Summer music festivals around the nation

women at concert

Summer is the prime time for all kinds of outdoor fun, and that includes music festivals. Every year, thousands of amped-up music fans come together for a weekend of eclectic performances and beautiful weather. More and more spring up every year, making it a challenge to keep up with that’s out there. Here are some of the top-rated music festivals on the scene right now. Take a look and find the ones appeal to you the most!

Pitchfork. Curated by the online music publication of the same name, this festival takes place over the course of three days each July in Chicago. For avid readers of music criticism, this is a chance to see many of the most buzzworthy bands and artists around today. It’s not unusual to see an obscure indie rock act after a hip-hop one, or to find yourself dancing to an electronic artist one moment, and then taking in a jazz ensemble the next. Eclecticism rules the weekend, and makes it one festival every music lover has on their bucket list.

Bumbershoot. This is one of North America’s largest and longest-running music and arts festivals — it’s been held every Labor Day Weekend in Seattle since 1971. The festival really knows how to bring the big names out for a great time, with plenty of large pop acts have gracing the stage every year.  At the same time, you’re bound to find more independent acts as well, in addition to a lineup of comedians, art and food vendors, and a number of interesting panels and spoken word events.

Bonnaroo. Manchester, TN is the site of this Woodstock-esque festival, which first launched in 2002. Held on a 700-acre farm over three days every June, it’s garnered a reputation for featuring some of the biggest names in music today. Though it initially focused on jam and folk bands, you can expect the full spectrum of sounds and genres here.

Afropunk. This festival has made Brooklyn the place to be each August since 2005, when the first event took place. It started out as a celebration of the African-American punk rock scene, but has since expanded to include pop, soul and R&B acts. Organizers are working on expanding Afropunk to other cities in the coming years.

Roots Picnic. As you may have guessed, this one is curated by The Roots, who also happen to have a little side gig as the house band for late night television host Jimmy Fallon. This one-day festival takes place every summer at Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing. It’s a little smaller than the others on this list, but no matter; it is still the place to see an awesome blend of both renowned and up-and-coming hip-hop, funk, and R&B acts.

Lollapalooza. One of the best-known summer music festivals, Lollapalooza was launched in 1991 with a focus on alternative rock. Unlike the others on this list, it toured North America every summer until 1997. Organizers re-launched Lollapalooza as a touring act in the early 2000s, then settled upon its current format — a weekend festival that highlights a diverse mix of musical acts in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Newport Folk Festival. Having started in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI is by far the longest-running festival on this list. It’s remembered as where Bob Dylan went “electric” in 1965, making it an important part of music history. These days, you’re bound to find plenty of traditional roots and folk musicians picking away on their acoustic instruments, but you’ll also get to experience acts that aren’t afraid to transcend genres. It really is a must-attend event for anyone who’s interested in hearing both progressive and traditional sounds.


The Best Music Festivals in 2017: Everything You Need to Know [SeatGeek]

Top 15: Music Festivals In the USA [Festicket]