The summer music festival scene has only really exploded in recent years. The big three — Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza — have been around for over a decade, but the same can’t be said of Governors Ball or Sweetlife Festival or Amnesia Rockfest and dozens of other smaller two- or three-day celebrations of music and paying $15 for a warm beer. It can be tough choosing which one’s right for you, but we’re here to help.
We’ve picked 15 or so of the most prominent major minor summer 2013 U.S. festivals, i.e. smaller than the Big Three but bigger than your Aunt Trudy’s Country Jamboree Fest 2013, and explained who they’re a perfect fit for. (Note: many festivals scheduled for August haven’t announced their lineup yet.) Though to be fair to Aunt Trudy’s Country Jamboree Fest 2013, they’re the only ones who manged to book Hambone Harry. Enjoy.
If you want a bill that’s curated by one of your favorite bands:
Roots Picnic 2013 (June 1)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Festival Pier at Penns Landing)
Lineup Highlights: The Roots, Grimes, Solange, Gaslamp Killer, Joey Bada$$, How to Dress Well, Hit-Boy, Araabmuzik, DJ Premier, Naughty by Nature, Robert Glasper, Gary Clark Jr., and Lushlife.
Orion Music + More 2013 (June 8-9)
Location: Detroit, Michigan (Belle Isle)
Price: $150 (two-day pass)
Lineup Highlights: Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, Deftones, Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, FLAG, Silversun Pickups, Foals, Tomahawk, the Joy Formidable, Datsik, Borgore, Japandroids, Dillon Francis, Adventure Club, Death Grips, the Dillinger Escape Plan, the Dirtbombs, DEATH, the Bronx, and FIDLAR.
Solid Sound Festival 2013 (June 21-23)
Location: North Adams, Massachusetts (MASS MoCA)
Price: $149 (3-Day)
Lineup Highlights: Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Neko Case, Mark Mulcahy, Foxygen, Low, and White Denim.
If you want to see Cajun Boy get drunk and loudly sing “My Life”:
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2013
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana (Fair Grounds Race Course)
Price: $50-$65 (per day)
Lineup Highlights: Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Widespread Panic, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Phoenix, B.B. King, Frank Ocean, Earth, Wind & Fire, Willie Nelson, George Benson, Jill Scott, Jimmy Cliff, Patti Smith, Band of Horses, Gary Clark Jr., and Andrew Bird.
If a lineup that lists “Big Boi, Deftones, Jerry Lee Lewis” in a row is of interest to you:
Beale Street Music Festival 2013 (May 3-5)
Location: Memphis, Tennessee (Tom Lee Park)
Lineup Highlights: The Black Keys, Alice in Chains, Bassnectar, Daryl Hall & John Oates, the Flaming Lips, Phoenix, the Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top, the Roots, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark Jr., Dwight Yoakam, Public Enemy, Three Days Grace, Big Boi, Deftones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Patti Smith, Papa Roach, Gov’t Mule, the Joy Formidable, Deer Tick, and Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers.
If you want to see Limp Bizkit:
Carolina Rebellion 2013 (May 4-5)
Location: Rockingham, North Carolina (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Lineup Highlights: Alice In Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet For My Valentine, Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, and Steel Panther.
If you like your music with food:
Sweetlife Festival 2013
Location: Columbia, Maryland (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Lineup Highlights: Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Gary Clark Jr., Solange, Youth Lagoon, Holy Ghost!, MS MR, Foxygen and Robert DeLong.
If you like your music with wine:
Bottle Rock Music & Arts Festival 2013 (May 10-12)
Location: Napa Valley, California
Lineup Highlights: Further, the Black Crowes, Primus, the Black Keys, the Shins, Alabama Shakes, Kings of Leon, Bad Religion, Ben Harper, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Zac Brown Band, Cake, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jane’s Addiction, Flaming Lips, Mavis Staples, the Wallflowers, and Blues Traveler.
