See our daily events listings for bars and clubs in the Chicago area at the link below, followed by an editor's pick of events throughout the year.
First Tuesdays, 7-9pm (doors at 6pm) at Sidetrack. Welcoming new storytellers to the OUTspoken! stage; unique first hand tales from across our diverse community. Inspired, inspiring, funny, heartbreaking - like life…with friends all around you. Typically there will be 6 storytellers and one intermission.
Second Tuesdays, 10pm-2am Off Chances at Danny's, 1959 W. Dickens Ave. Third Mondays 10pm-2am, at The Subterranean, 2011 W North. First Saturdays at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, Queer dance parties and collective dedicated to building safer spaces in Chicago since 2005. All gender expressions are welcome.
Every Wedneday + Friday Boot Camp at Urban Athlete, 4437 N Ravenswood Ave - 8pm-9pm workout at their sponsor gym - then join the Dragons as they get their booze and game on every third Wednesday of the month at Replay Beer & Bourbon! $10 minimum donation at the door for DRINK TICKETS.
Saturdays 8pm at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont.. Fast paced, musical sketch show; hilarious, irreverent, and a raunchy good time. For belly laughs about body image and relationships this is sure to deliver with comedic wit to spare. Created by Stage 773 Creative Director, Brian Posen, who directs and plays accompaniment.
October 6, 2016, 9pm-2am at Logan Arcade, 2410 W Fullerton Ave. Monthly queer night/dance/ pinball party. Safe/comfy space for ALL kindsa folks to dance, hang out, and/or geek out on games. Music: house DJ Essential Logic (aka Kathryn Wilson). FREE pinball in the front room! Drink specials! No cover
October 8, 2016, 11pm-4am at Charlie's, 3726 N Broadway. Neverland is bringing the notorious underground NYC men's dance party to Chicago. Music by DJs Dan Darlington + Peter Napoli. See Brüt website for tickets.
October 13-27, 2016, 8:30pm at AMC River East 21, 322 E Illinois St. North America’s oldest competitive film festival, founded in 1964 to provide an alternative to commercial Hollywood movies that dominated city theaters. A world-renowned annual event with the best in international cinema, new talents, and windows to a world of film previously or otherwise unavailable in Chicago.
October 15-16, 2016 at Music Box. The Music Box of Horrors creeps back to Chicago at Noon for the annual 24-hour marathon of frightening flicks -- one of the highlights of the year, a day of scares & surprises where only the strong survive.
October 19, 2016, 6-8pm, The Seminary Co-op. The rare novel as likely found in a teen’s backpack as in a graduate philosophy seminar. How did a young man in his twenties who had never written a novel turn out a masterpiece that still grips readers 70 years later? Kaplan tells reveals an achievement even more impressive and more unlikely than even his most devoted readers knew.
October 19, 2016, 9pm, The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave. Rock/Punk/New Wave queer night hosted/ co-curated by Donnie + Madison Moore of ABSOLUTELY NOT. Monthly 3rd Wed showcase, new/exciting Chicago/beyond bands- called Chicagoist's Best Queer Nightlife. $5! Featuring: LIL TITS + THE BREATHING LIGHT + PUSSY FOOT. Next date: Nov 16th, w/ rascally punk-rock rabbit, NOBUNNY!
October 20, 2016, 7pm at Sidetrack. All-new musical event headlined by a star-studded cast including Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Victoria Justice as Janet, Christina Milian as Magenta, Adam Lambert as Eddie, Ben Vereen as Dr. Everett Scott, Ivy Levan as Usherette, and the legendary Tim Curry as Criminologist Narrator - on all screens throughout the bar.
October 21 - December 3, 2016, 7pm at the Music Box. The slate features the 30th Anniversary Restoration of the horror classic HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, the man-eating creature feature ALLIGATOR, the ferocious kung fu madness that is SHAOLIN VS LAMA, UNDER THE CHERRY MOON starring the late master of style Prince, and I DRINK YOUR BLOOD presented uncut and uncensored!
