0 Love It
Save it

September 2016 events calendar for Chicago

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

Photograph: Jason Little
Chicago Gourmet, September 29, 2012

Summer is wrapping up, which means only a few more precious days to enjoy the best rooftop bars in Chicago. But don't worry, fall is pretty exciting too—from celebrating Oktoberfest in the best Chicago beer gardens to wandering through Christkindlmarket. You'll completely forget about summer while you're cozied up at bars with fireplaces and fire pits. Be fully prepared for all the best events with our September calendar for Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2016

Featured events in September 2016

North Coast Music Festival

Curated and run by local club promoters React Presents, North Coast arguably delivers the most diverse bill of any Chicago music festival. This year, EDM acts such as Bassnectar, Odesza and Zedd top the bill, which also includes artists like Action Bronson and Sleigh Bells. Later, the party spills over into several afterparties at local dance clubs.

Read more
By: Zach Long

Midnight Circus in the Parks

Recommended

Get under the big top at parks all over the city, as an eclectic ensemble of acrobats, aerialists and eccentrics perform in an intimate setting.

Read more
Ogden Park , Englewood Saturday August 27 2016 - Sunday October 16 2016

German-American Fest

Recommended

Grab a plastic stein and munch on a pretzel at this annual Lincoln Park celebration of Deutschland heritage. The street party features plenty of German food, music and danding as well as the Von Steuben Parade.

Read more
Western and Leland Aves , Lincoln Square Friday September 9 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016

Renegade Craft Fair

Recommended

This mega fair is an opportunity for serious crafters from around the country to sell their handmade arts and wares, and it's the perfect place to get extra special gifts, or maybe a little something for yourself in the process.

Read more
Division St between Damen Ave and Wood St , Ukrainian Village Saturday September 10 2016 - Sunday December 4 2016

Riot Fest music festival

North Coast Music Festival bills itself as "Summer's Last Stand," but that is not technically true. The Riot Fest music festival heads outside for its annual celebration on September 16–18, 2016. This year, the festival returns to Douglas Park (conveniently located near one of the city's best breweries) after a successful first year in the new location. Headliners include a reunited lineup of the Misfits, Morrissey, Ween, Death Cab For Cutie and Rob Zombie. Whether you prefer punk rock, indie bands or hip-hop, you'll probably find something worth checking out.

Read more
By: Zach Long

ACTIVATE

Recommended

Each month, Chicago Loop Alliance throws a party in a nondescript downtown alley with the help of local artists and DJs. The roving event takes on a new theme—this summer, ACTIVATE will celebrate each of the five senses. Guests can RSVP to receive a free drink when they arrive.

Read more
Various venues , Chicago Thursday September 15 2016 - Thursday October 13 2016

Lakeview Taco Fest

The Lakeview Taco Fest returns for another year, inviting area restaurants to put their own twist on the popular Mexican dish. This year, organizers are offering beer pairings for each taco creation as well as entertainment including Lucha Libre wrestling and live music.

Read more
Southport Ave and Addison St , Southport Corridor Saturday September 17 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016

Chicago Gourmet

Recommended

The annual three-day fest kicks off Friday with its Hamburger Hop throwdown. Walk in to Millennium Park and waddle out once you've stuffed your face at cooking demos, tasting pavilions and a wine sampling.

Read more
Millennium Park , Loop Friday September 23 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring Day

Instead of simply playing a concert in Chicago, Chance the Rapper is turning the hometown date of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour into a one-day music festival. The Chicago-native emcee will turn in a headlining performance at U.S. Cellular Field, preceded by a host of guests, including EDM heavyweight Skrillex, R&B singer John Legend and Odd Future head honcho Tyler the Creator. Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert are also scheduled to appear (and we wouldn't rule out additional special guests).

Read more
U.S. Cellular Field , Bridgeport Saturday September 24 2016

Festivals in September 2016

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago is known for its blues musicians, but these days it's more of a jazz city. The annual Chicago Jazz Festival celebrates contemporary improvisers and legendary players with four days of concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park. Highlights of the 2016 lineup include the avant-garde leaning Liberation Music Orchestra and modern jazz combo the Bad Plus, playing Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction.

