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August 2019 events calendar for Chicago

Plan your August in Chicago with our events calendar of the best things to do, including concerts, theater openings and art exhibits

Air & Water Show Sunday, August 21, 2016
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
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Is it August already? Summertime (and beach weather) is slipping away, so it's time to get serious about planning the remaining weeks. If you still haven't made it out to a music festival this year, join the crowds at Lollapalooza or dance with the hippies at North Coast (plus, Drake and Beyoncé are in town this month). If you demand some visual spectacle, you'll find it at the Air and Water Show or amid the crowds of cosplayers at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. Don't forget to enjoy some warm weather cuisine at the Logan Square Food Truck Festival or the Chicago Hot Dog Fest. You'll find all these event and many more on our August events calendar for Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2019

Featured events in August 2019

333.wk.BristolRenaissanceFaire40.jpg
Photograph: Zach Weiss
Things to do, Festivals

Bristol Renaissance Faire

icon-location-pin Bristol Renaissance Faire,
icon-calendar

Game of Thrones is over, but you can fill the medieval void in your life with a trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which recreates a 16th-century port city (call is King's Landing, if you like). You'll find knights in shining armor, jousting archery, Cornish pasties and dubious English accents throughout the grounds. Plus, for an additional fee you can join in on immersive RenQuest theatrical gaming experience, interacting with chracters to complete quests and solve mysteries.

lollapalooza 2018
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Lollapalooza

icon-location-pin Grant Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Taking over the fields of Grant Park for four days each summer, Lollapalooza is a behemoth of a music festival, welcoming an estimated 100,000 attendees to a sea of stages, brand activations and concession stands set beneath the beating sun. This year, pop princess Ariana Grande, rapper Childish Gambino, alt-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, rockers the Strokes, psych act Tame Impala and EDM hit-makers the Chainsmokers headline the main stages. Some people come for the music, some come for the people-watching and others come to get drunk on a blanket in the middle of a field—there's no wrong way to Lolla.

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Photograph: DLM Photography and Design
Restaurants

Erik Anderson + Brian Fisher at Entente

icon-location-pin Entente, River North
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Brian Fisher, the culinary mastermind behind Michelin-starred Entente, welcomes award-winning chef Erik Anderson to River North for a special collaboration dinner. Anderson's star-studded resume includes names like The French Laundry, Noma and the Catbird Seat, but these days he's helming the kitchen at COI in San Francisco, where he serves an epic multi-course tasting menu that includes wildly innovative dishes like grilled octopus with pimenton caramel. The two fine-dining chefs are teaming up for an unforgettable dinner that's sure to be filled with surprising bites and thoughtful pairings. Speaking of, guests can opt to toss in wine pairings for an additional $100 per person (do it). Seatings are available at 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9pm while tickets last.

Flashback Weekend
Photograph: Courtesy Flashback Weekend
Things to do, Conventions

Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Convention

icon-location-pin Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare,
icon-calendar

Let out a few blood-curdling screams during Flashback Weekend, an annual convention that celebrates gory slasher flicks, cinematic monsters and horror films. This year's lineup of guests includes Evil Dead director Sam Raimi and franchise star Bruce Campbell. Of course, you'll also be able to dig through a terrifying amount of classic movie memorabilia or show off your creepiest outfit at a horror-themed costume contest judged by local legend Svengoolie.

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Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

icon-location-pin Stockton Dr and LaSalle Dr, Loop
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Let’s be frank: The Chicago-style hot dog is a quintessential part of Chicago’s storied history. The Chicago History Museum organizes this celebration of one of the city's most famous dishes, serving creative dogs from some of our favorite local stands. While you're chowing down on neon green relish and sport peppers, you can listen to live music or attend a lecture that will teach you about the history of the Chicago-style hot dog.

The Big North
Photograph: Courtesy Half Acre
Things to do, Festivals

The Big North

icon-location-pin Half Acre Brewery Balmoral, Lincoln Square
icon-calendar

Half Acre Beer Company throws its annual bash at its expansive Balmoral Brewery, welcoming guests into its taproom, production space and patio to enjoy drinks, music and more. This year's event will feature more than 60 beers, including wyld varieties, barrel-aged brews and some never-before-seen creations. Los Angeles psych rock outfit the Allah-Las, garage rockers the Cowboys and local quartet Skip Church provide the live soundtrack for the evening, accompanied by some interactive experiences and surprises. Tickets include a tasting glass, coozie and one food token that can be redeemed at the festival.

