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About Activate

ACTIVATE transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences. Combining the talents of Chicago’s most creative minds, the events feature art, music, and more in unique urban settings.

Art. Music. People. Alleys.

These are the core components of every ACTIVATE.

The F Word

ACTIVATE is not a festival. It’s an interactive exhibition of art and culture that takes place over the course of five nights from June through September.

Raise a glass. Not a pinky.

ACTIVATE alleys don’t come with frills. So forget everything your parents taught you about etiquette and just enjoy yourself.

The best things in life are free

And so is ACTIVATE. You don't have to pay to get in, and we've kept beer and wine prices on par with your neighborhood watering hole (cash only!).


ACTIVATE is an initiative of Chicago Loop Alliance, which creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences that attract people and investment downtown. Take a look at some of our stats from last year:

Over 47,000



local artists

Over 1 Million 

in estimated
economic impact