Summer 2021: Which Chicago festivals, events have returned, been rescheduled?John Silveron May 14, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Festivals are beginning to announce their future plans for 2021. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Improving coronavirus numbers have made more summer events possible. Here’s the latest updates on this year’s changing entertainment landscape.

With coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates on the decline, the summer festival season in Chicago is in much better shape than last year.

The city has given the green light for festivals and “general admission outdoor spectator events” to welcome 15 people for every 1,000 square feet.

The city has debated various ways bolster vaccination rates among young people most likely to attend outdoor music events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said a proposal to create a coronavirus vaccine passport for Chicago events is “very much a work in progress” but that preferred seating at those events could be one way to urge vaccination.

Some festivals have already announced their return and concerts are starting to be rescheduled.

We’re tracking the status of the city’s festival and major events throughout the area as new cancellations and postponements are announced. Check back for more updates.


  • Navy Pier Fireworks: The Pier is hosting a 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday in May at 9:00 p.m.
  • Manifest Urban Arts Festival: Columbia College Chicago’s student driven event that showcases graduating student work. May 10-14.
  • For the Love of Chocolate: Long Grove, demonstrations, classes, presentations, experiences, vendors, chocolatiers, entertainment and so much more. Advanced online registration is required, May 14-16.
  • Hot Stove Cool Music virtual music festival, benefits the Foundation To Be Named Later, which was co-founded by former Cubs president Theo Epstein. Eddie Vedder headlines. May 18.
  • Mayfest: Armitage Ave. at Sheffield Ave. in Lincoln Park, May 21 – 23.
  • Pivot Arts Festival: Reimagining Utopia – A Performance Tour: Live, a multi-arts experience featuring world premieres in theatre, dance, video, music and puppetry. May 21 – June 5.
  • The South Side Jazz Coalition – Jazzin’ On The Steps. At St. Columbanus Catholic Church, 331 East 71st St. May 23.
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts at Symphony Center, beginning May 27. Tickets will go on sale 10 a.m. May 11, at Performances will take place over three consecutive weekends at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 1:30 p.m. Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.


  • “Tuesdays on the Terrace,” Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, starting June 1 and every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. through Aug. 31.
  • Old Town Art Fair, June 12-13.
  • The Obama Portraits,” Art Institute of Chicago, June 18 – Aug. 15.
  • Pride in the Park, Grant Park, Headlining will be Chaka Khan, the legendary Queen of Funk; Gryffin, the self-taught prodigal producer; and Tiësto, who has been dubbed “the world’s greatest DJ.” June 26- 27.





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