Jesus Lizard at Pitchfork. Photo by matthewnorth

Alex Nolette highlights ten of America’s best summer music festivals, some well known and some not.
All Good (West Virginia)

The All Good Festival bills itself as four days of music, camping, and loving. The site is a big field at Marvin’s mountaintop in Masontown, WV. Tents, tie-died shirts, and brotherly love recommended. Further, Widespread Panic, and Umphrey’s Mcgee headline. July 8-11

Camp Bisco (Mariaville, NY)

Although the Disco Biscuits are the curators of Camp Bisco, this is not the jamband line-up one would expect. ”Wu Massacre” (Method Man, Raekwon, and Ghost Face), LCD Soundsystem, Girl Talk, Ween, and the Disco Biscuits headline three days of music that will not leave you bored.

The often muddy field at the Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, NY is usually inhabited by gypsies, pot lovers, and fun loving hippies. July 15-17

Siren. abbynormy

Pitchfork (Chicago)

Pitchfork is a three day festival of tight jeans, flannel, and Ray bans. This is the Mecca for independent music. Hosted by Pitchfork Media in Union Park of West Side Chicago, the festival promises to have enough breathing room and necessities to accommodate the large crowd that will be piling-in due to low ticket prices and bands like Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem, Pavement, Big Boi, Beach House, and Wolf Parade. July 16 – 18

SirenFest (New York)

For the past ten years, indie rock enthusiasts have headed to Coney Island, Brooklyn to attend SirenFest. Siren is a one day free festival that is guaranteed to be a lot of fun and not lack any of the Coney Island freak show. Matt and Kim and Cymbals Eat Guitars will be playing, just to name a few. July 17

Hullabalou (Louisville)

Some of the biggest names in music are getting together to play this this three day event at Churchill Downs. The beautiful home of the Kentucky Derby will set up with five stages and an artist list that will blow your mind. Just check out the band line-up to understand how big this festival will be.

Bon Jovi, Huey Lewis and the News, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, and Ben Folds are some of the big names you can expect. July 23-25

Lolla. Photo by mjanicki

Maha (Omaha)

Omaha’s downtown waterfront on the Missouri river makes for a beautiful backdrop for Maha. Bands like Spoon, The Faint, Superchunk, The Old 97’s, and Ben Kweller will be your soundtrack to the day. July 24

Lollapalooza (Chicago)

Prepare yourself! Originally a touring festival catering to the “Alternative Nation”, Lollapalooza is a festival that appeals to all musical elitists. It is also one of the many music festivals making a push towards going green.

Now a three day festival stationed in Grant Park, Chicago, the 2010 line-up is just as varied as it always has been. With names like Green Day, Lady Gaga, Soundgarden, Phoenix, Minus the Bear, Blues Traveler and B.O.B, the crowd will be as diverse as the bands. August 6-8

Outside Lands (San Francisco)

After only two years on the block, Outside Lands is quickly becoming the summer Coachella. Bands are jumping at the chance to play in beautiful Golden Gate Park, and the crowds are enormous.

If the weather turns out just right, OL is the perfect place to capture memorable performances from Further, Kings of Leon, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Phoenix, or any other band on this stellar bill. August 14-15

Bumpershoot. Photo by bandfan

ATP (Monticello, New York)

Kutsher’s Country Club in Monticello, NY is host to ATP NY’s three day indoor concert series. Performances by Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, and Iggy and the Stooges playing the entire Raw Power record should leave even the most ravenous music listeners satisfied. September 3-5

Bumbershoot (Seattle)

The grandfather of the great summer festivals, Bumbershoot was started in 1971 at the Seattle Center. An all arts festival, music isn’t the only thing that bumbershoot offers. Comedy, theatre, dance, literary arts, and visual arts pack your three days with plenty to do.

With acts like Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, and Drake headlining, good luck trying to pry your eyes from the stage. September 4-6

Like this Article

Like Matador