Monday 19 April 2021
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The Big City Blog: Five summer rock festivals in Chicago that should definitely be on your radar

By Jina Bute

Chicago is home to an assortment music festivals throughout the year. There are festivals catered toward everything from blues and hip hop to electronic, but rock festivals will always be my favorite. Here are my top five rock festivals to look forward to this summer.

Chicago Open Air
July 14-16
Location: Toyota Park in Bridgeview
Background: Only in its second year of operation, the main genres of Open Air include heavy rock and metal. The festival is most notable for hosting the only 2016 U.S. performance of German industrial metal band, Rammstein.
Headliners: KISS, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne
Who I’m excited to see: Korn, Rob Zombie

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 14-16
Location: Union Park in Chicago
Background: The Pitchfork Music Festival is hosted by the local online magazine of the same name. The festival features acts of the alternative rock, indie rock, rap, hip hop and electronic genres. Pitchfork also hosts a record fair that is managed by Chicago radio station, CHIRP Radio.
Headliners: LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, Solange
Who I’m excited to see: American Football, Pinegrove, LCD Soundsystem

Vans Warped Tour
July 22
Location: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
Background: Vans Warped Tour is a traveling festival with stops in more than 30 cities across the United States. The tour is praised for giving up-and-coming bands a chance to establish their name and gain a following. Bands that play the Warped Tour are often of the rock, punk rock, pop punk and metalcore background.
Headliners: Silverstein, Blessthefall, Hawthorne Heights, Bowling For Soup, Never Shout Never, Goldfinger
Who I’m excited to see: I Prevail, Silverstein, Neck Deep, Creeper

August 3-6
Location: Grant Park in Chicago
Background: This massive annual event in Chicago is one of six Lollapalooza festivals across the globe. The lineup often consists of some of the most popular bands and artists of the alternative rock, heavy metal, punk and EDM music scenes.
Headliners: Muse, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, The Killers, Blink-182, DJ Snake, Run The Jewels, Chance The Rapper, The XX, Alt-J, The Head And The Heart, Arcade Fire, Justice, Big Sean, The Shins, Zeds Dead
Who I’m excited to see: Muse, The Killers, Blink-182

Riot Fest
September 15-17
Location: Douglas Park in Chicago
Background: Riot Fest is a multi-day music festival and carnival that features bands on the punk spectrum with genres such as punk rock, emo, alternative rock, pop punk, ska and metalcore. The festival is notorious for full-album performances and hosting reunions of disbanded musical acts such as the Misfits, Jawbreaker and The Academy Is…
Headliners: Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, Jawbreaker
Who I’m excited to see: Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, FIDLAR, Sleep On It