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North Avenue Beach was the perfect place to watch aerial acrobatics at the Chicago Air and Water Show on August 15, 2015.
Photograph: Anthony Soave
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Air and Water Show

icon-location-pin North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park
icon-calendar

Don't be surprised if you get a neck ache from looking up during this two-day event. Join throngs of people at North Beach and surrounding areas to catch air and watercraft demonstrations, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

Mamby on the Beach
Photograph: Courtesy React Presents
Music, Music festivals

Mamby on the Beach

icon-location-pin Montrose Beach, Uptown
icon-calendar

One of Chicago's only remaining lakefront music festival moves to a new stretch of sand this summer, relocating to Montrose Beach from its former home at Oakwood Beach. Boasting three stages, beach games and plenty of picturesque spots for a selfie, the expanded event will feature headlining sets from rap collective Brockhampton, deep house producer Zhu, synth-pop singer Troye Sivan, Porter Robinson's retro techno project Virtual Self, electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso and electronic musician Flying Lotus.

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Lagunitas Beer Circus
Photograph: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Things to do, Festivals

Lagunitas Beer Circus

icon-location-pin Douglas Park, North Lawndale
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The Chicago outpost of Lagunitas Brewing Company throws a Beer Circus in Douglas Park (the same place where Riot Fest is held), with more than 100 performers, two stages of live music, food trucks, games and more diversions. In addition to a menu that includes one-of-a-kind Lagunitas brews, you'll be able to take in burlesque, sideshow acts and aerialists.

North Coast Music Festival
Photograph: Keith Griner
Music, Music festivals

North Coast Music Festival

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
icon-calendar

Entering its 10th summer in Chicago, change is in the air for the North Coast Music Festival in 2019. The Labor Day weekend music festival is vacating its former home in Union Park and moving to the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, where it will host a two-day event (down from its usual three days of music). And while past North Coast lineups have included jams bands, indie rockers and hip-hop acts, its 2019 slate of performers is squarely focused on electronic artists, including headlining sets from EDM titan Bassnectar and Diplo's dancehall project Major Lazer. Spread across two stages, the rest of the lineup features Jai Wolf, Flux Pavilion, Tchami, Juaz, Gorgon City and more than 20 other acts. Tickets for North Coast Music Festival go on sale Friday, April 26 at noon.

Festivals in August 2019

lollapalooza 2018
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Lollapalooza

icon-location-pin Grant Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Taking over the fields of Grant Park for four days each summer, Lollapalooza is a behemoth of a music festival, welcoming an estimated 100,000 attendees to a sea of stages, brand activations and concession stands set beneath the beating sun. This year, pop princess Ariana Grande, rapper Childish Gambino, alt-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, rockers the Strokes, psych act Tame Impala and EDM hit-makers the Chainsmokers headline the main stages. Some people come for the music, some come for the people-watching and others come to get drunk on a blanket in the middle of a field—there's no wrong way to Lolla.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

icon-location-pin Stockton Dr and LaSalle Dr, Loop
icon-calendar

The Chicago History Museum organizes this celebration of one of the city's most famous dishes, serving creative franks from some of our favorite hot dog stands. While you're chowing down on neon green relish and sport peppers, you can listen to live music or attend a lecture that will teach you about the history of the Chicago-style hot dog.

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Festival Cubano
Photograph: Courtesy Festival Cubano
Things to do, Festivals

Festival Cubano

icon-location-pin Riis Park, Belmont Cragin
icon-calendar

Back in Riis Park, the three-day Festival Cubano brings together musicians, dancers and food for a weekend of cultural celebration. Begin by checking out the festival's more than 30 Cuban vendors, who will be serving dishes such as jibarito sandwiches, ropa vieja, lechón and tostones. Once you're full, play a game of dominos, shop for hand-rolled cigars, watch boxing matches or catch a performance from Cuban musicians.

Photograph: G Nagata
Things to do, Festivals

Ginza Holiday Festival

icon-location-pin Midwest Buddhist Temple, Lincoln Park
icon-calendar

Celebrate Japanese culture, food and entertainment at the annual Ginza Holiday Festival. Meet and buy crafts from master craftsmen (called Waza), who will be flown in from Tokyo to share their skills. Live martial arts, Taiko drumming, ukulele performances, classical dances and Japanese food (teriyaki, sushi, Spam musubi, Hawaiian shave ice and more) give Chicagoans a taste of Japan.

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Northalsted Market Days
Photograph: Kaitlin Hetterscheidt
Things to do, Festivals

Northalsted Market Days

icon-location-pin Halsted and Roscoe Sts, Boystown
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Northalsted Market Days is the largest two-day street festival in the Midwest, welcoming 100,000 to the streets of Boystown for an LGBTQ-friendly summer celebration. Headlining acts at this year's fest include former Prince collaborator Sheila E., "Don't Let Me Down" singer Daya and Swedish pop duo Icona Pop. When you're not dancing in the streets, you can chow down on fried foods, shop for colorful local goods or head to an afterparty at a nearby club.

