Every major musical act playing Chicago fests this summer

All the bands and performers playing everything from Pitchfork to Chicago’s Blues Fest to Sueños.

Lauren Alaina, Rauw Alejandro and Maluma
Chicago has one of the largest markets for music festivals. This year, artists (from left) like Lauren Alaina, Rauw Alejandro and The Chainsmokers will make appearances on stages across the city. Mark Humphrey/Associated Press; Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press; Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press
Lauren Alaina, Rauw Alejandro and Maluma
Chicago has one of the largest markets for music festivals. This year, artists (from left) like Lauren Alaina, Rauw Alejandro and The Chainsmokers will make appearances on stages across the city. Mark Humphrey/Associated Press; Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press; Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press

Every major musical act playing Chicago fests this summer

All the bands and performers playing everything from Pitchfork to Chicago’s Blues Fest to Sueños.

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.

Warmer weather is quickly nearing, which means that live music will soon return to outdoor stages. Chicago now boasts one of the largest markets for music festivals in the United States with established events such as Lollapalooza thriving, as newer festivals such as Sueños arrive. As live events are announced and major music fest lineups drop, WBEZ will update this list so you can keep track of it all.

Did we miss one? Tell us at arts@wbez.org.


SZA will headline this year’s Lollapalooza in Grant Park. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP


August 1-4 in Grant Park

A bit of a something-for-everyone festival, Lollapalooza is just as much about the experience as it is about the music. Like Pitchfork, the festival will feature VIP tiers, the benefits of which will range from private bars to golf cart transportation on festival grounds.

  • SZA: The elusive R&B vocalist dropped her much-anticipated sophomore album SOS at the tail end of 2022, which earned her a Grammy for Best Progressive R&B album. She’s sure to play hits like “Kill Bill” and “Snooze.”

  • Tyler the Creator: The rapper and Odd Future alumnus has influenced multiple facets of pop culture in and outside of the music sphere. His alt-hip-hop sound has evolved since his start in 2007 both in terms of his lyricism and production style; Tyler, the Creator is an adaptive producer and a smart collaborator with songs alongside Brent Faiyaz, Kali Uchis and Frank Ocean.

  • Blink-182: The California Pop-punk trio first emerged in the early nineties and has seen breakups and member changes over the years. The band, now back to its best-known lineup of Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, released its latest album ONE MORE TIME… last fall.

  • The Killers: Prepare to temporarily lose your hearing from the crowd singing “Mr. Brightside” if you tune into this set. The Utah rock band is a rock mainstay, but the group’s last release, Pressure Machine, definitely hits on some country influences.

  • Future x Metro Boomin: The rapper and producer respectively have created some of the last decades most well-known hip hop tracks, including “Mask Off,” and “Jumpman” (a collaboration with Drake). The duo’s collaborative album is anticipated to drop in March.

  • Hozier: The Irish folk singer released Unreal Unearth last August, but is probably best known for his bluesy 2013 single “Take Me to Church.” Hozier’s musical style draws inspiration from a number of genres as he creates songs with folk, soul and rock in mind.

