in music headline each year, with Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys and The Weeknd all set to grace the main stages. As if the music was all to offer, the amazing food offered at the festival makes Lollapalooza feel like Taste of Chicago. Lollapalooza is the one event that cannot be missed and won’t disappoint.

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