Chicago doesn’t receive enough credit for the sheer number of music festivals it hosts every year. We might not have the climate of Austin but we sure do make up for it between June and October. Over the course of 15 weeks, a grand total of 24 days are dedicated to some sort of large-scale outdoor music event – and that doesn’t include the city-run World Music Festival or random summer block parties.
And it doesn’t need to end at city limits. If you’re feeling ambitious and passionate about music there are more than a dozen upper midwest summer music festivals within a six-hour drive of the city.
Below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to not only Chicago music festivals, but music fest throughout the Upper Midwest. From Chicago to Wisconsin to Detroit to Iowa, we’ve got it covered. We’ve broken the festivals down by distance and within each distance cluster they’re ordered by date. Did we miss an important festival or update? Let us know in the comments.
The date was November 22, 1987. WGN-TV was in the midst of broadcasting the Nine O’Clock News. Unexpectedly, the sports segment was interrupted by a pirate signal and a masked figure briefly appeared on television screens around the city. The interruption was over in less than 20 seconds. Sportscaster Dan Roan echoed the thoughts of viewers when he said: “well, if you’re wondering what’s happened, so am I.”
The figure appearing on the screen would have been familiar to consumers of the 80s. It was a rubberized version of the character Max Headroom. The computerized talk show host was originally developed for a British cyberpunk TV movie called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future. He caught on in the United States as the spokesman for New Coke and as the star of a short-lived sci-fi show simply called Max Headroom (he was also the host a Cinemax talk show after the sci-fi show was canceled).
Chicago is easily one of the top pie cities in the country (and for once we’re not talking pizza). The great thing about pies is there’s a pie for everyone. And the great thing about Chicago pies is we have plenty of pies to go around. Sure there are some people who claim to “hate pies” but that’s most likely because they grew up eating pies at Aunt Nancy’s house and no one liked Aunt Nancy’s pies because she constantly chain-smoked and it infused everything she baked with the flavor of Pall Mall. Save yourself from Aunt Nancy’s pies this holiday season by volunteering to bring the pie (if you’re reading this, sorry, Aunt Nancy).