Also on the bill: Stray Kids, Melanie Martinez, Skrillex, Deftones, Tate McRae, Laufey (with the Chicago Philharmonic), Conan Gray, Reneé Rapp, Lizzy McAlpine, Zedd, Fisher, Zeds Dead, Dominic Fike, Labrinth, Pierce the Veil, Faye Webster, Victoria Monét, Sexyy Red, Teddy Swims, Benson Boone, Jungle, Two Door Cinema Club, Ive, Killer Mike, Vince Staples, Kesha, TV Girl, Galantis, Mochakk, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Hippo Campus, Four Tet, Loud Luxury, Kevin Abstract, Ethel Cain, Skream & Benga, Chappell Roan, Whyte Fang, Raye, Megan Moroney, Sir, Ben Böhmer, Cannons, Teezo Touchdown, Don Diablo, The Last Dinner Party, d4vd, Ruel, Walker & Royce, Kenny Beats, Tyla, Alok, The Japanese House, Qveen Herby, Briston Maroney, Waterparks, Boywithuke, Romy, Yoasobi, Kasbo, Veeze, Flo, Mersiv, In This Moment, Daði Freyr, Cults, Olivia Dean, Sam Barber, Noizu, Grentperez, Bigxthaplug, Good Kid, Hol!, Wilderado, Elyanna, Fridayy, Josiah and the Bonnevilles, Saint Levant, Ryan Beatty, Malcolm Todd, Destroy Boys, Lola Young, Leisure, Eyedress, Slow Pulp, Dora Jar, MEdium Build, Militarie Gun, Mimi Webb, Nia Archives, Jyoty, It’s Murph, Geese, Tanner Usrey, Quarters of Change, Giolì & Assia, Knox, Armani White, Friko, Briscoe, Blu Detiger, Treaty Oak Revival, Fleshwater, Jessica Audiffred, Nico Vega, Matt Hansen, Natalie Jane, Blondshell, Wisp, Vcha, Spinall, Willis, Pawpaw Rod, Brenn!, Tiny Habits, Happy Landing, Quannnic, The National Parks, Brandi Cyrus, Dasha, Hanabie., Twinsick, Post Sex Nachos, Riovaz, Nostalgix, Ahadadream, Worry Club, Mette, Valencia Grace, Been Stellar, Xandra, Scarlet Demore, Eddie, Gudfella, Brigitte Calls Me Baby, Dundial, Godly the Ruler, Infinity Song, Kyle Dion, Tommy Richman, Abby Holliday, Camden Cox, Chance Emerson, Sam Nelson, Kaitlin Butts, Will Linley, Wolves of Glendale, Ryan Trey, Hayes Warner, Huddy, Tommy Newport, Adan Diaz, Walter the Producer, Carmen DeLeon, Nightly, Ava Maybee, Goldie Boutilier, McKenna Grace, Cale Tyson, Kaliii, Savannah Ré, Fifteen0eight, Chicago Made Showcase.

If you go: Four-day general admission tickets start at $385. No single-day tickets are currently available. Children 8 and under are free to attend with an adult ticketholder. The fest runs Aug. 1-4.

Alanis Morissette performs during the Corona Capital music festival in Mexico City in November 2023. Morissette will headline Sunday of Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago.
Alanis Morissette performs during the Corona Capital music festival in Mexico City in November 2023. Morissette will headline Sunday of Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press


July 19-21 at Union Park

Less raucous than Lollapalooza and long considered the festival for serious music heads, Pitchfork returns to Chicago’s Union Park in July. It’s the first Pitchfork Festival since the namesake music review website was folded into the men’s magazine GQ. Expect some changes: more VIP tiers, bands that appeal to Gen Z in the lineup. Headliners include: 

  • Black Pumas: The Texas-based psychedelic soul band burst onto the scene in 2020 with a Grammy nomination for best new artist. The group has continued a run of success in subsequent years, fueled by electrifying live performances and an award-worthy sophomore release Capitol Cuts (Live from Studio A).
  • Brittany Howard: The soulful Alabama-raised singer made her name as the frontwoman for Alabama Shakes. In 2018, she put out her first album as a solo artist, and she’s earned heaps of critical praise (plus five Grammys) since.

  • Carly Rae Jepsen: Yes, this is the Canadian Idol contestant who put out the pop song “Call Me Maybe.” But she has taken a strong turn since with a series of hyper-emotive albums that display range and songwriting prowess.

  • Alanis Morissette: The Canadian-American songwriter and Jagged Little Pill hitmaker has reentered the cultural conversation in recent years with a documentary and Broadway jukebox musical inspired by her 1995 album.

  • De La Soul: This hip-hop group formed in ‘88 with a unique style of clever word-play, fun skits, dance-inspiring instrumentals. The album 3 Feet High and Rising is the group’s biggest commercial success, and they are widely regarded as one the greatest hip-hop groups of all time.

