For music lovers, the warm weather outside not only indicates the end of the school year, but something bigger: Festival Season! This summer, festivals are going to be bigger and better! Already, festivals such as Coachella and ULTRA have sold out, and the season has hardly begun.
I have devised a list of my top festival picks for this summer, ranging from small Vermont gatherings to large multi genre festivals on the west coast. Starred festivals indicate my top picks!
Frendly Gathering- For those who prefer smaller, more traditional music festivals, this one is for you. Hosted by the snowboarder group, The Frends Crew, previous performers include SOJA, Railroad Earth and Dr. Dog to name a few. This festival takes place in Windham, VT in the month of July.
Rhinofest ** - This festival will be held August 3rd and 4th in Plainfield, VT. Rhinofest is a small-scale festival geared more towards the electronic music listeners, but still has a mix of reggae and jam bands. Previous performers include larger acts such as Gramatik, Michael Menert, but also featured Burlington’s very own DJ Haitian.
The Big Up- Featuring a stacked lineup, the Big Up has evolved since its start in 2007. Last year, this festival in Ghent, NY (by Albany) featured EOTO and Big Gigantic as the headliners. A plethora of live music is featured at this 3-day festival, including acts such as Orchard Lounge and Marco Benevento. This festival typically takes place in July, but no dates have been posted yet for 2012.
Gathering Of The Vibes- This festival is one of the largest on the east coast. Vibes will take place this year July 19th-22nd in Bridgeport, CT. Starting in 1996 under the name “Deadhead Heaven: A Gathering of the Tribe”, this festival blew up over the last 15 years to feature over fifty acts – ranging from reggae legends such as Toots and the Maytals, to DJ/Saxophone/Drum duo, Big Gigantic. If you’re down to get funky, this is the place for you!
Camp Bisco ** - Bisco 11 will be taking place this summer on July 12th through the 14th. As someone who has attended this festival, all I can say is be prepared to get down. Music runs from 10 AM to 6 AM, so be prepared to be awake for three straight days. This festival, hosted by the Disco Biscuits, has gradually shifted from a more jam band focus to a heavy electronic scene. My favorite acts from last year are Savoy, Dillon Francis, Araabmuzik, and, of course, Bassnectar!
Mountain Jam- For those who prefer rock music, this one is for you. This year’s festival will take place May 31st through June 3rd, and will feature classic artists such as Steve Winwood and Gov’t Mule. It takes place at Hunter Mountain, which is an absolutely beautiful venue!
Starscape **- For those who may be going further down the east coast this summer, Starscape will be taking place on June 9th in Baltimore, MA. The announced artists have already revealed a bass-heavy festival, including the likes of Chase and Status, Flux Pavilion and a TON of other, smaller acts. For one day, this lineup is amazing!
Governor’s Ball- There’s nothing quite like attending a music festival in New York City. Governor’s Ball will be taking place on Randalls Island on June 23rd and 24th. This festival has a very diverse lineup, ranging from Beck to Atmosphere to Major Lazer. This show boasts “No Overlapping Sets”, which makes it easy to see all of your favorites!
Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas) - Ever think Vegas could get crazier? On June 8th – June 10th, an unbelievable array of electronic artists will be performing at one of the major hubs of EDM in America. Electric Daisy Carnival will also be hitting up other major hotspots such as NYC over the summer. Look no further if you are trying to see the biggest acts in House, Dubstep, or Electro.
Electric Forest- On June 28th to July 1st, Rothbury, MI, will be hosting a festival in the woods! This festival will feature a variety of popular acts such as Steve Aoki, Thievery Corporation, The String Cheese Incident, and more. This festival is also very EDM heavy.
Wakaruza **- If you’ve never been to Arkansas, here’s your excuse to go. May 31st through June 3rd, Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AK, will be hosting a myriad of heavy hitting artists ranging from Pretty Lights to Slightly Stoopid for their 9th annual festival. Aside from the music, many activities such as live art, golf, yoga, and hiking are offered here. Tickets are reasonably priced at $164.
Happy Festival Season! I hope you find one (of the MANY festivals this year) that quenches your musical cravings!