Bummed that you're not heading out of the city for the long weekend? Instead of dreaming up lies about yachts, glamping and other nonexistent Labor Day weekend plans, head to one of the five festivals going on around Chicago this weekend. There's plenty of diversity in the weekend's line-up, from the daring performances of Fringe Festival to the beats of North Coast and African Festival of the Arts to eco-friendly art at Remix Chicago and delicious Polish food at Taste of Polonia. With an extra day to recover before work starts again on Tuesday, there's no excuse not to do it big. kbernot@tribune.com @redeyeeatdrink

North Coast Music Festival

When: 3-10 p.m. Friday; 1-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Union Park (1501 W. Randolph St.)

How much: Single-day passes $69; three-day VIP passes $279; both available via clubtix.com

Don't miss: OK, billing itself as "Summer's Last Stand" makes this fifth annual music fest a bit bittersweet, but it's the truth. Aside from Riot Fest, this hip-hop and electronic music fest is one of the last big jams of the summer. This year, headliners include Bassnectar (8:30 p.m. Friday), Alesso (8:45 p.m. Friday), Kid Cudi (9 p.m. Saturday), STS9 (7:30 p.m. Saturday) and Snoop Dogg (9 p.m. Sunday). Also look for Chicago up-and-coming rapper Alex Wiley (5:30 p.m. Saturday), New York rapper Action Bronson (7:30 p.m. Friday) and Chicago natives Wild Belle (4:15 p.m. Sunday).

African Festival of the Arts

When: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday through Monday

Where: Washington Park (5100 S. Cottage Grove Ave.)

How much:  $10 in advance; $20 at the gate; $30 for a weekend pass; tickets at africanfestivalchicago.com

Don’t miss: This 25th installment of the Washington Park festival has a hip-hop focus with performances from Chicago artists The Boy Illinois (7 p.m. Friday), YP (6:40 p.m. Friday), and a joint set from King Louis and Katie Got Bandz (8:55 p.m. Friday), plus Grammy Award winner Cyhi The Prince (8:15 p.m. Friday) and Nipsey Hustle (9:15 p.m. Friday). In addition to music, look for themed pavilions showcasing art, film, food and wine, literature and more.  

Remix Chicago

When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Milwaukee Avenue between Fullerton and California avenues

How much: $5 suggested donation

Don't miss: This eco-friendly art fest returns to Logan Square for a fourth year with work from nearly 30 artists using recycled, found and repurposed materials. Also listen up for music from New York punk band Nude Beach (8 p.m. Sunday), Chicago pop act Panda Riot (7 p.m. Saturday), and Chicago alt-rockers Disappears (8:30 p.m. Saturday).

Chicago Fringe Festival

When: Various times, Thursday through Sept. 7

Where: Five venues throughout Jefferson Park

How much: One-time entrance fee of $5; individual shows $10; five-show pass $45, ten-show pass $80 and an unlimited pass $175

Don't miss: The fifth year of this experimental and boundary-pushing theater festival assembles 48 Chicago-area and national acts, including returning performers Cosmic Jello, Dream Theater, Nicole Kearney, Rebecca Kling, The League of Miscreants and Wishbone Theatre Collective. The main box office is located inside Fischman Liquors (4780 N. Milwaukee Ave.), which also will host a free opening reception—complete with 1-minute plays and a dance party—Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets and schedule: chicagofringe.org

Taste of Polonia

When: 5-10:30 p.m. Friday; noon-10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; noon-10 p.m. Monday

Where: Copernicus Center (5216 W. Lawrence Ave.)

How much: $7; tickets available at ticketfly.com

Don't miss: The annual Labor Day weekend celebration of Polish culture returns to Jefferson Park for four days of food, music, beer and games. Expect three stages of global music (including traditional polka, pop, rock and jazz) and a DJ-centric stage, plus Kasia's Deli pierogi, potato pancakes and stuffed cabbages; Smakowski Sausage & Deli's polish sausages, kishka and cheese blintzes; and other food and drink vendors.



Each week, we're issuing a mini-challenge to help you make the most of your weekend festival experience. Complete the challenge, snap a photo and tag it #GetFested on Instagram for the chance to have your photo appear in our RedEye. Last week, we asked to see something delicious you were eating at a fest, and @realazja delivered with this sausage-wine combo from SausageFest. This week, show us your best North Coast photos ... and don't forget the hashtag!


See RedEye's full summer festival schedule at redeyechicago.com/fests.