2018 Hottest Summer Festivals in the Chicago Loop
When the heat cranks up, the streets fill with people and the city gains boundless energy. From electrifying live performances to some of the best food and beverage the city has to offer, the Chicago Loop is packed with summer festivals and cultural celebrations. So—bust out your sandals and enjoy summer in the Windy City.
May 26 – September 23
The sound of summer in Chicago is the sound of music festivals. Although Lollapalooza is the apex of its kind, there are plenty of other free music fests in the Loop for you to get your groove on and grace the outdoors. Make the most of Chicago’s best season with the best musical experiences the city has to offer.
June 1 – 2
Bordered by the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, Chicago Ale Fest will feature more than 200 American craft beers, live music and some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks. Don't miss out on one of the most anticipated summer craft beer events of the year.
June 9 – 10
The Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, the Midwest’s largest literary festival, is an annual book fair and literary festival held in the Chicago Loop. The festival features readings, author conversations, book signings, a poetry slam and a book fair. Let's get lit!
June 16 – 17
Photo: City of Chicago
Rated as one of the top 30 juried art festivals in the country, the Gold Coast Art Fair at Grant Park welcomes more than 300 artists from around the world to the Chicago Loop. Exceptional artwork of all mediums, ranging in price from $25 to $25,000, will draw hundreds of thousands of art enthusiasts to Grant Park’s beautiful Butler Field. Celebrate the summer season with an art-filled experience at the 60th annual Gold Coast Art Fair with incredible demonstrations by artists, live music and interactive art projects.
Every year, musicians of all kinds pour onto the streets, parks, plazas and porches of Chicago to share their music with friends, neighbors and strangers, and celebrate the rich musical diversity of our communities. Make Music Chicago invites everyone to discover their ability to make music, regardless of age, ability or preferred musical style.
Enjoy traditional mariachi and Mexican dance performances at the largest mariachi event in the U.S., attracting more than 22K patrons to Millennium Park. This festival, presented by The Mariachi Heritage Foundation, is the 3rd Annual Chicago Mariachi Festival.
Hot and cold stations will be bringing you all your favorite comfort food classics from fried chicken and wings to burgers, ice cream and more. With an anticipated 60,000+ hungry visitors, Vegandale has geared up to serve more vegan and vegan-curious eaters than ever before. Have a happy feast!
July 11 – 15
Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family.Stay hungry!
August 4 – 30
Each year since 1994, the Gene Siskel Film Center has presented the Annual Black Harvest Film Festival, a vibrant celebration of independent films that tell the stories and explore the images, heritage and history of the worldwide Black experience. Check out these thought-provoking and awareness-raising films.
September 7 – 8
Presented by U.S. Bank, the Windy City Wine Festival provides an opportunity to sample more than 300 wines from around the world. Learn about new and exciting varieties from the experts while treating yourself to signature dishes from local restaurants.
September 13 -15
Sip Turkish coffee, enjoy live music and traditional dances and eat baklava and orchid ice cream while learning about Turkish culture at this three-day festival. You can also browse grocery stands, handmade ceramics and jewelry.
September 28 – 30
Each September, celebrity chefs headline cooking demos on two stages at this concert of culinary delights. Popular wine & mixology seminars serve up the coolest trends in a glass while an excellent line-up of delicious food, wine, spirits and beer tastings keeps the crowd rockin' and rollin'. Get your tickets today before it's sold out.