Loop Chicago


Loop List: 2016 Music Festivals

It is summertime in the Loop, so let the festivals begin! From the blues, to classical works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, to today’s alternative and pop, there is a live music event for everyone to enjoy. Most of the festivals in this year’s lineup are free, so check out what each event has to offer.

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 3 & 4 | Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park

The Chicago Gospel Music Festival showcases the best in local, national and international performers of Gospel music. This free event celebrates Chicago’s Gospel music roots with performances by Shirley Cesar, The Kingsman and Hezekiah Walker.

Chicago Blues Festival

June 10 – 12 | Grant Park

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest music festival in Chicago, and it is the largest free blues festival in the world. With a blues festival as big as this, it is no wonder why Chicago is considered the “Blues Capital of the World.” The festival lineup includes Fred Wesley, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and Shemekia Copeland.


July 28 – 31 | Grant Park

Lollapalooza is back for its 25th year! The festival features over 170 bands from around the world, an art market and food from around the Chicago area. Though Lollapalooza is not a free festival, it is an experience. The lineup for this four-day event includes Lana Del Rey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, M83 and Ellie Goulding.

Grant Park Music Festival

June 14 – August 20 | Jay Pritzker Pavilion

The Grant Park Music Festival is ten weeks of free classical concerts for all of Chicago to enjoy at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. It is the nation’s only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind. The festival kicks off with open rehearsals on Tuesday, June 14, and opening night will take place on Wednesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. This year’s performances include works by Beethoven, Mahler, Chopin and Tchaikovsky.

Taste of Chicago

July 6 – 10 | Grant Park

The Taste of Chicago is a food festival that showcases the diversity and deliciousness of the Chicago dining community, and the music lineup for this event is just as good.  Performers include The Roots, KONGOS, The Decemberists and Billy Idol.

Chicago Jazz Festival

September 1 – 4 | Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park

The Chicago Jazz Festival will continue the tradition of ‘swinging’ into the city on Labor Day Weekend. This free festival showcases Chicago’s jazz talent, as well as the jazz talent of national and international artists. Attendees will be able to experience all forms of jazz. Performers will include Orbert Davis, Benny Golson and Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra.

World Music Festival

September 9 – 25 | Various locations including Chicago Cultural Center

The World Music Festival is a free 11 day festival that takes place throughout the city at multiple venues. This annual event offers traditional and contemporary music from around the world. This festival has attracted 650,000 attendees and presented more than 650 artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since 1999.

Other Events


May - October | The Loop

ACTIVATE is an interactive exhibition of art and culture that combines the talents of Chicago’s most creative minds. Each event features art, music and more in unique urban settings.  This year ACTIVATE is focusing on the five senses, so be sure to hear, smell, see, taste and touch what ACTIVATE has to offer.

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Tuesdays, June 21 – August 30, 6:30 p.m. | Millennium Park

Movie buffs rejoice! The Millennium Park Summer Film series will kick off in a few weeks with a showing of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  Head to Millennium Park on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. from June 21 – August 30 to catch popular films presented on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen.

Chicago SummerDance

Fridays – Sundays, June 24 – September 11 | Grant Park

The Spirit of Music Garden at Grant Park is going to be filled with dance this summer for the 20th Annual Chicago SummerDance. Dance to the sounds of 44 different live bands and get into step with dance lessons beforehand.  Glide across the restored 4,900-square-foot, 100 percent recycled, open-air dance floor designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman. Swing, waltz, cha-cha...or simply enjoy the music at the largest annual outdoor live music and dancing series in the United States.

(Photo: Will Rice / http://www.lollapalooza.com/press/)

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