Sol Blume Festival Crowd
Sol Blume // Photo by Dante Nicholas
August 19th

Sacramento’s alt-R&B festival comes back to Discovery Park for another two days of incredible live music.

When: Aug. 19-20
Where: Sacramento, CA
More Info: Here

California is home to countless incredible music festivals. Indio has Coachella. San Francisco has Outside Lands. Los Angeles now has Primavera. But what about the Golden State’s capital city? Last year, Sol Blume brought established and rising alternative R&B acts to the heart of Sacramento in Discovery Park for the first time since its three-year hiatus. Fortunately, it’s going to keep the momentum going in 2023 for what will surely be another spectacular party.

The two-day fest’s headliners for this year include Brent Faiyaz and Kehlani. Plus, there’s Teyana Taylor, who will be doing a one-night-only performance of her final tour, aptly named The Last Rose Petal 2. That alone is enough of a reason to head to Northern California this August. Even then, PinkPantheress, Ella Mai, Isaiah Rashad, Amber Mark, and many more are slated to perform, too.

August 5th

For its second edition, the LL Cool J-curated fest will commemorate 50 years of hip-hop.

When: Aug. 5
Where: Queens, NY
More Info: Here

Single-day music festivals seem like a rarity these days. But, every now and then, such a fest comes to the forefront. Last year, the inaugural Rock The Bells Festival sold out the iconic Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. As a major success, it’s coming back to Forest Hills for an even bigger celebration: the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. LL Cool J curates the lineup, and he has done another stellar job assembling rap legends to commemorate such an indispensable genre. The lineup poster wants to clear things up, though: Don’t call it a comeback!

This year, Rock The Bells Festival features a bevy of classic rappers. Its lineup includes stars like Queen Latifah, De La Soul, Rakim, Redman and Method Man, Salt-N-Pepa, Ludacris, Monie Love, and Slick Rick. Even though it’s only one day, that’s not even the full lineup. Swizz Beatz is also slated to perform, and the producer teases some special guests for his set. Whoever those guests could be, it looks like it’ll be a great celebration no matter what.

August 8th

Norway’s biggest music festival returns with yet another artistically diverse lineup.

When: Aug. 8-12
Where: Oslo, NO
More Info: Here

Since its inception in 1999, Oya Festival has steadily grown into one of Norway’s biggest music festivals. In fact, it’s the largest outdoor festival in the whole country; approximately 60,000 attendees head to Oslo’s Tøyen Park for four days every August to experience great music in all genres. As the festival organizers have slowly unveiled its lineup over the course of the past several months, it has only gotten better and better. Whether you’re an electronic, indie, or pop fan, Oya Festival has something in store for you.

To name just a handful of the performers on this year’s bill, there are Britpop icons Blur, Afrobeats juggernaut Wizkid, rapper Pusha T (AKA King Push), indie-pop savant Lorde, new-wave enthusiasts Devo, songwriter supertrio Boygenius, and Norwegian legend Susanne Sundfør. With a lineup this musically diverse, it’s understandable why Oya Festival has become such a major draw.

Outside Lands
Alive Coverage
August 11th

The Bay Area staple is back for another three full days of music, wine, and beer.

When: Aug. 11-13
Where: San Francisco, CA
More Info: Here

As the largest independently owned music festival in the country, Outside Lands has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, it doesn’t miss the mark, and hundreds of thousands of other music fans would concur. This beloved Bay Area festival brings together music fans of all types for three days of live performances, delicious food and wine, and more to the city’s iconic Golden Gate Park.

Like it does year after year, Outside Lands has booked another wide-ranging lineup that spans genres like hip-hop, EDM, alt-rock, and pop. Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, and Odesza headline this year’s edition, and there are quite a few noteworthy names elsewhere on the bill, as well: Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion; NYC indie rockers Interpol; drag queen and country performer Trixie Mattel; shoegaze-meets-power-pop outfit Alvvays. Bay Area residents won’t want to miss out on this one.

billie eilish apology
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August 4th

Canada’s largest arts and music festival comes back to the idyllic Parc Jean-Drapeau, where it has been held since 2006.

