If you’ve been to the Windy City Smokeout, then you know it’s all about three things: BBQ, bands and beer. Now in its seventh year, the team has invited America’s top pitmasters, breweries and country music talent to Chicago to throw a sunshine-soaked party you won’t soon forget.
Each year, they up the ante on what to expect, and 2019 is no different. So whether you go bonkers for brisket, loco for lagers or crazy for country, here are five things y’all can’t overlook at this year’s 7th Annual Windy City Smokeout happening July 12 – 14, 2019.
1. The Nation’s Best BBQ Pitmasters
The fest gets bigger and better every year, but one thing always remains the same: The barbecue you get here is world class. Festival co-founder and Bub City pitmaster, Doug Psaltis, has once again tapped the who’s who in ‘cue, including these four new teams: Louisiana’s Blue Oak BBQ, Buxton Hall from North Carolina, Connecticut’s Hoodoo Brown BBQ and Truth BBQ from Texas. Click here to learn more about the new teams!
2. An All New Location
The first Windy City Smokeout was in the parking lot off of Hubbard St. in River North. It’s grown just a little since then. This year, the fest is headed to the United Center Parking Lot – home of the Bulls, Blackhawks and the most iconic concerts to ever happen in Chicago.
3. Discover the Next Big Thing in Country Music
Chris Stapleton. Brett Eldredge. Luke Combs. Maren Morris. Kacey Musgraves. Kane Brown. What do these megastars all have in common? They’ve hit the Smokeout stage just before making it big in country music. We have 4-time ACM Promoter of the Year and booking extraordinaire, Ed Warm, to thank for that. For the full music line up for the 2019 Windy City Smokeout, click here.
Who is Ed looking forward to seeing most this summer?
“Parker McCollum. He reflects a track record of sold-out shows and thousands of loyal fans, and there’s a reason for it. He’s an incredible showman delivering great music. Parker has become a destination artist; people flock to him because he’s consistently great and just keeps getting better. If you haven’t heard of him yet, believe me, you will. I’m placing my money on this kid; he’s the artist I’m most excited to have this year.”
Another artist not to miss? Filmore.
“Filmore’s unique sound separates him from anyone else in country music. His original songs are current hits on Spotify and future hits on the radio. Filmore mixes in the perfect amount of covers for everyone to sing along!”
4. Smokeout Swag
Show your Smokeout pride this year with custom merch! Stay tuned for new designs to rock out with while seeing your favorite artists and digging into the best ‘cue. Every year, we love seeing our favorite country artists, pitmasters and fans rock the Smokeout pig! Get it before the fest! Click here to purchase Windy City Smokeout swag.
5. The Ultimate BBQ Collab: Tokyo’s Wagyumafia x Texas’ Wayne Mueller
Nowhere else can you experience a collab with two of the world’s heaviest-hitting beef pros than Saturday at the Smokeout. Wagyu master Hisato Hamada of Tokyo’s legendary Wagyumafia and third-generation pitmaster Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Texas team up to give guests the chance to taste the truest expression of Japanese beef prepared in real Texas style.
Having built a worldwide cult following, Wagyumafia is both an exclusive members-only restaurant brand as well as a purveyor of some of the highest quality beef in the world. With a mission to educate and “present champion-grade wagyu,” Wagyumafia purchases the top 1 percent of Kobe beef stock and showcases it through high-profile chef collaborations in more than 50 cities around the world – including this one with Wayne Mueller at Windy City Smokeout. As one of the luminaries of Texas smoked meats, Mueller is an award-winning pitmaster specializing in Central Texas-style BBQ. He heads up the family business at Louie Mueller BBQ, which as become an icon of BBQ.