September Events In and Around Chicago

Now that summer is coming to a close and Labor Day has passed, it doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop!  There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the many outdoor festivals and activities that this city has planned into the Fall season.  Here’s a look at just some of the events we’re most looking forward to in September:

Riot Fest

When:  September 14th – September 16th

Where:  North Lawndale

One of the most anticipated events of the season, Riot Fest, is ready to rock out with Chicago!  This electric festival is bringing acts like Blink-182, Beck, Alkaline Trio, Elvis Costello, Blondie and rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis to Douglas Park for a three-day carnival of music.  From punks, to metal-heads, to indie rockers and hip-hopers, you’ll see it all. There will even be a Ferris wheel and all kinds of delicious fair fare.

Fulton Market Harvest Fest

When:  September 14th – September 16th

Where:  West Loop

Chicago bigwigs, Chef Stephanie Izard and Chef Paul Kahan, have curated this exciting dining experience in one of the city’s hottest dining districts.  The Fulton Market Harvest Fest brings together dishes from some of the best West Loop restaurants, as well as creative cocktails, beer and cooking demos from some of the most talented chefs in Chicago.

The Music Box 70mm Film Festival

When:  September 14th – September 27th

Where:  Wrigleyille

The Music Box Theatre isn’t just a cool place to catch a movie, it’s also one of the only theaters left in the world that can project 70mm film.  So, for two weeks this month, the Music Box will be screening movies in this enlarged, hyper-detailed format. Features will include such classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia.  Others scheduled to view include Stephen Speilberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, John Carpenter’s The Thing New York City and West Side Story.

Reeling Film Festival

When:  September 20th – September 30th

Where:  Lincoln Square

For more than 35 years, Chicago Filmmakers has rolled out the red carpet for the Reeling Film Festival.  This event is the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the country, and it’s filled with movies that feature LGBTQ talent (both behind and in front of the lens).  This year’s program will take place at the Davis Theatre, Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema and the Chicago Filmmakers HQ and will feature Rupert Everett’s The Happy Prince, the Chicago premiere of Mapplethorpe and the documentary Studio 54.


When:  September 22nd

Where:  Little Italy, UIC

BeerHoptacular is one of Chicago’s most expansive craft beer festivals, and this year it’s coming to you from a helicopter hanger!  The event offers guests more than 150 different brews to taste and also features a homebrew competition, DJs spinning tunes, a live insult booth where you can take out your frustrations and so much more.

The most exciting thing about this list of Fall kick-off events is that we’re just barely scratching the surface!  With the changing of the season comes activities and entertainment from every direction, happening every single week.  So, grab a sharpie, and get ready to mark up your calendars; it’s going to be a good one!


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