The warm weather is here and for Chicago that means it's festival season. Here's a week look at some of the top events available this weekend for those who want to get out and enjoy all the Chi has to offer.
Thursday, May 31st
Maifest Chicago - May 31 - June 3, 2018 - Lincoln Square (4700 N. Lincoln Avenue)
Mayfest (Maifest in German) is the traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring. Maifest is still celebrated throughout Germany with the maypole (maibaum) decorated to show off the history and crafts of the local village or town.tent
Mayfest, like Octoberfest, has now become a popular celebration throughout the world. Chicago's German community welcomes all to their Mayfest in Lincoln Square; the heart of Chicago's German Community.
This 19th annual German festival features German foods, live music, maypole dance and other traditional German presentations.
VANS HOUSE PARTY Featuring Vic Mensa - May 31 - HOUSE OF VANS CHICAGO - Free - 18+
This year, the Vans House Parties series evolves where each headlining artist will act as a curator, hand-picking all supporting talent and will be creating a personalized visual art experience for fans. To support and elevate emerging talent, one unsigned band or artist will be chosen by the headliner to open each Vans House Party show.
Vic Mensa has selected local artist, Floyd A. Davis IV to create an immersive, multimedia experience that will combine sculpture and music into a functional speaker wall. Rounding out the bill, San Francisco based hip-hop collective The Pack will take the stage for an epic reunion and unsigned Chicago-based hip-hop artist, KAMI was personally selected by Vic Mensa to open the show.
Vic Mensa Curation with performances by:
Friday, June 1st
Chicago Gospel Music Festival - June 1-2, 2018 - Chicago Cultural Center & Millennium Park - Free Admission
Celebrating the genre's deep Chicago roots with traditional choirs and contemporary urban gospel music in the city where the genre was born, the 33rd Chicago Gospel Music Festival features local and national artists on June 1 and 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.
Chicago Ale Fest - June 1 - 2, 2018 - Butler Field in Grant Park - Price Varies
Located at Butler Field in historic Grant Park, Chicago Ale Fest will feature a ton of craft beers (over 200), live music and some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks.
Do Division Street Fest - June 1-3, 2018 - DIVISION BETWEEN DAMEN AND LEAVITT - $10 Suggested Donation
Do Division Street Fest takes place on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt in West Town Chicago and features two live music stages, a wide variety of local vendors and food, plenty of ice cold beer, wine and spirits, a dedicated Family Fun Fest area with family activities and stage (which exclusively benefits local elementary schools), plus Do Fashion with local designer runway shows and DJs.
The live music stages are programmed by two renowned West Town live music venues: The Empty Bottle & Subterranean, and the cutting edge and high quality live music makes Do Division a stand out festival.
Saturday, June 2nd
HYDE PARK BREW FEST - June 2-3, 2018 - 53RD ST. & HARPER CT. - Free to Enter
Hyde Park Brew Fest marks its fifth year with an outstanding weekend of festivities that will combine Chicago’s best brewers and music producers. The Hyde Park Brew Fest runs from June 2 through June 3rd, 12p-9p on Saturday and Sunday and is FREE to attend. Attendees will enjoy excellent food, music, vendors, and of course, can purchase a sampler’s ticket for access to over 50 different beers and ciders to try. The Hyde Park Brew Fest takes place in downtown Hyde Park at 53rd and Harper Avenue (Harper Court).
The Beer Sampling event which runs from 1p - 7p both days, will feature over 50 different brews and ciders. PURCHASE TICKETS here. Among the stellar line up of brews will the best Midwest Craft & Microbreweries and some from right here in the Chicago area.
In addition to having your taste buds tickled with outstanding food from favorite local restaurant filling the air with culinary aromas for blocks, your ears will be treated to sounds curated by Hyde Park’s own Dave Jeff along with an eclectic lineup of DJs including headliner and innovative hip-hop DJ and Producer, DJ Jazzy Jeff known most for his Grammy-winning work with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
Wakandacon is a fan convention happening in Chicago, IL to celebrate Afro-futurism, tech, and community outreach. Wakandacon will take place at the Hilton Chicago from August 3rd to 5th.
The three-day event is organized by a team of African-American Chicago residents: siblings David, Ali, and Matt Barthwell; along with entrepreneur Lisa Beasley and producer Taylor Witten. The event will feature panels, lectures, workshops, and live entertainment.
