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10 Must-See Summer Music Festivals

By Jessica Klinner

music fest

1. Beale Street Music Festival

If you’re looking to attend a music festival that caters to all types of music genres both new and old, look no further than the Beale Street Music Festival. Based out of Memphis, Tennessee, this diverse festival attracts people from all over the country every year. This year marks the 38th anniversary of the festival. Located on the famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tn., this music festival will be an experience you’ll never forget.

When? May 2-4
Where? Memphis, Tdnn
Lineup: Kid Rock, Alabama Shakes, Foster the People, Pretty Lights, Avenged Sevenfold, Snoop Dogg, Fitz & the Tantrums, Third Eye Blind, Juicy J, Grouplove, Blues Traveler, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Twenty One Pilots any many more!

2. Bonnaroo

The Tennessee based music festival Bonnaroo is maybe the closest thing we have to a modern day Woodstock. At Bonnaroo, festivalgoers can choose to stay on site and camp out for the entire four-day festival. This seems to be the way to go if you want to get the full experience of this festival. Not only does the lineup include incredible musicians every year, but also many comedians. This year Ed Helms and SNL’s Taran Killam are among the dozens of comedians who will make appearances over the duration of the weekend.

When? June 12-15
Where? Manchester, Tenn
Lineup: Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, Phoenix, Skrillex, The Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, Wiz Khalifa, Neutral Milk Hotel, Cage the Elephant, Capital Cities, City and Colour, and many more!

3. Vans Warped Tour

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Vans Warped Tour, and founder Kevin Lyman and his crew are pulling out all the stops to make sure this summer is the best Warped Tour to date! Since the lineup is being revealed week by week, there are still many more bands to be announced, and the tour already holds some of the biggest names in alternative rock music. Before long, the traveling festival will have scooped up every great alternative band out there to bring along for the summer.

When? June 14- August 3
Where? All over North America
Lineup: Of Mice & Men, The Maine, Anberlin, Bowling for Soup, Every Time I Die, Four Year Strong, Mayday Parade, Saves the Day, The Devil Wears Prada, Yellowcard, and many more!

4. Firefly Music Festival

The Firefly Music Festival is a very different festival experience. Not only does the festival offer the best in popular and upcoming music acts, but also amazing attractions such as the Hammock Hangout, TOMS Style Your Own Sole and the Coffee House. These attractions, an on-site farmers market and a variety of delicious food vendors make for an incredible festival experience you’ll never forget.

When? June 19-22
Where? Dover, Del.
Lineup: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Beck, Young the Giant, Weezer, Arctic Monkeys, Tegan and Sara, Band of Horses, Cash Cash, A Great Big World, Sleeper Agent, John & Jacob and many more!

5. Lollapalooza

Featuring artists and bands from an array of genres, Lollapalooza might have the most diverse lineup of the summer. By doing this, Lollapalooza appeals to all types of music fans. The festival features great music, local food vendors, pop-up shops and a farmers market. If you want to bring along kids, Lollapalooza features a unique experience for parents and children called Kidzapalooza, which is held in a separate part of Grant Park in Chicago.

When? August 1-3
Where? Chicago, Ill.
Lineup: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex, Lorde, Foster the People, Krewella, The Avett Brothers, Zedd, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Grouplove, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cage the Elephant, The 1975 and more!

6. Hangout Music Fest

Every year the lineup of the Hangout Music Fest gets bigger and better. This year is no different. With bands like Outkast, The Black Keys and new break out artists The 1975 and Bastille on the list, this year’s lineup might go down as the greatest yet. Ten stages placed around the beach make for a unique and fun festival experience. What’s better than hanging at the beach for three days listening to great music?

When? May 16-18
Where? Gulf Shores, Ala
Lineup: The Black Keys, The Killers, Outkast, Zedd, Conor Oberst, Matt and Kim, Needtobreathe, Bastille, The 1975, Modest Mouse and more!

7. Toadlick Music Festival

The Toadlick Music Festival is a fairly new music festival held on the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Alabama. In past years, it has attracted thousands of people and featured some of the biggest names in country music. This 3-day festival is one of the most reasonably priced at a flat rate of $99. With the festival only being two hours away, it’s a great way to spend a weekend away from responsibilities.

When? April 24-26
Where? Dothan, Ala
Lineup: The Band Perry, Merle Haggard, Billy Currington, REO Speedwagon, Joe Nichols, Gary Allan, Colt Ford, Gloriana and many more!

8. Counterpoint Music Festival

Counterpoint Music Festival is an outdoor music festival held in Kingston Downs, Ga. This 3-day festival has the best to offer in music, food and activities. Between watching your favorite bands play, there are carnival rides, an arcade and art displays to enjoy. This festival has something for everyone. If you aren’t one for camping, try Counterpoint’s unique style of camping called glamping. This luxurious camping experience is like being in an outdoor hotel room.

When? April 25-27
Where? Kingston Downs, Ga.
Lineup: Outkast, Pretty Lights, Foster the People, Krewella, Janelle Monae, J. Cole, Phantogram, Major Lazer, Chance the Rapper, Moon Taxi and many more!

9. Shaky Knees Festival

The 2nd annual Shaky Knees Festival will be held at Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta. Unlike other festivals, Shaky Knees features late night performances from several bands on the lineup that take place at music venues throughout the city. It is a unique festival experience because it takes place in the heart of the city of Atlanta. If you’re looking for a new kind of festival experience that doesn’t involve camping and wide-open fields, Shaky Knees is perfect for you!

When? May 9-11
Where? Atlanta, Ga.
Lineup: The National, Modest Mouse, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Dropkick Murphys, Portugal the Man, Jason Isbell, Cage the Elephant, The Gaslight Anthem and many more!

10. CMA Fest

Starting in 1972, CMA Fest began as a way for artists and fans to interact in a new way. CMA Fest brings the biggest names in country music both new and old in to one huge festival in Nashville, Tennessee. All proceeds from the festival go to support music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools and other programs through the CMA Foundation’s Keep The Music Playing program. If you’re a big country music fan, this festival needs to be at the top of your list this year and every other year to come!

When? June 5-8
Where? Nashville, Tenn.
Lineup: Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band and more!