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Windy City Smokeout 2023 (The Ultimate BBQ and Country Music Experience)

Windy City Smokeout is a festival you don’t want to miss if you enjoy scrumptious BBQ, foot-tapping country music, and a fantastic summertime ambiance. The nation’s top pitmasters, honorable country musicians, and passionate food enthusiasts come together for this yearly festival in Chicago.

Windy City Smokeout is an annual festival that combines the best of barbecue and country music. Taking place in Chicago from July 13-16, 2023, it promises a mouthwatering culinary experience and live performances by top country artists.

In this article, I will give you a closer look at the Windy City Smokeout 2023 event, while exploring its highlights, explaining why it has become a must-attend event for barbecue and music enthusiasts, and will also answer the most asked questions about it. So let’s stay together till the end.

About Windy City Smokeout

Windy City Smokeout is a three to four-day festival that celebrates the art of BBQ and country music. The festival features a wide range of skilled pitmasters from all over the country, who serve up their specialties and contend for the title of “Best BBQ.”

Country music fans cheering and singing along with their favorite artists at Windy City Smokeout.

A memorable event that mixes delicious food, wonderful music, and outstanding surroundings will be created as participants enjoy live performances by some of the biggest stars in country music with finger-licking food.

1. The Best BBQ

You may choose from a variety of BBQ dishes at Windy City Smokeout, including traditional Texas brisket, Memphis-style ribs, and Kansas City burnt ends.

This festival is a culinary heaven for everybody who enjoys good cuisine, whether they are a BBQ lover or not.

2. World-Class Country Music

Windy City Smokeout boasts an impressive lineup of country music artists.

From well-established stars to rising talents, the festival’s stage comes alive with electrifying performances that keep the crowd dancing and singing along.

3. Interactive Workshops and Demonstrations

Windy City Smokeout offers more than just eating and dancing. The festival also provides opportunities for attendees to learn from the masters themselves through interactive workshops and demonstrations.

Whether it’s a hands-on cooking class with a celebrated pitmaster or a behind-the-scenes look at the secrets of crafting the perfect barbecue.

4. Craft Beer and Whiskey

To complement the flavorful BBQ, Windy City Smokeout features a selection of craft beer and whiskey. Local and national breweries showcase their brews, offering attendees a chance to sample unique flavors.

Whether you prefer a refreshing IPA or a smooth bourbon, the festival’s beverage offerings are sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Wonderful music and outstanding surroundings create an electrifying atmosphere as participants enjoy live performances by some of the biggest stars in country music.

5. Fun and Lively Atmosphere

Windy City Smokeout is about the whole experience, not just the food and music.

The festival has a vibrant and joyful environment, with attendees congregating to socialize, make new friends, and cherish long-lasting memories.

Which City Is Called Windy City And Why?

Chicago is known as the “Windy City” because of the frequent, powerful gusts that originate from Lake Michigan.

The nickname’s actual origin is unknown, but one hypothesis contends that the Cincinnati Enquirer popularized it in 1876 by referencing a “tornado” and highlighting a double sense of “full of wind” when referring to local speakers.

Windy City Smokeout is about the whole interactive experience, not just the food and music.

When Was The First Windy City Smokeout Event?

Back in 2013, it all started with just five barbecue teams and a headlining performance by the talented Brett Eldridge. Picture a small parking lot tucked away in River North, where the aroma of smoky barbecue filled the air and the excitement was palpable.

It was at that moment, with those initial teams and the incredible music, that the spirit of Windy City Smokeout was born.

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How Many People Attended The First Event?

According to Callie Revel, a partner at Windy City Smokeout and project manager at Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, the festival saw an impressive turnout of 12,000 people over three days.

Windy City Smokeout has evolved into a must-attend gathering for barbecue and music enthusiasts. The numbers speak for themselves, reflecting the incredible success and widespread appeal of this annual extravaganza.

Windy City Smokeout: Historical Festival Data

Below is a data table showcasing the historical locations and dates of Windy City Smokeout from 2013 to 2023.

2013July 12-14Chicago, Illinois, United States
2014July 11-13Grand Street Chicago Rivers, United States
2015July 10-13Grand Avenue 560W Parking Lot, Chicago, United States
2016July 15-17Grand Avenue near Chicago Rivers 560W Parking Lot, Chicago, United States
2017July 14-17Illinois, Chicago, United States
2018July 13-14Somewhere outside Chicago
2019July 12-14United Center, Chicago
2020July 10-12United Center, Chicago
2021July 8-10United Center, 1901 W Madison Street, Chicago
2022August 4-7United Center, 1901 W Madison Street, Chicago
2023July 13-16United Center Parking Lot, Chicago
Historical locations and dates of Windy City Smokeout from 2013 to 2023

Below is the YouTube video about the live streaming, lineup, and ticket information for the event.

Windy City Smokeout Festival 2023 | Live Stream, Lineup, and Tickets Info

Who Owns The Event?

Windy City Smokeout, Chicago’s first major food festival, is owned and operated by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

Working in collaboration with Lettuce Entertain You, the team of Mayor Lightfoot has coordinated efforts to ensure the success of Windy City Smokeout. Together, they strive to create an exceptional experience for festival-goers, combining delicious food, fantastic music, and the vibrant spirit of Chicago.

Windy City Smokeout 2023

For this year’s festival, dates are scheduled from 13-16 July. So, get ready to have some great pieces of music with delicious pieces of BBQ.

Who Will Be At Windy City Smokeout 2023?

Here is the list of country headliners for Windy City Smokeout on July 13-16, 2023:

  • Zach Bryan on 13th July, Thursday
  • Darius Rucker on 14th July, Friday
  • Luke Bryan on 15th July, Saturday
  • Zac Brown Band on 16th July, Sunday

These talented artists will grace the stage at Windy City Smokeout, providing an incredible lineup of country music for festival attendees to enjoy.

It’s a lineup that promises unforgettable performances and memorable moments for all country music fans.

How Much Will Be The Ticket To The Festival?

The cost of a single ticket for the 4-day pass ranges from $551 to $1002.

You can experience the ultimate country music extravaganza at Windy City Smokeout. With a star-studded lineup featuring Zach Bryan, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, and Zac Brown Band, this festival promises unforgettable performances and memories that will last a lifetime.


  • Windy City Smokeout is a premier festival that combines the best of country music and mouth-watering BBQ.
  • The festival is owned and operated by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a renowned restaurant group.
  • This year’s lineup includes top-notch artists such as Zach Bryan, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, and Zac Brown Band.
  • The 4-day pass tickets range between $551.00 and $1002.00, offering access to all the performances and festivities.
  • Windy City Smokeout provides an unforgettable experience with its exceptional music, delectable food, and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Experience the thrill of Windy City Smokeout and be captivated by the electrifying performances, tantalizing aromas, and contagious energy of the event.

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