For those who wait all year for the live outdoor concerts that bring all of their favorite acts together, you’re wait is over – it’s finally festival season! Here are the most ground-breaking festivals to set a fire in your heart and get you ready to record:
1.North by Northeast, Toronto
North by Northeast is a far cry from the brand-overrun, Silicon Valley-catering South by Southwest. Although the brands and sponsors are closing in, NXNE is still about amazing talent pushing forward into new frontiers. Whether you’re into EDM, hip-hop, or indie pop, NXNE has performances that will blow you away.
Osheaga books a lot of homegrown talent, but it also brings in up-and-coming European artists just to mix it up. As “alternative” music goes, it’s pretty mainstream, but it’s a good way to stay on top of new trends both here and abroad.
3.Shambhala, rural British Columbia
Think Burning Man, but with more shade, less booze, more peace and love, and sexier people. This festival provides the most artistic and spiritual EDM experience available. It’s still small enough to give the little performers a chance, meaning you can see some underground acts before they get big.
4.Bonnaroo, rural Tennessee
This festival has pulled headliners like Elton John, Paul McCartney and Mumford and Sons in recent years, but it’s the side stages that will be the real appeal to music lovers. From classic rap artists to up-and-coming singer/songwriters, Bonnaroo has something to appeal to the tastes of all 90, 000+ who attend each year.
5.Coachella, rural California
It’s a long way to go to get to Coachella. Once you’re there, it’s also brutally hot, overrun with Hollywood types who are much richer than you, and getting more expensive by the year. But despite its downfalls, the music is worth it. Coachella is the place to be for big names in rock, pop, EDM, hip-hop, and more. If you want to hear what’s cool, go to Coachella.
6.Big Ears, Knoxville
For experimental music, it can’t be beat. From electronic orchestras and solo violinists to art rock and Syrian pop, this festival books artists who push the envelope.