Retro on Roscoe
Photograph: Courtesy Retro on Roscoe
Things to do, Festivals

Retro on Roscoe

icon-location-pin Damen Ave and Roscoe St, North Center
icon-calendar

Antique vendors and classic cars fill six blocks of Roscoe Village at this throwback street market, where everything old is new again. The music lineup is usually equally nostalgic, featuring tribute acts that perform hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

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The Big North
Photograph: Courtesy Half Acre
Things to do, Festivals

The Big North

icon-location-pin Half Acre Brewery Balmoral, Lincoln Square
icon-calendar

Half Acre Beer Company throws its annual bash at its expansive Balmoral Brewery, welcoming guests into its taproom, production space and patio to enjoy drinks, music and more. This year's event will feature more than 60 beers, including wyld varieties, barrel-aged brews and some never-before-seen creations. Los Angeles psych-rock outfit the Allah-Las, garage rockers the Cowboys and local quartet Skip Church provide the live soundtrack for the evening, accompanied by some interactive experiences and surprises. Tickets include a tasting glass, koozie and one food token that can be redeemed at the festival.

North Avenue Beach was the perfect place to watch aerial acrobatics at the Chicago Air and Water Show on August 15, 2015.
Photograph: Anthony Soave
Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Air and Water Show

icon-location-pin North Avenue Beach, Lincoln Park
icon-calendar

Don't be surprised if you get a neck ache from looking up during this two-day event. Join throngs of people at North Beach and surrounding areas to catch air and watercraft demonstrations, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

Advertising
Sangria Festival Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy Sangria Festival Chicago
Things to do, Festivals

Sangria Festival Chicago

icon-location-pin Humboldt Park, Humboldt Park
icon-calendar

Humboldt Park transforms into an outdoor tapas bar during this boozy bash, which pairs bites from local restaurants with pitchers of red wine and chopped fruit. Lay our a blanket to sip sangria on the lawn, put color on a canvas at the festival's painting station or watch flamenco dancers sway to Spanish music.

Mamby on the Beach
Photograph: Courtesy React Presents
Music, Music festivals

Mamby on the Beach

icon-location-pin Montrose Beach, Uptown
icon-calendar

One of Chicago's only remaining lakefront music festival moves to a new stretch of sand this summer, relocating to Montrose Beach from its former home at Oakwood Beach. Boasting three stages, beach games and plenty of picturesque spots for a selfie, the expanded event will feature headlining sets from rap collective Brockhampton, deep house producer Zhu, synth-pop singer Troye Sivan, Porter Robinson's retro techno project Virtual Self, electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso and electronic musician Flying Lotus.

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Concerts in August 2019

lollapalooza 2018
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Music festivals

Lollapalooza

icon-location-pin Grant Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
icon-calendar

Taking over the fields of Grant Park for four days each summer, Lollapalooza is a behemoth of a music festival, welcoming an estimated 100,000 attendees to a sea of stages, brand activations and concession stands set beneath the beating sun. This year, pop princess Ariana Grande, rapper Childish Gambino, alt-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, rockers the Strokes, psych act Tame Impala and EDM hit-makers the Chainsmokers headline the main stages. Some people come for the music, some come for the people-watching and others come to get drunk on a blanket in the middle of a field—there's no wrong way to Lolla.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Music, Funk, soul and disco

Chicago Celebrates the Music of Donny Hathaway

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
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Soul singer Donny Hathaway passed away at the age of 33, but during his relatively brief time on this planet he managed to cement himself in the popular music canon with songs like "The Ghetto" and "Jealous Guy." Chicago trumpter and bandleader Corey Wilkes leads this tribute to Hathaway's life and career, playing selections from the artist's entire catalog at a special Millennium Park Summer Music Series concert.

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Adam Lambert performs at Fantabuloso, 5/18/12.
Photograph: Max Herman
Music, Rock and indie

Queen with Adam Lambert

icon-location-pin United Center | Chicago, IL, United Center
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Hot on the heels of the hugely successful Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the remaining members of Queen (guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor) are striking while the iron is hot, hitting the road on its aptly-titled Rhapsody Tour. American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert handles the vocal, as he has since 2011, belting out renditions of timeless tracks like "Under Pressure" and "We Are the Champions." Come to witness classic rock titans taking another victory lap and stick around for the inevitable sing-along to "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Camera
Music, Pop

Backstreet Boys

icon-location-pin United Center | Chicago, IL, United Center
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Backstreet's back (alright!), but then again, the beloved boy band never really left, save for a short hiatus at in the early-aughts. Touring in support of its tenth studio album, DNA, the harmonizing vocal group blend peppy R&B balladry with tracks that take a stab at more contemporary styles, touching on everything from EDM to synth-pop. Those seeking some late ’90s nostalgia won't be disappointed—tracks like "I Want it That Way" and "Quit Playing Game (With My Heart)" are mainstays of the group's setlists.

