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Summer Music Festivals (United States)

With music festival giants Sasquatch and Coachella out of the way, you may be wondering how many opportunities remain for seeing numerous bands concentrated in one place this summer. Well, there are plenty. All over the states, stages are being constructed, touring vans are being loaded with gear and amplifiers are warming up.  So create some playlists and pack up those sleeping bags because the season for festivaling has arrived.

Enjoy electronic music and being outdoors? Well, Paradiso can deliver both those ingredients. Set at the Gorge Amphitheatre, Paradiso brings beats strong enough to shake off a layer of this desert’s dust. All day sweaty bodies throb to the sound of dubstep and trance. Carnival rides spin and acrobats tumble entertaining any attendee deafened by the music. When night falls, expect glow sticks and lasers to pierce through the darkness so the dance may continue. But, even after the last applause fades, camping awaits, and of course, that is just as crazy as the hours prior.

3Newport Folk Festival
Musicians have been singing tales of lost loves and civil disobedience at Newport Folk Festival since 1959. Join the audience sitting on beach towels in Fort Adams State Park and listen to songs about Mr. Tambourine Man, River Euphrates and lonesome tears.  Yup, Newport has hosted everyone from Dylan and Son House to Pixies and Beck.  Despite the angst some of these performers pour into lyrics, a peaceful atmosphere pervades over the park with docked sailboats rocking gently on the Atlantic.

DoeBayFestDoe Bay Fest
Doe Bay Fest takes place on Orcas Island, Washington. For three days in August, music and cheers drift through the slumberous landscape, mingling with the Pacific’s surf and the shudders of Douglas Firs. The festival seeks to create a chill and inclusive environment for performers and audiences where everyone eats, drinks, lodges (cabins, yurts, tents) and slip-n-slides together at the resort. In other words, it functions much like a short summer camp attended by some very talented folks. Notable acts that have played the event include the Cave Singers, Theesatisfaction, Don’t Talk to the Cops and the Maldives. Be sure to buy tickets early (as in the day they’re available) because they sell-out within hours of release!

For one weekend in August, Pendarvis Farm hosts the indie/folk music festival Pickathon. Sheltered by the woods just outside of Portland, Oregon, musicians and ticket-holders gather to strum, clap and holler late into the night. Performance spaces vary in size across the farm, ranging from lit stages to humble groupings of tree stumps situated in groves. Attendees are encouraged to roam along trails surrounding the property and camp in designated areas. Aside from presenting cool bands and outdoor activities, Pickathon organizers support sustainable practices by eliminating the use of plastic (bottles, cups) at the festival and providing recycling and compost services. Go green, or go home!

Lollapalooza has been supplying the public with quality times since 1991. Now based in Grant Park, Chicago, this former travelling festival has hosted everyone from Sonic Youth to Kanye West. It welcomes new genres, fashions and tastes, offering stages to performers adored by the mainstream and a few bands exclusive to subcultures. Also, if music and advertisement fatigue occurs during your three day Lollapalooza experience, take time to munch at some local food vendors in Chow Town or see all the eco-friendly stuff on Green Street.


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