North Coast Music Festival

The North Coast Music Festival 2023 unfolds on Labor Day, bringing great music to the Windy City. Alternative rockers and others provide the entertainment while the crowd enjoys the end-of-summer weather along with great food and plenty of beer.

North Coast Festival Chicago History and Facts

This festival has a shorter history than other Chicago events, like Pitchfork or the Taste of Chicago, with the inaugural year in 2010. Union Park provided a fitting and welcoming festival base with plenty of room for big groups of music fans and the biggest names in alternative rock and electronic music. The first year, the Chemical Brothers, De La Soul, and Moby were just some of the performers who took to the stage at the North Coast Music Festival.

Tickets to the North Coast Music Festival

Both single-day and festival passes are available for the North Coast Festival Chicago 2023. You don't have to purchase tickets for individual shows—you just have to pick a day (or three), show up, and enjoy great music. Tickets often go fast, so it's smart to get them long before the end of summer arrives.

Directions to the North Coast Music Festival

Union Park at 1501 Randolph Street is bordered by three other Chicago Streets: Ashland, Lake, and Odgen. Not surprisingly, parking is tight around Union Park, so public transportation is a good option. If you're taking the train, get to the Green Line. The Ashland stop is just steps away from Union Park. The Ashland Bus stops right at the corner of Ashland and Lake, which is a short walk from the festival gates.

If you do decide to drive, take the Interstate that best suits your starting point. From the Stevenson (I-55), head north into Chicago and catch I-90/94 north at exit 292A. From there, take the Randolph Street exit west, and follow that to the North Coast Festival Chicago.

If you're coming on 90/94, the Dan Ryan Expressway, from the other direction, it's best to exit at Ogden Avenue. You'll exit onto Racine Avenue and make a slight turn onto Ogden and head to Union Park.

From the suburbs, follow I-290, the Eisenhower, east into the city. Exit 28B will take you right to Ashland and Lake. First, go straight onto West Congress Parkway and then turn left onto Ashland.

Lodging near the North Coast Festival Chicago

The festival planners have partnered with the Hard Rock Hotel at 230 N. Michigan Avenue not far from the park or some fantastic shopping. This centrally located hotel offers great views of the Chicago skyline from its 40 stories. Music fans will dig the atmosphere and the perks, which include free music downloads, a well-stocked Rock Shop, and even rentals of Gibson guitars. All of the guestrooms are casual, yet finely appointed with MP3 player docking stations and luxury bath amenities. Upgrades are available for bigger rooms and better views at this cool hotel.

Another one of the Chicago hotels close to the North Coast Festival, the Chicago Marriott at Medical District/UIC is right on 625 Ashland. The 113 guestrooms and the rest of the hotel have undergone a major transformation to make the hotel even better. The four-story building, with wireless Internet access throughout, has a fitness center and valet parking.

Image: buba69 (flickr)
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