Look, you’re probably gonna be sweating somewhere anyway. Why not spend part of your summer at one of the many festivals or package tours slated in the upcoming months? Whether you’re looking for metal, indie rock, jam bands or, well, Lady Gaga, we’ve got your guide to which days you’re gonna wanna request off work right here.
Compiled by: Luke O’Neil and Tim Karan
WHO: All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Third Eye Blind, Good Charlotte, Forever The Sickest Kids, more
WHEN: Through June 27 (TICKETS)
This year’s traveling Bamboozle tour may be winding down (and not without its share of controversy), but you’ve still got a few more chances to catch it. Singer/songwriter CADY GROVES says being a part of the tour has been an amazing experience for her as both artist and music fan. “The best thing is getting to meet all these amazing and talented bands that I can hang out with and learn tons of stuff from,” she says. “The bands are always walking around and hanging out and there's less of a divide between the bands and their fans. It's a very cool, mingling feeling.”
PACSUN SUMMER SOLSTICE BEACH BALLYHOO
WHO: Circa Survive, Matt & Kim, Minus The Bear, As Tall As Lions, B.o.B., more
WHERE: Santa Monica, CA
WHEN: June 19 to 20 (Tickets free at PacSun locations)
Two days of skating, biking and rocking out on the pier in Santa Monica, California, sounds pretty good any time of year. Throw in the fact that this festival is this coming weekend and absolutely free, and you probably need a last-minute plane ticket. A wide-ranging lineup of bands, from recent AP Tour alumni CIRCA SURVIVE and AS TALL AS LIONS to indie geniuses MINUS THE BEAR and rapper B.o.B. will be providing the soundtrack to the sick stunts, wealth of sponsor booths and whatever else it is those skater types do.
VANS WARPED TOUR
WHO: The All-American Rejects, Bring Me The Horizon, Andrew W.K., We The Kings, Four Year Strong, VersaEmerge, Never Shout Never, more
WHEN: June 25 to August 15 (TICKETS)
“Warped Tour is such a rare tour in that the fans really get access to their favorite bands and the bands have the opportunity to meet hundreds of their fans each day,” says guitarist Christian Meadows of AFTER MIDNIGHT PROJECT, who are playing the scene’s most storied traveling festival, now celebrating its sweet 16. With multiple stages, a veritable city of vendors and activity tents and literally hundreds of your favorite artists roaming the grounds, it ain’t nicknamed “Punk Rock Summer Camp” for nothing. While there’s plenty of excitement for fans, it’s also a great chance for young bands like AFM to share the same bill with revered scene vets like ANTI-FLAG and FACE TO FACE. “I'm very excited to see Face To Face this year,” says Meadows. “I grew up going to their shows and it’s a great honor to be on tour with them. I'm also excited for SUM 41 and EVERCLEAR.” WE ARE THE IN CROWD vocalist Tay Jardine says it’s the sense of community between musicians and fans that sets Warped apart from its festival brethren. “The fact that so many people are in one place for one common reason is awesome,” she says. “Fans are stoked to meet bands and bands are stoked to meet fans.”
WHO: Heart, Metric, Tegan And Sara, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, more
WHEN: June 27 to August 16 (TICKETS)
It’s been more than a decade since SARAH McLACHLAN assembled the sisterhood for her summer-long celebration of women in music. Back for the first time since 1999, this year’s Lilith (don’t call it “Lilith Fair”) features a wide-ranging lineup ranging from the usual suspects (BETH ORTON, EMMYLOU HARRIS, INDIGO GIRLS) to the unexpected (RIHANNA, METRIC, TEGAN AND SARA).
NATEVA MUSIC & CAMPING FESTIVAL
WHO: The Flaming Lips, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, She & Him, more
WHERE: Oxford, ME
WHEN: July 2 to 4 (TICKETS)
“There's nothing like this in New England,” says Nateva Festival CEO Frank Chandler of the inaugural, three-day jam-oriented festival in the woods. “When you think about festivals in the summer, you think about hot [temperatures]. But Maine is kind of cool. Nice moderate days and cool evenings.” That’s better than sweltering in the sun, right? Many of the attendees will be camping out on the festival grounds or at a free camping site a few miles down the road. The festival will showcase a broad range of bands and genres, from Grateful Dead spin-off FURTHUR (featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir) to GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC. Indie darlings like PASSION PIT and SHE & HIM will also be on hand for what will be a relatively intimate affair. “Usually, if you see a lineup like this, it's with 60,000 people at Coachella or Bonnaroo”, says Chandler. “But this is for just 15,000 people.”
SCREAM IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT TOUR
WHO: Silverstein, Emery, We Came As Romans, Dance Gavin Dance, I Set My Friends On Fire, Sky Eats Airplane, Ivoryline, Close To Home
WHEN: July 8 to August 8 (TICKETS)
SKY EATS AIRPLANE guitarist Lee Duck jokingly says that from a fan's perspective, “The best thing about festivals is that you can meet a lot of the bands since each band is competing with each other for fans to buy their merchandise.” With eight bands–including the recently added WE CAME AS ROMANS–there’ll be plenty of merch hawking when the tour kicks off mid-summer in New Jersey at a special show also featuring THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, MISS MAY I and YOUR DEMISE. AUGUST BURNS RED and STORY OF THE YEAR will also be making two appearances as the tour winds down in August. EMERY keyboardist/vocalist Josh Head says fans can’t beat the bang for their buck with the tour. “I think kids get a great deal,” he says. “You can see eight or nine bands for a reasonable ticket price.”
ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL
WHO: Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb Of God, Norma Jean, Atreyu, In This Moment, Shadows Fall, more
WHEN: July 10 to August 14 (TICKETS)
With three stages, a freestyle motocross demo and the insane variety show of Beacher’s Madhouse, the name of this metallic version of Warped seems pretty apt. Expect some mayhem–and that's even before you consider the lineup of heavy hitters like LAMB OF GOD and NORMA JEAN. Producer John Reese (also of the Uproar Festival) says if you haven’t experienced the nü-metal onslaught of the event’s headliners, now is the time, “How can you not love Korn?,” he says. “They're in a genre all to themselves.”
THE COOL TOUR
WHO: As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Between The Buried And Me, Blessthefall, the Acacia Strain, Architects, Cancer Bats, War Of Ages
WHEN: July 12 to August 1 (TICKETS)
As if you needed even more incentive to catch AS I LAY DYING along with CANCER BATS, BLESSTHEFALL and more, the Cool Tour will also be the debut of the new version of UNDEROATH as they take on the world without drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie and with ex-Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison. This could be more than just cool–it could be historic.
CAMP BISCO 9
WHO: The Disco Biscuits, LCD Soundsystem, Ween, Girl Talk, more
WHERE: Mariaville, NY
WHEN: July 15 to 17 (TICKETS)
DISCO BISCUITS bassist Marc Brownstein says the model for his band’s annual Bisco festival throwdown are Coachella and Bonnaroo. “We’re like a small, East Coast Coachella,” he says. “But one with lots of Disco Biscuits sets. It’s the hottest mainstream, modern and interesting lineup that a smaller sized festival could possible dream up.” Mash-up artist GIRL TALK joins the likes of METHOD MAN, GHOSTFACE and RAEKWON of THE WU-TANG CLAN on a bill that’s as electric as it is eclectic. “Let's face it, lots of jam band kids come to our festival,” says Brownstein. “But the music scene has really changed a lot. Festivals like Bonnaroo book all sorts of bands and attract all kinds of people. That's what we’re hoping to accomplish by booking such a hip lineup.”
PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL
WHO: Pavement, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem, Broken Social Scene, Sleigh Bells, more
WHERE: Chicago, IL
WHEN: July 16 to 18 (TICKETS)
The annual three-day Pitchfork celebration again boasts an impressive lineup of the elite in indie music including MODEST MOUSE and the reunited PAVEMENT. Now in its fifth year, three-day passes sold out in less than a week, but individual passes are still available. Got a bike? You’re encouraged to ride to the show, but good luck riding back after what will surely be an exhausting day of entertainment.
GEORGE WEIN’S NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL
WHO: Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Andrew Bird, the Avett Brothers, O’Death, Calexico, more
WHERE: Newport, RI
WHEN: July 30 to August 1 (TICKETS)
While the Newport Folk Festival may not pack the decibel punch of some other summer gatherings, this legendary event–first held in 1959–makes up for it with world class talent and iconic history. “This is the granddaddy of all American music festivals,” says producer Jay Sweet. “It's the one that started them all; it's where [Bob] Dylan went electric and the Pixies went acoustic.” It also takes place in a breathtaking locale in Narragansett Bay. “With respect to [Washington state’s] the Gorge, it's the most stunning backdrop for a festival in America.” This also isn’t your daddy's folk festival anymore –unless your dad is a lot more current than you thought. Folk-metal band O’DEATH, Americana weirdos BLITZEN TRAPPER and soulful indie rockers DAWES join JIM JAMES of MY MORNING JACKET in a lineup that instantly triples your indie cred with a ticket stub.
WHO: Soundgarden, Green Day, the Strokes, more
WHERE: Chicago, IL
WHEN: August 6 to 8 (TICKETS)
The crazy, eccentric uncle of traveling rock festivals may have settled down in Chicago, but the event also managed to become even bigger by staying in just one place. This year's lineup–scattered over three days and eight stages–looks like a tour through the ghosts of Lollapalooza past with headlining sets from GREEN DAY and recently reunited SOUNDGARDEN. That’s cool and all, but what about seeing basically every other band ever since they’re probably on the bill? AFI, Arcade Fire, MGMT, the Black Keys, the National, Spoon, AFI, Metric and plenty more join Lady effing Gaga for three sweaty days of hedonism in the summer sun.
