Must List

7 must-see summer music festivals

Sweltering heat my cause some of us to park it in front of the A.C. until September, but others see the rising temps as an invitation to frolic in the sun all day long. No matter your usual routine, everyone loves live music in the summer –especially when it’s served up festival style. But not all summer music festivals are created equal. So grab your sunscreen, a water bottle and a friend and check out one of GL’s must-see music festivals this summer.

Will you be attending any of these music festivals this summer? Let us know in the comments below.


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    What: CMA Music Festival

    When: June 5-8

    With seven stages, the CMA music festival in Nashville, Tenn. is your one stop shop for all your country music needs. The line-up is still rolling out, but artists already announced include the hunky Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Cassadee Pope, Hunter Hayes and tons more of the best of the best country crooners. Not only will the big names be there, tons of little known country names (like Dan + Shay and Adam Hambrick) will perform, too. But wait, CMA Music Festival gets even better—it’s also set to feature an ultra cool fan experience called Fan Alley where festival-goers can meet and greet with their favorite musicians and get to see one of a kind performances. Where do we sign up!?

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Bonnaroo

    When: June 12-14

    This music and arts fest was named the 2008 “Best Festival” by Rolling Stone, so you know it’s gotta be grand. This year Bonnaroo will take place in Manchester, Tenn. and why should you get your booty down south this June 12-14? It’s simple, really: Kanye West, Group Love, Disclosure, Capital Cities and Jake Bugg. Still not convinced? Besides the music, the festival prides itself on being environmentally friendly, hosts art exhibits and even has a comedy theatre. Really, it’s a weekend jam-packed with all kinds of art that you shouldn’t miss.

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Firefly

    When: July 19-22

    Delaware might be one of smallest US states, but it’s home to one of the biggest and best summer music fests. The third annual Firefly Festival will be held in Dover, Del. on July 19-22. Enjoy a scorching day in the sun watching Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Tegan & Sara and A Great Big World play hit after hit and then end the day by catching some fireflies of your own. Whether you make an entire weekend of it, or attend for just a single day, you’re sure to find something you like on at least one of the seven stages.

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Summerfest

    When: June 25-29, July 1-6

    This festival is so big, it can’t be contained in just one day or one weekend. Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wis. hits the ground running on June 25 and lasts for a whopping 11 days, ending July 6 (only skipping Monday, June 30). In its 48th year, the festival will feature The Arctic Monkeys, The Neighborhood, Neon Trees, The Fray and a mod podge of other acts. Big name artists like Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga will perform during the festival as well, but ticketing for these musicians differs from regular Summerfest tickets. Bonus features: totally cheap tickets, great food, interactive exhibits and shopping.

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Vans Warped Tour

    When: June 13-August 3

    The Vans Warped Tour is where you need to be this summer if you’re craving a summer festival full of punk and rock influences. The tour will hit 40+ cities across the US and Canada from June 13 to August 3. With more than 100 bands playing throughout the summer, every rock fan will be pleased. Craving something more pop influenced? Catch The Ready Set’s electro performance. If folk-rock is more your thing, then you’ll wanna catch Nick Santino’s set. But say you’re a pop-punk girl, then bands like Yellowcard and Real Friends are must sees. In addition to music, there are tons of freebies, band signings and fun surprises each and every day.

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Made in America

    When: August 30-31

    Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival was such a hit last year that this year, the fest is going bicoastal. That’s right, from August 30-31, it will be held in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The beauty of this musical get-together is that it pays no mind to boundaries set by genres. There’s everything from hip-hop, indie, EDM, rock, pop and more across three stages. This year’s line-up has not yet been announced, but past performers include Rita Ora, Imagine Dragons, Calvin Harris, Haim and countless amazing artists, so only time will tell what’s in store.

    Get more info and tickets here.

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    What: Virgin Freefest

    When: TBD

    End the summer with a bang with the Virgin Freefest in Columbia, MD. When we say free, we mean free—the tickets to this event cost exactly $0. But like Made in America, the line-up for the 2014 festival has not yet been released. We have high hopes, though, considering the likes of Icona Pop, Vampire Weekend and Blink-182 have graced the Freefest stages in the past. The date is TBD, but if tradition holds the fest will occur in late September.

    Get more info and tickets (as soon as they’re updated) here.


by Sydney Adamson | 2/1/2016