Bitter Jester Music Festival

The Bitter Jester Music Festival is Chicagoland’s largest professional “battle” competition for teenaged musicians. It supports and promotes young and emerging talent from across Chicagoland, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The battle gives the participating young adults an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Bitter Jester Studio’s six-time Emmy award winning production team, providing the competitors with a level of media exposure, professional mentorship and networking that is unmatched by other similar competitions. 

Currently, the event has four preliminary battles on four consecutive Fridays in June at Port Clinton in Highland Park. A winner is selected by the judges each night to compete in the Grand Finale. After all four preliminary battles, judges and Bitter Jester staff meet to decide on two to four wild card bands to compete for the title at the Grand Finale. Showcase bands are also selected to perform on the big stage prior to the battle on July 4th.


2017 Bitter Jester Music Festival Timeline

June 2, 2017 - Preliminary Battle # 1

June 9, 2017 - Preliminary Battle #2

June 16, 2017 - Preliminary Battle #3

June 23, 2017 - Preliminary Battle #4

June 26, 2017 - Wild Card Selections, Showcase Band Line-up Announced

July 4, 2017 - Bitter Jester Music Festival Grand Finale

September 3, 2017 - Navy Pier Concert 'Best of Bitter Jester Battle of the Bands'