Windy City Smokeout takes stage after weather forces promoters to postpone, adjust performances

Evelyn Holmes Image
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Windy City Smokeout returns to stage after weather adjustments
Chicago weather forced postponements and adjustments at Windy City Smokeout 2023 on Friday, but Dylan Scott and Luke Bryan took the stage on Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was all about everything country on Saturday as the Windy City Smokeout took to the stage once again after severe weather temporarily stopped the music.

Tie Martin is worried more bad weather could put a hold on the festival again.

"It's going to rain. I'm very worried about that," Martin said.

For a 10th year, one of the nation's premier outdoor country music and barbecue festivals took over Madison Street on the city's Near West Side.

SEE ALSO | Country concerts Chicago: Windy City Smokeout 2023 bringing barbecue, beats to United Center

Dylan Scott thrilled music lovers before Luke Bryan closed out the evening.

Thunderstorms and high winds forced event promoters to postpone or adjust performances twice this weekend. Friday's headliner, Darius Rucker, was almost rained out.

"Last night, they sped it up so it would end before the rain, and then it started raining as we walked out, and we got poured on, but it was fun," said festival-goer Rachel Crohn.

While a lot of people come for the music, just as many enjoy the BBQ. Organizers said some 30 of the world's best pit masters have been showing off their skills. Two dozen craft breweries, including a few from Chicago, are featured as well.

And while weather threatened to dampen the fun, some, like first-time festival goer Natalie Sterlin, plan to enjoy it all.

"It's cooler than it was last night. Last night was really hot and muggy," Sterlin said.

Over two dozen country music stars will thrill crowds this year. The fourth and final day of the smokeout is Sunday.