One of the best things about Chicago is the copious amount of festivals that take place in the summer. Of course everyone knows the big name events such as Lollapalooza and Spring Awakening but there are also plenty of local festivals that are actually free to attend and just as exciting! But before you grab your fanny pack and head out for some electrifying events this summer, here are 5 things FLIRT recommends you to do before attending some of the best festivals and events in Chicago:


1. Research when and where festivals are happening in Chicago

If you’re college student or just want to save some money, Chicago offers a multitude of FREE festivals you can go to. Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and other music festivals can run hundreds of dollars per ticket, but there are alternative options that don’t charge for entrance such as: The Chicago’s Blues Festival, the Annual Taste of Chicago, and a variety of neighborhood-specific street festivals. Spend some time researching online and choose which festivals fit your style. This website is a great source for all of the events happening this Summer.



2. Come prepared!

  • There are going to be long lines for the ATM and beverages can be expensive, so avoid both of these by having cash on hand and an empty water bottle to stay hydrated. Some other key items to include are: a portable battery for your phone, sunscreen, sunglasses and your favorite glow stick (obviously, for the night time shows).
  • If you want to be extra prepared, you can never go wrong with a small survival kit that includes bandages, aspirin, and some wet-wipes. However, you’re going to be moving around and standing a majority of the time so don’t weigh yourself down – keep it simple and hands free.
  • Try to grab some food before going to the festival (unless, of course, you’re going to a food festival). Prices are going to be high and the last thing you want to do is spend all of your cash on small portions of food.

3. Make sure you have solid plans and then back-up plans

Chicago festivals are jam-packed with locals and tourists alike. There is a large chance you and your friends could get separated in the mass of people, so plan a space ahead of time where you can all meet up if you happen to get lost.

4. Know your limits

Determine what is really worth seeing at the festival. There are lots of events going on at once and in addition to the substantial crowds, getting around the grounds can be tricky. I wouldn’t recommend trying to see everything, pick and choose the events you are most looking forward to so you can have time to regroup and relax instead of wearing yourself down.

5. Wear comfortable shoes.

Yes, festivals can be a place to really put yourself out there in fashion and gain “cool points”, but the number one thing to remember is to stay comfortable. At the end of the day, you are going to be so thankful for those tennis shoes you choose over the trendy shoes. Another thing to remember is that it can get muddy at festivals, so wear something you aren’t going to be too upset about getting a little…or a lot dirty!


We here at FLIRT are firm believers of planning and back-up planning for any event we go to (it comes with being in the industry). Sometimes things don’t go exactly how you want them to and in a time of crisis, plan “b’s” and being prepared usually save the day. For summertime festivals, this type of planning can be incredibly useful to create an amazing experience for you and your friends. Remember to stay safe this season and do your research before it all begins. Chicago has an incredible variety of events and festivals, creating nearly endless options for the summer!




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