Chicago 2019 Summer Festival Guide

By Parker Diakite


Planning a trip to Chicago this summer?

From food, music, dance, and safe places for black creatives, Chicago is offering a great variety next season that may have you in the city for more weekends than you planned.

Related Post: Best Black-Owned Restaurants In Chicago

If you’re looking for something to do while you’re in the city, we have compiled a list of the festivals we think are worth checking out this summer.

35th Annual Chicago Blue Festival

Experience Chicago’s rich music legacy at the 36th Annual Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park from June 7 to June 9.  The celebration will include live performances on six stages outside by local and national blues artists.

Admission is free to the venue. 

Related Post: How to Spend a Day in Black-Owned Chicago

Chicago Food Truck Festival

With more than 40 gourmet food trucks, including beer and wine selections, Chicago’s Food Truck Festival in the South Loop is the largest food truck gathering in the state of Illinois.  

The festival will run from June 22 through June 23 from 11 am to 8 pm.  The location for the entrance is 1800 S. Wabash in Chicago, IL 60616.

Admission is free.

Instagram | @chicagofoodtruckfestival

International Festival of Life (IFOL)

The International Festival of Life-Carnival of Nations incorporates countries of the Caribbean, Africa, South and Central America, and Mexico to showcase and promote their lifestyle and heritage. 

The festival attracts more than 50,000 patrons per year, over 200 vendors, and 70 performing acts across three stages from July 4 through July 7.

Taste of Chicago

The Taste of Chicago is considered to be the world’s largest outdoor food festival held for five days in the city’s Grant Park.

From July 10 through July 14, attendees will have the chance to try what makes Chicago the best foodie city in the Midwest. 

Silver Room Black Party

The Silver Room Sound System Block Party, started in 2002 and celebrates cultural diversity through expression, music and art. This annual event will be held on July 20.

There’s not an official admission fee but donations at the gate is suggested. 

 Summer Wine Fest

Wine down at Lincoln Park Zoo this summer at its’ annual Summer Wine Fest.  Get ready to sip and savor from a selection of more than 35 different wine varieties while listening to music and admiring the zoo’s garden in the evening.   

The festival, which will be held on July 26, will on allow guest 21 and over.

Bantu Fest

Now in its fifth year, Bantu Fest is all about bringing people together to celebrate diversity, unity, and love. Enjoy food from over 30 different countries, arts, dance, and music. 

The line up includes Syleena Johnson, Dee Alexander, Aleph Beatz, Amyna Love, and more. 

Bantu Fest will be held at Midway Plaisance Park in Hyde Park from July 27 through July 28.  Tickets are on sale now.

Instagram | @bantufest


Childish Gambino, Janelle Monae, Meek Mill, and 21 Savage are just a few artists on Lollapalooza’s lineup for the four-day music festival.

This year’s fest will take place in Grant Park from Aug. 1 through Aug.4.

Northalsted Market Days

The 38th annual Northalsted Market Days is a weekend-long festival celebrating life and community in Chicago’s historic Boystown/Lakeview district.

Northalsted Market Days feature all-day lineups of live music on five stages, over 200 unique vendors, arts, crafts, food, and drink.

Estimated attendance approaches 100,000 people. A complete schedule of events and performance for the event, which will be held on Aug. 10 and Aug.11 this year, can be found here.

Afro-Summer Love Fest

End your summer at Afro-Summer Love Fest from Sept. 5 through Sept. 8.  The festival began when Kimani Rashad and Shafeeha Monae quickly realized they shared the same passion for Afro music and dance.

Organizers consider ASFL a dancer’s haven, a safe space for creativity, friendship, and freedom to explore the dancer in you.

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