If *Portlandia/northwest joke*:
Sasquatch! Music Festival 2013 (May 24-27)
Location: George, Washington (Gorge Ampitheatre)
Price: $337.50 (four-day pass)
Lineup Highlights: Mumford and Sons, the Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, the xx, Arctic Monkeys, Primus, Empire of the Sun, Grimes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Lumineers, Alt-J, Built to Spill, Tame Impala, Earl Sweatshirt, Japandroids, Death Grips, Dirty Projectors, and Danny Brown.
If South by Southwest 2013 wasn’t sweaty enough for you:
Chaos In Tejas 2013 (May 30-June 2)
Location: Austin, TX (various venues)
Lineup Highlights: the Bats, the Damned, Effluxus, Hoax, Iceage, Impalers, Iron Lung, Magic Circle, the Men, Merchandise, Night Birds, Parquet Courts, Rampage, Rival Mob, Screaming Females, Tragedy, and World War 4.
If you want to see big name acts in NYC, but hate Madison Square Garden:
Governors Ball Music Festival 2013 (June 7-9)
Location: New York, New York (Randall’s Island Park)
Lineup Highlights: Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Nas, Pretty Lights, the Avett Brothers, Grizzly Bear, the xx, Feist, Kendrick Lamar, Beach House, the Lumineers, Thievery Corporation, Animal Collective, Cut Copy, Beirut, Death From Above 1979, Crystal Castles, Azealia Banks, Yeasayer, Best Coast, Dirty Projectors, Portugal. the Man, Miguel, Dinosaur Jr., Holy Ghost!, Japandroids, Twin Shadow, Divine Fits, Alt-J, and Deerhunter.
If LET THE BEAT DROP:
Spring Awakening Music Festival 2013 (June 14-16)
Location: Chicago, Illinois (Soldier Field)
Lineup Highlights: Bassnectar, Break Science, Calvin Harris, Carnage, Felix da Housecat, Green Lantern, Knuckle Children, Nervo, Nicky Romero, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Savoy, and Stafford Brothers.
If you were an angry teenager:
Amnesia Rockfest (June 14-15)
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Lineup Highlights: Rancid, Social Distortion, Deftones, FLAG, Bad Brains, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys, the Adolescents, Sick of It All, Cro-Mags, H2O, Madball, the Lawrence Arms, Agnostic Front, Pennywise, the Offspring, Lagwagon. Alice Cooper, Biohazard, Marilyn Manson, Fucked Up, and Less than Jake.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to feed an owl a glow stick while Passion Pit’s playing:
Electric Forest 2013 (June 27-30)
Location: Rothbury, Michigan (Double JJ Resort)
Price: $259 (GA); $575 (VIP)
Lineup Highlights: the String Cheese Incident, Pretty Lights, Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun, Knife Party, Dispatch, Lotus, Benny Benassi, Yeasayer, A-Trak, Grimes, Holy Gost!, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, and Baauer.
If you’re a little bit electronic, little bit rock ‘n’ roll:
Camp Bisco 12 2013 (July 11-13)
Location: Mariaville, New York (Indian Lookout Country Club)
Lineup Highlights: The Disco Biscuits, Bassnectar, Passion Pit, STS9, Animal Collective, Umphrey’s McGee, Flux Pavillion, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Lotus, Boys Noize, Wolfgang Gartner, Tommy Trash, Dillion Francis, UZ, Congorock, Dan Deacon, Killer Mike, Koan Sound, Manic Focus, Paper Diamond, Toro y Moi, and VHS or Beta.
If you like giving music festivals an 8.4 rating:
Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 (July 19-21)
Location: Chicago, Illinois (Union Park)
Price: $50 (1-day); $120 (3-day)
Lineup Highlights: Björk, Joanna Newsom, Trash Talk, Belle and Sebastian, the Breeders, Swans, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Mac DeMarco, R. Kelly, Chairlift, TNGHT, Sky Ferreira, Killer Mike, and El-P.
If you bring picnic blankets to concerts:
Newport Folk Festival 2013 (July 26-28)
Location: Newport, Rhode Island (Fort Adams State Park)
Lineup Highlights: Jim James, the Lumineers, Father John Misty, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, the Mountain Goats, Jason Isbell, Spirit Family Reunion, Andrew Bird, and Colin Meloy.