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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann


The Midwest’s Favorite Summer Festival Brings Top BBQ and Award-Winning Country Music Artists Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley & Jon Pardi to Chicago

Photo: Windy City Smokeout

In its eighth year, Windy City Smokeout announces its most impressive music lineup to date. The nation’s premier outdoor country music and BBQ festival will return to Chicago on July 10-12, 2020, outside of the iconic United Center at 1901 W. Madison Street. Hosted by popular barbecue joint, Bub City, and ACM award-winning, Joe’s Bar, Windy City Smokeout will feature live performances from country music’s biggest names and up-and-coming talent plus the best BBQ and craft beer from around the nation. The five-time Academy of Country Music Awards Festival of the Year nominee is expected to draw over 50,000 guests to the United Center's parking lot along Madison Street for the weekend-long event.

ACM award-winning promoter and Windy City Smokeout co-founder, Ed Warm, handpicked the music lineup of chart-topping artists and rising stars. The 2020 headliners include GRAMMY-award winning Darius Rucker, 14-time GRAMMY-nominated and iHeartRadio Country Song of the Year winner Dierks Bentley and CMA New Artist of the Year Award recipient, Jon Pardi. The current (and ever-expanding) list of country music acts are:


● Darius Rucker

● Morgan Evans

● Ryan Hurd

● Lainey Wilson

● Tyler Booth


● Dierks Bentley

● Riley Green

● Cody Canada & The Departed

● Ross Ellis

● Angie K

● Walker County


● Jon Pardi

● Cody Johnson

● Randy Rogers Band

● Hailey Whitters

Photo: Windy City Smokeout

The BBQ lineup features the world’s best pitmasters who will be smoking and grilling classic ‘cue, regional specialties and new-school dishes. The 2020 talent includes many returning favorites like 17th Street BBQ, Peg Leg Porker and Sam Jones BBQ, plus new additions like Slab Barbecue from Los Angeles and Kansas City’s Meat Mitch. The full 2020 BBQ lineup includes:

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

• Against the Grain – Louisville, KY Pitmaster: Andrew Ott

• Blue Oak BBQ – New Orleans, LA Pitmasters: Ronnie Evans, Philip Moseley

• Bub City – Chicago, IL Pitmaster: Christian Eckmann

• Buxton Hall Barbecue – Asheville, NC Pitmaster: Elliott Moss

• Feges BBQ – Houston, TX Pitmasters: Patrick Feges, Erin Smith

• Hogapalooza – Wayne, AR Pitmaster: Kelly Dallas

• Home Team BBQ – Charleston, SC Pitmaster: Aaron Siegel

• Hoodoo Brown BBQ – Ridgefield, CT Pitmaster: Chris Sexton

• Leroy & Lewis – Austin, TX Pitmaster: Sawyer Lewis

• Lillie’s Q – Chicago, IL Pitmaster: Charlie McKenna

• Little Miss BBQ – Phoenix, AZ Pitmaster: Scott Holmes

• Meat Mitch – Kansas City, MO Pitmaster: Mitch Benjamin

• Pappy’s Smokehouse – St. Louis, MO Pitmaster: Brian Skoggins

• Pearl’s Southern Comfort – Chicago, IL Pitmaster: Danny Beck

• Peg Leg Porker – Nashville, TN Pitmaster: Carey Bringle

• Sam Jones BBQ – Winterville, NC Pitmaster: Sam Jones

• Slab Barbecue – Los Angeles, CA Pitmaster: Burt Bakman

• Smoque BBQ – Chicago, IL Pitmaster: Barry Sorkin

• Truth BBQ – Brenham, TX Pitmaster: Leonard Botello IV

• The Salt Lick – Driftwood, TX Pitmaster: Scott Roberts, Shane Griffith

• Ubons – Yazoo City, MS Pitmaster: Leslie Roark Stark

"We’re thrilled to bring Windy City Smokeout back for its eighth year with our most impressive music lineup yet,” said Ed Warm. “We’re proud to showcase some of the best in country music with standout star headliners Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley and Jon Pardi plus some of the most buzzed about rising talent out there including Hailey Whitters and Riley Green. The music lineup paired with the incredible barbecue and finest craft beer from around the country will make this year’s festival the can’t-miss event of the summer."

Guests can round out the experience with a selection of curated events including the Biggest Happy Hour of the Summer to kick-off the festival on Friday, an epic BBQ Brunch on Sunday, plus cocktail classes and whiskey tastings taking place throughout the weekend. The ticketed events do not include admission to the festival; a single day or three-day pass is required for entry.

This year, Windy City Smokeout will offer a variety of perks including expanded festival grounds along Madison street to allow for spacious lounge areas and larger VIP sections plus even more BBQ teams and craft beer offerings than ever before. The festival team is dedicated to providing an exceptional guest experience with expedited will call ticket pick-up, United Center supported security, interior bathroom facilities and easy access for ride shares and festival pick-up.

Festival passes are now on sale at and currently priced as follows:

· GA Day pass for Friday, 7/10: $49

· GA Day pass for Saturday, 7/11: $49

· GA Day pass for Sunday, 7/12: $35

· VIP Day pass for Friday, 7/10: $200

· VIP Day pass for Saturday, 7/11: $250

· VIP Day pass for Sunday, 7/12: $150

· GA Three-Day Pass: $125

· 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, 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.

The hours for Windy City Smokeout are Friday, July 10: 2pm-11pm; Saturday, July 11: noon-11pm; Sunday, July 12: noon-10pm. For more information and to purchase festival passes, please visit, and be sure to follow all the action on Instagram at @WindyCitySmokeout and Twitter at @WCSmokeout.


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