With Memorial Day weekend upon us, summer is, if not officially, here. For music fans that means the beginning of months of nonstop outdoor music. Below, in chronological order, is a sample of the best music happening throughout the summer.
May 29-31; George, Wash.
Sasquatch first debuted in 2002, and has since evolved from a seven-band line-up to this year’s festival featuring more than 70 bands, plus additional performances by comedians in the comedy tent. But with only three stages, including one devoted solely to performers from the Pacific Northwest, Sasquatch makes it easy to catch all your favorite acts. (And, the natural beauty of The Gorge, a natural amphitheater overlooking the Columbia River.) For the first time this year, Sasquatch will be carbon neutral. The three-day festival will be powered entirely by wind, and organizers are purchasing carbon offsets equal to 125 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s acts include My Morning Jacket, Ween, She & Him, Teagan and Sara, comedians Mike Birbiglia and Rob Riggle, as well as the always charming comedy-fold duo Garfunkle and Oates.
June 10-13; Manchester, Tenn.
Once a weekend-long jam-band festival on a 700-acre farm, Bonaroo has evolved into a four-day multimedia festival. This year, Bonaroo’s four stages will play host to more than 150 artists including Kings of Leon, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tori Amos, Ozomatli, John Prine and Jay-Z. Bonaroo is also going green; one of its stages will be solar powered. The festival also plays host to a film festival: Cinema Bonaroo will screen films 24 hours a day. This year’s line-up has yet to be released, but previous years have included mainstream, short and independent films as well as documentaries.
Telluride Blue Grass Festival
June 17-20; Telluride, Colo.
People have been flocking to the Telluride Blue Grass Festival for the past 37 years. And it isn’t difficult to see why: The rugged beauty of the San Juan mountains is enough to draw thousands of visitors every year. But when paired with an ever evolving line-up of all-star acoustic musicians, it’s easy to see why generations of families make an annual summer pilgrimage. This year’s line-up includes Alison Krauss & Union Station, Lyle Lovitt, Béla Fleck and the Yonder Mountain String Band.
June 23-27; Pilton, England
In 1970, Led Zepplin played a concert in Bath, England, and Michael Everis, founder of the Glastonbury Music Festival had an idea. That fall, 1,500 people gathered on Everis’s farm in Pilton, England, and the Glastonbury Music Festival was born. Over the last 40 years, the festival has kept in touch with the spirit of the ’70s, and frequent rainstorms often make for Woodstock-esque moments. The festival takes place over three days. and more that 175,000 people are expected to attend this year. Acts include the Flaming Lips, LCD Soundsystem, Stevie Wonder, Frightened Rabbit and The National.
Pitchfork Music Festival
July 16-18; Union Park, Chicago
Founded in 2006 by the folks behind the influential music website, Pitchfork, the Pitchfork Music Festival is a relative newcomer to the music festival scene. It has also proved to be hugely popular, with last year’s festival attracting more than 18,000 attendees per day. This year’s line-up includes Modest Mouse, Robyn and Pavement. Profits from the space go towards open space preservation in Chicago.