The Country LakeShake Fest 2016 Experience

The 2016 Country LakeShake Festival took place along the Chicago side of Lake Michigan, on First Merit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, June 17-19. The festival was a continuous stretch of country music, social experiences, beautiful weather and cool lake breezes, all amidst a breath-taking backdrop of the Chicago skyline.

LakeShake Skyline

Main Stage

Pictures don’t do justice to the notable views of this stage. Looking at it from the audience, you would see the Chicago skyline on the left, and the stage alongside, with big-screen views along the sides of the stage and out in the lawn as well. These screens provided a fantastic view from every seat in the house. Among the artists who graced the impeccable main stage lineup this year were Thomas Rhett, Brooks and Dunn, Sam Hunt, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Granger Smith, and many more. Check out this exclusive clip from the final night of LakeShake, when Danielle Bradbery surprised Chicago by showing up to duet with Thomas Rhett on “Playing With Fire.”


The US99 tent had daily giveaways, games and was very interactive with fans. There were contests at the Blackhawks Experience, and exciting tours of RV’s by GoRVing. The vendors included The Blackhawks Store, Lakeshake Market, Henna tattoos, Maui Jim, and of course an assortment of food and beverages.

LakeShake Giveaway

Blackhawks Bar

New to the Country LakeShake this year was the Blackhawks Bar. This ice-rink shaped bar was an experience itself. It included a locker room area with jerseys, an empty net, full service bar with drinks and snacks, and two head-in-the-hole cutouts for photo ops. The attention getter was the display in the middle of the bar, with four TV’s set up as Blackhawks scoreboards, which simultaneously rolled live footage of current sports as well as highlight reels from past Blackhawks wins.

Tiera and the Cup at LakeShake

Fun and Games

In between artists, or if you wanted your LakeShake adventure to be more social with music in the background rather than the front row experience, there was much fun to be had. Free activities included rides on the Vertigo Swing, giant skee-ball, bags (cornhole), whiffle ball and more.

LakeShake Swing

Next From Nashville Stage

This was the secondary stage, set up under a tent on the opposite end of the main stage in the LakeShake area. Artists who performed here included the most buzzed about in current Nashville newcomers, including: Brett Young, Walker McGuire, William Michael Morgan, Clare Dunn, Ryan Hurd, Runaway June, Brooke Eden, and several more. Here’s a clip of how up-close and personal things got on that stage at times!

If you want country music paired with city views, you’ll definitely want to attend the LakeShake Festival next year! Keep up with everything LakeShake on Twitter, Facebook.

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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