Five Chicago Summer 2019 Music Festivals Worth Your Attention

It’s hard to believe that summer is around the corner in Chicago when the high was 45 degrees and cloudy today. But if we’re patient, it will come!

I decided to do this post a bit earlier this year cause I’m needing some summer inspiration to get me through this second winter that Chicago seems to have every year. There are lots of other summer festivals worth checking out like Mamby On The Beach and Wicker Park Fest, but the lineups for those still aren’t released! It seems like everything is behind this year.

Below are my top five festivals that I have on my radar at the moment. They range in price and genre but they all bring something special to the table.

In chronological order:

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Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Date: June 13-August 15
Time: 6:30pm
Location: 
Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St.
Price: FREE
Lineup Highlights: Mt. Joy, Rayland Baxter, Car Seat Headrest, Natalie Prass

I’ve unfortunately never been to this festival but last year I saw Bon Iver in Millennium Park and it was such a blast! There’s not much better than hanging out in the beautiful Chicago summer weather while listening to live music. It’s even better that these performers are free. I’m really hoping to check out Mt. Joy and Rayland Baxter play a show together! Last year I wanted to see The Aces, but of course, the day they ended up performing was like, 50 degrees and rainy. Thanks, Chicago!

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Taste of Randolph

Date: June 14-16
Time: Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-10pm
Location: 
900 W. Randolph St.
Price: Suggested $10 donation
Lineup Highlights: Anderson East, Real Estate, Cults, ABIR, Cyn, RAC

I’ve been to this festival two years in a row and really enjoy it! It’s a fun time if you really like the musician and it’s a casual environment: odds are that you’ll have no issue getting close to the stage to see an act that you care about since the majority of the patrons are there to casually hang out, eat and drink. I saw Dawes headline here in 2017 and last year I saw Overcoats perform. The festival has great food and is also dog friendly – what more could you want?

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Logan Square Arts Festival

Date: June 28-30
Time: Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-10pm
Location:
Illinois Centennial Monument, W. Logan Boulevard
Price: $5 suggested donation
Lineup Highlights: Hop Along, Speedy Ortiz, The Beths

I really like these smaller street festivals because they’re very casual and easy to navigate, compared to a festival like Lollapalooza that tends to be overcrowded, loud and messy. I’ve never been to this one in particular but I’ve been loving both Hop Along and The Beths this year, so it would be really fun to check out their live performance, $5 is so affordable and is honestly a steal.

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Pitchfork

Date: July 19-21
Time: 12pm-10pm
Location: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
Price: $75 for one day, $175 for three days. Prices go up on June 1. Click here for tix.
Lineup highlights: HAIM, Sky Ferreira, Soccer Mommy, Amber Mark, Jay Som, LaLa LaLa,  Robyn, Charli XCX, Clairo, Snail Mail (Accidentally just listed all females – whoops).

Last year was my first year finally attending Pitchfork and I honestly loved it so much. I was thinking I would go all three days this year (I went to just one last year) but unfortunately  I prefer one day way more over the others. I’m definitely going to attend on Sunday this year and for the price, quality and location of the festival, it’s worth being sleepy on Monday morning at work. HAIM must be prepping to release new music soon, Sky Ferreira has been on a break for over FOUR years and Robyn hasn’t played shows since 2010. Need I say more?

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Lollapalooza

Date: August 1-4
Time: 11am-10pm
Location: 
Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St.
Price: 4-day pass – $340 (without fees). 1-day pass – $130 (without fees). Saturday is sold out as of this post. Click here.
Lineup Highlights: Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Hozier, Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monáe, Death Cab For Cutie, Maggie Rogers, Mitski & many more

Could I really write a post about music festivals in Chicago and not include Lollapalooza? Though I bash it every year, Lollapalooza is such a fun time and delivers a really great lineup every year if you are patient and passionate enough to really dig deep into the undercards. It’s interesting that it’s taking so long to sell out this year – I’m curious to see what happens. Though I don’t think it will ever go back to three days, I think it may have more success selling out faster (which is seemingly what the producers of the festival want) if they went back to that format.

Keep an eye out for more festival lineup announcements like Mamby On The Beach (pushed back to August), Taste of Chicago, Wicker Park Fest and more.

Thanks for reading!

– Kristin

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