Top Ten Summer Music Festivals

Whether you like rock 'n' roll, pop, hip-hop, or country, you'll find something to get you moving (or crowd surfing) at these summer music festivals. Just remember to bring sunscreen and plenty of water, and prepare yourself to jam out, rock hard, and have several days worth of good tunes and fun.
Crowd at Rothbury Festival, Michigan
ROCK HARD AND PROSPER: An excited crowd at Rothbury Festival in Michigan (Dave Vann/courtesy, Rothbury Festival)

The unfailing popularity of weekend-long destination concerts featuring dozens upon dozens of bands shows a promising message in these tough economic times: Music fans—from die-hard groupies to casual listeners who just like the idea of an outdoor music fest—will come out in droves if you've got the right mix of bands and fun. And why not? Music festivals make a good reason to hit the road and travel. An emphasis on camping gives some festivals the feel of a modern-day Woodstock, where you can find acts ranging from punk to bluegrass to the remaining members of the Grateful Dead. But if you're not keen on sleeping outdoors, events in Chicago, Austin, and Milwaukee provide alternatives where your music comes with a side of city. And despite tight budgets for travelers all around, festival organizers are offering layaway plans and early-sales discounts. So if you've really got your heart set on attending a music festival this summer, start making plans. Here's a roundup of what's happening where, from the beginning of the season until the end, and some helpful hints for making the most of your music fest excursion.

1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California
2. Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge in Washington
3. Wakarusa in Arkansas
4. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee
5. Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado
6. Electric Forest Festival in Michigan
7. Hangout Music Fest in Alabama
8. Lollapalooza in Illinois
9. Summerfest in Wisconsin
10. Austin City Limits in Texas


Published: 23 May 2009 | Last Updated: 17 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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