Alright, folks. July is finally here and with that we can expect some great weather. What we can also expect is that July brings on some of the best festivals Chicago has to offer. So if you’re a resident in Lakeview at 500 West Belmont or living large in the Gold Coast at 55 West Chestnut, you can bet on a fest just steps from your door. Chicago is such a lively city that it’s no wonder why we'll have so many events to choose from on a weekly basis this July.
However, before we break down our top choices for this July, we recommend a few things before you go out and enjoy the best Chicago has to offer. First up, almost all fests are free, that being said, they do have a donation box before you enter. We highly encourage you to donate to help these festivals return and add even more to what they offer every next year. Second, and this is a big one, wear sunscreen! You heard us, sunscreen. Just because you are not going to the beach doesn’t mean a day outside doesn’t mean burnt arms, necks, and legs. So avoid the burns this July and stay happy and red-free! Finally, bring cash. Many vendors are cash only and this stays true to the Taste. Tickets can be bought, but they only accept cash. So make sure to stop at an ATM on your way out. So, without further ado, here are PPM’s top five fests to hit this July.
Taste of Chicago (July 8 – 12)
Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival, showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community, with area restaurant's booths that feature more than 200 menu items. Other highlights include a three-course Celebrity Chef du Jour dining experience prepared by top local chef, pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and cooking demos. Musical performers include Spoon, Erykah Badu, Frankie Beverly, and Maze, among others. Grant Park | Wed – Fri 11 a.m. – 9p.m., Sat – Sun 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. |$8.50 for 12 food tickets, $45 Celebrity Chef du Jour, ticket prices vary for Petrillo concert seating, free lawn seating | tasteofchicago.us
Square Roots (July 10 – 12)
The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and Old Town School of Folk Music co-present live entertainment with 70 acts, including jams, dance, and family activities on four stages, cuisine from popular Lincoln Square and Ravenswood restaurateurs, and more than 40 tasty craft beer selections and limited releases on tap. Lincoln Ave., between Montrose & Wilson Aves. | Fri 5 – 10 p.m., Sat noon – 10 p.m., Sun noon – 9 p.m. | $10, $5 kids under 12 and seniors 65 and older, $20 families; donation benefits Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce initiatives and the Old Town School of Folk Music scholarship programs | squareroots.org
Pitchfork Music Festival (July 17 – 19)
Pitchfork Music Festival continues to be an essential guide to independent music that supports the local economy and arts community with 50 individual vendors and specialty fairs. Last year the fest had 60,000 attendees of all ages. Headliners this year are Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, and Chance the Rapper. Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. | Fri 3 – 10p.m., Sat – Sun noon – 10p.m., | $60 daily pass, $150 three – day pass (sold out), free kids 10 and under with paid adult | pitchforkmusicfestival.com
Taste of River North (July 17 – 19)
With our newly added addition to the PPM family, 750 Rush is the new home to our River North residents. So what better way to get acquainted than checkout this much newer fest to Chicago. Nearly 50,000 attended Taste of River North (TORN) last year in picturesque Ward Park along the Chicago River. Along with notable River North restaurants and a kid’s zone, TORN also includes live music from Chicago’s best party and tribute bands. Ward Park, Kingsbury & Erie St. | Fri 5-10p.m., Sat noon – 10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 8p.m |$5; donation benefits the River North Residents Association | tasteofrivernorth.com
Lollapalooza (July 31 – August 2)
The over-the-top, three-day extravaganza returns to gorgeous Grant Park for its 11th year as a destination festival, bringing live music, delicious eats, art, and interactivity. Fans will enjoy more than 130 acts of all genres on eight stages, including Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence + the Machine, Sam Smith, and many more. Kidzapalooza has bands and activities for the little ones. Grant Park | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. | $110, $275 pass, $1,800 VIP pass (all are sold out), free kids under 10 with a ticketed adult | lollapalooza.com