Recent films were the inspiration for Wakandacon, but the team was moved to do more. “The moment we saw Wakanda in film, we wanted a space to gather and talk about everything African-Americans are passionate about. Afro-Futurism is about imagining a future for Black people all around the world. Wakandacon is a space for Black people to look past the present and into our future,” says Ali Barthwell, co-founder of Wakandacon.
“Our people have been hungry for something like this for a very long time, and I hope that Wakandacon only adds to the fire,” says David Barthwell, founder of Wakandacon.
Along with educational and entertaining programming, Wakandacon will also feature a marketplace for African-American small business owners. The event is based in Chicago, but the organizers are hoping for people from across the world to attend.
“My siblings and I were all born and raised in the area, and Chicago is the city that we love. We hope that Wakandacon will not just be an event for people of Chicago but for people all over,” says Matt Barthwell, cofounder of Wakandacon.
A weekend pass is available for $35 on Wakandacon2018.com. Submissions for programming, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers are live on Wakandacon2018.com. More information is available on Wakandacon2018.com.
Coachella is one of the hottest music events of the year, but being there in person isn't for everyone. Going to the 6-Day, split over two weekends, music fest takes a lot of preparation. First, you have to deal with huge crowds of people, then there is the cost that can rise to over $500, per weekend, and that's assuming you are even able to get tickets before they sell out. Oh and if you aren't lucky enough to already live in California, there still the cost and effort of travel. If this all seems like to much for you, but you still want to enjoy the music, don't worry cause YouTube has got you covered.
For the eighth year in a row, YouTube has partnered up with Coachella to broadcast the biggest concerts of the event. In addition to the concerts, they will also have their always on, VR-180 camera.
Now there is one little catch, the stream is only available for the the first weekend. But before you think you may be missing to much, you have to see the amazing line-up for that weekend.
Performing that weekend are the likes of Beyonce, Cardi B, DeJ Loaf, Eminem, French Montana, Chloe x Halle, Migos, Jorja Smith, Miguel, SZA, Vince Staples, and The Weeknd, to name a few. And that is just a third of the scheduled acts.
Weekend one begins Friday, April 13th. Visit www.coachella.com for more info on the free YouTube stream and more.
Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn Line-Up Announced: Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Miguel & More
One of the biggest and most anticipated music festivals of the year is returning to Brooklyn this summer. The Afropunk Fest will take place at Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene on August 25 and 26. On Tuesday (March 27), Afropunk Fest unveiled the Brooklyn edition of the festival will be headlined by Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae and Tyler the Creator.
In addition to Badu, Monae, and Tyler the Creator, Afropunk recruited the likes of Miguel, The Internet, H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, Jessie Reyez, Smino, and Jaden and Willow Smith to help round out the impressive bill.
This year's theme is The People Resist, which "brings together AFROPUNK ideology and the people who support it, in resistance to those that strive to opress." Afropunk has not only seen success in the states, but has expanded to international markets including Paris, London, and Johannesburg.
Afropunk has introduced a new ticketing system called Buy One, Give One (BOGO) in which each general admission ticket purchased will allow a New York City youth, who has been participating in art programs like Recess Art and Young New Yorkers, the opportunity to attend the festival.
Afropunk has also announced its Atlanta lineup, which takes place on October 13 and 14. So far, N.E.R.D, Noname, Little Simz, Kari Faux are set to hit the stage, with more names to be announced later this year.
For more information about Afropunk Fest and tickets, visit the official site.
This spring, Six Flags Great America will unveil their newest giant coaster, a 100-foot-tall coaster that will take riders forward and backward on a giant 360 degree loop with multiple inversions. And now we finally know the name of this attraction, the Mardi Gras Hangover.
The coaster will feature “face-off” seating, which means riders are seated back-to-back and face-to-face. The park also said the loop coaster will open in the park’s Mardi Gras-themed area and that Six Flags also will be introducing a new Mardi Gras Festival in late summer. It will include nightly shows, floats, beads and fireworks.
The Spring Awakening Music Festival has official announce the dates for the 2018 edition of the fest. The seventh annual festival will take place June 8th thru June 10th, 2018 and will return to the beautiful Addams/Medill Park in Chicago.
Discounted General Admission and VIP Early Bird tickets are on sale now! This limited Early Bird special will be available for 3 days only (October 12-14), and includes layaway options starting at $59 for 3-day tickets. Head over to springawakeningfestival.com now to secure your tickets at the lowest available price, courtesy of React Presents.
In addition to the date and ticket release, Spring Awakening is also premiering their 2017 Aftemovie from the 2017 edition of the fest. You can check out all the highlights in the video below.