    Also on the bill: GrandMaster Flash, Akenya, Tkay Maidza, Unwound, Jeff Rosenstock, Hotline TNT, Kara Jackson, Sudan Archives, Les Savy Fav

    If you go: Pitchfork runs July 19-21 in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Single day, three-day passes and VIP tiers are on sale now starting at $109 for single-day tickets.

      Peso Pluma
      Peso Pluma will perform at Sueños in Grant Park this May. Aurea Del Rosario / Associated Press


      This two-day music festival featuring Latin music and reggaeton artists returns to Grant Park for its third year on May 25 and 26. Headliners include:

      • Rauw Alejandro: Dubbed the “king of modern reggaeton,” Rauw Alejandro has not only created Latin hits himself with songs “Todo de Ti” and “2/Catorce,” but he’s also penned songs for Bad Bunny.

      • Peso Pluma: Peso Pluma combines the storytelling and guitar sounds of regional Mexican music with urbano to create a genre that is truly his own.

      • Maluma: Maluma’s pop-meets-reggaeton is music to be reckoned with, especially considering his list of powerhouse collaborators: Shakira, Karol G and Madonna.

      • Ivan Cornejo: Straight from Mexico City, Ivan Cornejo delivers a mix of Mexican regional guitar playing, reflective songwriting and an indie pop sound in songs like “Donde Estás” and “La Curiosidad.”

      Also on the bill: Young Miko, Bizarrap, Mora, Jowell y Randy, Rels B, Xavi, Manuel Turizo, Gabito Ballesteros, Álvaro Díaz, LATIN MAFIA, Bad Gyal, Alexis y Fido, Elena Rose, SORRY PAPI, Dani Flow, Delilah, DJ Miriam, Red Bull Batalla, DJ Fredy Fresco, DJ Dynamiq.

      If you go: Tickets are sold out, but there’s a waitlist for official sales as well as resale tickets circulating among the major brokers. Two-day general admission waitlist tickets start at $360. The fest is May 25-26.

      Buddy Guy
      This year’s Chicago Blues Festival is devoted to local icon Buddy Guy. Associated Press

      Chicago Blues Festival

      June 6 - 9 at Millenium Park

      This year’s Chicago Blues Festival will feature a four-day celebration of the genre in Millennium Park along with an opening night performance in the newly reopened Ramova Theatre in Bridgeport. The Chicago Blues Festival has hosted blues superstars such as B.B. King and Ray Charles in the past, but this year is devoted to a local icon: Buddy Guy. The free event will feature over 35 performances and BBQ fare.

      • Buddy Guy: The Chicago blues trailblazer is headlining the festival as part of his farewell tour. At 87, Guy still plays his influential blues hundreds of nights per year, including a multinight winter residency at his own South Loop club.

      • Shemekia Copeland: The daughter of late blues musician Johnny Copeland, Shemekia Copeland began her first tour at 18 as her father’s opening act. Copeland has been praised as one of the best blues vocalists of her generation, which is unsurprising given her vocal prowess and emotional range in her music.

      • Mr. Sipp: Castro Coleman, AKA Mr. Sipp, is a performer whose guitar-laden riffs are heavily influenced by his gospel roots and his Mississippi upbringing.

      • Southern Avenue: Also headlining Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival, Southern Avenue adds an upbeat edge to the blues genre.

      Also on the bill: Ronnie Baker Brooks, Kim Wilson, Jimmy D. Lane, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Bob Margolin, Sebastian Lane, Felton Crews, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Corey Harris, Big A & The Allstars, J’Cenae, Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band, Nora Jean Wallace, Sheryl Youngblood, Luke Pytel Band featuring Laretha Weathersby, Ivy Ford, Lil’ Jimmy Reed with Ben Levin, Vanessa Collier, Dee Alexander, Bruce Henry, Miguel de la Cerna, Jeremiah Hunt, Charles Heath IV, Melody Angel, Dexter Allen, Ra’Shad The Blues Kid, Melvin Taylor, Mzz Reese and Reece’s Pieces, The Mike Wheeler Band, Jamiah “Dirty Deacon” Rogers and the Dirty Church Band, Vino Louden, Al Spears & The Hurricane Project, Cash Box Kings, Johnny Iguana, Roosevelt Purifoy, Rie “Miss Lee” Kanehira, Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi, Oscar Wilson, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Jaye Hammer, Anissa Hampton, Jonathan Ellison & The RAS Blues Band, Southern Komfort Brass Band, Omar Coleman Westside Soul, Joey J. Saye Trio and Nate Manos Band with Alicia “Ya Yah” Townsend.

