Welcome to festival season! We’re currently in the midst Coachella’s second weekend and if radio pop, hip-hop and EDM aren’t really your thing, there are other places you can spend your time and money. Punk, rock and everything between flourish in some not-so-obvious festival spaces, and we’ve compiled a list of the best. Don't limit yourself to Warped Tour: you can be hitting these guys up throughout the coming months. So what are you waiting for? Grab that calendar and a pen: We’ve got some dates for you.
[From Amnesia Rockfest's website]
One of the most dynamic and certainly most surprising rock festivals takes place every June in Montebello, Quebec (about an hour-plus drive from Montreal in Canada). This year, from June 22–25, you can expect to see everyone from German industrial goths Rammstein to SoCal pop-punk heroes the Offspring to scene staples such as Good Charlotte and AFI.
Schaghitcoke, New York, is home to many under-the-radar festivals, but none as AP-approved as Rock’N Derby (We Came As Romans and Coheed And Cambria are veterans, FYI). They have yet to announce this year’s lineup but if it’s anything like last year’s, you’ll be in for a treat.Where else can you see A Day To Remember, Hollywood Undead, Beartooth and State Champs all in the same day?
Welcome To Rockville
Some of the best festivals marry all genres of hard rock music for a diverse experience; Welcome to Rockville is no exception. The Jacksonville, Florida, festival from April 29–30 offers the latest and greatest in metal, like Amon Amarth, Gojira and Mastodon, while staying true to the scene: Attila, Every Time I Die and Motionless In White are heading south at the end of the month for this annual event.
In the same state a few months away is Gainesville’s the Fest from October 27–29, one of the greatest punk festivals this fair country has to offer. Last year the Ergs! reunited for the gig; who knows what’ll happen this fall with the festival celebrating its sweet 16th birthday!
Food Truck & Rock Carnival
The only thing greater than a rock music festival is probably a rock music festival filled with food. From September 30 – October 2, New Jersey’s annual Food Truck & Rock Carnival might not have a fancy name, but it’s certainly an honest one: Here you can check out Alice Cooper while going to town on some fried Oreos or enjoy vegan wings while catching Clutch. Not bad!
If you can get to Osaka, Japan, this summer August 18–19, Summer Sonic is the place to be. It’s more of a traditional festival spanning genre and generation, but something about this Japanese institution truly feels like an experience. Oh, and did we mention 5 Seconds of Summer are playing this year? Because 5 Seconds of Summer are totally playing this year.
Since the Wrecking Ball 2016 came to a close on August 14th, we have been working non-stop on the relocation of The Masquerade concert venue. The process of locating a new home and then executing the move has not only been an enormous project, but has also taken virtually all of our team’s time and attention. The Masquerade has ultimately landed in a tremendous new downtown space, but one that, unfortunately, is without a proper space to hold The Wrecking Ball ATL in the next step of it’s progression. So, rather than produce an event smaller in scope or ambition than that toward which The Wrecking Ball is heading, we will be taking 2017 off to both work on the long-term future of The Masquerade, one of the longest running and most storied concert venues in the country, AND to put together a suitable location and set up for the uniquely produced and curated festival that The Wrecking Ball ATL is and will become. We are already working on the plan, and it’s a good one. You will continue to see our branding on concerts throughout 2017 and right up until the 2018 announcement. Stay punk and rest assured that we are not going anywhere. See you in 2018.
Atlanta’s greatest alt-rock music festival is taking a break this year as its home venue has shuttered, but we’re hoping for a huge comeback in 2018. Wrecking Ball ATL brings some of the biggest names in emo and punk to the forefront while championing smaller bands before they blow up. If you like the idea of festivals but always wished they possessed more of a sense of community, here’s your spot.
Earlier this month we were pumped to see that Riot Fest announced their initial lineup, only to realize it was a huge April Fools Day prank and we’re all nerds. But hey, any huge fest cool enough to play along is A-okay in our book! This year from September 15–17, The Chicago fest has brought out everyone from the Replacements to Blink-182 and seems to only get better with age. See for yourself and check out their first lineup announcement here!
Firefly Music Festival
In the last few years Firefly Music Fest, a June (15–18, to be exact) festival in Dover, Delaware, has started to get more praise. If you’re looking for a more traditional fest experience but are still a rock fan, this is the home for you. This year, we’ve got three words for you: Twenty One Pilots.
Voodoo Music Experience
This New Orleans institution boasts of a really eclectic lineup—tons of punk and rock, but tons of other stuff, too—and takes place around Halloween each year, making it one of the few fall festival institutions. If you’re a fan of the most deviant holiday, you’ll love dressing up and hitting the Louisiana spot taking place October 27–29. Who knows? Maybe Gerard Way will make another appearance…