As the weather gets warmer, I’m realizing just how many Friday roundups I want to cover for Spring and Summer this year. I covered the Best Patios last year, but I need to cover Best Rooftops, Best Street Festivals, and the very requested “What to do with people from out of town that isn’t TOO touristy.” (<- Seriously, I get that one all the time, and it’s coming soon!) But it wasn’t until I started diving into those other topics that I realized I needed to cover Best Outdoor Concerts in Chicago! DUH!
So you guys know that I rave about Chicago summers all the time. They are the best for so many reasons, but one of them is most definitely the amount of outdoor concerts available to all of us. You can splurge and go to a huge concert like Taylor Swift or Beyonce at Solider Field, but you also have the option to pack a picnic and go to see the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic for FREE in Millennium Park. There are so many options at so many different price points.
Since most of these tickets have gone on sale, or are going on sale very soon (Ravinia’s box office opens May 8th and 10th!), I thought I’d scroll through all the options and pick out the best of the best so all of you can plan accordingly. Also I tried to include a variety, too! You know, instead of ignoring all of the country options ? But just in case you’re wondering, I added little notes so you can tell which ones I’m the most excited about!
Also this matching set is old, but I updated this post with similar options!
The Best Outdoor Concerts in Chicago 2018
*means the concert is FREE!
June 1st-2nd – Taylor Swift at Soldier Field
I’m going to this one with my sister! Can’t wait!
June 2nd – Diana Ross at Ravinia
June 7th – Alt-J at Northerly Island
June 8th-10th – Chicago Blues Festival at Millennium Park*
June 14th – Chicago Jazz Philharmonic at Millennium Park*
These free concerts are the perfect opportunity to pack a picnic with your friends and spend the night outside!
June 16th – Ray Lamontagne and Neko Case at Northerly Island
Eyeing tickets for this one…
June 22nd-24th – Country LakeShake at Northerly Island
June 22nd-23rd – Dead & Company at Alpine Valley Music Theatre (Wisconsin)
June 23rd-24th – Mamby on the Beach (Oakwood Beach)
June 29th-30th – Dave Matthews Band at Northerly Island
Fun Fact: I’ve never seen DMB live, which is hilarious because I listened to them all through high school!
July 15th – Audra McDonald (and Chicago Symphony Orchestra) at Ravinia
July 30th – Aimee Mann at Millennium Park*
August 1st – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, complete film with Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia
August 2nd – Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete film with Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia
Either one of these movies would be so fun to see. Also I saw Fantasia with the CSO at Ravinia a few years ago and it was amazing!
August 2nd-5th – Lollapalooza in Grant Park
Would you guys want a playlist to prep for this year’s lineup?!
August 10th-11th – Beyonce and Jay-Z at Solider Field
Took all my willpower to say no to this one…
August 11th – Zach Brown Band at Alpine Valley Music Theatre (Wisconsin)
August 13th – Broadway in Chicago Concert at Millennium Park*
Had to sneak this in for any musical theatre fans out there – it’s such a fun way to get a peek at the current and new shows. And it’s free!
August 16th – The Sea and Cake and Moonrise Nation at Millennium Park*
August 22nd – Cake and Ben Folds at Ravinia
August 24th – The Beach Boys and The Righteous Brothers at Ravinia
Just in case your Dad has always loved “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin” like mine ?
August 25th – Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen at Ravinia
Pretty sure I saw this concert back in 2005… and let’s be real, I’d go again.
August 30th-September 2nd – Chicago Jazz Festival at Millennium Park*
September 1st – Luke Bryan at Wrigley Field
September 2nd – O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson at Ravinia
September 7th – Billy Joel at Wrigley Field
Can’t go wrong with the Piano Man, am I right?
September 20th – Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Concert for Chicago at Millennium Park*
If you’ve never seen the CSO live then you need to add this free concert to your calendar.
October 4th – Ed Sheeran at Soldier Field
So are you going to any Outdoor Concerts this summer?
Did I leave any good ones off this list? Also please let me know in the comments if you have any other roundup requests for summer! I really want to make sure I’m covering what YOU guys want to see – plus these are super fun to put together ☺️ Hooray for (almost) Summertime Chi!