Just because summer has officially ended (unless you’re waiting for the fall equinox) that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of summer fun. It’s Labor Day weekend, which means its the one of those final times you can go all out as if season was still roaring. I’m sure plenty of you have plans for out of town excursions, maybe heading up north for the final weekend of the Bristol Renaissance Fair, or prepping for a big BBQ blowout since Monday is a day off. But for those who may not have plans just yet or are looking to fill up the weekend up with even more entertainment, here’s your Chicago curated weekend.
THE WHOLE WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 1st – 4th
WHAT: Four days of free jazz (pun intended)
SO WHAT: This year the festival falls on the Centennial of the Great Migration, the mass movement of African Americans from out of the rural South into the urban Midwest, Northeast and West beginning in 1916. Chicago was an important destination for that relocation, impacting the development of jazz from vernacular music from New Orleans into an industry in Chicago. The fest this year will celebrate that momentous change throughout the fest. The headliners include Orbert Davis presenting Soul Migration; Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra directed by Carla Bley; The Bad Plus performing Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction featuring Tim Berne, Ron Miles and Sam Newsome; and Candido’s 95th Birthday Celebration, featuring M.F. Production’s Latin Jazz All Stars with Candido, Steve Turre, Nestor Torres, Sammy Figueroa, Frankie Figueroa, Elio Villafranca, Yunior Terry, Diego Lopez, Jorge Castro and Guido Gonzalez
NOW WHAT: The festival is free to enjoy, just head there early and bask in the sounds of some great musicians. You can check out the full schedule here.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st
WHAT: Last chance to see Homme perform in Chicago (at least for the next two months)
SO WHAT: Homme, the duo of Sima Cunningham and Marcie Stewart, have been having a hell of a year. They’ve had chance to show off their talents with a spot at Pitchfork, performing with Chance the Rapper, and opening for Tortoise. That barely scratches the surface of their abilities as they create some of the most interesting and essential music. Take a listen to “Woman” and realize just how great these musicians are.
NOW WHAT: Drop everything and make your way over to Wicker Park for this free in-store show
FRIDAY – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd – 4th
WHAT: The third annual festival of lobster goodness at Navy Pier
SO WHAT: The Great American Lobster Fest Two full days of fresh lobster flown in from the east coast that will be accented by plenty of family friendly activities and some great live music performances including the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The official fest will coincide with Navy Pier’s final firework performance of the season on Saturday night.
In addition to the fest, The Great American Lobster Cruise will be setting sail on Sunday to keep the lobster festivities going to the end of the weekend.
NOW WHAT: Tickets for the fest are currently available for $42 and $140 for VIP and the cruise tickets are also available for $140. However a small section of the fest at the end of the pier will be accessible to the public for free to indulge in some great seafood.
WHAT: The last music festival of the summer.
SO WHAT: NCMF, the music festival that combines rock, hip hop, and a massive dose of DJs will be taking over Union Park for three days of nonstop partying. Festival veterans like Umphrey’s McGee and Bassnectar will be headlining along with new NCMF acts like Logic and Odesza. You can check out our preview for more info on the best acts to see all weekend. If festivals aren’t your thing then check out some of NCMF after shows over at our quick Afters rundown.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are still available for the fest, so don’t miss out on Summer’s Last Stand!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd
Hopcat Grand Opening @ Hopcat, 2577 N Clark St., 11:00AM
WHAT: A new beer-centric bar opening in Chicago
SO WHAT: You know what this town needs? More beer. Thanks to Hop Cat you’ll gt plenty of it as they will have 330 beer selections and free orders of their famous Crack Fries all day during their grand opening. Head in early and enjoy a day of drinking as their first 200 guests will receive a card good for a free order of Crack Fries every week for a year. Seriously.
NOW WHAT: Set the day aside, get a car service of your choice, drink responsibly, and have a hoppy time.
The ClickHole Writers Present Amazing: A Live Show @ The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., 7:00PM – 10:00PM
WHAT: Three hours of ClickHole at The Hideout
SO WHAT: The Onion’s publication Clickhole, which satirizes sites like Buzzfeed and the culture surrounding “clickbait,” will be featuring its writers at the Hideout for a big comedy show that will include present stories, tales, and PowerPoint presentations. That’s right, PowerPoint presentations.
NOW WHAT: Tickets are $10 for this comedy show