Summer Festivals 2016: At a Glance

The time has finally come for this school year to come to a close, and to begin our annual attempt to do something different on vacation. In the last five or ten years, music festivals have become a major attraction, as people across the globe get together for a few days of live music and celebration of the summer. Because of this surge in popularity, the music festival circuit has become clouded and hard to decipher for most. Here are the festivals that I think you should look out for.

Closer to home, there are a few really good options available. For one, the ever popular Governor’s Ball Festival will be arriving on Randall’s Island in New York City from June 3rd to June 5th. It features some big name headliners, such as Kanye West, Beck, the Killers, the Strokes and Jamie xx. Later in the year, the Panorama Music Festival will be hitting Randall’s Island as well, from July 22nd to 24th. Panorama will feature an equally solid cast of performers, such as rappers Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky; indie rock legends LCD Soundsystem, Sufjan Stevens, and Arcade Fire; and even up and coming big names like Alabama Shakes. For those looking for some local punk fun, make sure to head out to Punk Rock Bowling NJ. This music festival will be in Asbury Park on June 11th and 12th, featuring Agnostic Front and Descendents.

A bit farther from home, Dover, Delaware will play host to Firefly Music Festival from June 16th to 19th. It will be headlined by Mumford & Sons, A$AP Rocky, Florence and the Machine, and Chvrches. Nearby in Philadelphia, Roots Picnic will be headed by Future, The Roots, and Migos on June 4th. Farther north in Boston, Boston Calling will host artists ranging from Sia and Odesza to Sufjan Stevens and the Front Bottoms. It will run from May 27th to 29th of this year. In nearby Newport, Rhode Island the Newport Folk Festival will be taking place from July 22nd to 24th, headlined by indie darling Father John Misty.

For those people who are willing to travel, there are some fantastic big-name festivals going on in the Midwest. Up in Chicago, the Pitchfork Festival will be stopping by once again, headlined by a diverse cast ranging from pop stars such as Carly Rae Jepsen and Jeremih, to indie rock powerhouses like Sufjan Stevens and Beach House, to legends of the music industry, including Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performing all of the band’s seminal album Pet Sounds. To the south there will also be the ever-popular Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Headlining this year will be artists such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, J. Cole, Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, and Tyler the Creator.

All of these festivals look to be great summer destinations for any fan of music and the arts, no matter who you are. What would summer be without the music festival?