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Kamasi Washington
Photograph: Durimel
Music, Jazz

Herbie Hancock + Kamasi Washington

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
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Jazz icon Herbie Hancock returns to his native Chicago, where he began his music education as a classical pianist before performing with the likes of Donald Byrd and Miles Davis. In the 1970s, Hancock was best known for adding synthesizers to his sonic palette, drawing inspiration from funk, soul and traditional African music. For the past few years, Hancock has been working on a new record with hip-hop producer Terrance Martin, which reportedly features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Flying Lotus. At Northerly Island, he'll share the bill with saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington, who has become know for his expansive albums that channel the adventurous spirit of jazz musicians like Hancock.

Jeff Tweedy
Photograph: Whitten Sabbatini
Music, Rock and indie

Jeff Tweedy + OHMME

icon-location-pin Canal Shores Golf Course, Evanston
icon-calendar

The past year has been a particularly fruitful one for Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who published his debut memoir (Let's Go (So We Can Get Back)) and released his first proper solo album, WARM, as well as a companion record of outtakes called WARMER. Before he hits the road with Wilco in support of the band's new album Ode to Joy, Tweedy headlines an Out of Space concert at the Canal Shores Golf Course in Evanston. With an expansive catalog (including tracks he wrote with Uncle Tupelo, Loose Fur and Golden Smog), it's difficult to pin down what Tweedy will decide to play, but a few classic tunes and a couple of brand new Wilco songs seem like a safe bet. Chicago-based avant-rockers Ohmme open the show.

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Jupiter & Okwess
Photograph: Micky Clement
Music, Funk, soul and disco

Jupiter & Okwess + Noura Mint Seymali

icon-location-pin Millennium Park | Chicago, IL, Millennium Park
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Singer Jupiter Bokondji and his band Okwess fuse the rhythms of Congolese rumba with funk, rock and contemporary pop on the group's latest album, Kin Sonic. Calling himself the "rebel general," Bokondji's dance-friendly beats are a vessel for his protest music that speaks out against the legacy of opression and inequality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while promoting justice and empathy. Psychedelic Mauritanian musician Noura Mint Seymali opens this free Millennium Park Summer Music Series concert.

Mamby on the Beach
Photograph: Courtesy React Presents
Music, Music festivals

Mamby on the Beach

icon-location-pin Montrose Beach, Uptown
icon-calendar

One of Chicago's only remaining lakefront music festival moves to a new stretch of sand this summer, relocating to Montrose Beach from its former home at Oakwood Beach. Boasting three stages, beach games and plenty of picturesque spots for a selfie, the expanded event will feature headlining sets from rap collective Brockhampton, deep house producer Zhu, synth-pop singer Troye Sivan, Porter Robinson's retro techno project Virtual Self, electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso and electronic musician Flying Lotus.

Advertising
North Coast Music Festival
Photograph: Keith Griner
Music, Music festivals

North Coast Music Festival

icon-location-pin Huntington Bank Pavilion, Downtown
icon-calendar

Entering its 10th summer in Chicago, change is in the air for the North Coast Music Festival in 2019. The Labor Day weekend music festival is vacating its former home in Union Park and moving to the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, where it will host a two-day event (down from its usual three days of music). And while past North Coast lineups have included jams bands, indie rockers and hip-hop acts, its 2019 slate of performers is squarely focused on electronic artists, including headlining sets from EDM titan Bassnectar and Diplo's dancehall project Major Lazer. Spread across two stages, the rest of the lineup features Jai Wolf, Flux Pavilion, Tchami, Juaz, Gorgon City and more than 20 other acts.

Free events in August 2019

Camp a Comedy Show
Photograph: Courtesy Camp
Comedy, Stand-up

Camp: A Comedy Show

Audiences at comedy shows don't get much more supportive than the ones that fill Camp every week in the Village Tap's beer garden. The summer camp-themed showcase gives comedians a place to test out new material and take risks, whether they're developing a new set of jokes or working out the kinks of a wacky character. Hosts Tessa Orzech and Samantha Berkman act as counselors, keeping the evening lively with sketches and unexpected hijinks.

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