Campus News

Chicago music festivals you can’t miss this summer

By Jesus J Montero | Posted June 15, 2015

Photo: Ashley Garmon


Don’t you hate it when you’re stuck at home on a summer’s day and you check social media to find out your friends are at a music festival? Below are some of the top summer festivals you must check out this summer in the Windy City.


Photo: Ashley Garmon




Lollapalooza is the premiere music festival in Chicago and is one of the biggest in the U.S. This year may be the best one yet with an eclectic lineup that includes Paul McCartney and Metallica. This year is going to be a legendary one.


Tickets: Time Machine

Dates: July 31 – Aug. 2

Location: Grant Park


Lineup: Paul McCartney, Metallica, Sam Smith, Florence + the Machine, Bassnectar, The Weeknd, Alabama Shakes, alt-J, Of Monsters and Men, Kaskade, Alesso, Metallica and more.




Riot Fest


Finding a new home at Douglas Park on Chicago’s southwest side, Riot Fest is here to stay. Being under close watch from the Chicago Park District, Riot Fest has since unveiled a packed lineup making it a music festival you don’t want to miss.


Tickets: Tickets are currently unavailable since the switch from Humboldt Park to Douglas Park. Early bird tickets for Humboldt Park will still be valid.

Dates: Sept. 11-13

Location: Douglas Park


Lineup: No Doubt, Modest Mouse, Faith No More, Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley, Motörhead, Rancid, Tenacious D, Billy Idol and more.





Spring Awakening Music Festival 


The Spring Awakening Music Festival is a raver’s dream come true, and this year is one you’re definitely not going to miss. This year will feature new stages: the Trance Area, the Bass Kitchen and the Beatport stage. Spring Awakening with its huge success over the years has become one of the largest electronic dance music festivals worldwide.


Tickets: 3 Day General Admission $200, 3 Day VIP $350.

Dates: June 12-14

Location: Soldier Field


Lineup: Zedd, Eric Prydz, Martin Garrix, Duke Dumont, Paul Van Dyk, Hardwell, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Zomboy, Dada Life, Tiesto, Afrojack and more







Mamby on the Beach


This isn’t the first beach music festival that has hit the Windy City, but it plans to succeed where others failed. Their “What is Mamby?” campaign built plenty of hype, and with the insanely stacked lineup of indie-dance artists, there’s plenty to look forward to for Mamby on the Beach.


Tickets: General admission 2 day wristband $99, VIP 2 Day Wristband $199

Dates: July 11-12

Location: Oakwood Beach


Lineup: Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun, Royksopp, James Murphy, ZHU, Art Department, Cashmere Cat, Phantogram and more.







Blues Music Festival


With Chicago’s reputation as the “Blues Capital of the World,” the Blues Music Festival is one you can’t miss. Spanning across five stages, the Chicago Blues Festivals is the largest free blues festival in the world.


Tickets: Free

Dates: June 12-14

Location: Grant Park


Lineup: Buddy Guy, Zora Young, Clarence Carter, Syl Johnson, Taj Mahal Trio, Toronzo Cannon and more.

Website: Chicago Blues Music Festival 




North Coast Music Festival


Known as “summer’s last stand,” the North Coast Music Festival has the most diverse range of music for its size.  This Labor Day weekend festival is one you’re not going to want to miss.


Tickets: 3-day General Admission $159, 3 Day VIP $259

Dates: Sept. 4-6

Location: Union Park


Lineup: Widespread Panic, The Chemical Brothers, D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Portugal. The Man, Steve Aoki, The Glitch Mob, Atmosphere, Knife Party, Future Rock, The Roots and more.







Pitchfork Music Festival


Celebrating its 10th year, Pitchfork Music Festival highlights new and emerging music. Set in Chicago’s Union Park, Pitchfork has a lot of awesome musical talent in store. With Chicago’s very own Wilco, Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper on the bill, this music festival has the most bang for your buck.


Tickets: Single day tickets are $65, 3-day passes for sold out

Dates: July 17-19

Location: Union Park


Lineup: Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Ought, The New Pornographers, Courtney Barnett, Sophie, CHVRCHES, Chance The Rapper, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Vic Mensa and more.









This music festival will be one of the largest outdoor festival in the U.S. solely devoted to Latin alternative and Spanish rock. RuidoFest is debuting in Pilsen this summer.


Tickets: 3 Day General Admission Pass 154.99, Single day 54.99- $ 75, Single VIP $99.99- $150 VIP 3 Day Pass $254.99.

Dates: July 10-12

Location: Addams/Medill Park


Lineup: Café Tacvba, Zoé, Molotov, Kinky, Ozomatli, Zero Kill, Nortec, Mexican Institute of Sound and more.






Wicker Park Fest


The thriving Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park hosts this neighborhood festival that brings out the best in local musical talent and food vendors.


Tickets: $5 donation.

Dates: July 25-26

Location: North Ave/Milwaukee


Lineup: Reverend Horton Heat, Owls, RJD2, Jeff the Brotherhood, Woods, Odesza and more.








Chicago Mariachi and Folkloric Festival


The Mariachi Heritage Foundation, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events present this first annual event that celebrates traditional Mexican music and dance.


Tickets: Free admission

Date/Time: June 28 at 3 p.m.

Location: Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park


Website: Facebook event page 



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