When is Baconfest Chicago 2020?

Baconfest Chicago 2020 will be on Saturday April 18!

Saturday Lunch – April 18

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM VIP hour
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM General Admission Period

Saturday Dinner – April 18
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM VIP Hour
7:00 PM -10:00 PM General Admission Period

To receive word about upcoming events, please subscribe to the Baconfest email list.

What about COVID-19?

Here’s our statement about our events and the coronavirus.

What about Friday Dinner? April 17?

We’re launching a brand new event on Friday April 17 that we are sure you’re gonna love.  Da Best Fest premieres in 2020 with a single session devoted to imaginative and traditional versions of iconic Chicago dishes.  Think hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and pizza, of course, as well as other local signature dishes like Shrimp de Jonghe, Chicken Vesuvio, flaming saganaki and more. More information and tickets here: dabestfest.com

What is Baconfest Chicago?

Baconfest Chicago is a nationally renowned, locally beloved festival dedicated to America’s favorite cured meat: bacon! At Baconfest, Chicago’s best chefs concoct and serve brilliant bacon dishes to thousands of passionate bacon lovers. Liquor sponsors provide cocktails, beer and wine designed to complement a bacon meal. Bacontrepreneurs and bacon-friendly brands exhibit their wares and connect with our bacon community. A panel of judges bestows the Golden Rasher  awards on chefs and guests for achievement in the bacon arts. It is a raucous, rockin’ good time for everybody involved.

Is Baconfest good for America?  Do you support a charity?

You betcha, Baconfest is good for America. We donate a portion of the proceeds to the Greater Chicago Food Depository; we host a raffle and food drive at the event to support the GCFD’s mission; we’ve even run Baconfest volunteer days at the Depository’s repacking warehouse to help eliminate hunger in our community. We’re proud that Baconfest supports this important work and we hope you’ll join us in supporting the GCFD too.

Where is Baconfest Chicago?

Baconfest Chicago happens at the UIC DORIN FORUM – 725 W Roosevelt Road – Chicago, IL 60607 View Map

For more info, visit UIC FORUM

How much are tickets?  How can I get them?!

Tickets are on sale now at baconfestchicago.com/ticket.

  • General Admission tickets cost $85 + fees.
  • VIP tickets cost $160 + fees.

VIP tickets grant the holder early access to Baconfest – VIP ticket holders can attend the VIP Hour and the General Admission period for the session selected.

Each ticket allows access for one guest to the shift selected.  If you wish to attend multiple shifts, you’ll need to purchase tickets for each shift.

There are a few additional General Admission ticket types:

  • Bacon-Only / No Alcohol – $60 + fees: teetotalers save by sticking to complimentary soft drinks.
  • Group Rates (minimum quantity 5) – $70 + fees: bring the whole bacon posse and save.

These rates are valid for advance purchase only and will not be available at the door.

Finally, to welcome our sister event Da Best Fest to the world, we’re offering ticket bundles for customer who wish to attend both Da Best Fest on Friday April 17 and Baconfest’s Dinner session on Saturday April 18.

  • General Admission Bundles – $140 + fees: save $20 and get GA tickets to Da Best Fest and Baconfest Dinner
  • VIP Bundles – $240 + fees: save $50 and get VIP tickets to Da Best Fest and Baconfest Dinner

In previous years, Baconfest tickets have sold out. We suggest you sign up for our email list. You can also follow us on Twitter (@baconfestchi) and like us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/baconfest) to receive updates on when tickets will go on sale and to get first notification of ticket giveaways and contests.

Fees? Ugh!

We feel you.  We are obliged by the terms of our rental contract with the Forum to pass along the following fees for ticket purchases.

  • Universe.com Service Fee: $7.00 / ticket
  • UIC Forum Facility Charge: $1.00 / ticket

You can avoid all fees (except the $1 / ticket Facility Charge) by purchasing tickets in person at the UIC Pavilion Box Office at 525 South Racine Ave. The UIC Pavilion Box Office is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

What is included?

