The Replacements. That's really all it should take to make you throw on an extra piece of black clothing and beeline for Riot Fest this weekend in Humboldt Park. Add to the lineup Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Pixies and every other band that your awkward self loved between 7th and 10th grade, and it's pretty much a no-brainer. Not into the punkier side of stuff? Two other fests—Crush in Old Town and Berghoff Oktoberfest—have your drinking needs covered, or you can get your art on at Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. email@example.com | @redeyeeatdrink
When: 2:30-10:45 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10:45 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-10:45 p.m. Sunday
Where: Humboldt Park, Augusta Boulevard to Division Street and Sacramento Avenue to Kedzie Avenue
How much: Three-day passes sold out; Two-days passes (Sept.13-14) available for $104.95; select single day passes available $54.98-$124.98 at riotfest.org.
Don't miss: Did I mention The Replacements? OK, good. Definitely scour the full lineup, which includes acts as diverse as Joan Jett, Blink-182, Pixies, Blondie and Surfer Blood. Need some guidance? RedEye special contributor Andy Downing break down his top 10 acts.
Mini-detours: You're going to need some caffeine to sustain you for the morning shows. Pop into Star Lounge (2521 W. Chicago Ave.) for some Dark Matter brew and a pastry, best enjoyed on the coffee bar's sunny back patio. Vegans, vegetarians (and the friends who love them) can fill up with breakfast or lunch at Flying Saucer (1123 N California Ave.). At the end of the night, retire with a cheap beer in the divey confines of Archie's Iowa & Rockwell Tavern (2600 W. Iowa St.)
When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday
Where: John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza (230 S. Dearborn St.)
How much: Free to attend; daily beer tasting passes available for $15
Don't miss: Oh, it's officially fall when historic Berghoff restaurant dusts off its steins for another Oktoberfest bash. Bavarian-style music, beer and food descend on the outdoor plaza for three weekdays, with special Oktoberfest dishes served at the restaurant through Oct. 26. A Tapping of the Keg party goes down Thursday from 6-10 p.m., and tastings of the newly revamped Berghoff beers take place daily at 2:30 p.m. Keep an eye out for the Berghoff Brat—or track him at @BerghoffChicago—for a chance to win stuff.
Mini-detours: After all that German beer, head to Saucy Porka (400 S. Financial Place) for "bacos," fist-sized bao sandwiches in flavors such as sofrito-marinated shrimp and soy-ginger tofu. If it's more booze you're after, duck into Ceres Cafe (141 W. Jackson Boulevard) in the lobby of the Board of Trade for some of the stiffest drinks in town.
Crush in Old Town
When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday
Where: Wells Street between North Avenue and Schiller Street
How much: $7 suggested donation
Don't miss: Formerly the Wells Street Fall Fest, this low-key neighborhood jam is back for an 11th year. Wine, courtesy of Galleria Liquors, is the main draw, with 15-pour tasting passes available for $35 in advance ($40 at the gate), plus attendees can sign up for a grape-stomping competition at 2 p.m. daily. New this year is a food focus on mac 'n' cheese; local restaurants including Fireplace Inn, Kamehachi, Dinotto Ristorante, Orso's and more each will prepare a version of the dish and fest goers are encouraged to vote for their favorite. Craft beers and fest bands such as Wedding Banned (8 p.m. Saturday) and The Business (7 p.m. Sunday) round out the weekend.
Mini-detours: Take in some of the best views—and a few cocktails—at The J. Parker atop Hotel Lincoln (1816 N. Clark St.), or keep the party going until the wee hours at late-night lounge Drop (1909 N. Lincoln Ave.) For heartier food to soak up the wine you drank at the fest, seek out the European-inspired fare and laid-back atmosphere at The Glunz Tavern (1202 N. Wells St.)
Lakeview East Festival of the Arts
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Broadway between Belmont Avenue and Hawthorne Place
How much: $5 suggested donation
Don't miss: More than 175 juried artists display their diverse work, from sculpture to jewelry to paintings, along Lakeview East's busy Broadway corridor. Cooking demonstrations from chef Chrissy Camba of Bar Pastoral (2:15 p.m. Sunday) and others take place on Broadway and Roscoe Street, while bands include Panda Riot (4 p.m. Sunday) and Band Called Catch (5:45 p.m. Saturday).
Mini-detours: Check out Lakeview's newest brewpub, DryHop Brewers (3155 N. Broadway) for made-on-premise beer and bar food, or keep it lighter with cheese and wine at Bar Pastoral (2947 N. Broadway). Since it's the end of the summer, squeeze in one last frozen treat at Paciugo (3241 N. Broadway) or Bobtail (2951 N. Broadway).
See our full summer fest schedule at redeyechicago.com/fests.
UPCOMING FESTS: Sept. 20: FestivAle (West Loop); Sept. 21-22: Sam Adams' Lakeview Taco Fest; Sept. 21: City Made Festival (Andersonville); Sept. 21: Lincoln Square Apple Fest; Sept. 21: Logan Square Beer Festival; Sept. 21: VeganMania (Streeterville)