      If you go: Admission is free. The opening night performance at The Ramova is also free with an online RSVP that opens on May 1 at 10 a.m.

      Winnetka Music Festival

      June 14 and 15 in downtown Winnetka

      Curated by the Evanston music venue Space, the Winnetka Music Festival touts itself as a laid back environment for discovering new music. The fest will feature two days of up-and-coming artists and family-friendly programming (kids under 12 are free).

      • Band of Horses: The originally-Pacific-Northwestern musicians certainly carried on the tradition of gloomy indie rock while putting their own twist on it with stimulating vocals, especially on their debut album Everything All the Time.

      • Milky Chance: You’ve probably heard the single “Stolen Dance” on your car radio, but the German band has its own brand of alternative electronic music that has a clear folk influence.

      Also on the bill: Half Moon Run, Yola, Rayland Baxter, Caroline Jones, The Verve Pipe, Heartless Bastards, Mikaela Davis, Rebirth Brass Band, Michigander, Grace Bowers, Zach Seabaugh, Neptune’s Core, Ax & The Hatchetmen, Billy Allen + The Pollies, Elizabeth Moen, Shane Guerette and Tors.

      If you go: Tickets for 2-day general admission start at $99. There are no single-day sales.

      American Music Festival

      The iconic venue FitzGerald’s will host its 41st annual American Music Festival on Independence Day weekend, like it does every year in Berwyn. Much like FitzGerald’s usual lineup, the American Music Festival will heavily feature singer/songwriters and folk/Americana musicians. Headliners include:

      • Nikki Lane and Sierra Hull: Nikki Lane’s musical style has a country-meets-indie feel; her songwriting abilities have powered four albums, but she has also written for indie legend Lana Del Rey. Sierra Hull got her start in music at a early age — she began playing the mandolin at 8 and performed at the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall before she was a teenager. Her music is influenced by country and bluegrass with an emphasis on her mandolin skills.

      • The Jayhawks: Formed in 1985 in the Twin Cities, The Jayhawks offer a Midwest serving of rock mixed with alternative country.

      • Old 97’s: Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Old 97’s have an alternative country sound that has endured since 1992.

      • Robert Randolph & The Family Band: Robert Randolph’s pedal steel guitar expertise stems from his time performing spiritual music, but he has since surpassed the limits of any one genre of music. He most recently played pedal steel guitar on Beyonce’s “16 Carriages.”

      Also on the bill: CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Marcia Ball, Ha Ha Tonka, Rhett Miller, The Shivas, The Rumble ft. Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr., Joe Pug, The Ike Reilly Assassination, Black Opry Revue, The Waco Brothers, Deeohgee, Michael McDermott, Les Greene & The Swayzees, Margo Cilker, The Suitcase Junket, Jon Dee Graham, Magnolia Boulevard, Tributosaurus, Annie Mack, Them Coulee Boys, Nathan Graham, Chicago Cellar Boys, The Troubadours of Rhythms, Cash Box Kings, 5 Bones No Waiting, Tray Wellington Band, Beth Bombarda, The Back Alley, Demetria Taylor, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honey Cutters, Joel Patterson, Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel, Dallas Ugly, The Salty Dogs, Shout Section Big Band, Lasalle Grandeur, The Deltaz, The Swains, Soul Message Band, Teh Sidebar Songwriter’s Circle with hosts Ryan Joseph Anderson, Ron Lazzeretti, Jenny Bienneman and D Anson Brody.

