Music festivals, we’ve missed you! After many cancellations in 2020, our much-loved gatherings are back in Chicago. Those of you looking for some good old fashioned foot-stomping, arm-waving fun, check out these festivals tuning up in 2021.
If you like it loud and messy Lollapolooza is for you. The brainchild of quirky musician Perry Farrell, the festival first launched in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band Janes Addiction – the festival stopped in 20 different cities around the country. It’s now firmly rooted in Chicago and hosts a diverse range of genres from hip-hop to heavy metal.
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2. Arc Music Festival
Since Chicago was the birthplace of house music, it makes sense that the city dedicates a festival honouring the beat-driven genre. Arc Music Festival is a new addition to the festival scene and is all set to crank up the heat and bring you a global showcase of some of the best house music talent – turn it up!
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3. Pitchfork festival
Organised by Pitchfork Media, this fest embraces the alternative rock crowd with a splash of hip-hop, electronica and dance thrown in. Starting in 2011, it’s grown to become a huge hit amongst music fans with other venues starting up in Berlin and Paris. You can be sure that any band gracing the stage here is worth a listen.
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4. Chicago Blues Festival
As Chicago is the blues capital of the world it’s not surprising that it hosts the largest free blues festival in the world. Fans are treated to three days of soulful blues over four different stages. Past artists to perform include Ray Charles, B. King and Gary Clark Jr.
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5. Riot Fest
Riot Fest showcases acts that you might not have heard, or at least not seen on a major stage. Starting in 2005, it’s since expanded to Denver and Toronto. The focus of Riot is on punk and alternative rock so get your moshing skills fine-tuned.
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6. North Coast Music Festival
After a years hiatus, North Coast Music Festival is back. Starting in 2010 as a collaboration of independent music promoters, the festival has gone from strength to strength. Expect electronic, hip-hop and much more. If you want a break from the music, check out the many art installations running alongside the main acts.
Image Credit: @northcoastfest