Summer is slowly rolling around. The birds are chirping, the parks are green, and the sun is shining against a backdrop of azure blue skies. There’s no better chance to take advantage of the amazing weather than to head outdoors and enjoy some equally amazing music with some of Chicago’s top summer festivals. Keep reading to find out more.

Chicago Pride Fest: 18-19 June

Kicking off the summer festivities in the windy city is the Chicago Pride Fest. It takes place right before the Pride Parade and kicks off on Halsted Street. There, you’ll be able to enjoy live music, over 100 creative vendors, drag shows, pet parades, and delicious food.

Summerfest: 23-25 June, 30 June – 2 July, and 7-9 July

Ready for over 1,000 performances, 12 stages, interactive activities, as well as food and drinks? What about enjoying the performances of Justin Bieber, Jaden and Halsey? If you are, then Summerfest 2022 is a must!

Pitchfork Music Festival: 15 – 17 July

Paying an ode to the “rising indie class”, Pitchfork is perfect if you’re a fan of The National, Mitski, and The Roots. It’s also ideal if you’re into Spiritualized, Japanese Breakfast, Earl Sweatshirt, Karate, BadBadNotGood. It will be held in Union Park and will feature indie, hip-hop, and electronic arts. 

Mas Flow Fest: 15 -17 July

Chicago’s Calumet Park will, for the first time ever, bring you the Mas Flow Fest with over 40 reggaeton stars including Don Omar, Zion & Lennox, and Ivy Queen. 

Lollapalooza: 28 – 31 July

Taking place in Grant Park with nine stages and over 170 global bands, you can enjoy the gorgeous Chicago skyline and the shores of Lake Michigan with friends and family. There’s also Chow Town, delivered by Grubhub, which will offer you some of the best food and drinks from the city’s favorite restaurants. It’s a must see! Lollapalooza is one of the largest and most iconic music festivals in the world and it welcomes nearly half a million attendees for this four-day music fest. Some of the names you’ll see making an appearance include Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, and Green Day. Other top notch bands to look out for include Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, and Steve Aoki and Kygo. 

Country Thunder: 20 – 23 July

Held at Wisconsin’s Twin Lakes, this 16-act festival will feature headliners such as Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young, and Lee Brice.

Jeff Fest: 29 – 31 July 

Taking place for the 21st year, Jeff Fest is also known as the Jefferson Park Arts and Music Festival. Ideal for families and all ages, it offers a wide variety of good music, food, and activities.

Illinois State Fair: 11 – 21 August

Head over to the Illinois Grand Lottery stage to bounce to the tunes of Demi Lovato and additional headliners such as Sam Hunt, Brooks & Dunn, TLC and Shaggy, Jon Pardi, and Disturbed. They fall into various genres including country, pop, reggae, and rock. Apart from the music, this fair will also feature activities suitable for all ages including petting zoos and so much more!

Grant Park Music Festival: 15 June – 21 August

Classical music lovers will enjoy returning to this summer favorite, where you’ll hear Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Also included are performances of symphonies by Mozart, Haydn, and Shostakovich. But that’s far from all! You’ll also be able to enjoy classic Broadway arrangements including Lights on Broadway and Cirque Goes to Hollywood as well as Independence Day celebrations.

Ruido Fest: 19 – 21 August

Are you a fan of Latin alternative music? Then head over to Union Park to listen to the likes of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and other great bands. 

Sacred Rose: 26 – 28 August

If you find yourself strolling the streets of suburban Bridgwood in late August, you might just stumble upon a full indie-rock bill featuring Phil Lesh & Friends, Khruangbin, The War on Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee, and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.

Chicago Jazz Festival: 1 – 4 September

Jazz fans put your hands up because the Chicago Jazz Festival is coming to you at Millennium Park. With a history spanning 48 years, this one is not to be missed as it features both jazz legends and influential modern masters. What’s more is that admission is free.

ARC: 2 – 4 September

After its debut in 2021, ARC will take place in Union Park for three full days and will feature house artists including Adam Beyer x Cirez D, Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, DJ Tennis, and Skream. Other headliners include: the wizard, Carl Craig, Claptone, Eats Everything, Fatboy Slim, Gorgon City, Honey Dijon, Paco Osuna, Richie Hawtin, Skream, and Vintage Culture.

Riot Fest: 16 – 18 September

Douglas Park is bringing you alternative, punk, metal, and hip-hop artists for a whopping three days. Some of the featured artists include My Chemical Romance and The Original Misfits. Debuting in 2005, this festival has turned into a multi-day outdoor event with editions in both Toronto and Denver. It’s held in Humboldt Park.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series; 20 June – 18 August

Pritzker Pavilion will be the home of the Millennium Park Summer Music Series which will see both emerging and well-established performers. Check out Femi Kuti, HAT, DakhaBrakha, Cimafunk, and Jeff Tweedy.

Rockin’ in the Park: until 1 September

Another music festival coming your way this summer is Rockin’ in the Park. It takes place on various weekends over the summer season and will last until 1 September 2022. There, you’ll be able to enjoy classic rock cover bands and end off the night with a fireworks show. Some of the acts you’ll see performing there include Yachtley Crew, Ticket to the Moon, and Rush Tribute Project.

To wrap up

Summer is the perfect time to head outdoors with friends and loved ones and enjoy the beautiful sounds of some global and local top performers. Why stay cooped up at home when you can ease into and rock to the beautiful soundtracks of the season and make lasting memories? And why worry about traffic and parking when you can always rely on Bus Connection to help you and your loved ones get to every festival on time, every time? Whether you’re a tourist or a visitor to the city for its rich musical palette or you live in Chicago, Bus Connection will ensure your journey is smooth and pleasant whichever festival you decide to head out to. Here’s to a rocking summer!