The Ultimate Chicago Summer Music Festival Guide (Updated)
A ton of fests have announced the groups swinging through the Midwest this summer. Want to know what to save your money for? Here’s a list of who’s playing what this summer. And don't worry, we'll keep updating as more fests and tickets are announced.
In the Chicago Area
Electric Daisy Festival
The first-ever Electric Daisy Festival features David Guetta, among others, for an electric dance fueled weekend.
Where: Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet
Tickets: Regular three-day passes $175-230; VIP three-day passes $299-350, on-sale now
Ravinia branches out with David Byrne & St. Vincent. Other announced acts include Sting and Jewel. UPDATE: The full season has been announced and is available at Ravinia's website. Highlights include Matchbox Twenty with the Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, and Josh Groban.
Where: Ravinia Park, Highland Park
Tickets: Prices vary for each show, on-sale April 25
The second annual Spring Awakening returns to Soldier Field with Bassnectar and Calvin Harris.
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
Tickets: Regular three-day passes $150-175; VIP three-day passes $200-230, on-sale now
Wavefront Music Festival
Another EDM fest hits the beach when Wavefront comes to town. Justice and Diplo are among the headliners.
Where: Montrose Beach
Tickets: Regular three-day passes $190-$300; VIP three-day passes $300-$500, on-sale now
Taste of Chicago
Yes, it's technically more of a food fest, but with fun. headlining and acts like Kelly Hogan and the Congregation taking the stage, don't leave the Taste to the tourists this year.
Where: Grant Park, Chicago
Tickets: free admission to the Taste, while tickets for pavilion seating go on sale in May
R. Kelly and Bjork (above) are this season’s odd couple with headlining spots at Pitchfork Music Festival and Bonnaroo; they could surprise us all with a duet of “Bump ‘n’ Grind.” Joanna Newsom, Swans, Killer Mike, TNGHT, and more will also play. Update 3/26: Solange, Yo La Tengo, M.I.A., and more join the previously announced acts.
Where: Union Park, Chicago
Tickets: Three-day passes $120; one-day tickets $50, on-sale now
The lineup changes throughout the summer, but expect to see Reel Big Fish, Hawthorne Heights, and Motion City Soundtrack when the Vans Warped Tour hits town in July.
Where: First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park
Tickets: $37.50–$47.50, on-sale now
The unequivocal flagship of the summer fest season leaked some of its lineup in March. Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, the Killers, and Phoenix will all be swinging through Grant Park this August. The rest of the lineup will be posted in April. Update 3/28: The Tribune has the rest of the lineup. The Cure and Nine Inch Nails join the previously announced acts.
Where: Grant Park
Tickets: $235 for a three-day pass
If you're up for a drive, check out these amazing fests happening in every direction.
Paul McCartney. Mumford and Sons. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Obviously tickets are in high demand for the Tennessee music fest, which we also love for its morning yoga wakeup call.
When: June 13–16 in Manchester, TN
Tickets: Four-day passes $260, on-sale now
Girls Got Rhythm
It’s ladies night every night at the second annual Girls Got Rhythm Fest; last year’s lineup included Ronnie Spector, The Muffs, and Chicago garage rockers White Mystery.
When: May 10–11 @ Amsterdam Barr & Hall in Minneapolis, MN
Tickets: Lineup and tickets will be announced March 10
Rock on the Range
Flashback fest: Lolla circa 1996 is making a comeback at Ohio’s Rock on the Range with headliners including Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Bush.
When: May 17–19 @ Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH
Tickets: Three-day passes $99.50–$149.50, on-sale now
Rush will bring the fireworks on July 4 and New Kids on the Block will bring the waterworks on July 2; plus a steady stream of other acts will be announced for Milwaukee’s annual lakefront Summerfest.
When: June 26–July 7 in Milwaukee, WI
Tickets: $20–$75 for Marcus Amphitheatre shows; $15 GA for the rest of the fest, on-sale now
Phish-files will be happy to hear the Trey Anastasio Band will provide two sets at the annual Summer Camp Festival alongside fest stalwarts moe. and Umphrey’s McGee.
When: May 24–26 in Chillicothe, IL
Tickets: Three-day passes $135–$180, on-sale now
Selena Fragassi is a contributing music critic for Chicago.
Photograph: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin