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Windy City Smokeout Returns July 8 – 11, 2021

Windy City Smokeout, the nation’s premier outdoor country music and BBQ festival will return to Chicago on July 8-11, 2021, outside the iconic United Center at 1901 W. Madison Street.  Hosted by popular barbecue joint, Bub City, and ACM award-winning, Joe’s Bar, Windy City Smokeout will feature live performances from country music’s biggest names and up-and-coming talent plus the best BBQ and craft beer from around the country. The six-time Academy of Country Music Awards “Festival of the Year” nominee is adding a fourth day this year, offering festival goers an extra day to celebrate the return of live music and food.

“Windy City Smokeout has long been one of our city’s most iconic summer festivals and we are thrilled that it will be the first to return in the roster of summer events as part of our larger Open Chicago initiative,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We have worked closely with teams like the one at Windy City Smokeout to ensure these types of events are able to happen safely and are proud to continue to place arts and entertainment at the center of our city’s recovery efforts.”

ACM award-winning promoter and Windy City Smokeout co-founder, Ed Warm, handpicked the weekend’s lineup. The 2021 headliners include CMA award winning Brett Eldredge, GRAMMY-award winning Darius Rucker, 14-time GRAMMY-nominated and iHeartRadio Country “Song of the Year” winner Dierks Bentley and CMA New Artist of the Year Award recipient, Jon Pardi. The additional list of country music acts by day include:

Thursday, July 8:
Walker County
Larry Fleet
Brett Eldredge

Friday, July 9:
Tyler Booth
Lainey Wilson
Ryan Hurd
Morgan Evans
Darius Rucker

Saturday, July 10:
Angie K
Ross Ellis
Cody Canada & The Departed
Riley Green
Dierks Bentley

Sunday, July 11:
Jillian Jacqueline
Kolby Cooper
Hailey Whitters
Randy Rogers Band
Cody Johnson
Jon Pardi

The BBQ line up features the world’s best pitmasters offering a mix of new school and old school ‘cue dishes throughout the festival weekend. The full 2021 BBQ line up includes:

Windy City Smokeout has appointed a Safety, Health and Security team to implement a comprehensive safety plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will work in coordination with public health officials to implement event safety guidelines. Throughout the 18-acres of the festival, all public areas will be thoroughly sanitized during the event, hand washing and sanitation stations will be available every 100 feet and contactless payment will be used at all points of service. As part of Windy City Smokeout’s commitment to health and safety, the festival will be utilizing Health Pass by CLEAR. Health Pass is a free, mobile experience by CLEAR that securely connects a user’s verified identity to multiple layers of COVID-19-related health information to help reduce public health risk. All guests will use CLEAR’s Health Pass to complete COVID-19 screening requirements before entering.  Through the CLEAR mobile app and Health Pass, vaccinated individuals will be able to securely link to their vaccination results and non-vaccinated individuals will be able to link to their negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours, and all festival participants must complete a daily symptom survey. Masks will be required upon entry. More information on the event’s safety plan can be found on the website at

“We feel very fortunate to be able to throw a festival this summer and can’t wait to welcome back our guests with some of the best artists in country music,” said Ed Warm. “The music paired with famous BBQ, craft beer and summer in Chicago will make for a terrific return to outdoor events, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with everyone.”

In its eighth year, Windy City Smokeout will offer a variety of perks and increased safety measures including expanded festival grounds along Madison Street and Damen Avenue to allow for spacious lounge areas, larger VIP sections with private cabana options for groups of 10 guests, and more food options and craft beer offerings than ever before. The festival team is dedicated to providing an exceptional guest experience with expedited will call ticket pick-up, United Center supported security, interior bathroom facilities and easy access for ride shares and festival pick up.

Guests can round out the experience with a selection of curated events including the Best Outdoor Happy Hour of the Summer. New this year, the festival will have two happy hours, one on Thursday presented by Choose Chicago and one Friday presented by Basic Hard Seltzer, as well as an epic BBQ Brunch on Sunday, plus cocktail classes and whiskey tastings taking place throughout the weekend. The ticketed events do not include admission to the festival; a single day or four-day pass is required for entry.

Festival passes are now on sale at and currently priced as follows:


*General Admission festival passes do not include food or beverage.

**VIP festival passes include access to an elevated area next to the stage, express entrance into the festival, use of on-site concierge service and complimentary charging stations, exclusive VIP restrooms, and re-entry to the festival grounds.

The hours for Windy City Smokeout are Thursday, July 8: 4pm-10pm; Friday, July 9: 2pm-11pm; Saturday, July 10: noon-11pm; Sunday, July 11: noon-10pm. For more information and to purchase festival passes, please visit, and be sure to follow all the action on Instagram at @WindyCitySmokeout and Twitter at @WCSmokeout.

Press queries for the 2021 Windy City Smokeout can be directed to Katy Darnaby:

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