May 21, 2016
Why follow the crowd? Attend these gems instead.
During the month of March, the streets of Austin, Texas become flooded with up and coming indie bands that every music blog in America is paying attention to. In April, a sea of hipsters flock to Southern California, tuck flowers into their hair, and squeeze into tiny designer sundresses to listen to the trendy bands of Coachella. In June, a 700-acre Manchester, Tennessee field fills with 80,000 plus music aficionados who brave the scorching sun to dance to their favorite jam bands. The electronic dance community has their annual Electric Daisy Carnival and country music has the CMAs and Stagecoach.
In the USA, those festivals are praised as the staples. There are, however, so many more organized concert weekends that music lovers should be paying attention to. Here are seven of the music festivals that you should probably know about:
If you are a fan of dance music, DJs, and EDM, there is no better place for you to be. Imagine kicked off its inaugural year in 2014 with headliners like Destroid, Adventure Club, and Fedde Legrand. In 2015, it grew even more and attracted acts like Dada Life, Datsik, Lil Jon, and The Glitch Mob. In addition to some of the hottest names in EDM, the fest treats attendees to a slew of on-the-brink newbies, as well as an array of cirque style acts and performances. This year’s event will take place August 26-28th in Atlanta, Georgia’s Fourth Ward Park.
Since it launched in 2012, Firefly has become a favorite weekend getaway for East Coast music lovers. The 3-day soiree takes places on various stages that are nestled in The Woodlands at Dover, a large forest area set in secluded natural surroundings. The 2016 rendition will take place June 16-19th and will include performances by the likes of A$AP Rocky, Florence and the Machine, M83, Chvrches, Two Door Cinema Club, and Porter Robinson. In addition the fest is known for its onsite Dogfish Head Brewery and mock vineyard on the premises.
This two-day music festival in Washington DC was founded as a means of promoting awareness of and raising funds to restore the National Mall. Last year, the festival gave attendees Drake, Nate Ruess, and The Strokes, in addition to fireworks and trendy local restaurant stands.
This three-day music festival is held annually on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama and features an array of genres, everything from rock to indie, hip-hop, and dance music. There’s sun, sand, palm trees, and plenty of drinks filled with paper umbrellas. This year’s festival will take place on May 20-22nd and features the Weeknd, Calvin Harris, Alabama Shakes, Ellie Goulding, Flume, Lenny Kravitz, and more.
This annual two-day concert experience takes place in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and is the brainchild of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner from the National. And music isn’t all that you can experience here. Eaux Claires Festival combines music with various mediums of art and acts like Boyz Noise, Sufjan Stevens, and Spoon. This year’s installment is August 12-13th.
This Newport, Rhode Island-based festival gets an A+ for scenery, as it takes place right on the water in a scenic marina. It’s also a great place to hear folky legends like Bob Dylan and discover some lesser-known acts like Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Caitlin Rose, and Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. 2016 dates are July 22-24.