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.
August 4, 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
August 9, 2016, 6pm at Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Mychal Denzel Smith discusses Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education; and Marc Lamont Hill discusses Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond. They will be joined in conversation by Charlene Carruthers.
August 12, 2016, 11pm-4am at Metro, 3730 N Clark. Big gay Friday dance party in celebration of Northalsted Market Days - Music by Alex Acosta (Mexico City) and Alex Cabot (Chicago). Hosts: Imp Queen, Nico and Sara Andrews.
August 13, 2016, monthly cult classic screenings: The Rocky Horror Picture Show - featuring the Midnight Madness shadowcast, with audience participation of course! At The Music Box, 3733 N Southport Ave. Another midnight movie - August 12, 2016: The Room - the “electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies.”
August 13-14, 2016, 11am-10pm. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the annual street fair on six blocks of N Halsted, between Belmont and Addison; many musical acts on multiple stages, plus 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 13, 2016, 9pm at House of Blues Chicago. Making their Superhero debut, DJs Nina Flowers + Dani Toro with an amazing night of drums, bass, house, tribal and vocal perfection. Event bursts with production numbers, go-go dancers from around the world + the most extensive light and laser show of the year. Circuit MOM will take the stage with her dancers for the first time in 6 years.
August 14, 2016 9pm-4am at Concord Music Hall, 2047 N Milwaukee Ave. Music by RENATO CECIN (Sao Paulo). Advance tickets $40; Advance general admission: $50 until 7/29, $60 after, online only. Door tickets: $70.
August 17, 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! With CELINE NEON. See facebook
August 19 -25, 2016, at the Music Box. The 8th great year! Films to include: Miller’s Crossing - Joel and Ethan Coen’s brilliant, atmospheric tribute to 1930s gangster melodramas; Los Tallos Amargos (The Bitter Stems) - one of the best noir-drenched films of the 1950s—maybe ever; and Flesh and Fantasy - an anthology of slightly supernatural tales --proto-Twilight Zone.
Ongoing through August 24, 2016, at Mary’s Attic. The world premiere of Derek Van Barham’s immersive, pop-rock ode to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the Bard’s most beloved stories. An exploration of love and gender through a queer lens, find music, dance, and fairies of all kinds upstairs at Hamburger Mary's.
Now ongoing through August 28, 2016, at Art Institute. Exceptionally beautiful, the Greek youth Antinous was the favorite of Roman Emperor Hadrian. Following his mysterious drowning in the Nile River, Antinous was proclaimed a god and his likeness apppeared across the Empire. The exhibition unites two marbles portraying Antinous—which recent discoveries reveal were originally one.
September 1-4, 2016, 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 16-17, 2016 - three performances/ 2 locations: Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 West 31st St, Oak Brook; and Uptown Underground
4707 North Broadway. A collection of songs by gay American singers, songwriters and composers - eclectic cabaret showcase of our home-grown LGBT talent!
September 22-29, 2016. 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.
Ongoing through September 28, 2016, Wednesdays 6:30pm, Chicago Cultural Center. Free weekly film series celebrating richness/ diversity of international + independent filmmaking. This year: comedy from around the world -18 films exemplifing different styles/ modes of comedy; satire, dark humor to slapstick and dramedy, demonstrating the power of comedy across cultures. See program list:
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 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.
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.
January - February, 2017 (TBC). 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.
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 26-29, 2017 (TBC) - past year at Congress Plaza Hotel, Memorial Day Weekend. 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: