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Must-Go Summer Music Fests in the Loop

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 music fests in the Chicago Loop for you to get your groove on and grace the outdoors. Make the most of Chicago’s best season with these musical experiences.

Chicago House Music Festival

May 26, 2018

Millennium Park

Free admission

Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman

Throughout the day, DJs and live performances will showcase the various sounds and styles of house music, a genre born in Chicago that has gone on to revolutionize dance music internationally.

Chicago Gospel Music Festival

June 1 – 2, 2018

Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park

Free admission

The 33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival features local and national artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park. Celebrate the genre's deep Chicago roots with traditional choirs and contemporary urban gospel music in the city where it was born.

Chicago Blues Festival

June 8 – 10

Millennium Park

Free admission

The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago's Music Festivals. Enjoy free live music in the "Blues Capital of the World." Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, the late Ray Charles, the late B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, the late Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark Jr, Rhiannon Giddens, Lil Ed and the Imperials and Bobby Rush.

Grant Park Music Festival

June 13 – August 18, 2018

Millennium Park

Free admission

As the nation's only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind, the Grant Park Music Fest features the Grammy® nominated Grant Park Orchestra led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus led by Chorus Director Christopher Bell. Make it an alfresco picnic while enjoying 32 spectacular summer concerts.

For as little as $26, you can have access to reserved seats close to the stage with a One Night Pass.

Chicago SummerDance

Thursdays – Sundays, June 28 – August 25, 2018

Grant Park, Spirit of the Music Garden and other Chicago Park District locations

Free admission

Get your back up off the wall and get down to the sounds of 48 different live bands and DJs at the Spirit of Music Garden, a 4,900-square-foot dance floor made of 100% recycled material. Get free dance instructions or simply sit back and enjoy the music.

Lollapalooza

August 2 – 5, 2018

Grant Park

One of the most prolific music festivals returns to Grant Park with Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and Jack White as headliners. Enjoy four days of music, heat and huge crowd at Lollapalooza near some of the best attractions in the Chicago Loop. You also get to enjoy gourmet festival grub, curated by Chicago's own celebrity chef Graham Elliot at Chow Town. For an enhanced festival experience, check out our essential Lolla guide.

Chicago Jazz Festival

August 30 – September 2, 2018

Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park

Free admission

Known for its artistic creativity, the 40-year running Chicago Jazz Festival is a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition. It promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through free, inspiring live musical performance. Since 1979, the festival's mission is to showcase Chicago's vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.

World Music Festival

September 7 – 23

Various locations citywide

Free admission

As the largest and longest-running festival of international music in the U.S., the 20th Annual World Music Festival Chicago will feature 60 artists from 25 countries at 20 venues citywide. The fest is a testament to the fact that music as a language that transcends borders and culture.


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