October 22, 2016, 2-8pm at Chicago Cultural Mile, 410 S Michigan Ave #310. Craft and dance workshops, live performances, kids' costume procession in Millennium and Grant Park. Dusk spectacle procession on Columbus, from Balbo to Monroe. Participants to include Field Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, local artists guilds, Louder Than a Bomb and the Silent Theatre Company.
October 24 - November 20, 2016, 7:30pm at Rivendell Theater, 5779 N Ridge Ave. When the maid of high-society husband and wife Jack and Hannah discovers the happy couple’s long-held secret, their lives may never be the same. A vintage queer thriller for the modern era. Can two groups of people with opposing moral viewpoints find common ground and work together for a better future?
October 26-27, 2016, 8pm-2am, Sidetrack. For 20+ years, Chicago’s longest-running drag benefit, celebrating the campy, the beautiful, the avant-garde and the all-around trend-setting Chicago Drag Community. This year a new name: DRAGAPALOOZA. Directed by Jeffrey Lynch. Hosts: Dixie Lynn Cartwright + Trannika Rex. Chicago RuPaul's Drag Race favorites DiDa Ritz + Jade Sotomayor.
October 28, 2016, 10pm-2am Thorgy Thor's Halloween Costume Contest + October 31, 2016, 8pm-2am Halloween Contest hosted by Frida Lay! - two nights at Roscoe's. Prizes each night: 1st Place - $500; 2nd Place - $300; 3rd Place - $150. Kick off the Halloween Weekend with a BANG!
October 28, 2016, 11pm-4am at Fantasy Night Club. Halloween Party, Costume Contest with $250 cash prize. Hosted by XXX star Rock (Rocafellaz). DJ X-Tasy. Sexy URBANO Dancers. $5 entry between 11pm-midnight.
October 28 + 29, 2016, midnight + monthly cult classic screenings: The Rocky Horror Picture Show features the Midnight Madness shadowcast, with audience participation of course! At The Music Box, 3733 N Southport Ave. Also special Halloween show, October 31st at 9pm. See schedule for more midnight movies at their website:
October 29, 2016, 10:30pm - 3am at Manhole. Chicago's Sexiest Halloween Party by Chicago Black Pride - hosted by Rock (Rockafellaz) with XXX dancers, and DJ BRNDNW spinning Hip Hop, Reggae, Hits & more.
October 31, 2016. The 20th Annual Halloween Parade, 5-10pm up N Halsted from Belmont, to Addison, with cash prize awards and live entertainment. Registration on Halsted just north of Belmont near The Playground Theater, 5-7pm for Costume Contest in one of five categories.
October 31, 2016, 9pm-2am at Seven Below, 3206 N Halsted. Halloween Costume Contest with HUGE cash prize! Hosted by Naysha Lopez from Rupauls Drag Race! DIscount with costume. LGBTQA. DJ X-tasy plays the hottest TOP 40, HIP HOP, DANCE, HOUSE, LATIN + MORE! Sexy Juicy Go-gos Karla + Niko.
November 4-6, 2016. The Center on Halsted registration and Kink Market, Social, and Gear Sale. Cocktail Parties, Demo Pit, Educational Classes, the International Rubber Club Summit. Friday & Saturday contest events followed by Strict Rubber Dress Code Party + more events at clubs around town. Host hotel for MIR20: TBA.
December 2, 3, 13, 2016, Dec 2nd, 8pm at Harris Theater. Dec 3rd, 8pm at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Dec 13th, 7:30pm at Beverly Arts Center. Musical theatre, pop and opera, a divalicious show to rev up your holiday engines. A few traditional songs + several original holiday songs by favorite divas. Opera singer extraordinaire Cynthia Clarey will also grace the stage.
January 14 - February 26, 2017 at the Prop Theatre. Annual multi-arts non-narrative, multidisciplinary fringe festival - six weeks of new theatrical work by invited artists and companies. This past year based around work of Eugene Ionesco, particularly his 1959 play, RHINOCEROS.
January 28 - April 30, 2017 at Art Institute. The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. Existing only for three issues, a mere nine months (November 1968 - August 1969), Provoke crystallized the best of progressive art photography and cultural criticism in Japan during the 1960s and early 1970s.
