10 Music Festivals That Will Make Your Summer Truly Epic

Summer music festivals can be found all over the U.S., and these smaller cities have ones that can rival the biggest

By Raven Petty on Thu, 06/08/2017 - 08:00

Summer music festivals have entertained crowds of all sizes for decades. Sure, you've got your massive festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachellas and Bumbershoots, but there are dozens of alternatives in your neck of the woods. Don't miss out on the fun at these festivals:

1. Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn., June 8-11, 2017

Headliners: U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Weeknd

With 10 stages, 150 performances, more than 80,000 people spread out on 700 acres for music, fun and culture. Be sure to check out the Silent Disco, comedy theater, or watch a movie at the 24-hour Bonnaroo Cinema tent.

2. Taste of Country Music Festival, Lanesville, N.Y., June 9-11, 2017

Headliners: Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Sam Hunt

In its fifth year, this is the only multi-day country music festival in the northeast U.S. Take the SkyRide over the crowd, stop by the petting zoo, or try your luck with a bull ride.

3. What the Festival, Dufur, Ore., June 16-19, 2017

Headliners: Cut Copy, Gramatik and Zhu

The signature stage is the Splash Stage, where party-goers splash and dance to live acts, creating the northwest's largest pool party. Other must-try activities include the Oasis Spa and Sauna and the Illuminated Forest.

4. Telluride Blugrass, Telluride, Colo., June 15-18, 2017

Headliners: Jason Mraz, Norah Jones and Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys

This festival has showcased the best of Telluride Bluegrass for more than 40 years. Attendees can gaze into San Juan Mountain views, and be sure to check out the signature workshops and band contests.

5. Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Boonville, Calif., June 16-18, 2017

Headliners: Gentlemen, Chronixx and Mellow Mood

For more than 20 years, this fest has brought the best in reggae and world music to two stages. The Festival Village features food and craft vendors, and night owls can groove in the Jamacian-style dancehall.

6. Electric Forest, Rothbury, Mich., June 22-25, 2017 and June 29-July 2, 2017

Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR and My Morning Jacket

Music and colorful lights set the energetic vibe at this summer party. The stages, tents, booths and even forest glow as people dance, eat and play the weekend away.

7. Rock USA, Oshkosh, Wis., July 13-15, 2017

Headliners: Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Korn and Avenged Sevenfold

Party like a rock star with some of the biggest metal bands for four days of music, camping and food. Attendees can buy band memorabilia or browse vendor booths for accessories.

8. Summer Meltdown, Darrington, Wash., Aug. 10-13, 2017

Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and The Polish Ambassador

This 15-year-old festival blends atmospheres, music and relaxing on the river. Kids have their own meltdown zone, complete with derby car races and a create-your-own costume center.

9. Bayfront Blues Festival, Duluth, Minn., Aug. 11-13, 2017

Headliners: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Lucky Peterson & The Imperial Flames

This blues fest is one of the largest outdoor events in the upper Midwest. For 27 years, more than 500 blues and blues/rock performers have performed on the Bayfront Festival Park's two stages

10. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, July 28-30, 2017

Headliners: The Avett Brothers, Jim James and Ben Gibbard

Bob Dylan made this festival famous in the '60s when he showed up with an electric guitar instead of his usual acoustic. These days it's still bringing in big-name acts, as well as a slew of other easily recognizable smaller acts. It also may be one of the most picturesque festivals, taking place at the historic Fort Adams State Park, right on Narragansett Bay. Be ready for great music, beautiful sunsets, and the occasional pirate ship floating by.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raven Petty – a native Nashvillian – enjoys as much variety in her work as she does her hobbies. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University with a B.A. in English, and her greatest passions are p...

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