Read more
Chicago Cultural Center , Loop Thursday September 1 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

Taste of Polonia

Feast on potato pancakes, kielbasa, pierogi and more at this Polish celebration during Labor Day weekend. After you've stuffed yourself, dance to some polka music, watch a cover band or play a few rounds of bingo.

Read more
Copernicus Center , Jefferson Park Friday September 2 2016 - Monday September 5 2016

North Coast Music Festival

Recommended

The other big festival in Union Park (the one that doesn't rhyme with Itchpork) leans heavy on EDM, jam and rap. Booked by some of the same folks behind Spring Awakening and Mamby on the Beach, North Coast is an eclectic affair with a focus on headlining DJs such as Bassnectar and Zedd. Of course, there are interesting acts on bill for those who don't go in for lasers and bass drops, including Action Bronson and Sleigh Bells.

Read more
Union Park , Near West Side Friday September 2 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

Official Star Trek Convention

Creation Entertainment sets its phasers to stun and brings its Official Star Trek Convention comes to Chicago, welcoming actors from every generation of the long-running franchise. Guests at this year's event include William Shatner, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden and LeVar Burton, in addition several other actors who have appeared on series like Deep Space 9 and The Next Generation. Attendees can also look forward to additional programing and more merch than you can shake a Tribble at.

Read more
Westin O'Hare , Rosemont Friday September 9 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016

Windy City Wine Festival

Sample more than 300 wines from around the world at this annual sommelier extravaganza at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. Area restaurants and caterers will be serving up their signature dishes while bands provide musical accompaniment to your wine tasting journey.

Read more
Buckingham Fountain , Loop Friday September 9 2016 - Saturday September 10 2016

Festival de la Villita

Celebrate Mexico's independence from Spain with Mexican food, music and dancing in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. Vendors and carnival rides fill the streets on all three days and on Sunday, the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade ends here.

Read more
2600 S Kostner Ave , Chicago Friday September 9 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016

Riot Fest

Recommended

Relocated to the sprawling Douglas Park on the city's West Side, replete with circus attractions, Riot Fest prides itself on being punk. It's bookings are as diverse as "punk" is difficult to define. There's mall-punk, hardcore, emo, goth, metal, thrash, new-wave, rap and gray-haired indie. This year, the original lineup of the Misfits, Morrissey, Ween, Death Cab For Cutie, Rob Zombie and Nas top the bill. RECOMMENDED: Check out our complete coverage of Riot Fest.

Read more
Douglas Park , North Lawndale Friday September 16 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016

German-American Fest

Recommended

Grab a plastic stein and munch on a pretzel at this annual Lincoln Park celebration of Deutschland heritage. The street party features plenty of German food, music and danding as well as the Von Steuben Parade.

Read more
Western and Leland Aves , Lincoln Square Friday September 9 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016

Lakeview Taco Fest

The Lakeview Taco Fest returns for another year, inviting area restaurants to put their own twist on the popular Mexican dish. This year, organizers are offering beer pairings for each taco creation as well as entertainment including Lucha Libre wrestling and live music.

Read more
Southport Ave and Addison St , Southport Corridor Saturday September 17 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016
Show more

Art in September 2016

"50 Designers, 50 Ideas, 50 Wards"

Recently, the Chicago Architecture Foundation tasked 50 designers and architects with proposing projects that would address the needs of residents in each of the city's 50 wards. The results of this undertaking are on display in a new exhibition at the Foundation's Atrium Gallery, showcasing ideas like a continuous park promenade beneath the Brown Line and a kayak park that restores wetlands and provides a new mode of transportation.

