Here’s the Lowdown on Chowing Down at the Windy City Smokeout

Big, Bold Barbeque All Weekend Long

windy city smokeout
Photo Credit: Food & Wine

Windy City Smokeout, the premier BBQ and country music festival of the Midwest, is returning for its fourth year this weekend. With an award-winning lineup and the finest purveyors of BBQ and craft beer, this fest is sure to be a hit. Here’s everything you need to prepare yourself for this savory event.

Where It’s At

The festival is taking place at 560 West Grand Avenue, right on the edge of the Chicago River, between North Kingsbury Street and North Desplaines Street. Parking may be available nearby, but public transport or ride sharing is highly recommended. The Brown Line to the Merchandise Mart or the Red Line to North State Street are the closest options.


Entry Rules

Windy City Smokeout is family-friendly, and children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Re-entry is allowed as long as you get your hand stamped before leaving. No large backpacks, aerosol cans, tents, chairs, hard-sided coolers, or pets allowed at the fest. Please know that any items you bring are subject to search.

What to Wear

Expect high temps and sun on both Friday and Saturday, but there’ll be some showers on Sunday. Summer weather clothes like shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, and sundresses are appropriate, and as always, closed-toe shoes are recommended for safety. Hats might be handy for some shade from the heat. If you’re attending on Sunday, bring an umbrella and a light raincoat to stay dry.


What to Do

Aside from sampling all the smoky eats that will be on-site, you can also check out BBQ pitmaster Myron Mixon’s Cooking School on Friday from 8am – 4pm. If you’re upgrading to VIP status, there’s a Bubbles & Brine event hosted by Moët & Chandon, Belvedere, and Drago’s featuring charbroiled oysters and champagne. Saturday ticket holders can enjoy a brunch courtesy of Maine Lobster from 11am – 1pm. Sunday ticket holders can check out a Barbecue Brunch from 10am – 12pm and Jack Daniel’s Family Tastings from 2 – 2:30pm.

Where to Stay

For those in need of a place to stay overnight, hotels in River North or River West are the closest in promixity to the festival. The Kinzie Hotel, the Holiday Inn at Mart Plaza, the Best Western River North, and the Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown River North are all within walking distance of the fest and close to all that River North has to offer.

windy city smokeout
Photo Credit: Chritiques

Menu Lineup


Ubons, Smoque, Bub City, Peg Leg Porker, Memphis BBQ Company, Pappy’s Smokehouse, Chicago Q, Hogapalooza, 17th Street BBQ, Blackwood BBQ, Dinosaur BBQ, Lillie’s Q, The Salt Lick BBQ, Skylight Inn, Martin’s BBQ Joint, Jack’s Old South, Big Gay Ice CreamDrago’s Seafood Restaurant, The Salsa Truck, Sir Kensington’s, Three Dots and a Dash



Founders, Alter, Ale Syndicate, Pipeworks, Bell’s Brewery, Moody Tongue, Brooklyn Brewery, Evil Twin, Goose Island Beer Co., Blackberry Farm, Against the Grain, Sweetwater, Urban Chestnut, Virtue Cider, Burnt City, Trumer Pils, Aquanaut, Wiseacre, Shiner, Upland, Local Option Bierwerker


Music Lineup

Friday, July 15

Chase Rice, Phil Vassar, Jessie James Decker, Steve Moakler, Brandon Ray, Jordan Gray, Shawn Lacy, Whiskey Jam


Saturday, July 16

Billy Currington, Big & Rich with special guest Cowboy Troy, Whiskey Myers, Walker County, Ryan Hurd, Joey Hyde, Ryan Beaver, Jameson Rodgers, Whiskey Jam


Sunday, July 17

Old Dominion, Maren Morris, Corey Smith, Cale Dodds, Sister C, Brett Kissel, Michele McGuire, Shawn Lacy, Whiskey Jam

Are you going to Windy City Smokeout this weekend? Tell us below.

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