7 Ways The Windy City Smokeout Blew My Mind

It was an aptly smokin’ hot weekend in Chicago, Illinois for the Windy City Smokeout this year! The festival took place from July 12-14, 2019 at the United Center parking lot for the first time in its seven-year existence. This change of location gave the prominent festival more room to expand while maintaining its original charm which showcases the best country music, beer, and BBQ in the country set to the enchanting Chicago skyline backdrop. The Windy City Smokeout blew my mind in the best way, and in honor of the seven year anniversary, here are seven examples.

The Crowd

The Windy City Smokeout attendance has greatly increased every year, so this time around they needed a bigger venue to accommodate the growing crowd. Attendance was said to have included well over 14,000 fans of beer, country music, and BBQ who packed out the United Center parking lot!

The Food

This festival is unique because it is the holy grail of festival goodness: the best country music lineup, beer, and BBQ in the country. That being said, you could eat at any of the 21+ vendors and be completely WOWed! One that stands out is Peg Leg Porker of Nashville, Tennessee because of the atmosphere at the rig which included a rooftop lookout, hilarious sing-alongs by the Owner, Carey Bringle, and its menu, which this year featured Cheesy-Jalapeno Grits, Smoked Chicken, and Pulled Pork.

The Beer

If you’re looking for the best of the best in beer, have no fear; Windy City Smokeout is here! I’m especially looking at you, Shiner Beer. Shiner has been a consistent Smokeout regular over the years and I’ve begun to crave their deliciousness throughout the year after getting hooked at the festival!

The Photo Ops

It’s a ‘Gram world and we’re just living in it! The Windy City Smokeout and all of the vendors did a fabulous job at providing numerous photo ops throughout the festival area. My favorite was the Smokeout pig on a backdrop with the posters from previous years. It’s all about the photos of the good time memories, y’all!

The Blackhawks Artist Lounge

It would only be fitting for one of the performance stages to feature the Chicago Blackhawks since the United Center is their home, right? This second stage featured up-and-coming talent that was so hot it should have been inside the ice arena to cool us off afterward! Peep the Blackhawks jumbotron and locker room decor while Andy Velo wooed the audience.

Old Dominion

Lead singer, Matthew Ramsey got us all in our feels when he explained that they’ve truly been waiting for this festival all year. “You don’t know how bad we need you, Chicago. We are going to ride on this for the rest of our lives, y’all. Thank you for being here every single time!” Chicago and Old Dominion have a special bond – if you’ve been following their journey for a while, you know. Old Dominion made it back into the Windy City Smokeout lineup for the third time in seven years, and I’m not sure who was more thankful – Chicago fans, or Old Dominion themselves.

The Finale

Sunday Funday and Windy City Smokeout came to a close on day three. We wished Cole Swindell would stay for one more round, but instead, he had to shut the place down! We’re ok with it, though, because his performance was one we’ll remember forever.


For your viewing pleasure, this bonus is a must. There were many surprises scattered throughout the weekend, but one that particularly stood out is when LANCO jumped on a giant blow-up duck raft and proceeded to crowd surf during their energetic set!


Author: Tiera Bolt

Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that's me.

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