THIS IS HARDCORE FEST
WHO: Kid Dynamite, Sheer Terror, Ink & Dagger (featuring Thursday’s Geoff Rickly), Horror Show more
WHERE: Philadelphia, PA
WHEN: August 13 to 15 (TICKETS)
Though this hardcore festival reportedly sold out in less than 36 hours, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it (just in case you can miraculously find a way in). Reunions are the theme with SHEER TERROR, KID DYNAMITE and HORROR SHOW among those coming back for the three-day fest. A reunited INK & DAGGER (fronted by Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly) will also be a highlight. As if that weren’t enough, you’ve also got BANE, CEREMONY, CRO-MAGS and many more to fully celebrate the winding down of summer.
MILE HIGH MUSIC FESTIVAL
WHO: Weezer, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Steve Miller Band, more
WHERE: Denver, CO
WHEN: August 14 to 15 (TICKETS)
Spread over 14 soccer fields just nine miles from downtown Denver, the Mile High Music Festival packs a ton of summer touring favorites like DAVE MATTHEWS BAND and STEVE MILLER BAND alongside scene favorites like WEEZER, PHOENIX and ATMOSPHERE on a bill 42 artists strong. Feeling lightheaded? That might not just be the altitude…
WHO: The Strokes, Kings Of Leon, Social Distortion, Phoenix, more
WHERE: San Francisco, CA
WHEN: August 14 to 15 (TICKETS)
Promoter Allen Scott says San Francisco’s Outside Lands is more than your run-of-the-mill music fest: it's a celebration of everything that’s the Bay Area. “In addition to having some of the best music on the scene, the festival focuses on food, wine and technology–all pillars of Northern California,” he says. Art and food are all well and good, but what about THE STROKES? “Outside Lands will be only their second U.S. appearance since 2006,” says Scott. “This seminal garage rock band’s set will be one of the highlights of the weekend.” Who else is he excited to see? “THE TEMPER TRAP. For such a new band, this Australian band has one of the more polished sounds out there. Their live show just feels so big.” He also encourages concert-goers not to miss the set by GOGOL BORDELLO. “A gypsy-punk band with accordion and violin? Enough said.”
WHO: Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Rob Halford, DevilDriver, more
WHEN: August 14 to 24 (TICKETS)
After a year absence, OZZY OSBOURNE again pummels the country with his trademark metal festival. This year, the emphasis is on classic hard rock acts like glam icons MÖTLEY CRÜE and ROB HALFORD of JUDAS PRIEST. But there’ll also be plenty of new-school metal from the likes of NONPOINT, DEVILDRIVER and DROWNING POOL.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK UPROAR FESTIVAL
WHO: Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Halestorm, Stone Sour, Hellyeah, Airbourne, Hail The Villain, New Medicine
WHEN: August 17 to October 4 (TICKETS)
“We've got eight amazing bands on two stages,” says producer John Reese-one of the minds also behind the winter Rockstar Taste Of Chaos Tour. “[With] HALESTORM, we've got a [frontwoman Lzzy Hale] who's like a young Pat Benatar and the three closing bands all have brand new albums coming out right on top of the tour.” Add metal supergroup HELLYEAH, and you’re set for a leather-clad day of moshing in the sun. “If you don't like [Hellyeah/Pantera drummer VINNIE PAUL], then something's wrong with you,” says Reese. On top of the wall-shaking music, there will also be wrestling matches, midway games and a charity tie-in with Child Find America. But what does Reese find most exciting about the tour? “Most of these bands haven't toured in at least a year-and-a-half.” At least, not until now.
WHO: Bob Dylan, the Decemberists, Weezer, Rise Against, Hole, Motion City Soundtrack, LMFAO, more
WHERE: Seattle, WA
WHEN: September 4 to 6 (TICKETS)
It’s probably safe to say this is the first time LMFAO and BOB DYLAN will be appearing on the same bill. It's the diversity that is the best part of this long running festival, says programming director Chris Porter. “We always aim to have a broad spectrum,” he says. “That's been the goal of Bumbershoot ever since it started [in 1971].” Aside from the musical lineup, the festival also spotlights comedians, visual and literary artists, performing artists and the American Poster Institute’s “Flatstock,” an exhibit featuring the work of underground poster artists. Another aspect setting Bumbershoot apart from similar fests is its location in the heart of downtown Seattle with outdoor and indoor venues. “It's almost campus-like,” says Porter. “That makes it a lot different, with all due respect to festivals that are in big, dusty outdoor fields.”
LIFE IS GOOD FESTIVAL
WHO: Ben Harper And The Relentless 7, Dr. Dog, OK Go, more
WHERE: Canton, MA
WHEN: September 11 to 12 (TICKETS)
“The entire spirit of this event is charitable, raising money for kids facing life threatening challenges,” says James MacDonald, director of Good Vibes for the Life Is Good clothing company who are putting on the first annual event this summer. “Our starting point wasn't just to have a great day of entertainment,” he says. “How do we use that opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of kids?” Part of the answer was to create a family-friendly concert environment where children’s music wasn't an afterthought. That means that after you take your kid brother to see children’s performer DAN ZANES, you can then rock out alongside Mom and Dad to OK GO and BEN HARPER. “We set out to find bands whose message was optimistic and positive, but not just a folkie or hippy dippy way,” says MacDonald. “We really wanted to get every kind of genre and represent true diversity in the lineup.” alt