      If you go: Single-day tickets for the four-day event start at $65. Presale begins on Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. and general sales start Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. The fest runs July 3-6.

      Keith Urban
      Keith Urban will headline Chicago Street Race Weekend this July at Grant Park. Mark Humphrey / Associated Press

      NASCAR Weekend

      Officially dubbed Chicago Street Race Weekend, NASCAR’s event will span July 6 and 7 in Grant Park. The weekend features street races, of course, but also performances from musicians — including concerts from a soon-to-be-announced lineup of Chicago artists. Here are the headliners that have been announced so far:

      • Keith Urban: The Australian country musician released his first studio album in 1991 and has since won four Grammys and 15 Academy of Country music awards. Some of his hits include “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and “One Too Many.”

      • The Chainsmokers: A musical duo with DJ Alex Pall and producer Drew Taggart, The Chainsmokers are best known for their pop-meets-electronic hits including “Closer,” and “Something Just Like This” (featuring Halsey and Coldplay, respectively).

      • The Black Keys: Originally hailing from Akron, Ohio, the gritty rock duo combines original garage rock sound with blues influences.

      • Lauren Alaina: The American Idol runner-up released her EP Unlocked last summer. Her country style and commanding vocals have led to collaborations with artists like Rascal Flatts and Lainey Wilson.

      If you go: Two-day tickets start at $241 and include races and concerts. There are no single-day sales. The event is July 6-7.

      Willie Nelson, pictured here performing at the 53rd CMA Awards in 2019, will bring his Outlaw Music Festival to Tinley Park on Sept. 7, 2024.
      Willie Nelson, pictured here performing at the 53rd CMA Awards in 2019, will bring his Outlaw Music Festival to Tinley Park on Sept. 7, 2024. Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

      Outlaw Music Festival

      Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival is hitting the road again with a stop in Tinley Park on Sept. 7. Originally a one-stop music festival in 2016, the Outlaw Music Festival grew into a touring show over the last few years with guidance from Nelson, who’s still a force at 90. While Nelson & Family will surely be bringing country music, this year’s fest also promises some rock history in the making: It’s the first time Nelson and Bob Dylan will tour together in multiple cities. Headliners include: 

      • Willie Nelson & Family: Willie Nelson is an icon of outlaw country music, hence the name of the festival. Some of his hits include “On the Road Again” and “Always on My Mind.” He’ll be joined by his backing band The Family, which includes long-time members Mickey Raphael and Billy English.

      • Bob Dylan: Considered one of the most iconic songwriters in American music, Bob Dylan has created cross-generational hits with songs like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”

      • John Mellencamp: Known for “Pink Houses” and “Jack and Diane,” John Mellencamp brings a vintage, heartland rock sound with forward, thoughtful songwriting.

      • Southern Avenue: Southern Avenue, a Memphis-based quintet, plays the blues with a certain brightness to it; lead singer Tierinii Jackson makes the blues feel warmer than ever.

      If you go: Tickets are available to the general public starting on Friday, March 1 at 10 a.m. The concert is Sept. 7. 

      A crowd gathers to see Anthrax at Riot Fest in 2019.
      A crowd gathers to see Anthrax at Riot Fest in 2019. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

      Riot Fest

      Think of Riot Fest like the older sibling of the Vans Warped Tour: It’s a curated mix of punk, alternative, emo and much more. Riot Fest is also the place where many bands have staged reunion shows (My Chemical Romance, The Replacements), so it makes sense that the first headliner announced is Slayer, who launched a reunion tour in 2018. More acts are expected to be announced in the coming months; we’ll add to our list as bands are confirmed.

      • Slayer: Widely regarded as one of the most influential thrash metal bands, Slayer’s return to the stage for the first time since 2018 will surely mean a night filled with chaotic guitar solos.

      If you go: Three-day general admission tickets start at $210. There are no single-day sales. The 2024 fest runs Sept. 20-22. 

      Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis is a digital producer for the Arts & Culture desk.