Festivals to look forward to


Robin Bridges

Disturbed performing at the 2016 Chicago Open Air.

Robin Bridges, Editor in Chief

In Chicago, sunny days and warm weather equal festivals. Whether you’re a music fan, foodie, art lover or enjoy a little bit of everything, the Chicago area has something for you.

This past weekend marked the unofficial opening of the festival season. It was barely higher than 60 degrees outside but that didn’t stop one of the largest congregations of all things pop culture outside of San Diego’s Comic Con. Seven years ago ReedPOP brought Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo to our city. C2E2 is by far not the largest festival this summer but it is definitely how Chicagoans know it’s that time of year.

For those who love words both on and off the page:

Printers Row Lit Fest (June 10 and 11) – Purchased by the Chicago Tribune in 2002 the festival brings purveyors of the printed word from around the country to a small south loop stretch. The fest also features workshops and speakers.

Young Chicago Authors (Workshops and open mic every Tuesday and Saturday), Chicago Zine Fest (May 5 and 6)

For those who love performance:

Chicago Summer Dance (June 23 through Sept. 10) – Not strictly a festival, Summer Dance is totally a party.  Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is a different music style. Go early for the dance lessons or bring your partner and dance the night away to a different set of bands every weekend –  for free.

Fringe Festival (August 30 to Sept. 10)

For the music lover:

Chicago Open Air (July 14 to July 16) – 2017 will be the heavy metal music festival’s second year in existence. Headlined last year by artists like Korn, Disturbed and Marilyn Manson. Many of the artists had not played in the Chicago area for almost 10 years. This year bands like Kiss, Slayer and Godsmack headline the music, food and craft beer fest.  Featuring “Gourmet Man Food” from places such as Kuma’s Corner and the Big Cheesy along with locally made craft beers. Half Acre , Revolution and Goose Island beer will all be available either in a can or on tap for those who are of age.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest (May 27 and 28), Spring Awakening ( June 9 to June 11)

For the artist, art lover or aficionado of all things visual:

The 57th Street Art Fair (June 3 and June 4) and African Festival of the Arts (Sept 1 to Sept 4) – There is nothing like these two art festivals. You’ll never see art and hand made crafts like these anywhere else. If you like unique pieces from local and international artists, these art fairs are a must see.

Wells Street Art Fair (June 10 and June 11), Gold Coast Art fair (June 17 and June 18)

For the shopper:

Randolph Street Market happens on the last weekend of the month all year long. However during the summer it explodes into the great outdoors of Chicago. The market pours onto the indoor/outdoor space of Chicago Plumbers Union Hall. Buy food, furniture or add to your vinyl collection.

One of a kind Show and Sale, Spring Edition (April 28 to April 30)

For the lover of edibles and drinks:

Maifest (Mayfest) (June 1 to June 4) – This German festival features Polka music, giant soft bavarian pretzels and beer in a boot-stein. The festival officially opens with the crowning of the May Queen on Friday. However, the pre-crowning party on Thursday is worth the trip.

Lincoln Park Greek Fest (June 2 to June 4) Andersonville Midsommar Fest (June 9 to June 11)

There’s a street festival for everyone. It is one of the best things about Summer in Chicago.