Tickets are all-inclusive entry passes to our bacon wonderland.  When you buy a ticket for a shift, you get

– Access to the chef area and many tasting portions of the chefs’ bacon-ingenuity.
– Seven (7) Drink Tickets, each one good for a hefty tasting portion of each liquor sponsor’s wares.  Bacon-Only ticket holders do not receive drink tickets.
– Access to Baconfest’s exhibiting sponsors and experience partners who provide samples of ingenious bacon products (as available) and the opportunity to purchase those products bacon-related products.

Access to the chef area? What’s that about? How much bacon will I get to eat?

We will have tasting portions of bacon snacks from approximately 30-40 chef stations per shift. First come, first served until portions run out. We know there will be die-hards who will attempt to eat everything. We will not call you an ambulance. We know that some people will be happy to get tastes of their top 10 chefs. We anticipate that everyone will have bacon coming out of their ears before the day is out.

Can I get seconds of any of the dishes?

Will we be retina scanning you to see if you’ve already been to a table?  No.
 Do we trust your sense of fairness and respect for fellow guests? Yes!

Are kids allowed?

Kids under 10 can not be admitted to Baconfest Chicago. There will be a lot of people walking around with hot food, some will be drinking. Though we hate to discriminate against the next generation of Bacon-lovers, it’s in their best interest that we not allow bringing kids under 10 years of age. Everyone who attends, regardless of age, needs a ticket.

Are tickets transferable?

Yes. You may transfer your purchased tickets by using the Universe.com “Transfer Tickets” feature or by giving your tickets to your guest.

What about parking?

There is ample parking at UIC’s Lot 5 (1135 S Morgan) just a block from Baconfest for $10 / vehicle.

Can I bring a backpack, purse, suitcase etc?

Better not to! The UIC Forum will be using metal detectors to screen attendees upon entrance into the venue.  As part of their new security regimen, there is a new policy in place that limits what sort and size of bags are allowed to be carried into Baconfest.

To summarize:

  • The best option is to leave all bags at home if you can.
  • If you must have a bag at Baconfest, the best bag to bring is a small bag made of transparent material (no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”).
  • If you don’t have a small transparent bag, small non-transparent bags and purses will be allowed after being searched (no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”). This search may delay your entry into Baconfest. 
  • Larger bags WILL NOT be allowed in the venue and should be left at home.
Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection.
All guests must pass through metal detectors to enter the UIC Forum for Baconfest.

Here is the new bag policy in full.

For safety reasons, bags, purses, backpacks and other large bags may not be permitted in the UIC Forum.

Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Purses, bags and other non-transparent containers larger than 12” x 6” x 12”
  • Camera bags (except for accredited members of the media)
  • Cinch bags/drawstring bags
  • Briefcases
  • Computer bags
  • Backpacks
  • Coolers (including thermos)
  • Fanny packs
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Diaper bags

Patrons may bring in the following bags:

  • Non-transparent bags that do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”; Bags may be hand carried or have a shoulder strap.  Expect for these bags to be searched by Forum security.
  • Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”. Bags may be hand carried or have a shoulder strap.
  • One gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc).

An exception will be made for medical necessary items after proper inspection at the entrance. 

Wait, metal detectors??

Yup.  Metal detectors.  You will need to pass through metal detectors each time you come into the Forum from outside.  Please allow for a little extra time upon arrival to navigate the new entry protocol.  If you’re like me, you love reading policies! So here’s the metal detector policy from the UIC Forum:

Persons entering metal detectors will only be required to remove their phones, keys, coins, wallets, etc. from their pockets.  If a person sets off alarm, they must return to the metal detector entrance, remove all items from pockets and enter again. If they again set off alarm, they will be scanned by a hand held wand. After wanding if detectors still activate, patron will not be permitted to enter the venue.