Read more
Chicago Architecture Foundation , Loop Until Thursday December 1 2016

"Above, Before & After"

A painter may insist on hanging their canvases on a gallery wall, but some artists prefer to blur the line between their work and the environment in which it is presented. In "Above, Before & After," the MCA assembles a collection of two- and three-dimensional works that exploit the relationship between art and the viewer, including intricate mobiles by Alexander Calder and lightbox sculptures by Alfredo Jaar.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Until Sunday June 18 2017

"Chicago Works: Andrew Yang"

The MCA's Chicago Works series presents the debut solo exhibition of Andrew Yang, a biologist-turned-artist who currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute. Yang's work explores the expansive nature of the universe through a scale model the Milky Way and geological artifacts that examine the impact of mankind.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Until Sunday January 1 2017

"Design Episodes: The Modern Chair"

In anticipation of the Art Institute's permanent design exhibition (opening in 2017) this display explores the many variations of the modern chair. From shiny tubular steel chairs to sleek plywood seats, you'll want to sit down after taking in this survey of 20th century perches.

Read more
Art Institute of Chicago , Loop Until Sunday September 11 2016

"Kerry James Marshall: Mastry"

As an African American man who was born in Alabama before the passage of the Civil Rights Act and witnessed the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Kerry James Marshall is acutely aware of what it means to be black in America. His paintings confront race head-on, incorporating black figures into scenes that would historically exclude subjects who are not white. The Museum of Contemporary Art's survey of Marshall looks back at 35 years of his work, including his iconic 1980 piece, Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Until Sunday September 25 2016

"The Propeller Group"

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the team of artists that make up the Propeller Group specialize in video projects that explore subjects ranging from Vietnamese history to the tools of international war. The MCA's exhibition includes several multi-part videos made within the past five years, including films that examine Vietnam's fake antique trade and global funerary traditions.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Until Sunday November 13 2016

"Witness"

Examining the relationship between photographers and their subjects, "Witness" probes the various ways in which the circumstances surrounding the capturing of an image can define its message. Beginning with Walker Evans' vernacular photos from the 1940s and ending in a large-scale installation by Alfredo Jaar, the exhibit explores photography's changing role throughout the history of the medium.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Until Sunday February 19 2017

Concerts in September 2016

North Coast Music Festival

Recommended

The other big festival in Union Park (the one that doesn't rhyme with Itchpork) leans heavy on EDM, jam and rap. Booked by some of the same folks behind Spring Awakening and Mamby on the Beach, North Coast is an eclectic affair with a focus on headlining DJs such as Bassnectar and Zedd. Of course, there are interesting acts on bill for those who don't go in for lasers and bass drops, including Action Bronson and Sleigh Bells.

Read more
Union Park , Near West Side Friday September 2 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

Chicago Jazz Festival

Chicago is known for its blues musicians, but these days it's more of a jazz city. The annual Chicago Jazz Festival celebrates contemporary improvisers and legendary players with four days of concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park. Highlights of the 2016 lineup include the avant-garde leaning Liberation Music Orchestra and modern jazz combo the Bad Plus, playing Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction.

Read more
Chicago Cultural Center , Loop Thursday September 1 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

Andrew Bird

After a few years spent dabbling in folk music, layered instrumentals and covers of Handsome Family songs, Andrew Bird makes a return to violin-driven rock on Are You Serious. Filled with clever wordplay and jaunty whistled melodies, the album signals a return to the experimental pop songcraft of 2007's Armchair Apocrypha without sacrificing Bird's artistic growth in the subsequent years. Expect a career-spanning set (and his signature spinning speakers) that takes advantage of the finely-tuned acoustics of Pritzker Pavilion.

Read more
Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Wednesday September 7 2016

Russian Circles + Cloakroom

Recommended

Local instrumental metal trio Russian Circles returns to Metro behind its new LP, Guidance—a serpentine collection of atmospheric segues and heavy anthems drenched in propulsive rhythms and sludgy riffs. Grunge-inflected Indiana rockers Cloakroom open the show.

Read more
Metro Chicago , Wrigleyville Friday September 9 2016

Gold Panda + Open Mike Eagle

British producer Derwin Schlecker strings together hazy samples to create low-key electronic music informed by his travels in Japan, where the beat-maker drew inspiration from the country's crowded urban centers and rural vistas. Alt-rapper Open Mike Eagle opens the show, with a set of his darkly comedic hip-hop.

