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A Taste of Chicago's Music Festival Season

​Continuing the theme of fun things to do in the city this summer, let’s talk about music festivals. These days, summer music festivals are becoming more and more popular each year. You can find them all over the country in a variety of different locations and flavors and our fine city and its surrounding area are home to several. 

If you are at all familiar with the festival circuit, then you almost certainly know about Lollapalooza. It is Chicago’s highest profile festival and it takes place right in Grant Park next to the lake. There you will find a wide range of acts that usually include some of the biggest commercial acts of the given year and also an under-card of solid, up-and-coming bands that you definitely want to know about. This year the bill includes acts from Eminem and Arctic Monkeys, to local rap sensation Chance the Rapper, to a guy you may have heard me mention before, Glen Hansard. It takes place over three days in August so it is not for the faint of heart. It works best if you either have a plan of what you want to see and stick to it or you really just wing it and go where the winds take you. Who knows? You might see a great show by a righteous band that nobody knows about right now but is the next big thing. If you want tickets, you’ll have to look at the second hand market at this point as they are all sold out. Craigslist and ebay will always have deals, especially as the time draws closer and people want to offload their passes. I went three years ago and two years ago and had an absolutely great time so I highly recommend it as a Chicago summer experience if you are interested. 

Pitchfork Music Festival is another Chicago festival I have attended. This one tends to host slightly less mainstream acts but still ones that are usually household names. Taking place in Union Park, the bill this year features Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, Kendrick Lamar, and St. Vincent. The atmosphere is very different at Pitchfork than at Lolla. I would say it’s a bit more relaxed and a bit more attention goes to those oddball acts. And that’s just kind of the nature of it, being Chicago’s alternative music festival. Tickets for Pitchfork will be easier to come by and I would say I had just as good of a time at Pitchfork three years ago as I did at Lolla. 

In addition to the big boys, Chicago hosts a variety of other smaller festivals that are no less outstanding in quality. I personally hope to make it to the Chicago Jazz Festival this year. You can check out Timeout Chicago’s breakdown of the area’s festivals here and see which one(s) get you most excited. Summer is the time to sit on grass and soak up some quality music and here in Chicago, you have no shortage of opportunities to do just that. 

Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week: 

As I have mentioned before, many of my favorite memories of listening to music come from my days mowing lawns in my neighborhood in high school. I used to listen to a LOT of Weezer while doing that. And seeing as how it is the twenty-year anniversary of their debut album being released, I figured I’d share my favorite track from that very album. We will always have Weezer to help us revel in our teenage angst. And, to me, that is a beautiful thing.