18 Music Festivals You Should Absolutely Attend Before the Summer is Over

Music festivals are some of the buzziest events of the year, but many people think that unless they can easily get to California or New York City, they’re limited to scrolling past aesthetic festival posts on their Instagram. If you’re having serious FOMO as you watch your friends living it up in the crowd, don’t despair: It’s easier than you think to still have a festival-filled summer.

Music festivals occur way more often than you might think, and they may even be a lot closer to home. We’ve rounded up a bunch of our favorites from all across the country (and even a couple beyond!) and from a wide range of music genres, so no matter where you live or what you listen to, you can find the perfect music festival for you and your friends this summer.

Northeast

1. Panorama (July 27-29, New York City, NY)

 

Here for this.

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If you happened to miss Governor’s Ball in June, Panorama is the ideal way to make up for it: both festivals take place at Randalls Island Park. That means there’s no camping, so it’s perfect for the city girl who would rather not spend her nights in a tent in the middle of nowhere. (There’s also air-conditioned restrooms, so you can kiss those port-a-potties goodbye!) The lineup boasts some musical heavyweights, with The Weeknd, Janet Jackson and the Killers headlining each of the three days. Other performers to look forward to include Dua Lipa, Migos and Daniel Caesar on Day 1, SZA, Gucci Mane and PVRIS on Day 2 and The XX, Fleet Foxes and Rex Orange County on Day 3. A 3-day general admission pass costs $295 and also gets you access to charging stations and a free voucher to the Queens Museum, among other things. Score!

2. Billboard Hot 100 Festival (August 18-19, Long Island, NY)

The Billboard Hot 100 Festival is the stuff of Top 40 dreams. Held for two days at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, the festival is headlined by Halsey and Rae Sremmurd on Saturday, and DJ Snake and Future on Sunday. Tickets go for as cheap as $80, so you can live it up on a budget. Plus, it takes place right as back-to-school season is starting up, and what better way to ring in the new school year?

3. Electric Zoo (August 31-September 2, New York City, NY)

Don’t make plans for Labor Day weekend just yet—we think you’re going to want to check out Ezoo, one of the biggest and best electronic dance festivals in the world. This year is Ezoo’s 10th anniversary (they even call it “Electric Zoo: The Big 10”), so they’re planning to make it better than ever, and with headliners Marshmello, Martin Garrix and Tiësto, we bet they can make that happen. NYC vendors will be onsite providing food and drinks, and since there’s truly nothing better than eating New York pizza while listening to your favorite music, we’re absolutely pumped. A three-day GA pass is currently $279.99 plus fees, but a payment plan is available to make the price a bit easier to handle.

4. Cayuga Sound Festival (September 21-22, Ithaca, NY)

This is the second year of Cayuga Sound, a two-day festival curated by rock band X Ambassadors in their hometown. According to their website, the festival supports local businesses in Ithaca and local nonprofits, so you can have a great time and feel great doing it. The lineup is still being announced, but known performers so far include Matt and Kim and Young the Giant, of course alongside X Ambassadors themselves. A two-day pass costs $99.50, but you can pay for VIP tickets up to $300 that include experiences like attending a dinner hosted by X Ambassadors themselves. Sounds pretty sweet to us.

Southeast

5. Pilgrimage Music Festival (September 22-23, Franklin, TN)

Pilgrimage Music Festival isn’t centered around any one genre, but instead includes a wide range of musicians. From Lionel Richie to Hozier to Bleachers to Elle King, there’s bound to be something for you there. The festival also has unique attractions like Farm to Turn-Table, a food truck park so you can eat your heart out, and the Americana Music Triangle Experience, where they say “attendees can immerse themselves in world-famous music landmarks, tucked away hamlets and one-of-a-kind stops along the Gold Record Road.” A regular two-day pass is $185.

6. Bourbon & Beyond (September 22-23, Louisville, KY)

Come for the music and stay for the drinks – we think 21+ collegiettes will like this one. Not only does Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond festival have some impressive musical guests, but it’s also centered around the Big Bourbon Bar, where you can try over 40 bourbon brands, according to their website. If music is more your thing than drinks, this is still a great festival to check out: John Mayer, Sheryl Crow and more will be performing. A weekend general admission ticket is $150.

Midwest

7. Mo Pop Festival (July 28-29, Detroit, MI)

 

My my my Tickets to #MoPopFest go on sale Friday at 10am! www.mopopfestival.com

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With a lineup that has Bon Iver, Portugal. The Man, Brockhampton and more, we think it’s safe to say that Mo Pop is one of the best music festivals in the Midwest, no question. It takes place at West Riverfront Park in Detroit, which they describe as “a 20-acre green oasis that features an extra-wide RiverWalk, three pathways linking the waterfront to neighborhoods, benches, bike racks and plenty of wide-open space for activities.” That sounds a lot like paradise, and the perfect place to spend a summer weekend. A weekend ticket is $135, but get yours ASAP, because that price will go up.

8. WE Fest (August 2-4, Detroit Lakes, MN)

Country fans will love WE Fest in Minnesota. It’s been around since 1983, so you can bet they know how to make a great festival, meaning it’ll be fun for everyone involved. The main headliners are Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood and Florida Georgia Line, so a three-day GA ticket with camp access (with a student discount!) for $210 seems pretty worth it to us. Plus, this is the perfect festival to go to with all your friends: they just started a rewards program called WeWards, so if you get your friends to buy their tickets through your link, you can start earning prizes like 10 percent cash back on your tickets or a “tubing adventure” for two people. Saving money and going to concerts are two of our favorite things, so we’re loving what WE Fest has to offer!

