The Smokin’ Best Moments of Windy City Smokeout 2017

Brandon Lancaster, of LANco, described the Windy City Smokeout best when he looked out into the crowd in awe during his Friday night performance,

“This is so great. A bunch of strangers gathered together to share one love – music.”

The three-day festival was held in the heart of Chicago, backed up to the Chicago River, and was enhanced by the Chicago skyline. It delivered the very best in craft beer, top-notch BBQ joints from all over the nation, and an astounding country music lineup. Check out these smokin’ best moments of the Windy City Smokeout 2017!

The Fresh Prince of…Barefoot Blue Jean Nights?


You should always get to festivals as early as possible because you never know what you’re going to stumble upon. This year at the Windy City Smokeout, they had vendors ranging from Yeti, to US99, and even a surprise guest – the Commissioner’s Trophy which was available for photo ops for a few hours on Friday.

“Bacon” with Ryan Hurd 

Last year, Ryan Hurd made his Smokeout debut on the Whiskey Jam stage. This year, the newly engaged (to Maren Morris) Sony Music Nashville recording artist made his debut on the Main Stage. Clad in a “spread love it’s the Nashville way” t-shirt from, Hurd’s performance was exactly that – a live love letter to his fans. After a stellar set, he ended with a surprising cover of Nick Jonas’Bacon” and the crowd feasted. Watch!


One thing that sets the Windy City Smokeout apart from country festivals of its caliber is that it doesn’t set up food stands with mediocre pizza and overpriced cotton candy, it humbly boasts the best BBQ joints in the nation at prices that won’t make your bank account shudder. Included this year was Hogapalooza, Ubon’s BBQ, Against The Grain, Saltlick BBQ, Lillie’s Q, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, Little Miss BBQ, Myron Mixon, Peg Leg Porker, Smoque BBQ, 17th Street Barbecue, Sam Jones BBQ, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Patrick Feges, Pappy’s Smokehouse, and Bub City.

Strawberry Blonde Shiner.

For the craft beer explorers, there was something scrumptious for every palette. My personal favorite was the delectably refreshing Strawberry Blonde Shiner. Could. Not. Get. Enough. Included at this year’s fest was: Founders, Budweiser, Bell’s, Goose Island, All Rise Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Against The Grain, Brooklyn Brewery, Burnt City Brewing, Pipeworks Brewing, Evil Twin Brewing, Sun King Brewery, Yazoo Brewing, Wiseacre Brewing, Virtue Cider, Local Option Breweries, Sweet Water Brewing, Trumer Pils, Upland Brewing, Blackberry Farm Brewery, Urban Chestnut Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Moody Tongue Brewing, 18th Street Brewery.

Whiskey Jammin’ In The 312.

A Nashville favorite, Whiskey Jam, has made appearances and been welcomed with open arms in the Chicago area for the past few years. Hosted by Founder, Ward Guenther, The Whiskey Jam stage catered to those with an insatiable craving for new music. It featured fresh artists directly from Nashville, such as The Steel Woods, Morgan Evans, Levi Hummon, Jon Langston, Riley Green (below) and many more.

Kip Moore Pulling Through.

As the headliner for the SOLD OUT Saturday show, Kip Moore knew the pressure for a smokin’ performance was on. Some fans had reportedly traveled from states away solely to watch Kip, so when he entered the stage, sans band, and sat on a stool in front of a sea of eager fans, people were scratching their heads. Kip quickly addressed the crowd, letting everyone know the unfortunate truth that his drummer’s baby was born three months early the night before and he couldn’t be there, but Moore wasn’t about to cancel the show. He hired another drummer friend, but with less than 24 hours to learn the set, Kip Moore felt that performing a good chunk of it acoustically was the best choice of delivery. He persevered. After an intimate, acoustic beginning, the full band joined him on stage, and the performance pulled through beautifully!

Just a moment of appreciation for @KipMooreMusic dance moves • @CMchatLIVE @WCSmokeout #CMchat #WCsmokeout


Were you at the Windy City Smokeout this year? Tweet us your favorite memories! @CMchatLIVE @TieraBolt #CMchat

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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