Music Festivals in Chicago

Top Music Festivals in Chicago, IL

Music Festivals in Chicago

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Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travellers are saying

  • Diane K
    Venice, FL3,692 contributions
    We walked through the Festival this year. It was very busy. We use to attend years ago - it has grown. The music is always good.
    Written 8 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • gourmexican
    Bellevue, WA554 contributions
    I've been to several music festivals in the United States including Ultra and Coachella. I have to say that Lolla has its very own traits that make it unique. First of all, I really liked the fact that is it in the city. Getting in and out of the festival is quite easy. In comparison to Coachella (which is in the middle of nowhere) this makes a huge difference at the end of the day. Also, if you are looking to do something after the festival your options are many.

    Another big difference with Coachella comes with drinking being allowed throughout the grounds. Honestly, I loved this and did not see people getting more foolish as a result. People were probably more foolish at Coachella. Getting a beer was easy and I loved the fact that I could walk around with it in the hot weather. They had a craft beer garden where they offered a huge variety of the famous Goose Island brews. We really liked it.

    Moving from one stage to another was easy, as they close an entire street that runs through the center of the entire festival. The grounds are nice, and you have a lot of options for food. Getting something to eat or drink is quick and easy. The restroom situation will be that of any music festival, though I have to say that men urinals helped wait lines move faster. They should put more of those up at these kinds of events, to even be respectful to women and keep the porta potties cleaner for them.

    The artist lineup was amazing. It had a lot of variety from all genres. You cannot guarantee what mood the artists or bands will be in. We've been upset by performances at all festivals but do have to call out that the organization was flawless. Artists coming out on time. Sound being great. Never felt crowded to the point where it got claustrophobic. They allow the right amount of people in.

    One thing that I loved is that they have a program in place where they hand out recycling bags for people to pick-up cans from the grounds. This ensures the grounds are not only kept clean, but also safe. You would see people looking out for those carrying the bags to drop their cans. Great way to keep it clean, safe and recycle. You get some free stuff for doing this. Not only will it make you feel a good citizen, but you will walk out with some memorabilia of your experience.

    They have two ways to get into the festival with lanes for people carrying bags and lanes for those with no bags. This really expedites the entry process. Once in, you can even rent a locker for the 4 days in case you just want to go through the with bag lane once and then leave your stuff (ie. sunblock, drinking bottles, camelbacks) overnight. We really recommend bringing in double-wall cold insulation bottles to keep your drinks cold (whether water, Powerade or beer) as it gets quite hot.

    Getting to the festival walking, taking Uber/Lyft (they have designed drop-off and pick-up lots) or through subway was easy. The city of Chicago does a great job keeping this under control. It would be easier to do a festival in the middle of nowhere, but Lollapalooza met our expectations in and out. Will attend again someday for sure.
    Written 9 October 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • annpaulson
    Nottingham, UK69 contributions
    Free jazz festival at millennium park for four days. All very different styles of jazz over the four days which we found by chance. On in 3 stages but we went only to the Pritzker pavilion. Thoroughly enjoyed the performances - a delightful experience and not to be missed. Could not wait to return each day.
    Written 4 September 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • C2197MAthomasv
    Chicago67 contributions
    This fest is not for the faint of heart. Mostly DJ rock the stages and the crowd is 18 plus. Very EDM and people trying to rave out. We try and go every year to support Chicago and the Industry. Venue laid out very well and lots of room to dance and people watch. But that also means lots of walking. There very strict on what you can bring in so make sure to check out there site before you go. The food venders where laid out well but they need more of them to handle all of the people. A lot of them ran out of food. Bathrooms where well laid out and plenty to choose from. All types of music to choose to hear so pick your stage wisely. For a quick get away and to feel like your in your own little world make sure to visit there silent disco.
    Written 9 August 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • ImmerWandern
    Palos Heights, IL7,227 contributions
    We had heard about this Pilsen Street festival for a few years and finally checked it out last year. It began 45 years ago in 1974 to celebrate the opening of a local high school and now celebrated Latino culture: cuisine, music, art. Given that it was held at the height of summer the festival lived up to its name; the day featured relentless sunshine so check the weather and prepare accordingly with headgear and sunblock.

    We arrived fairly early but still found that the closest street parking was many blocks away, an uncomfortable walk in the summer heat. We paid to park close to the entrance.

    About 100 booths lined Cermak Avenue. We focused on the food, drinks and music. Bring an empty stomach and hearty appetite. As with any food festival it was tempting to start eating at the first booth. I suggest walking the length of the Fiesta Del Sol and check out all the culinary offerings before committing to your first of many dishes and drinks. Seating is hard to come by along Cermak so head to the park on the north and find a bench or just sit on the grass.

    Be sure to check out the performance stage on the east end for Mexican songs and dances performed by both school groups and professionals.
    Written 29 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • SuziMac8
    89 contributions
    We traveled from Ohio to attend Pitchfork with our adult children. I was not familiar with many of the bands like my family was, but found some bands I really liked, like Twin Peaks. Pitchfork Music Festival is three day event in Union Park. We took a taxi there on Friday and our driver did not know where this park was located. I guess not much goes on there.

    I appreciated how organized the event was as well as how peaceful most of the guests were even though there were quite a bit of drug usage and little security. I was close to the oldest person there, but didn't feel out of place.

    The worst moment was being shaken down by the gate security upon admission the first day. I did not know you could not bring a camera and I had brought mine. This made no sense because everyone has a phone with a camera, right? The security guy said if I gave him $40.00 I could bring it in. Since I would have missed a lot of the concert if I had taken it back to the hotel and came back and stood in line again, I paid it. I was very angry when I found out the truth was you could bring in a camera if the lense was not removable, which mine was not. Definately left a bad taste in my mouth.
    I have been to Chicago many times and that was the first time I was faced with such a scam. I look at it like a bad person rather than a bad event.
    Written 2 August 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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