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Why Should I Attend Umbraco US Festival?

Who's it for?

The Umbraco US Festival is for any developer, marketer, creative, or IT expert that's interested in leveraging the power of the Umbraco CMS platform to create a truly stellar experience for their website visitors and prospects. You will hear about new roadmap features not shared anywhere else, see real-life client showcases for big brand implementations, learn about Umbraco Cloud, and so much more. If you're looking to learn more about Umbraco, and learning from the best in the community and industry, this is your conference.

Why You Should Attend

The Umbraco US Festival is the only US based Umbraco Festival bringing in Umbraco Masters and Professionals from all over the continental US and Europe. For two days, Umbraco developers and experts will come together for learning, networking, and exploration of the latest Umbraco innovations and features. Outside of Umbraco’s Codegarden, Umbraco US Festival is the most comprehensive Umbraco conference in the world.

The Information

Not only will speakers range from Umbraco Masters, Professionals, and Experts, but we will also have Umbraco HQ speakers as well, like the man who started it all, Niels Hartvig. What does this mean? This means that you will be getting news, updates, and feature trainings directly from Umbraco. When you attend Umbraco US Festival you’ll also:

  • Sharpen your Umbraco skills
  • Explore new features & technologies
  • Get key web development & business takeaways
  • Free form Q+As with Umbraco HQ (including Niels Hartvig!)
  • Presentation materials to take back to your team and share
  • Generate new ideas
  • Much, much more

Don’t have the time or resources to make it to Codegarden? Don’t sweat it, we’ll cover it all at Umbraco US Festival!

The Community

Just as Umbraco is known as “The Friendly CMS”, the Umbraco community embodies it. Attendees for the Umbraco US Festival range from web developers to marketers, designers to business owners, IT personnel to content editors, and everyone in between. You’ll meet a group of world-class tech and business professionals that make each version of Umbraco better and more efficient for all! This is the place you want to be if you use Umbraco in any capacity!

The Networking

Not only will you be amongst Umbraco’s best and brightest if you attend, but you’ll also have opportunities to mingle and create lasting relationships with experts from all over the world. This means you’ll meet valuable resources for referrals and best-practices, as well as opportunities to collaborate on current or future projects. No matter your industry or relationship with Umbraco, you’re sure to make numerous connections during the festival, or during one of nights out in the city of Chicago!

The City

You definitely won’t be able to get to all of it just one week or weekend, but depending on what you like to do, Chicago has a ton of places to visit for any type of traveler. If you’re heading here early or staying for the weekend, here’s a list of some awesome places to visit.


Chicago’s culinary scene has completely blown up and continues to grow. There are more amazing places to eat at then we can count, but here are some of our favorite neighborhood joints:

  • Green Street Smoked Meats (Fulton Market). Awesome warehouse that offers meats that are smoked each day. Get there as early as possible because once the meat’s gone, it’s gone!
  • Kuma’s Corner (Fulton Market). Some of the craziest burgers you’ll ever eat. The only thing louder than the menu is the heavy metal they play to amp the vibe.
  • Piece Pizza (Wicker Park). Brewery and pizzeria, this crowded neighborhood staple dishes out giant pizzas and homemade brews. If you want extra special, try out the Hot Doug’s Atomic pizza which blends a long lost, recently closed Chicago sausage shop with an already amazing pie.
  • Stan’s Donuts (Wicker Park). If you want awesome donuts for the conference, look no further than Stan’s Donuts. It has a little something for everyone to clog their arteries with.
  • Longman & Eagle (Logan Square). Part restaurant/bar, part inn, this interesting hipster spot has amazing Michelin-rated small plates and an incredible whiskey list. If you are looking for a true culinary experience and drinks that are on par with some of the best in the city, look no further than L & E.
  • Big Star (Wicker Park). People go nuts for this outdoor patio and the tacos within. Has awesome Mexican street food, a good beer list, and margaritas for all. Except small children. Because that’s not ok.
Pile of meat from Green Street Smoked Meats

Pile of meat from Green Street Smoked Meats

Check out that mound of meat at Kuma’s Corner

Check out that mound of meat at Kuma’s Corner


Bars are a dime a dozen in Chicago, but if you’re looking for something truly unique, check out these favorites:

  • The Violet Hour (Wicker Park). Funky, swanky drink joint with no windows and no standing room. The mural out front changes monthly and you’d be hard-pressed to find the door if you weren’t looking for it. Another place to get to early if you want a chance at getting in. Not for the casual get together, more for the experience.
  • Emporium (Wicker Park). Part bar, part arcade, Emporium offers patrons the chance to go back in time to play some of their favorite arcade games. From NBA Jam to The Simpsons to Space Invaders, this bar has something for everyone.
  • Lost Lake (Logan Square). This popular tiki bar is located in what looks like an old abandoned store from the outside, but turns into a happening tropical paradise on the inside. Drinks are served in tiki glasses and coconuts and will throw you three sheets to the wind if you’re not paying attention. Just get there early if you don’t want to wait. Or if you like waiting, go whenever the mood strikes you!
  • Hopleaf (Andersonville). This bar is pretty far north, but anyone who’s anyone that knows beer in Chicago knows that this is a must visit bar. They have a ton of beers in-house from all over the world and have amazing Belgium fare that’s hard to resist.
The sneaky outside of The Violet Hour

The sneaky outside of The Violet Hour

Some of the funky drinks at Lost Lake

Some of the funky drinks at Lost Lake


  • Revolution Restaurant & Brewery. One of the original and most known Chicago breweries, Revolution has spawned some of the best beers in the city. Their restaurant has a ton of food made from the beers they brew and the menu is constantly changing. Great place to go for good food and good brews.
  • Goose Island Brewery. Located in the industrious Fulton Market neighborhood, this relatively new tap room is small but mighty. They generally have some tap room exclusive beers that you won’t be able to get anywhere else, and have super cool merchandise you can take back as a souvenir. Get a tour and you’ll go home with a tap room exclusive glass a few pints in your stomach.
  • Great Central Brewing. Located a couple of blocks away from Goose Island, this brewery actually has a knack for brewing other brewers beer. They offer up their space to brew more for other breweries in the area and, lucky for us, also have them on tap. Pair it with Goose Island for an awesome night of trying many different beers.
  • Half Acre Brewery. A Chicago staple, Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter is a beer that continues to make a name for itself. But don’t be fooled, Half Acre has a TON of amazing beers that would satisfy any type of beer lover. It’s a little further north than the other breweries on the list, but worth the trip if you love your beer.
  • Lagunitas Brewery. Originally from California, this brewery decided to take up shop in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and build out a tap room for the locals. Truly a unique experience, this tap room overlooks the whole brewing operation in the center of the facility, serving both bar fare and delicious beer flights along the way. Don’t be surprised if they have a live musical act on stage to sweeten the deal.
  • Ballast Point Brewery. One of the newest breweries to grace Chicago, this San Diego local brewery just set up shop in a brand new tap room in Fulton Market. If you choose one of the Fulton Market options on the food list, it would be a good idea to pair it with a beer from Ballast Point. They also have pretty tremendous food as well if you want to belly up and bunker down.
Goose Island Tap Room

Goose Island Tap Room

Touristy Stuff

  • Navy Pier. This is the pier that everyone talks about with the Ferris Wheel. If you must see it, I recommend avoiding the restaurants. They are toursity and not worth the money spent. If you are into drinking, keep walking down the pier until you hit the beer garden at the end. It’s like hitting the pot of gold at the end of the touristy rainbow.
  • Michigan Avenue. Our famous strip for shopping. If you’re into that kind of thing, it’s worth a once over if to just duck in and out of shops. The number of shops on the strip are almost overwhelming. Be prepared to dodge a lot of people on the sidewalk, but still an experience.
  • Museum of Science and Industry. Probably our coolest museum, they always have neat exhibits going on. It’s touristy, but of all the things to go to, this would be one to add to your list.
  • White Sox/Cubs Game. Depending on your allegiance (and to be clear, Chicagoans have severe allegiances), check out a baseball game. Both stadiums are awesome and offer different experiences, so you’d be a winner either way.
  • Architecture Boat Tour. Chicago has some amazing architecture and it’s hard to see if you’re walking downtown. You also miss out on the history. Lucky for you, Chicago is well known for its architecture boat tours that mozy along the Chicago River pointing out all of the famous historic and modern buildings.
  • Second City. If you’re familiar with Saturday Night Live, you’re familiar with some of the comedians that had their start at this famous improv stage. Catch a show any night of the week to see what could be the future stars of the improv world.

Photo credit:

  • Chicago Reader
  • Chicago Magazine
  • Goose Island
  • Kuma’s Corner
  • The Robey
  • Design Hotels