RIVER WEST — Downtown Chicago has no shortage of summer festivals, but the newest addition to the spring and summer lineup hopes to get the season started early.
"I wanted to kick off the summer the right way — you know there's a ton of festivals in June and July and August, but May is a good time of year to start things off right," Duff Rice said of Riverfront Mayfest, a new three-day festival on the banks of the Chicago River he's launching this year with his company Duff Entertainment in partnership with Joe's on Weed Street.
The festival will run May 16-18 and will feature a different musical theme each day. Friday night is '90s-themed, with performances booked from tribute bands honoring No Doubt, Sublime, Weezer and Red Hot Chili Peppers in the parking lot at 560 W. Grand Ave.
Lizzie Shiffman tells DNAinfo Radio what's different about the Riverfront Mayfest:
"It's right on the river," Rice said. "I just feel like it's a great setting, a nice backdrop, and it shows off the city well. There's nothing like summer in the city in Chicago, and we're eager to get that started."
"I'm kind of banking on summer weather," Rice said of the event, poised to be one of the first festivals of the season.
"Though this winter was so bad that I think people got cabin fever, and even if it's 55 degrees out there, I think people will brave it and come out."
On Saturday, popular local bands including Sixteen Candles, Stache, The Personnel and the Hot Sauce Committee will play. The Sunday lineup is all about country, with performances by the Casey Donahew Band, The Lucky Jackson Band and Johnny T.
Local vendors will be on site selling pizza, burgers, and wine and beer.
Joe's on Weed Street at 940 W. Weed St. will host afterparties each night.
Tickets for the festival are $8 for Friday and Saturday, and $10 for Sunday. Three-day passes are also available for $20.
Rice said he hopes the varied lineup will encourage people to buy weekend passes.
"The cabin fever will hopefully get people out all three days," Rice said. "I think that we've got something for everybody. It's not going to be a cookie-cutter event where you have the same band playing every day. It's gonna be a good mix."
The festival will run from 5-10 p.m. May 16, noon-10 p.m. May 17 and noon-8 p.m. May 18.