The calendar says summer doesn’t start until June 21, but everyone in the U.S. knows it really starts with Memorial Day Weekend. In NYC, there is no shortage of outdoor music, from the perennials like Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park and MOMA/PS1’s Warm-Up in Long Island City, Queens to festivals that roll into town every year like the Latin Alternative Music Conference to some others that only make it once or twice like All Points West. Others across the U.S. include the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago; Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN; Outside Lands in San Francisco; and Burning Man in Black Rock City, NV. Over the holiday weekend, the Movement Electronic Music Festival got things started in Detroit and Sasquatch Festival in Gorge, WA.
Headliner family – where are you located and what are some of your favorite music festivals? We especially want to hear about the smaller, local festivals that don’t get as much play as the big guys. Tell us where you’ll be (or have been) this summer and send along some snaps for our blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Here’s a sample of what’s coming up in the U.S. this summer. Pack your sunscreen, smartphone and get dancing. Next, our international list, get your passports ready!
June 9-12 , Manchester, TN .
One of the biggest and increasingly most diverse festivals covering Rock, Hip Hop, Electronic music, as well as comedy.
Headliners: Eminem, Arcade Fire, Black Keys
Electric Daisy Carnival
Dallas (June 18), Las Vegas (June 24-26), Denver (June 11), Puerto Rico (August 27)
One of the biggest, occasionally controversial, electronic music festivals in the last few years.
Headliners: Tiesto, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia
August 6, Los Angeles, CA.
As its name implies, the music is geared toward fans of harder electronic sounds. As recent news suggest, it was also one of the most problematic to organize. But this year’s line up looks top-shelf, retooled and ready.
Headliners: Chromeo, Ratatat, Shit Robot, James Murphy, Holy Ghost!
Pitchfork Music Festival
July 15-17 , Chicago, IL.
Pretty much the mother of all indie music festivals from the folks who bring you the snarky reviews that pepper hipster conversations in dive bars and on college campuses.
Headliners: Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, James Blake, Das Racist, TV on the Radio, Cut Copy
Rock the Bells
San Bernardino, CA. (August 20); Mountain View, CA. (August 27); New York, N.Y. (September 03); Boston, MA. (September 10)
Quite likely the ultimate touring Hip Hop festival, combining some of the new breed upstarts and hall of famers, often performing full sets of classic albums.
Headliners: Lauryn Hill, Nas, Cypress Hill, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, Raekwon & Ghostface
August 5-7, Chicago, IL .
This is the grand-daddy of them all. One of the earliest and most successful cross-genre music festivals, combining Rock, Hip Hop and Electronic music for the masses.
Headliners: Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse, Deadmau5
August 12-14, San Francisco, CA .
One of the newest players on the scene, this festival covers indie and electronic music as well as food and arts in the Bay Area.
Headliners: Muse, Phish, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Deadmau5, MGMT, Girl Talk, Decemberists
September 2-4, New York City, NY.
If you can’t make it to Ultra in Miami, try hitting up the Zoo in NYC. A giant rave in the sun, it features electronic acts that swim in the deeper end of the techno record pool.
Headliners: Tiesto, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren
North Coast Music Festival
September 2-4, Chicago, IL.
Going on its second year, this festival is already boasting a popular turnout and a great lineup of electronic and hip hop artists.
Headliners: Wiz Khalifa, Thievery Corporation, Common, Fatboy Slim, Little Dragon, Neon Indian
Austin City Limits
September 16-18 , Austin, TX.
Indie rock and electronica give the hippest hamlet in Texas a workover to wrap up the summer that gets kicked off with SXSW.
Headliners: Kanye West, Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes