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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann


The Weekend-Long Festival Features the Nation’s Top BBQ Teams and

Award-Winning Country Music Stars Brett Young, Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne

Windy City Smokeout, the nation’s premier BBQ and country music festival hosted by Chicago’s own Bub City and ACM award-winning Joe’s Bar, returns July 13–15 for the sixth consecutive year. The ACM-nominated festival is a three-day event held at Grand Avenue near the Chicago River where attendees experience the best in BBQ and craft beer while listening to country music’s biggest names and up-and-coming talent.

The 2018 BBQ lineup features the world’s best pitmasters who will be smoking and grilling both regional specialties and new-school flavors that go beyond the boundaries of traditional ‘cue. Newcomers Hometown Bar-B-Que from Brooklyn, Leroy & Lewis from Austin and Home Team from Charleston, South Carolina, will join the ranks of returning favorites. This year’s complete pitmaster lineup includes:

Bub City – Chicago, IL Pitmasters: Doug Psaltis, Christian Eckmann

17th Street Barbecue – Murphysboro, IL Pitmasters: Mike Mills, Amy Mills

Against the Grain – Louisville, KY Pitmaster: Andrew Ott

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – Atlanta, GA Pitmasters: Jonathan Fox, Justin Fox

Hogapalooza – Wynne, AR Pitmaster: Kelly Dallas

Home Team BBQ – Charleston, SC Pitmasters: Aaron Siegel, Taylor Garrigan

Hometown Bar-B-Que – Brooklyn, NY Pitmaster: Billy Durney

LeRoy & Lewis BBQ – Austin, TX Pitmaster: Evan Leroy

Lillie’s Q – Chicago, IL Pitmasters: Charlie McKenna, Quito McKenna

Little Miss BBQ – Phoenix, AZ Pitmaster: Scott Holmes

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nashville, TN Pitmaster: Patrick Martin

Pappy’s Smokehouse – St. Louis, MO Pitmaster: Skip Steele

Peg Leg Porker – Nashville, TN Pitmaster: Carey Bringle

Rodney Scott BBQ – Charleston, SC Pitmaster: Rodney Scott

Sam Jones BBQ – Winterville, NC Pitmaster: Samuel Jones

Smoque BBQ – Chicago, IL Pitmaster: Barry Sorkin

The Salt Lick – Driftwood, TX Pitmaster: Scott Roberts

Ubons – Yazoo City, MS Pitmaster: Leslie Roark Stark

Plus Special Guests:

Myron Mixon, four-time world BBQ champion – Unadilla, GA

Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue – Taylor, TX

To keep pace with the all the BBQ, Windy City Smokeout rounds out food and drink options with eats like Nashville hot chicken from The Budlong; Bub City’s Double Barrel Burger and famous bourbon bar; smoked and grilled sausages from LA’s up-and-coming BBQ joint Barrel & Ashes; plus a celebration of french fries with Sir Kensington. Also on the lineup: Chicago’s introduction to Interior Tex-Mex by way of Austin-born chef Gabe Thompson’s Hondo Taqueria.

Got a sweet tooth? Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, seasonal soft-serve ice cream and tiki cocktails

from Three Dots and a Dash are just a few of the festival’s dessert and cocktail choices. Plus

Sprinkles Cupcakes will be doing special collaborations, offering their spin on adult-spiked and Smokeout-inspired cupcakes.

This year’s music lineup brings a notable group of award-winning artists and rising stars,

handpicked by Windy City Smokeout co-founder and ACM award-winning promoter, Ed Warm. Headliners include CMA “New Artist of the Year” nominee, Brett Young, ACM-nominated Brett Eldredge and GRAMMY-nominated Brothers Osborne. The full list of country music acts includes:


● Brett Young

● Midland

● Drake White and the Big Fire

● Cody Johnson

● Ryan Kinder


● Brett Eldredge

● Aaron Lewis

● Ashley McBryde

● Alex Williams

● Jacob Powell

● Riley Green


● Brothers Osborne

● Turnpike Troubadours

● Kane Brown

● Walker Hayes

● Renee Blair

● Jamie Lin Wilson

“Since we started the festival in 2013, Windy City Smokeout has continued to introduce Chicago to the best BBQ, rising music talent and top craft breweries from around the country,” says Doug Psaltis of Bub City. “After traveling nationwide to find the best BBQ, we are thrilled to add some new and exciting talent to this year’s roster. We are also proud to continue showcasing the best in country music, with the likes of Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne, plus rising stars such as Walker Hayes, who is sure to be the next big thing in country music.”

Windy City Smokeout offers a number of curated add-on events. Friday kicks off with the Biggest Happy Hour of the Summer from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., with other happenings to follow throughout the weekend, including a once-in-a-lifetime cooking class with the world’s best BBQ legends Mike Mills, Wayne Mueller and Myron Mixon; a mixology class with Casamigos Tequila and a Sunday night crawfish boil. These ticketed events do not include admission to the festival; a single-day or three-day pass is required for entry.

To enhance the guest experience, Windy City Smokeout is implementing a cash-free policy to streamline the payment process and reduce lines and hassle upon entering the festival grounds.

Each ticket holder will receive a state-of-the-art wristband with their purchase, allowing them to pay for BBQ, brews and swag with a simple flick of the wrist. Credit cards will also be accepted.

Festival passes can be purchased at and are priced as follows:

Festival passes can be purchased at and are priced as follows:

● GA Day pass for Friday, 7/13: $40*

● GA Day pass for Saturday, 7/14: $45*

● GA Day pass for Sunday, 7/15: $40*

● VIP Day pass for Friday, 7/13: $175**

● VIP Day pass for Saturday, 7/14 $175**

● VIP Day pass for Sunday, 7/15: $175**

● GA Three Day Pass: $110*

● VIP Three Day Pass: $500**

*General Admission festival passes do not include food or beverage.

**VIP festival passes include access to an elevated area next to the stage, commemorative

cashless wristbands, express entrance into the festival, use of on-site concierge service and

complimentary charging stations, exclusive VIP restrooms, and re-entry to the festival grounds.

Windy City Smokeout runs 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 13; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday,

July 14; and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 15. For more information and to purchase passes, please visit, and be sure to follow all the action on Instagram at @WindyCitySmokeout and Twitter at @WCSmokeout.


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