8 Can’t-Miss American Summer Music Festivals

on June 3, 2015

What the Festival

Festival Season

Summertime in America never disappoints in her breadth of festivals and range of locations. Pack up your lawn chairs, sunscreen, campfire cuisine, tents and sleeping bags (or go ahead and book a hotel), but whatever you do-get ready. These 8 summer music fests are bucket-list-caliber experiences you won't want to miss.

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Newport Folk Festival

Dates: July 25-26, 2015

Location: Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island

More Information: Newport Folk Festival

We like to refer to the Newport Folk Festival as the grandparent to all other modern-day fests. Since its inauguration in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has been both preserving tradition and encouraging innovation in their wide selection of artists. Its history includes iconic performances by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Howlin' Wolf. This year, Sufjan Stevens, Rodger Walters, and the Decemberists will be headlining at Newport. Trust us, you want to be there.


Morgan G. Harris


Dates: June 11-14, 2015

Location: Manchester, Tennessee

More Information: Bonnaroo

Camping meets music at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This even, set in the open fields of middle Tennessee, is all about positivity, community, laughter and a stellar list of artists. The lineup for 2015 is incredibly long and features Kendrick Lamar, Mumford & Sons, DeadMau5 and Billy Joel.

Pitchfork Music Festivalu00a0

Pitchfork Music Festival

Dates: July 17-19, 2015

Location: Union Park, Chicago, Illinois

More Information: Pitchfork Music Festival

Since Pitchfork is oft considered by many to be the ultimate authority on music, their independently run festival is full of acclaimed artists whose work ranges all genres. The focus is on the best emerging artists, so if you don't recognize everyone on the lineup, don't worry. The Pitchfork Music Festival is also designed to support Chicago's arts community and local business with a wide array of activities, vendors, and specialty fairs to enjoy between sets of artists like Wilco and Chance the Rapper. Bonus: Pitchfork is committed to charging only as much for tickets as is required to cover costs-so the prices are quite reasonable, as far as festival tickets go.

Christopher Polk/ Getty Imagesu00a0

Made in America Festival

Dates: September 5-6, 2015

Location: Los Angeles, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

More Information: Made in America

Of course we'd be suckers for anything titled "Made in America." This festival is curated by none other than hip hop artist Jay-Z, and yes, it's in two opposite sides of the country at once. The roster will include more than 60 artists chosen to embody the American spirit, and they will preform across three stages in both L.A. and Philly. The 2015 lineup is yet to be announced, but Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Pharrell were just a few of last year's headliners.


The Governors Ballu00a0

The Governors Ball NYC Music Festival

Dates: June 5-7, 2015

Location: Randall's Island Park, NYC

More Information: Governors Ball

This one is coming up! Grab some last minute tickets to see everyone from Drake to Bju00f6rk take center stage this upcoming weekend at the Governors Ball. This festival is meant to be an experience for all senses-music, visual art and some pretty unreal food options. Attend the Governors Ball for a weekend full of the eccentricities and wonders that make NYC one of the greatest cities in the world.

Nick Simonite


Dates: July 31- August 2, 2015

Location: Grant Park, Chicago

More Information: Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is just as much a cultural experience as it is a musical adventure. Between the stages, you'll find farmer's market stands, local wares shops, and "chow town" situated on 115 acres between the iconic Chicago skyline and the shores of Lake Michigan. Aside from the food and celebration of Chicago's culture, Lollapalooza will also feature Paul McCartney, Metallica and Florence + the Machine as headliners this year.

Firefly Festival


Dates: June 18-21, 2015

Location: The Woodlands, Dover, Delaware

More Information: Firefly Festival

Gather your friends and head out to the lush wooded landscapes of Dover to watch Paul McCartney, The Killers and Snoop Dog at this year's Firefly Music Festival. Visit the brewery for on-site craft beer, the market for higher-end festival goods, the "hammock hangout" for a break from the festivities and the famous thicket for a silent dance party. This year, Firefly is starting a new attraction called the "beercade" and it's exactly what it sounds like: beer and vintage arcade classics. Sign us up.

Travel Hymns

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival

Dates: August 7-9, 2015

Location: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

More Information: Outside Lands

Outside Lands is an amalgamation of the best music, visual art, food, and wine all taking place in notoriously green-conscious San Francisco. There's a huge food lineup as well as a music lineup that celebrates all major music movements (from singer-songwriters to DJs to jazz to rock 'n' roll). You won't want to miss the host of local musicians, food vendors and visual artists all gathered to celebrate this festival that refuses to be placed into a single category. This year's headliners include Mumford & Sons, Wilco, The Black Keys, Sam Smith, Elton John and Kendrick Lamar. See? A little something for everyone...