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The 6 Best Summer Music Festivals of 2013


While you’re busy soaking up the sun or playing beach volleyball, don’t forget to include some outrageous concerts as a part of your summer bucket list. From house music festivals to country music festivals, there’s an experience out there for everyone to enjoy. These are more than just your average summer show, however. All of these multi-day concerts offer non-stop music, the great outdoors, and hundreds of different artists. These gigs are sure to rock your world. Here are some of the best music festivals of 2013 that you won’t want to miss this summer:

Electric Daisy Carnival
May 17-18
(New York, NY)
May 24-26 (Chicago, IL)
June 21-23 (Las Vegas, NV)

Electronic dance fans can start their summer off right by catching the Electric Daisy Carnival in New York City, Chicago, or Las Vegas. EDC is the biggest outdoor concert of the year for electronic music enthusiasts. It features artists like Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Dada Life, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Tiesto, Benny Benassi, Afrojack, and Empire of the Sun. The event used to last just one day in Las Vegas, but due to its large success, the concert has extended to multi-day concerts in cities across the country to accommodate its wide fan base. In 2012, the concert drew more than 320,000 fans. Be sure to wear your greatest rave attire: think neon crop tops, snap backs, sequins galore, and tie-dye everything. If you have a craving for flashing lights, loud music, fist pumping, and wild dancing, then this celebration is definitely for you. The prices of the 3-day passes vary depending on the city. Buy your tickets for the Las Vegas show here, the NYC show here, or the Chicago show here.

June 13-16 (Manchester, TN)

Outdoorsmen and music lovers alike should make time for Bonnaroo this summer. Often referred to as the modern-day Woodstock, Bonnaroo is a four day-long outdoor music festival for fans of all different genres. The 150 acts include Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Pretty Lights, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, A$AP Rocky, R. Kelly, and comedians like Daniel Tosh and Bob Saget. The festival space spans across 700 acres of land, and general admission seating requires concert requires concertgoers to camp out in tents and bring their own means for survival. There are RV parking spots available, too. The Bonnaroo experience combines nature and music that puts concertgoers in a whole new world, free of technology and other modern-day luxuries. Dress is casual, but Manchester is known for its scorching heat waves, so don’t forget to pack sunscreen and baseball caps. The only tickets left available are general admission, and they sell for $269.50. They can be purchased here

Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23 (Dover, Delaware)

Traveling to the East Coast this summer? Firefly Music Festival is the East Coast’s premier outdoor music experience. It features artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, MGMT, Zedd, and Krewella. The Firefly experience goes beyond just listening and dancing to music. The event also offers an arcade, hammock hangouts, “The Pathway,” which is a forest clearing of light and video displays after sunset, and endless dining options. There are various lodging choices, such as “The Grove,” an offsite RV campsite that includes food, a farmers market, yoga, and live entertainment; “The Hideout,” which offers catered food and a private bar; and hotels. If you go, when it comes to dressing for the occasion, comfort is key. Lightweight clothing like shorts, flowy tank tops, sundresses, and skirts are great to wear. Keep in mind there will be moshing, so wear protective shoes that cover your feet to prevent any injuries. The final 3-day pass costs $258, and tickets can be purchased here


Jamboree in the Hills
July 18-21 (Belmont, Ohio)

Calling all country fans! Jamboree in the Hills is the biggest gathering of country artists in the nation. Performers include Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Florida Georgia Line, and Thompson Square. This four-day outdoor concert welcomes people of all ages and has a comfortable and relaxed environment so you can sit back and enjoy the sounds of summer. Bringing your own blankets and lawn chairs is encouraged. If you go to Jamboree in the Hills, prepare for the elements (tents, umbrellas, etc.) and warm weather. When dressing for this festival, get in touch with your southern side: think ripped jean shorts, plaid, cowboy hats, sundresses, and anything patriotic. Ticket prices vary based on how many days you plan on staying, but a four-day pass will cost you $215 if you purchase them before June 30. Buy your tickets here.

August 2-4 (Chicago, Illinois)

Looking for some variety? Lollapalooza welcomes 124 of the most popular bands from all across the world to put on one of the most noteworthy gigs in the country. Some performers include The Killers, Eric Church, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Dada Life, 2 Chainz, Icona Pop, and Lana Del Rey. If you go, remember that the Chicago heat can get pretty blistering, so be sure to dress accordingly. If the heat does become too much, however, there are medical tents, water fountains, and misting stations throughout the arena.  The dress code for Lolla is pretty standard summer apparel: sunglasses, floppy hats, sandals with backs (highly recommended so that they stay on your feet!), and sundresses. This event offers so much more than just awesome music, however. Lollapalooza also has a Sony Electrolounge, a digital lounge that showcases the latest and hottest phones, playgrounds, an autograph tent, delicious food on a strip called “Chow Town,” and various souvenir vendors.

Electric Zoo
August 30-September 1 (New York, New York)

If you can’t get enough of house music, get yourself to Electric Zoo this Labor Day weekend. End your summer with the sounds of Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Otto Knows, Bassnectar, Knife Party, Avicii, and Alesso for one last hoorah before it’s time to hit the books again. The atmosphere is similar to that of Electric Daisy Carnival: wear your best rave attire and protective shoes, and be ready to dance. The 24-acre site offers open-air tents featuring musicians of different genres as well as the main stage, giving concertgoers a varied experience. Passes start at $329, and you can buy them here.

No matter what your taste in music is, there’s a summer festival out there for you. All these concerts combine the great outdoors with great music in order to distinguish themselves from all those ordinary concerts performed throughout the rest of year. Have some fun in the sun this summer with all of your favorite bands!

Paige is a sophomore in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University majoring in magazine journalism and minoring in health & wellness. She is currently a Staff Writer for Her Campus but also keeps very busy at Syracuse, too. She is a senior editor of the fitness section of an on-campus health magazine, "What the Health," the features editor of a women's interest on-campus magazine, "Equal Time," and is on the Public Relations team for an on-campus fashion magazine, "Zipped." Paige also enjoys covering the "relationship" beat in her news writing class this semester. She is also a sister of Alpha Xi Delta at Syracuse. In her free time, Paige loves to swim, exercise, shop, go out with friends, attend concerts, travel and spend time with her family (dog included).
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