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Essential Chicago Music Festivals Guide, 2018

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.

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