WHEATON, Ill. — After a two-year absence, Ribfest returns for its 33rd run with four days of music, carnival games and rides, and, of course, ribs.

1. New dates and a new location

In addition to pulling back from the 4th of July and becoming a Father’s Day weekend event, the festival has moved to the DuPage Event Center & Fairgrounds in Wheaton.

  • Friday, June 17 – 12-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 18 – 12-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 19 – 12-10 p.m.
  • Monday, June 20 – 12-8 p.m.

Use this address to get there: 2015 Manchester Road, N County Farm Rd, Wheaton, IL 60187

2. Ticket options

Admission into the festival itself is free, leaving only the cost of the carnival attractions and food (ribs!). For those looking to catch some of the music, you’ll need to purchase one of five concert tickets which vary in price based on the day of attendance.

General Admission, $25-$45 – includes all concerts for the day however no seating is available so bring your chairs and/or blankets.

VIP Sponsor, $100-$150 – comes with access to the Sponsor Tent / VIP area which includes unlimited beverages (beer, wine, soft drinks), one 1/2 slab rib dinner, and a great view of the main stage.

Skybox Suite, $120-$195 – purchasers get an elevated view of the main stage, stadium seating, and unlimited food and beverages.

Front of Stage, $75 – includes all concerts for the day plus access to the standing room only section immediately in front of the stage.

Gold, $120-$195 – the Gold Ticket is a VIP Sponsor ticket plus a Front of Stage ticket

Tickets can be purchased here.

3. Music lineup

Friday, June 17 – concert gates open at 5 p.m.
6 p.m. Lee Greenwood
8 p.m. Clay Walker
9:30 p.m. Elle King

Saturday, June 18 – concert gates open at 5 p.m.
7 p.m. CandleBox
9 p.m. Halestorm

Sunday, June 19th – concert gates open at 12 p.m.
1 p.m. Joe Hanson
3 p.m. Alexandra Kay
4 p.m. Levi Hummon
6 p.m.  HARDY
8 p.m. Brett Eldredge

Monday, June 20th – concert gates open at 12 p.m.
12 p.m.  The Danhatten’s
1 p.m. The Plant Band
3 p.m. Wayout’s
4 p.m. OMT
6 p.m. 7th Heaven

4. Ribs lineup

Seven rib restaurants and their chefs are looking to put BBQ in your hand and a trophy in theirs as they both cook and compete. Here’s who you have to choose from, according to Ribfest’s website.

Armadillo’s Rib and Que Company comes to Ribfest for their 10th year. All their recipes and signature BBQ were recently purchased by a local family out of Clarendon Hills, IL.

Howling Coyote BBQ was a Chicago based operator until recently. They now reside in Wisconsin.  Howling Coyote won at Ribfest in 2008 and has won several other festivals recently nationwide. 

Johnson’s BBQ comes to Ribfest from Chesapeake, VA. Johnson’s has a long pedigree in BBQ and has been doing it for 30 years and is looking forward to competing in Ribfest again this year.

Salt Creek BBQ operates close to home in Batavia, IL.  Salt Creek BBQ is coming back for their third year at Ribfest. They have placed in the top three multiple times.

Texas Outlaw BBQ operates out of an Elizabethtown, KY restaurant, but originated in Houston, TX.  Texas Outlaw is a four-time winner at Ribfest and is looking forward to defending its reputation and retaining bragging rights at this year’s event. 

Uncle Bub’s BBQ operates a dine-in and carry-out restaurant out of Westmont, IL. Uncle Bub’s last won at Ribfest in 2018 when they won the trifecta for best sauce, best ribs, and kid’s choice awards.  

Blazin Bronco BBQ is a long distance traveler to Ribfest, coming from Port Saint Lucie, FL. Blazin Bronco has won awards in over 20 festivals, including a streak of 14 in a row back in 2014-2015.

5. Carnival wristbands

If you’ve got your eye on the carnival section of the festival then your best bang for the buck will be an unlimited ride wristband. They are segmented by the following blocks of time and associated costs:

Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18

  • 12-5 p.m. – $25
  • 5-10:30 p.m. – $35

Sunday, June 19

  • 12-5 p.m. – $25
  • 5-9:30 p.m. – $35

Monday, June 20

  • 12-7:30 p.m. – $30

Final note

Ribfest is more than just a summertime celebration. Here’s what its organizers state the true purpose of the festival is:

Ribfest is the major fundraiser put on every year by the Exchange Club of Naperville to help fight child abuse and domestic violence, while strengthening families in our local communities. As a result of these fundraising efforts, in Ribfest’s 32 years, over $18 million has been contributed back to our local communities in support of these causes.