Technically, it has been spring for months, but the weather is only now starting to catch up with that fact. The sun and warm breeze have seduced me enough to get me to turn Netflix off, brush the Girl Scout Cookie crumbs off of my pajamas, get out of bed, and go outside. I’m always looking for things to do and the warm weather means one thing to me: it’s festival season.
While everyone knows about Spring Awakening and Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago, there are a ton of smaller festivals happening all around the city all of the time!
Here are some that I’m thinking about going to this month:
(May 15-17): For 20 years, Mayfest has prided itself on being the unofficial start to festival season in the city. Mayfest is three days of music, food, beverages, and a children’s health and wellness expo (in case any of you were looking for that). Mayfest is held (relatively) near the Paulina Brown Line stop in a massive (I’m not
exaggerating) heated tent. I’m slightly confused why it needs to be heated with so many people in a confined space, but I’m excited to find out why when I go.
(May 22): The most important one of all! DePaul’s annual end-of-year music festival turns 30 this year and it’s celebrating in a big way. Held on the Quad on the Lincoln Park Campus, FEST is only open to DePaul Students and only costs $10! It’s an amazing way to blow off some stress before finals. This year’s line-up was just announced: Big Sean, American Authors, and Milo Greene.
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
(May 23-24): While I usually go to the Belmont Red Line stop to stress eat ice cream from Oberweiss, on May 23, I will be there for the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival. For 31 years, BSMF has been bringing tribute bands to the Lakeview neighborhood. If you’re wondering, I’m most likely going to go see “Don’t Speak” in hopes that it’s a No Doubt tribute band. Besides Gwen Stefani covers blessing your ears (I’m hoping), BSMF also offers food, beverages, and a variety of local artisans displaying and selling their goods.
Randolph Street Market
(May 23-24): I recently found out that the proper name is “Randolph Street Market Festival” (who knew?), so I am ecstatic to be able to include it in my recommendations. If you haven’t gone to it yet, you have to go. I went to Randolph Street Market two years ago and I’ve been wanting to go back ever since. Part flea market, part antique show, part bake sale. It’s basically the offspring of HGTV and Food Network. It’s ginormous and so much fun. Students can get in ridiculously cheap ($3 if you buy tickets in advance) and there are now free trolleys that pick up from Union Station or Water Tower Place (on Michigan Avenue). The best part is that it’s a monthly event, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t go.