The 10 Best Music Festivals in Illinois

Did you know that Illinois is home to some of the best music festivals in the country? From Chicago to Springfield, there are all kinds of music festivals happening all year round. Here are just a few of the best ones.

1. Lollapalooza Chicago

Grant Park, Chicago

When: August (four days)

It’s music. It’s crowded. It’s Lollapalooza. At Lolla, enjoy stunning views of Grant Park, the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan while also enjoying interactive areas with merch, giveaways, and more!

You got to hand it to Perry Farrell, the bizarre and quirky visionary who reinvented the American Lollapalooza first hit the road in the late 20th century, stopping at various cities before finally setting up in Chicago.

2. Pitchfork Festival

Union Park, Chicago

When: July (three days)

If you’re looking for an amazing festival experience, look no further than Pitchfork. As one of the leading music fests, they know how to put on a great show.

The musical festival situated in Union Park, Chicago always has well-known artists performing that are worth your time if you’re Pitchfork approved.

With an incredible lineup of quality acts, Pitchfork Festival is quickly becoming one of the best music festivals in Chicago. From indie rock to experimental hip-hop and everything in between, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy at this amazing festival.

3. ARC Music Festival

Union Park, Chicago

When: September (three days)

ARC offered Chicago dance music fans a festival experience that was new to them. The outcome was an excellent party atmosphere that spread to great spots at night, which impressed the music business and made those not in attendance want ARC back.

This festival will give global DJs and fans a chance to congregate in the city where house music was first created. If you love electronic music, then ARC Music Festival is the place to be.

4. North Coast Music Festival

Seatgeek Stadium, Bridgeview

When: September (three days)

North Coast Music Festival is a team effort by multiple promoters in Chicago who have experience planning everything from small shows to large concerts that sell out.

This multi-genre, multi-venue event draws in the best national and international acts in the world. With a wide variety of music including hip hop, EDM, rock, R&B and more, it is no wonder why North Coast Music Festival has become one of the most popular festivals in Illinois.

5. Tomorrow Never Knows

Lincoln Hall, Chicago

When: January (five days)

TNK is a five-day event in January that celebrates both local and national rising artists, including musicians and comedians. Experience live performances with the most exciting up-and-coming talent in a relaxed atmosphere.

6. Tailgate N’ Tallboys


When: June (four days)

If you’re looking for a summer festival that will have you on your feet all day, look no further than Tailgate N’ Tallboys. With a mix of entertainment and country music, there is sure to be something that everyone in the family can enjoy.

7. Riot Fest


When: September (three days)

Get ready to rock and roll at Riot Fest, one of the most anticipated music festivals in Chicago. Enjoy an incredible lineup of rock and punk bands plus carnival rides and other attractions.

Imagine rocking the night out with the biggest names in the rock scene like My Chemical Romance, Nine Inch Nails, and The Original Misfits. With a lineup like this, you can’t help but have an amazing time at Riot Fest!

8. Summer Camp Music Festival

Three Sisters Park, Chillicothe

When: May (three days)

Every year, Summer Camp music festival brings more fans and more fun to the grounds. With multiple stages and three days of performances, there’s something for everyone at this event.

If you’re a fan of music and camping, then this festival is the perfect place for you. Enjoy live performances and late night jams at Summer Camp Music Festival!

9. Ravinia Festival

Highland Park, Illinois

When: May – September

Ravinia Festival is here again and better than ever! Get your lawn chairs and picnic blankets ready for a fun-filled event! This festival is known for its incredible classical music lineup and diverse programming.

Take a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life to enjoy the beauty of nature while listening to some of the best music around.

10. Chicago Jazz Festival

Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center

When: August (nine days)

The Chicago Jazz Festival is an annual tradition that happens on Labor day weekend every year. It promotes different types of jazz music to everyone for free.

The festival features many local talents from Chicago alongside with national and international artists too in order to try and raise awareness and appreciation for jazz music.

If you’re a fan of jazz, the Chicago Jazz Festival is a must-attend event. With all the amazing jazz performances in this festival, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Final Thoughts

The music festivals in Illinois are a great way to experience music and culture. From jazz to rock, EDM, and country, there is something for everyone at these festivals. So gather your friends and family and head out for an unforgettable experience!

Lollapalooza Featured Image by: Lacrossewi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons