June 2nd

Spain’s largest music festival presents the best trending acts in the world across more than a week at the gorgeous seaside Parc del Forum.

When: June 2-12
Where: Barcelona, Spain

On the surface, Primavera Sound Barcelona is a large-scale festival that welcomes 220,000 attendees across two weekends of tunes. But the mega fest along the Balearic Sea deserves praise for being the first major festival to commit to booking over 50% female-led acts. Beginning in 2019, Primavera instituted the “new normal” commitment, and 2022’s lineup features femme-fronted artists like Jorja Smith, Megan Thee Stallion, Charli XCX, Kehlani, Kim Gordon, Bikini Kill, and more.

Of course, the thorough slate also includes headliners in Gorillaz, Massive Attack, The Strokes, and Jamie XX. But it’s Primavera’s recognition of the influence that it wields and taking steps to set the tone worldwide that sets it apart. As Primavera Sound has expanded into cities like Los Angeles, Porto, and São Paulo, the yearly Barcelona event has long been a trailblazing spectacle of the finest music in the world.

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Roots Picnic Lineup
June 4th

Now in its 14th year, the Philly classic presented by The Roots is a snapshot of “the mosaic of Black culture,” with non-stop music and live podcasts.

When: June 4-5
Where: Philadelphia, PA

Just as The Roots have grown as one of music’s most iconic acts, the Roots Picnic has become an indispensable festival experience in Philadelphia. A celebration of Black music, podcasts, and creativity, Roots Picnic goes down at The Mann at Fairmount Park with views of the Downtown Philly skyline in sight. The partially-enclosed TD Pavilion and the outdoor Skyline Stage will be the grounds for headliners Mary J. Blige with The Roots, Summer Walker, WizKid, Jazmine Sullivan, and Kamasi Washington.

Meanwhile, the live podcast stage features shows like Questlove Supreme and Jemele Hill Is Unbothered. There’ll be a special Soulquarians jam session with Musiq Soulchild, SWV, and Keyshia Cole, and props to sneaky solid bookings like Freddie Gibbs, Mickey Guyton, and Kirk Franklin.

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June 10th

Now in the famed festival’s 27th year, 2022 marks music and style icon Grace Jones’ turn to curate a lineup of one-of-a-kind events.

When: June 10-19
Where: London, UK

Meltdown Festival is quite the tradition. It’s a yearly 10-day schedule of shows curated by a different legendary artist at the Southbank Centre along the River Thames. Past curators have included Nile Rodgers, David Byrne, M.I.A., David Bowie, and Yoko Ono. For 2022, Grace Jones has put together a dashing offer of unique performances from artists with worldwide appeal.

Peaches, Angelique Kidjo, Sky Ferreira, and Honey Dijon are among the standout performers joining two separate concerts from Jones herself throughout Meltdown. Each individually-ticketed event will go down at one of the Southbank Centre’s three venues: the 2,700 seat Royal Festival Hall, the 900 person Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the intimate 300 Purcell room.

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Governors Ball
June 10th

Now firmly entrenched at Citi Field, Governors Ball, and its 360-degree layout is designed to feel like a quintessentially New York City experience.

When: June 10-12
Where: Queens, NY

Step aside Los Angeles, New York City is still the center of the music discovery universe and Governors Ball reflects the heck out of that. In its 11th year in 2022, Governors Ball is laying roots at Citi Field with a very cool headlining slate of Kid Cudi, Halsey, and J. Cole.

The 360-degree layout lets you explore every inch of the festival with ease. That means you can check out the buzziest acts from across the musical spectrum on this year’s lineup, like Glass Animals, Jack Harlow, Coi Leray, and Japanese Breakfast, without walking forever. And while the NY-centric food and mural towers throughout give the fest a five boroughs feel, it’s the surprise acts you won’t see on the lineup poster that everyone will be talking about.

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June 11th

Now over a decade old, Parklife is primarily focused on hip-hop and electronic music and has grown into the largest metropolitan festival in the UK.

When: June 11-12
Where: Manchester, UK

Manchester’s go-to music mega-festival, Parklife now welcomes over 80,000 people per day to the massive green lawns of Heaton Park. The capacity was expanded in 2021 and now the festival is fully embracing this new big look with a lineup that features the best British acts, but with some imported headliners.

Americans 50 Cent, Megan Thee Stallion, and Tyler The Creator are topping a bill that has no shortage of big British names from there. Chase & Status, Bicep, and Jamie XX lead the way on electronic music, while Central Cee and Loyle Carner are representing the surging British hip-hop scene. The fest’s eight arenas sport elaborate stage designs and the VIP experience promises the “around the world buffet” and the mysterious “Secret Club.”

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June 16th

The four-day camping festival on a Tennessee farm is one of the purest festival communities you can experience, with a ridiculous lineup, the traditional Superjam, and new enhancements for 2022.

When: June 16-19
Where: Manchester, TN

An hour from Nashville, Manchester’s 700-acre Bonnaroo farm, now known as Great Stage Park, is one of the mightiest venues in the American festival canon. The expansive locale plays host to multiple stages featuring over 150 acts, including this year’s headliners in Tool, Stevie Nicks, and J. Cole. This year’s traditional Superjam is led by Jack Antonoff’s 1984, but it’s the dedication to constantly improving the experience that sets Bonnaroo apart.

New “After Hours” programming will keep acts like Flume, Marc Rebillet, Goose, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard playing music all night long. The many camping areas have four “party barns” that add to the intentional community feel. If you get too hot, you can always splash away in the famous Bonnaroo fountain, and everywhere you go, attendees abide by the Bonnaroovian Code urging you to “radiate positivity.”

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June 16th

Merging music with the arts and design through a high-tech lens, Sónar is part music festival and part creative symposium.

When: June 16-18
Where: Barcelona, Spain

The Sónar brand has grown to the point that it now hosts events in multiple cities around the world from Reykjavik to Istanbul to Hong Kong. But the flagship festival in Barcelona is the definitive form of Sónar and its multiple personalities.

Sónar by Day might as well be its own festival with artists like C. Tangana, Jayda G, and Princess Nokia taking over multiple areas in the heart of the city at Fira Montjuïc. Sónar by night presents the many shades of electronic music from Arca to Bonobo to the Chemical Brothers, who join British rap star AJ Tracey at Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet. Then Sónar+D is a forum for business technology from companies who are innovating in the creative space surrounding 2022’s themes of Web3 and AI & Music.

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June 22nd

Like Coachella but bigger, the five-day camping festival is the most phenomenal music fest in Europe and possibly the world.

When: June 22-26
Where: Glastonbury, UK

The undisputed top of the European festival mountain, Glastonbury is finally back after a three-year hiatus. Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, and Paul McCartney will play on the marvelous Pyramid Stage, making up perhaps the best headlining slate of any fest. But it’s wandering around Worthy Farm among 200,000 attendees that all camp out on-site that you get a feel for what truly makes Glastonbury the best among the greatest cultural affairs.

The Silver Hayes stage presents electronic music titans, while the John Peel Stage features the best emerging talent. Shangri-La is chock full of anarchic outsider art, Cineramageddon showcases films, and community debates meet more live music at Left Field. Meanwhile, the flashy West Holts Stage features Lizzo, Janelle Monáe, and Wu-Tang Clan, who could all easily headline a festival themselves. There are over 400 diverse food vendors on-site, a majority of which participate in the “Food For A Fiver” program that has an item for just five quid

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June 23rd

With over 1,000 performers across 12 stages on three consecutive weekends, Summerfest has something for everyone (and Justin Bieber!), dubbing itself “The World’s Largest Music Festival.”

When: June 23-25, June 30 – July 2, July 7-9
Where: Milwaukee, MI

For three consecutive weekends in June and July, Summerfest transforms Downtown Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival Park into an event that has seen crowds of over 800,000 people in the past. While the expansive American Family Insurance Amphitheater holds ticketed shows from headliners like Justin Bieber, Halsey, Jason Aldean, Backstreet Boys, and Lil Wayne with Wiz Khalifa and Wu-Tang Clan, the beautiful BMO Harris Pavilion is the location of the main Festival Stage featuring Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Charli XCX, Steve Aoki, Boyz II Men, and KC & The Sunshine Band.

Summerfest packs in over 50 years of festival tradition and there’s obviously a lot more than just music. Like the wine & cheese haven known as the Summerfest Corkscrew and the ultimate family-focused playground at Northwestern Mutual Community Park.

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June 23rd

A collision of EDM and jam bands that is quite literally built into the trees of this camping festival within Michigan’s Sherwood Forest.

When: June 23-26
Where: Rothbury, Michigan

The art installations and dizzying lights built into the high woodland trees of Sherwood Forest transform it into a place that is well… Electric. This is a unique festival community in that it finds a middle ground between electronic music and jam bands. So while Disclosure, Porter Robinson, and Griz draw a devoted EDM crowd, three nights of performances by The String Cheese Incident have just as much caché for jam band freaks.

The layout and design skew towards the interactive, so attendees are engaging with the magical forest and helping bringg it to life in the process. The Plug-In program offers ways to participate in the community in deeper and always meaningful ways. And as the festival has grown since 2011, the lineup continues to draw eclectic artists in Lettuce, Earthgang, Toro y Moi, and Sylvan Esso.

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June 25th

What first began in 1971, Roskilde is the largest festival in Scandinavia that brings over 130,000 people out for one of the best top-to-bottom lineups of the year.

When: June 25 – July 2
Where: Roskilde, Denmark

While Roskilde offers as many as nine days of experiences, the largest concentration of people and artists is on the final four, and good lord what a lineup! Post Malone, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Dua Lipa, and Kacey Musgraves?! Yup, and Tyler The Creator, Megan Thee Stallion, The Smile, The Strokes, Haim, St. Vincent, Mitski, and Jack Harlow, too?! Clearly, they don’t play games in Denmark. Roskilde does a fine job of catering to acts that appeal to both European and American audiences and the first few days of programming are dedicated to mostly Danish talent.

There are different levels of camping on-site, including community campsites that have an emphasis on giving back to the Roskilde community. Because with this much activity, the festival has a core focus on environmental, social, artistic, and economic sustainability. Efficient waste management and reducing the carbon footprint of the festival are paramount.

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Montreal Jazz Fest
June 30th

For ten days each summer, Downtown Montreal is transformed into a mostly free celebration of much more than just jazz music.

When: June 30 – July 9
Where: Montreal, QC

Now in its 42nd year, Montreal Jazz Festival is ingrained as a part of the city’s cultural fabric. That’s the thing, this isn’t just a one-weekend fest that comes and goes as quickly as it arrived. Nope, Montreal Jazz takes over the footprint of Downtown Montreal and its venues for 10 days to showcase over 350 artists from around the globe. Jazz, hip-hop, rock, and artists whose careers have been informed by jazz will all be featured along the way.

Two-thirds of the programming is free to the public, where welcoming outdoor stages will present decorated acts like The Roots, Tash Sultana, and Kamasi Washington. Then there’s the multi-theater Place Des Artes for grand performances from acts like Ludovico Eiunadi, Pink Martini, and Robert Glasper, as well as club venues that’ll host Masego, Woodkid, Sudan Archives, and others.

Essence Festival
June 30th

Put on by Essence Magazine, this festival caters to hundreds of thousands of multigenerational Black women through music, panel discussions, and more.

When: June 30 – July 3
Where: New Orleans, LA

After going virtual for the past two years, Essence Festival Of Culture is back with a star-studded lineup of performers and an all-encompassing slate of programming. A celebration of Black culture from every angle, Essence aims to enrich the lives of primarily Black women. Musical headliners include Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Jazmine Sullivan, and New Edition, who will all be appearing on the main stage at NOLA’s Caesar’s Superdome. Comedian Kevin Hart kicks things off on the first evening.

But there’s a lot more beyond the music. A thorough slate of largely free daytime programming has a home base at the riverfront Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. There, Essence becomes a gathering focused on collective growth through a tech summit, conversations on wealth & power, as well as a food, wine, and beauty marketplace.