Get out there!

The Chicago-area festival season is back with a vengeance

With coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates on the decline, the summer festival season in Chicago is in much better shape than last year.

The city has given the green light for festivals and “general admission outdoor spectator events” to welcome 15 people for every 1,000 square feet.

The city has debated various ways bolster vaccination rates among young people most likely to attend outdoor music events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said a proposal to create a coronavirus vaccine passport for Chicago events is “very much a work in progress” but that preferred seating at those events could be one way to urge vaccination.

With pandemic restrictions easing every day, and the full re-opening of Chicago on the horizon later this month, here’s a look at area festivals — some familiar, some newbies — but all a welcome sign that the summer festival season is back!


◆ “Rockin’ in the Park,” Rosemont: 20 weekly concerts;

◆ “Tuesdays on the Terrace,” Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. through Aug. 31;

◆ Celebrate Highwood’s ‘Grads and Grease’ Carnival: June 10-13 in the Highwood Metra Station;

◆ Old Town Art Fair, June 12-13;

◆“The Obama Portraits,” Art Institute of Chicago, June 18 - Aug. 15;

◆ Chicago Craft Beer Festival, Fulton Market: June 18-20;

◆ Strawberry Fest, Long Grove: June 25- 27;

◆ Pride in the Park, Grant Park, Headlining will be Chaka Khan, Gryffin, and Tiësto. June 26- 27;


◆ The Ravinia Festival announced it will reopen in July 1 for 64 concerts through Sept. 26 with a slate of outdoor concerts including a six-week residency by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also slated to appear are: Cynthia Erivo, Kurt Elling, Brian McKnight, Ides of March, Madeleine Peyroux, Midori, Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman, the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Joffrey Ballet, and more;

◆ Ribfest: Naperville/Romeoville, July 1-4;

◆Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park. All concerts are free with reserved seats for all concertgoers and will take place Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. Run time will be 90 minutes, without intermission. July 2-Aug. 21;

◆African/Caribbean International Festival Of Life: Washington Park, July 2-4;

◆The Windy City Smokeout, headlined by country music superstars Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and more, July 8-11 outside the United Center;

◆Fresh Fest, Navy Pier: July 7-8;

◆The Auditorium Theatre presents “ABT Across America” featuring American Ballet Theatre, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, July 8;

◆Southport Art Fest, Waveland Ave. and Southport Ave. July 10-11;

◆The Chicago Loop Alliance “Sundays on State,” a weekly summer street festival, which will close portions of State Street on Sundays for pedestrians starting July 11;

◆Chicago Auto Show, McCormick Place West, July 15-19;

◆Country Thunder Wisconsin: July 15-18;

◆Taco Crawl in Rogers Park, (N. Clark St. between Devon Ave. and Touhy Ave.) July 15.;

◆Millennium Art Festival: Lake St. at Michigan Ave., July 16-18;

◆Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac: July 16-17;

◆Chinatown Summer Fair, July 17-18;

◆Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest: 3200 N. Sheffield Ave., July 17-18;

◆Sheffield Street Fest and Garden Walk: July 17-19;

◆ Wicker Park Fest: July 23-25;

◆ Chicago Latin Jazz Festival, Humboldt Park Boathouse, July 23-24;

◆ Lincoln Square Greek Fest: Sept. 10-12;

◆Taste of Lincoln Avenue: July 24-25;

◆Rhythm World Summer Dance Festival: July 26 - Aug. 1;

◆Lake County Fair: July 28-Aug. 1;

◆Jeff Fest: Milwaukee and Lawrence Avenues, July 30-Aug. 1;

◆Lollapalooza: Grant Park, July 30-Aug. 1;

◆Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival, July 31;

◆Chinatown Summer Fair, July 31-Aug. 1;


◆Northalsted Market Days: Aug. 6-8;

◆LatiNxt Music Festival, Navy Pier: Aug. 6-7;

◆Lake County (Ind.) Fair: Crown Point, Indiana, Aug. 6-15;

◆Printers Row Art Fair: Dearborn St., from Harrison to Polk, Aug. 7-8;

◆Retro on Roscoe: Roscoe St. & Damen Ave., Aug 13-14;

◆Edison Park Fest: Aug. 13-15 (tentative dates);

◆Wells Street Art Festival: Aug. 14-15;

◆World Naked Bike Ride: 6 p.m. Aug. 14. Route to be announced.

◆Ruido Fest: Addams/Medill Park, Pilsen. Aug. 20-22;

◆Summer Smash: Douglass Park, Aug. 20-22;

◆ Taste Of Greektown: Aug. 27-29;

◆ Gold Coast Art Fair: Grant Park. Aug. 21-22;

◆Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival, Rogers Park: Aug. 20-22;

◆Sangria Festival: Humboldt Park, Aug. 20-21;


◆Summerfest: Milwaukee. The festival will take place over three weekends, Sept. 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18. More than 100 artists are slated to perform including Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Luke Bryan, Pixies, Rise Against, Wilco, Diplo, and Fitz and the Tantrums;

◆Roscoe Village Burger Fest, Sept. 4-5;

◆Pitchfork Music Festival: Union Park, Sept. 10-12;

◆Printers Row Lit Fest, Sept. 11-12. Headlining the festival will be National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates;

◆Chicago Vegandale: Vegan Food Festival, Grant Park. Sept. 11;

◆RiotFest: Douglass Park, Sept. 17-19;

◆Artfest Michigan Ave.: Sept. 18-19;

◆Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Sept. 25-26;

◆Spring Awakening/Autumn Equinox, Addams/Medill Park, Oct. 2-3;

◆Lincoln Park Wine Fest, Jonquil Park, Oct. 9-10;

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