When: Aug. 4-6
Where: Montreal, QC
More Info: Here

Earning the title as Canada’s largest arts and music festival, Osheaga delivers more than 100 performers at Montreal’s scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. The fest has been calling the park its home since 2006, and it’s just a short subway ride from downtown Montreal. In between sets, you can ride the Le Cartel Ferris wheel, or you can catch a new view of one of the five main stages dotting the festival grounds.

Across three full days, attendees can see headliners like Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, and Rüfüs Du Sol. Still, those three aren’t the only draws here. Indie rock icons The Flaming Lips will perform their seminal 10th album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, in its entirety to celebrate over two decades of its legacy. Other noteworthy artists on the poster include Alex G, Rina Sawayama, Japanese Breakfast, Soccer Mommy, Jpegmafia, Pup, Julia Jacklin, and many others.

August 3rd

The beloved Lolla returns to its home base in Grant Park with more than 170 artists in tow.

When: Aug. 3-6
Where: Chicago, IL
More Info: Here

Lollapalooza has become something of a blueprint for music festivals across the globe. Started by Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell back in 1991, Lolla initially focused on alternative bands like Nine Inch Nails and Siouxsie and the Banshees, but, over the years, beginning in the early 2010s, the festival expanded its musical palette and booked artists regardless of genre. It has come a long way from the seven-band lineup its inaugural fest had, now featuring various editions overseas, including those in Chile, Brazil, and Germany. This year, Lolla returns to Grant Park with more than 170 artists, nine stages, and four days of festivities.

For the 2023 iteration, headliners include Billie Eilish, Karol G, Kendrick Lamar, The 1975, Lana Del Rey, Odesza, Tomorrow x Together, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Aside from the big names, there’s plenty worth talking about in the smaller fonts, too: Alex G, Sudan Archives, Mavi, Hemlocke Springs, Dehd, Poolside, Brakence, and many, many more.

August 26th

Richmond’s folk-rock festival is the perfect event for craft beer enthusiasts and music fans alike.

When: Aug. 26-27
Where: Richmond, VA
More Info: Here

People may not often think of Virginia as a major destination for music festivals, but those people have probably never heard of Iron Blossom. Across two full days in Richmond, attendees can get a delightful dose of live music, craft beer, and even an artisan bazaar and culinary village. With an emphasis on Richmond’s craft beer and cocktail scene, the sommelier in your group will certainly find something to enjoy,

As far as the music is concerned, its lineup is primarily geared toward folk rock. Headliners include Hozier, Lord Huron, and Noah Kahan. The second and third lines also contain some well-known artists, such as Elle King, Faye Webster, Colony House, Rayland Baxter, and The Heavy Heavy. The fest, held at the 7.5-acre Monroe Park, takes place just a mile northwest of the Virginia State Capitol building, right near downtown Richmond for some fun exploration and shopping.

August 5th

88rising’s two-day fest gives the West Coast some love with another lineup that celebrates the Asian diaspora.

When: Aug. 5-6
Where: Pasadena, CA
More Info: Here

88rising, the multi-hyphenate music company that comprises label management, video production, and marketing, also organizes festivals. Its primary event is Head in the Clouds, which centers artists across the Asian diaspora just as the company itself does. Back in May, Head in the Clouds descended onto Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, bringing an eclectic group of performers to the East Coast. Now, the fest is headed back to Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, giving the West Coast a different lineup that’s equally as enthralling.

Although the Los Angeles version of Head in the Clouds has some slight overlap with the New York lineup, it is mostly unique. Performers include Rina Sawayama, Zedd, XG, NIKI, Jackson Wang, Rich Brian, DPR LIVE and DPR IAN, Yoasobi, and many others. If Head in the Clouds at Forest Hills was any indication, then the West Coast version looks to be just as sublime.

