Best Music Festivals to Check Out This Summer

Samantha Jacobs Events, Music, Opportunities, Performing Arts

Your summer schedule may be booked with internships, real work, programs, camps, family reunions, etc., but don’t forget to schedule in some time for fun. And is there anything more fun than enjoying some music out in the summer sun? I don’t think so. With a wide range of genres and a wide range of locations, these summer music festivals are worth checking out. They could make the summer of 2016 one for the books.

Here are the best summer music festivals to check out this summer.


When: July 28-31

Where: Chicago, Illinois

Who: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey, J. Cole, Flume, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Major Lazer and more

What: For the first time, Lollapalooza is not three, but four days long. This famous Chicago music festival has been held annually since 2005, and is famous for its blend of all-star performers, as well as artists who are new to the scene but have the potential to be the next big thing. The headcount of attendees can add up to over 100,000, so obviously Lolla is doing something right to attract that kind of crowd. So it may be time to find that fake ID, get your booze, and head on down to one of the most famous festivals in the world!

Governors Ball


When: June 3-5

Where: New York City, New York

Who: Kanye West, Death Cab For Cutie, M83, The Killers, The Strokes, Robyn, Beck, Of Monsters and Men, Chvrches, Chet Faker, Father John Misty and more

What: This is one music festival that’s worth its ticket price. The artists span many genres from rap to rock and all that in between, but most of the artists are household names. Governors Ball is like an all-star game, so don’t miss out. This will be the music festival’s fifth year, and aside from its killer musical lineup Governors Ball also features a Silent Disco, ping pong, photo booths and lawn games.

Outside Lands

When: August 5-7

Where: San Francisco, California

Who: Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Lionel Richie, J. Cole, Lana Del Rey, Zedd, Sufjan Stevens, Chance the Rapper, Duran Duran, Halsey, Third Eye Blind and more

What: Since 2008, Outside lands has become well-known for its more laid-back atmosphere, and its featuring of indie rock, alternative rock, hip-hop and electronica music. This music festival is chill both in vibe and in weather, and features nearly as many food and beverage stands as it does artists who are performing.


When: June 9-12

Where: Manchester, Tennessee


What: Since 2002, this music festival has brought in about 80,000 per year. While other music festivals may be more mainstream, Bonnaroo truly covers all genres. They feature pop, alternative and indie rock, hip-hop, r&b, EDM, metal, jazz, Americana, country, folk, bluegrass, gospel, reggae and world. Bonnaroo has consistently been lauded for integrating music and subculture and for revolutionizing rock music festivals. And in addition to the musical performances, the festival has tents set up over the campground that feature comedians, charities, Silent Disco and more.


When: June 16-19

Where: Dover, Delaware

Who: Kings of Leon, Two Door Cinema Club, Florence and the Machine, Deadmau5, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding, Tame Impala, Disclosure, Blink-182, Fetty Wap and more.

What: This little state is home to a big music festival, considering it has only been around since 2012. People flock from all over to see Firefly’s impressive acts, and people even camp at the grounds for the weekend. Aside from music, Firefly hosts activities such as a secret woods rave, a tent sponsored by Toms Shoes in which you can design your own pair of shoes, an arcade tent, etc.

Newport Folk Festival

When: July 22-24

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

Who: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Norah Jones, Flight of the Conchords, Ray Lamontagne, Father John Misty, Violent Femmes and more.

What: If folk is more your scene, Newport Folk Festival is for you. Around since the 1950s, this music festival has built a reputation as a platform for artists on the cusp of stardom and success, and as an event that unites dissimilar genres of music. Musical veterans and those new to the stage are all welcome. Get ready for unexpected collaborations, rocking after-shows and folk families galore.

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Samantha Jacobs
Samantha Jacobs is a senior studying Public Relations and English at the University of Southern California. Samantha has writing experience with Neon Tommy, the Daily Trojan and College Social Magazine. Additionally Samantha has worked for the Pollack PR Marketing Group, the Annenberg Innovation Lab and is currently interning for Teach For America. During her rare free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring Los Angeles with friends, showing people pictures of her dog and reading or watching anything that has to do with Tina Fey or Amy Poehler.
Samantha Jacobs

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