April, 2017 (TBC), at 24 venues. A four-day festival of international films, live music concerts, exhibits, and presentations. Over 14,000 filmmakers, producers, musicians, artists, and fans; amazing, innovative programming: premiere music documentaries; feature films and shorts; live concert films; music videos; cutting-edge DJ/VJ shows; panel discussions, presentations and more.
May, 2017 (TBC), from the Chicago Film Critics Association, a selection of films including recent festival favorites and as-yet-undistributed works from a wide variety of filmmakers - the only major film critics group hosting its own festival. Features works from around the globe and offers viewers an eclectic blend of raunchy comedy, introspective drama and mind-blowing fantasy.
May 25-29, 2017, Memorial Day Weekend at the Congress Plaza Hotel, 520 South Michigan Ave. Thousands converge to party, network/ select International Mr Leather. A 4-day Leather Market leather/fetish artisans/ retailers; erotic attractions, body enhancement specialists. FRI: Party. SUN: IML Competition + IML Victory Celebration Party. MON: Black and Blue Ball. More info:
May 26-29, 2017 (TBC), Past year at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, Manhandler, Touché, Sidetrack, and Steamworks. Meet & Greet Socials, Trolley Tours of Chicago; parties including Boxer and Pajama Party + Nuts to Butts; Bare It All Bingo and Poker; bath time Wet 'n' Wild; Bear Brunch. Plus late night Hospitality After Hours Parties and more. See details/venue links:
May 27, 2017 (TBC), Memorial Day weekend with the hottest male porn stars in the business. Saturday awards bash, plus parties with the guys at Hydrate, Sidetrack, Lucky Horseshoe, and Charlies; Sunday Recovery Brunch at North End. Past year host: Hard Rock Hotel. See website for nominees, interviews, and more:
Early June, 2017 (TBC), at Logan Theatre. Annual 5-day film showcase: 25 programs, 100 films+ from 20+ countries - independent features, shorts, documentaries + experimental films from around the world, nightly parties and concerts. Innovative/ unique programming from lowbrow entertainment of John Waters, Doris Wishman and Coffin Joe to fine art avant-garde films and videos.
June 9-11, 2017 (TBC), 52nd annual Andersonville summer street festival; around 50,000 people fill Clark Street each year, from Foster to Catalpa for music for cutting-edge bands, ethnic dance troupes, lots of food, and vendor wares. Born out of Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, Midsommarfest will transport you back to old-world Swedish traditions.
June 17-25, 2017 Pride Month events, with June 17-18 Pride Fest, and final Sunday Parade June 25th, from N Halsted at Belmont to Lincoln Park by way of Broadway & Diversey. The Pride Street Festival, takes place on N Halsted, with music, food, vendors. Dozens more social, cultural, athletic & political events. See website for 2016 media + 2017 updates:
June 16-18, 2017 (TBC), 900 Randolph St, Friday-Sunday street festival featuring 20+ restaurants and live bands on two stages. See upcoming plans and line-up for 2017:
August 12-13, 2017 (TBC), 11am-10pm. Celebrating its 36th anniversary, the annual street fair on 6 blocks of N Halsted, between Belmont and Addison; many musical acts, multiple stages; hundreds of food, arts and crafts vendors. Dozens of gay bars, dance clubs, restaurants, stores and a bathhouse surround the festival site. A crowd of over 180,000 people arrives from across the globe.
August 18-20, 2017 previously held at Six Guns Ranch & Arena, 26926 State Line Rd, Crete IL. The rodeo runs, rain or shine. Get info online for this and other Illinois Gay Rodeo events including ongoing year-round events at Charlie's and Touché.
August 31 - September 3, 2017 (TBC), Labor Day Weekend in Millennium Park Cultural Center, Von Freeman Pavilion (S Promenade), the Jazz and Heritage Pavilion (N Promenade), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E Washington), and other venues. A favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition of free, quality live musical performances since 1979.
September 21-28, 2017 (TBC). Award-winning international feature films, social documentaries & experimental shorts. Past year: 65 screening at six venues around town, including: Landmark's Century Centre, 2828 N Clark St; Instituto Cervantes, 31 W Ohio; Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N Clark St; ShowPlace ICON, 150 W Roosevelt Rd.