August 5th

The LA festival’s 15th edition will certainly deliver on its namesake by going as hard as possible this summer.

When: Aug. 5-6
Where: Los Angeles, CA
More Info: Here

Naming your music festival Hard Summer is a bold move. You’re promising by proxy 1. that it will go hard, and 2. that it will make your whole summer, likewise, go hard. Enter the fittingly titled Hard Summer, which seems deserving of its title. The 15th iteration of the Los Angeles festival will be held at various venues throughout the city, including Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park, and BMO Stadium. As a part of LA Memorial Coliseum’s centennial celebration, Hard Summer is destined to only go, ahem, harder this year.

This fest seems like a dream come true for those immersed in the EDM music scene. Headliners include Kaskade and John Summit with back-to-back performances, and the next day boasts another duo of consecutive performances from Skrillex and Four Tet. There’s also something for the hip-hop fans in your group. Billed as special guests, 21 Savage will take the stage on Saturday, and Kid Cudi will be there on Sunday.

August 5th

San Diego’s latest music festival debuts with an eclectic lineup at the gorgeous Waterfront Park.

When: Aug. 5-6
Where: San Diego, CA
More Info: Here

Now and then, a new music festival comes along to add its voice and flaunt an eclectic lineup. Bleached Festival, taking place at San Diego’s gorgeous Waterfront Park, is no different. Promoted by Tight Knit, another new San Diego music staple, Bleached Festival will bring a wide range of performers to its sunny, Californian destination that all types of music fans will be able to enjoy. Across its two stacked days, bask in the picturesque setting while catching some great sets.

Lineup-wise, Bleached boasts all kinds of artists. Its two main headliners are soul revivalist Leon Bridges and the beats-forward R&B songwriter Joji. Other exciting artists include the glam-rock experimentalist Yves Tumor, pop auteur Caroline Polachek, online sensation PinkPantheress, and the indie-pop worldbuilder Ethel Cain. This summer looks like an opportune time to head to SoCal.

Becky G
Philip Cosores
August 11th

This beachy reggaeton festival is all but destined to bring immaculate, sunny vibes to Rosarito.

When: Aug. 11-13
Where: Rosarito, MX
More Info: Here

Few music festivals make it clear what you can expect just from the name alone. But Baja Beach Fest achieves this impressive feat. It’s a music festival on the Baja California beach, namely in Rosarito, Mexico. In terms of the music itself, its focus on reggaeton and music from the Latin diaspora is the perfect complement to the fest’s sunny setting. This year marks the fourth annual edition of Baja Beach Fest, and it’ll take place in front of the Oceana Rosarito Inn and Papas & Beer beach club.

Across the full weekend, each day comes with two headliners. Friday has Wisin Y Yandel and Nicky Jam; Saturday has Ozuna and Feid; for Sunday, Don Omar and Tego Calderón take the top billing. On top of that, Tijuana stars Grupo Firme will perform what the festival describes as a “special Sunday set.”

August 26th

Black art finds its center at the annual Afropunk festival in Brooklyn, this time at a brand-new location.

When: Aug. 26-27
Where: Brooklyn, NY
More Info: Here

When the Afropunk Festival started in 2005, it was originally held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It has invariably championed Black alternative artists, including musicians, filmmakers, and fashion designers, since its inception. As the festival has grown, it has moved to bigger venues, such as Commodore Barry Park last year. For 2023, however, its new home is the Greenpoint Terminal Market, which will host rappers, punks, R&B powerhouses, and jazz virtuosos for two packed days.

This year’s headliners include the indomitable vocal titan Jazmine Sullivan and Brainfeeder mastermind and producer Flying Lotus. The lineup also features big draws like hip-hop star and Abbott Elementary actor Vince Staples, violinist and pop songwriter Sudan Archives, Brooklyn emo outfit Proper., and plenty more. Although it now has editions in Brazil, Miami, and Minneapolis, Afropunk will always call Brooklyn its home base.