Read more
Lincoln Hall , Lincoln Park Friday September 16 2016

Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring Day

Instead of simply playing a concert in Chicago, Chance the Rapper is turning the hometown date of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour into a one-day music festival. The Chicago-native emcee will turn in a headlining performance at U.S. Cellular Field, preceded by a host of guests, including EDM heavyweight Skrillex, R&B singer John Legend and Odd Future head honcho Tyler the Creator. Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert are also scheduled to appear (and we wouldn't rule out additional special guests).

Read more
U.S. Cellular Field , Bridgeport Saturday September 24 2016

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

Recommended

Each fall, Hyde Park comes alive with wailing saxophones and walking bass lines as jazz performers fill the neighborhood's venues at this two-day festival. Highlights of this year's lineup include pianist Randy Weston, rising Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill and a collaboration between acclaimed saxophonist Miguel Zenón and the Spektral Quartet.

Read more
Various venues , Chicago Saturday September 24 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

AAHH! Fest

Recommended

Common's locally-focused hip-hop showcase returns to Union Park after skipping the crowded festival season last summer. This year, the festivities take place over the course of two days, beginning with the free Community Showcase on Saturday, which allows local talent to audition for a spot on stage the following day. On Sunday, it's the Main Stage event, which will feature a (yet-to-be-announced) lineup of hip-hop and R&B performers. Don't expect Kayne West to show up unannounced again this year—he'll be busy with his own tour.

Read more
Union Park , Near West Side Saturday September 24 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Angel Olsen + Rodrigo Amarante

Recommended

Acrobatic-voiced singer-songwriter Angel Olsen splits the difference between the energetic rock songs and slow-burning balladry of her previous two releases, grappling with self-identity and unrequited romance on her fiery new album, My Woman. Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante—who frequently covers Olsen's track "Unfucktheworld"—opens the show.

Read more
Thalia Hall , Pilsen Tuesday September 27 2016 - Wednesday September 28 2016

Sigur Rós

After years of increasingly grandiose records and tours, ethereal Icelandic post-rock outfit Sigur Rós is pumping the breaks on its latest tour. The group will be touring as a trio— without any opening acts or backing band—to road test a batch of new songs, harkening back to the years it spent developing the songs that eventually comprised () in front of live audiences. While this configuration of Sigur Rós will be smaller than usual, the band promises an even more elaborate stage show, developed by the same team responsible for the complex projections and lights of its previous tours. Taking place in the ornate Chicago Theatre, this is bound to be a special show.

Read more
Chicago Theatre , Loop Friday September 30 2016

Free events in September 2016

OUTspoken!

This monthly storytelling show focuses on LGBTQ-identified performers, though their stories aren't necessarily gay-themed. The evening is hosted by Sidetrack co-owner and Equality Illinois co-founder Art Johnston and Kim Hunt of Affinity Community Services.

Read more
SideDoor , River North Tuesday September 6 2016 - Tuesday December 6 2016

Tuesdays on the Terrace

Recommended

Each Tuesday, the Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a free concert in its Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden. The lineup features performers from the Chicago jazz community, including Mike Reed and Joshua Abrams. Attendees can order food à la carte from the outdoor grill or pig out at the buffet (it's $27 per person). If it's raining outside, the event moves indoors to the MCA Café.

Sep 6: Corey Wilkes
Sep 13: Juli Wood’s Chicago Calling
Sep 20: The Miyumi Project
Sep 27: Joshua Abrams and Jeff Parker

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art , Gold Coast Tuesday August 30 2016 - Tuesday September 27 2016

ACTIVATE

Recommended

Each month, Chicago Loop Alliance throws a party in a nondescript downtown alley with the help of local artists and DJs. The roving event takes on a new theme—this summer, ACTIVATE will celebrate each of the five senses. Guests can RSVP to receive a free drink when they arrive.

Read more
Various venues , Chicago Thursday September 15 2016 - Thursday October 13 2016

PBR Bingo

On the first Monday of every month, Boiler Room turns into a hip, Logan Square nursing home for its monthly PBR Bingo night. Guests can grab a few slices, sip a beer and wait for their numbers to be called while competing for various Pabst Blue Ribbon-themed prizes.

Read more
The Boiler Room , Logan Square Monday September 5 2016 - Monday December 5 2016

Comments

0 comments