The weather is getting warmer and summer is closing in fast, so we’re turning our heads to the top 5 music festivals of the summer! Music just goes better with warm weather and festival season can attest to that! There are so many incredible musical gatherings that happen every year so it was very hard to pick just 5 but we did the research for you and narrowed them down! We made sure to pick events that would aim to please every type of music lover and festival goer, whether you listen to electronic, hip hop or heavy metal we’ve got you covered. So here are Audible Reality’s top 5 musical events to attend this summer!
For 4 days on a farm south of Nashville, Tennessee over 125 bands and comedy acts make Bonnaroo their home. The festival showcases the works of talented musicians across a variety of genres including bluegrass, Americana, hip hop, jazz, folk, country music, gospel, reggae, alternative music, indie rock and world music, making this the most diverse music festival this summer. Named after the French term “the best on the streets, Bonnaroo made its start back in 2002 and has been steadily increasing in size every year. Mixing comedy and music, festival organizers select performers based on their ability to perform on a live stage, honoring the Louisiana music tradition of live music and street performers aka “best on the streets”. Bonnaroo also goes to great lengths to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote sustainable efforts for future Bonnaroo events. The festival takes place on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennesse and hosts several permanent stages, but many of the themed areas and stages change from year to year. Unlike most festivals, Bonnaroo is a 24-hour festival which allows music lovers to enjoy the sounds of live music, dancing and entertainment all night and all day!
Where- Manchester, Tennessee
When- June 13-16
Lineup Headliners- Childish Gambino, Solange. Post Malone, Odesza, Kacey Musgraves, Phish, Cardi B, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers
Created by Janes Addiction back in 1991, the festival was held as a farewell concert that never ended. Running annually on and off for years until it made the financial partnerships it needed to successfully gain enough traction to become what it is today. Although the festival has added multiple different types of music throughout the years, it still holds true to its rock roots by highlighting several heavy metal and alternative rock acts. What started as 70 performances on five stages now includes 170+ shows on eight stages. This festival much like SXSW, Ultra, and The Governors Ball takes place in an urban area, forcing the city of Chicago to completely shut down. The festival brings 100,000 music lovers to the area each day totaling over 300,000 attendees during the three day weekend, making it one of the larger festivals happening this summer.
Where- Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois
When- Aug 1- 4
Headliners- Ariana Grande, Twenty One Pilots, The Strokes, Flume, Childish Gambino. J Balvin
Officially known as “The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival” this highly anticipated California gathering is one of the most recognized in the world. The event got its start because the group Pearl Jam got into a fight with Ticketmaster over their concerts service fees, claiming they were financially targeting both fans and artists. Pearl Jam eager to take matters into their own hands started looking into alternative venues for their tours that didn’t include Ticketmaster. The band ended up using the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, CA, which is where the festival is still held to this day. Although Coachella’s roots are all about music, for the last few years it has become a major fashion hotspot bringing in not only musicians who are playing the show but famous celebrities who just want to hang. It wasn’t until 2012 when the festival got so big that organizers had to finally turned it into two separate weekends. The music festival plays out across five main stages: the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theater, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Sahara Tent. The event features musical artists from many genres of music, including rock, pop, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music, as well as art installations and sculptures. Coachella is one of the largest, most famous, and most profitable music festivals in the United States setting new records for festival attendance and gross revenues.
When- First Week: April 12th-14th Second Week: April 19th- 21st Where- Empire Polo Club in Indio, California Headliners- Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Ariana Grande, Aphex Twins., Janelle Monae Fun Fact- Kanye was rumored to be headlining this year’s festival but has declined the invitation because the 60×40 foot stage he was given made him feel “artistically limited”.- You go Kanye
Burning Man- Gathering
Burning Man is a week-long experiment in a 7-mile long temporary community placed in the middle of the desert. Dedicated to anti-consumerism and self-expression the gathering takes place nearly 100 miles away from civilization on the playa of Black Rock City, Nevada. It is an art festival which attracts more than 69,000 people according to the 2017 BRV census. The citizens of burning man create everything within the city limits actively participating in its nine-day long experience. Some of these generous outpourings of creativity include experimental and interactive sculptures, buildings, performances and art cars, among other media. These contributions are inspired by the yearly theme which is never the same and is always chosen by the organizers of the event. This year’s theme being ‘Metamorphoses’ is a celebration of change and an exploration of time and uncertainty. First held 32 years ago in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and Jerry James who built the first “Man”, it has since been held annually and has upwards of 70,000 guests.
When- August 25- September 2 Where- Black Rock City, Nevada Last years acts- Carl Cox, Diplo, Skrillex, Bob Moses, Bedouin, The Martinez Brothers, Jamie Jones
This melting pot of music and culture takes the cake for southern hospitality, live music and great food! The festival breaks down into 3 segments, first is SXSW Music where local and big named artists flock to the city limits to perform at one of the many parties and venues hosted by the conference. Second is SXSW Film where some of the year’s hottest films and tv shows will make their debuts. Don’t be surprised if you see your favorite actors casually strolling the streets, hosting workshops or speaking at the conference. Lastly is the immersive SXSW Interactive, this is where the most heard about technology is seen first. Major corporations come here from all over the world to release new products and debut new ideas for the future. The conference is about a week-long, making it one of the longer festivals to attend. SXSW holds true to its southern roots hosting music from rock n roll and alternative rock to country and hip-hop. The Audible Reality team got to experience SXSW for the first time this year and it broke all expectations. You can check out our recap article and video here. We can’t wait to get back next year to meet new fans and share new ideas and experiences!
Where- Austin, Texas
When- March 9-17
Past Headliners- The Strumbellas, Daft Punk, Adele, CHVRCHES, Deer Hunter, Mr. Eazi
We hope reading this helps you when making always dwelling decision of what festivals to attend this summer. Keep following us for everything media and music related. Heres to a safe and happy festival season!
Kristina aka Dirk is our public relations manager that keeps you up to date with everything industry news and music related. Feel free to reach out to her through email if you would like to learn more about our platform or are interested in creating content through various marketing opportunities.