Summer is almost here! We’ve put together ten upcoming festivals that you should keep on your radar this season. Some are near, some are far, and all are full of great music and unforgettable experiences.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 9-12 in Manchester, Tennessee
Headliners: Pearl Jam, Dead & Co., J. Cole, Leon Bridges, Grace Potter, Lettuce, Third Eye Blind, Sam Bush Band, and a zillion more.
Now celebrating its 25th year, Bonnaroo has long been established as a VIP in the world of large scale music festivals. From its early jamband-based days to its recent lineups chock-full of big time names of all genres, this festival is guaranteed to be full of sunshine, happy people, and always true to its title, “bonnaroo”, a Creole phrase meaning “a really good time.”
Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 16-19 in Telluride, Colorado
Headliners: Sam Bush Band, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters featuring Nicki Bluhm, Sierra Hull, Punch Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bela Fleck
This may not be in the usual wingspan for us East Coast dwellers, but if anything, put it on your bucket list. Because if you haven’t caught on yet, bluegrass is where it’s at right now in a lot of ways, and this festival is living proof in its 43rd year with an established community of ‘festivarians’ that bluegrass has always been where it’s at. Picture that with the incredible backdrop and mountain culture of Telluride, and you’ve met the ultimate maker of bluegrass festivals.
The Mad Tea Party Jam
June 16-19 in Artemas, Pennsylvania
Headliners: Papadosio, Twiddle, TAUK, Desert Dwellers, Consider the Source, Big Something, The Southern Belles, Jouwala Collective
Looking for something off the beaten path, yet still beaming with musical talent and an astoundingly supportive homegrown community? Journey down the rabbit hole at The Mad Party Tea Jam, a festival that started as a wedding celebration for the co-owners of Appalachian Jamwhich. This marks the festival’s fifth year and will be located at a new venue just over the Maryland border in Artemas, Pennsylvania.
Purple Hatters Ball
June 17-19 at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida
Headliners: The Polish Ambassador, Papadosio, The Floozies, Melvin Seals and JGB, Earphunk , DubConscious, The Mantras, Roosevelt Collier Band
Purple Hatters Ball is dedicated in memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, who lost her life too soon. Needless to say, love is abound at this event, complete with a pre festival project series that allows attendees to help restore and nourish the beautiful Suwannee Music Park for for others to enjoy in the future. The lineup will make for some rowdy fun to go along with a celebration of a beautiful life.
June 23-26 in Rothbury, Michigan
Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Major Lazer, Adventure Club, Beats Antique, Fetty Wap, Greensky Bluegrass, STS9, The Disco Biscuits
Electric Forest delivers a mixture of electronic, jam and other various genres, drawing a diverse crowd of music lovers to one of the most enchanting festival grounds out there. For the fifth year The String Cheese Incident will headline the weekend, which will certainly be full of exciting collaborations on all four stages. Be sure to spend some time wandering around the forest, enjoying the scenery and vibes!
Merryland Music Fest
July 9 & 10 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland
Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Grace Potter, Lotus, Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves, Yonder Mountain String band, Turkuaz
All Good Presents’ first-ever Merryland Music Fest will take place at one of the nation’s most beautiful and legendary outdoor amphitheatres, Merriweather Post Pavilion, which just so happens to be an awaited homecoming for The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth. Merryland Music Fest will include an expanded footprint featuring a second stage and an interactive space amongst Symphony Woods, with unique local artisans, philanthropic organizations, and crowd performers. For microbrew fans, Flying Dog Brewery will be serving up our very own All Good ISA (India Seasonal Ale) along with other selected brands. Need we say more?
The Big What?
July 21-23 in Mebane, North Carolina
Headliners: Big Something, The Werks, Turkuaz, Zak Deputy, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Southern Belles, Empire Strikes Brass, Dr. Bacon
North Carolinians in the house say ‘Yeeeeah!’ Those who have been know that this event is a downright good time. Now in its fifth year, Big Something’s annual summer music festival and campout, The Big What? takes places over three nights on a beautiful farm in central North Carolina and has established itself as one of the best intimate festival experiences in the Southeast. Big Something heads off an eclectic lineup of musicians, artists, and vendors and a great community of music lovers that help create a friendly and imaginative environment with themed nights, costume contests and lots of southern hospitality. On site amenities include a vendor village, an 18-hole disc golf course, morning yoga, a photo booth, and several guided workshops and activities.
July 27 – 31 in Floyd, Virginia
Headliners: Greg Allman, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Warren Haynes, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, The Wood Brothers, Elephant Revival, Keller Williams, Larry Keel
Dubbed this year as Dreamweavin’, FloydFest 16 is back to its roots, defining any true classifications and ensuring a serious memory-makin’ weekend. With genres spanning across the world, this event brings the legends, the upcomers, and the strong-and-steady musicians all to one breathtaking venue in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. As part of the “Tribe Called FloydFest”, you will endure an unforgettable experience.
Peach Music Festival
August 11-14 on Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, Gregg Allman, Trey Anastasio Band, The Claypool Lennon Deurium, Umphrey’s McGee, Moe.
Complete with a special Gregg Allman Incident collaboration set with The String Cheese Incident and Gregg Allman, this Allman Brothers-inspired festival will return to Montage Mountain for an impressive weekend of unprecedented performances. This year celebrates Peach Festival’s fifth go, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
August 25-28 in Arrington, Virginia
Headliners: Phish, Ween, My Morning Jacket, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Vulfpeck
For the fourth consecutive year, LOCKN’ Festival will commence at Oak Ridge Estate in Central Virginia. This year’s lineup sheds a touch of diversity to the festival’s past bill with headliners Phish, Ween and My Morning Jacket all making their LOCKN’ debut. The weekend will feature two-nights and four-sets from Phish on Friday and Sunday – the band’s only festival performance in 2016, with Ween preceding Phish on Friday night and My Morning Jacket taking the big slot on Saturday. LOCKN’ is known for unprecedented performances and collaborations, so this year is sure to be full of surprises.
Written by Meredith Warfield