Summer Festival Tracker: Chicago Edition
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year hits the Second City


Chicago in the summertime. If you make it through the excruciating winter (eh, this year wasn't too shabby), you're rewarded with an incredible, robust, crazy entertainment schedule that puts any city to shame. All publications throughout town broadcast with great excitement the carefully curated collective of farmer's markets, flea markets, art fairs and music festivals. Once it starts, there's no turning back...even though the unpredictable Chicago weather is likely to dip above and below a pleasant temperature in the weeks to come, once you make your first trip to the Green City Market, summer is ON. And why shouldn't it be? Now that NATO has come and gone, let's take a minute to run down some of the notable music festivals hitting Chitown in summer 2012. Take a peek, buy some tickets and enjoy (arguably) the best season this fair city has to offer.

Summertime Chicago is synonymous with two humongous festivals, each held in the same venue, each drawing out their own peculiar cast of characters. From July 11-15, Grant Park welcomes the Taste of Chicago, the city's annual pig-out on every cuisine imaginable. Headliners include Chaka Khan, Dierks Bentley, Raphael Saadiq and Chicago's own Jennifer Hudson. Less than a month later, the swirling three ring circus that is Perry Farrel's Lollapalooza sweeps into town. This year it makes its appearance in Grant Park August 3-5. For more info about The Taste of Chicago, click here. For more information about Lollapalooza, click here.

Almost any weekend this summer, you can wander into your neighborhood of choice and find a festival happening. An upcoming such festival with a cool crop of indie bands is Do Division Fest, hitting Wicker Park June 2-3 on Division Street between Leavitt and Damen. Headliners include Antlers and Black Belles. No tickets needed, just a $5 dollar donation at the gate. To view the full line up and the weekend's festivities, click here to visit the event website.

Two huge House/Dance/Trance DJ festivals are hitting Chicago this summer, starting with the Wavefront Beachside Musical Festival June 30th and July 1st. Taking place on Montrose Beach, attendants can soak in the sun while listening to the likes of MSTRKRFT, Eric Prydz, Duck Sauce, Sultan and a generous selection of Chicago-based DJs. For the full lineup and to purchase tickets, click here to visit the fest's website

The second event is "Summer's Last Stand," the North Coast Festival at Union Park. Taking place from August 31-September 2, the jam-packed line up showcases headliner Pretty Lights, Steve Aoki, The Rapture, Alesso and many more to be announced. For more information and to buy tickets, click here to visit the official site.

And this is just the beginning. Get out there and enjoy your summer.