Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor music festival, and there are plenty to enjoy this year. Whether you’re looking for a blast from the past, want to rock out to today’s hottest artists, love a good tribute band, or are looking to sing along with your kiddos, there will be something for every type of music lover on Chicago’s North Shore this season. So read on to learn more about the four summer music festivals you cannot miss.
418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park
Ravinia is a summer favorite on the North Shore, and the oldest outdoor music festival in the country. With more than 140 events throughout the season, ranging from pop and rock to classical and kids' concerts, there's something for everyone. Once you've decided when to visit, you'll have to decide if you want to purchase reserved tickets in the Pavilion for a more traditional concert experience or sit on the lawn (you won't see the performer unless screens are placed on the lawn — select concerts only) and bring your own picnic to enjoy throughout the evening. You can also dine at one of Ravinia's many restaurants in the recently renovated Dining Pavilion. Plus, you can even rent chairs, tables, and more items that will make your night as perfect as possible. Learn more with our guide to Ravinia.
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park
Out of Space
SPACE, a live music hall and recording studio in Evanston, is celebrating 10 years with this outdoor concert series. Concerts will take place at three locations — Temperance Beer Company (July 19-21), Canal Shores (July 27-28), and the Big Evanston Block Party (Aug. 25-26) — and feature artists and bands like Purling Hiss, The Lone Bellow, Mavis Staples, Marc Broussard, Lydia Loveless, and more.
Out of Space, Various Locations, Evanston
World Arts & Music Festival
Dawes Park and Centennial Park, Evanston
This two-day festival is all about global diversity and will feature art from around the world, kid-friendly activities, international fare, live music, and dance performances July 21-22 at two Evanston lakefront locations. Find a complete list of performers, artists, and food vendors here.
World Arts & Music Festival, Evanston
Skokie's Backlot Bash
5200 Oakton St., Skokie
Skokie will welcome headliners Sister Hazel, Foghat, and Tributosaurus becomes AC/DC, among other artists and bands, during this annual summer festival Aug. 24-26. But the fun doesn't end there. For three days, not only will visitors enjoy live music, but they will also be able to experience carnival rides and games, the Backlot Dash 5K, classic films, and special events like a pancake breakfast, teen dance, farmers market, and classic car show.
Skokie's Backlot Bash