9. Lollapalooza (August 2-5, Chicago, IL)

You know Lollapalooza. It’s one of the biggest music festivals in the U.S., and this year will be no exception: the four-day event is headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and Jack White. And when we say everyone is going to be there, we mean everyone: pop stars like Camila Cabello, rock bands like Vampire Weekend and hip-hop favorites like Tyler, the Creator. Nobody is out of place here. Plus, with great Chicago food, Lolla Market for artisan shopping and more, we swear you’ll never want to leave. A four-day general admission pass is $335 plus fees, and they’re going fast, so don’t wait too long to get a ticket!

10. Breakaway Festival (August 24-26, Columbus, OH)

Khalid, Odesza and Jaden Smith are among the performers at Breakaway, where a three-day GA pass is $149. The venue is MAPFRE Soccer Stadium in Columbus, and Breakaway has some pretty sweet deals; you can get up to 35 percent off a hotel stay while you’re there. This festival is all about the music, and with headliners like Halsey and Migos, we can see why.

Southwest

11. Float Fest (July 21-22, San Marcos, TX)

Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? And with a stacked lineup featuring Tame Impala, Snoop Dogg, Glass Animals and more, Float Fest is pretty damn big. A GA weekend pass is $149 right now, but that’s not all—the real unique attraction is buying a weekend tubing pass for $40 and literally floating down the San Marcos River, essentially combining a music festival with a water park. It’s the perfect way to cool down in the summer, and then after you watch all the concerts at night, you can camp at the venue and do it all again the next day. It’s pretty much the closest you can get to paradise.

12. River City Rockfest (September 22, San Antonio, TX)

Of course, not everyone is into pop music, so here’s an option for fans of rock ‘n’ roll: River City Rockfest is featuring huge names in rock music, like Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. It’s held at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, and because it’s only a one-day event, you can spend the rest of your weekend exploring the city. Right now, a general admission ticket is only $69.50—but as with all festivals, the price will change phases and increase as the date gets closer, so get yours ASAP!

West

13. Outside Lands (August 10-12, San Francisco, CA)

Outside Lands is perhaps NorCal’s best music festival, and the lineup for this one should have everyone excited: The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine and Janet Jackson are headlining this three-day event, and Future, CHVRCHES, Janelle Monae and more will also perform. Just about every musical genre is satisfied here, so if your friend likes Mac Demarco but you’re more into Carly Rae Jepsen, both of you can be happy here. Plus, the festival has partnered with restaurants and food trucks in the Bay Area to bring all the best food to festivalgoers, and what’s a music festival without good food? A three-day general admission pass is $375.

14. KAABOO (September 14-16, San Diego, CA)

KAABOO’s website specifically says that they’re “not a ‘festival.’” So what does that mean? Well, they still have great acts (everyone from Katy Perry to the Foo Fighters will be there), but they designed their event around those of you who’d like to hear the music without dealing with all the campground complications and port-a-potties. They have seating areas and indoor climate-controlled spaces, so you can have cooler, cleaner fun. The best part? They offer a student discount! You can get up to $20 off a GA three-day pass just by verifying your college.

15. Grandoozy (September 14-16, Denver, CO)

Grandoozy is the product of the co-creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, two huge music festivals, so you can expect a great time at this three-day event in Denver. Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine and Stevie Wonder are the headliners, but The Chainsmokers, Sturgill Simpson, Ty Dolla $ign and other big names are also on the lineup. Grandoozy also promises to have Denver’s best food, a craft beer experience and an “’80s Ski Lodge” area that sounds pretty exciting. A three-day general admission ticket costs $259.50.

16. Life Is Beautiful Festival (September 21-23, Las Vegas, NV)

When we say, “Vegas,” you probably think, “fabulous.” The Life is Beautiful Festival does not disappoint; even the name alone is over-the-top. With performers like Arcade Fire, Odesza, Death Cab for Cutie and more, Life is Beautiful is bound to be unforgettable. A three-day GA pass is $295 plus fees, but Life Is Beautiful offers a payment plan, so emptying your wallet for that ticket doesn’t hurt quite as much. And if you ever want a break from the music (we’re not sure why you would, but just in case) the festival is planning to announce their comedy lineup and gallery artists so you can stop to have a laugh and check out some amazing art.

Canada

17. Osheaga (August 3-5, Montreal, Canada)

For those of you living across the border, Osheaga is a huge three-day festival taking place in Montreal. Established artists like Arctic Monkeys and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be there, but some up-and-coming artists like Khalid and Billie Eilish will also be gracing the stage. Beyond the music, Osheaga will also present installations from renowned artists, and there will be food trucks galore to satiate your hunger after spending all day in the crowd. A three-day general admission pass is CAN$320.

Everywhere

18. Vans Warped Tour (now through August 5, traveling)

This year is the last-ever Vans Warped Tour, so you definitely don’t want to miss out! Warped is a touring music festival that’s been around since the '90s, and while they mostly focus on pop punk or punk rock bands, recent years have seen the lineup diversifying a bit more. If you’re a fan of All Time Low, Echosmith, The Maine, We The Kings, Simple Plan and more, this is the festival for you. Plus, depending on where you live, different artists will be added to the local lineup, so there’s always a surprise. GA tickets vary by city, but they average about $50 each, making this a total steal.

Erica is a feature writer, news and entertainment writer, high school editor, and editorial intern at Her Campus. She is a sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University, studying English and creative writing, and also writes for the Columbia Barnard chapter of Her Campus. In her free time, she can be found searching New York City for trendy dessert places, watching Vine compilations on YouTube, or dancing with Columbia Orchesis, a student dance group. She has very strong opinions about gender equality (for), pineapple on pizza (against), and the Oxford comma (for). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @ericaakam.

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