Top 20 US Festivals That You Should Go To

CYM’s TOP 20 US FESTIVALS OF 2014

Although festival season has already hit the ground running, we came up with this list of fests you can catch just in time for summer! Take note of the fact that these are only upcoming festivals in the US that made our list; there is a whole other world when it comes to festivals overseas, and even a top 20 couldn’t begin to cover them [although we might have included a festival in British Columbia we’re particularly fond of…]. Also, instead of starting a ‘festival duel’, we’ve simply listed this top 20 in order of date. We’re leaving the individual awesomeness factor up to you on these!

In addition to some epic musical performances, a lot of these festivals listed have a much deeper appeal, and go above and beyond the average ‘live music’ experience that many have grown familiar with. These festivals invite you to immerse yourself completely in a variety of workshops, mind-opening discussions, extracurricular activities such as yoga and meditation, and also invite you to feast your eyes on stunning live paintings and intricately designed art installations; some festivals even have carnival rides!

Do yourselves a solid and make the journey for at least one or two of these spectacular events. It’s more than a festival, it’s an incredible part of your life you’ll never forget. Choose your own adventure wisely! #DatLineupTho

 

Coachella Valley Music + Arts Festival in Indio, CA (April 11-13)  A festival taking place in the valley of California can be nothing short of a good time and no one does it better than Coachella, a heavyweight in the festival scene. Priding themselves heavily on sustainability, Coachella implements multiple eco-friendly features on grounds, making it one of the cleanlier festival environments you’re likely to come across. For example, the innovative Energy Playground is an area of seesaws that allow you to charge your phone while simultaneously generating energy as you play on them. Pulling in past headliners such as Prince, Rage Against the Machine, Bjork and tons more, this one is definitely on our spring festival agenda. Artists on the bill: Ellie GouldingMusePharrell WilliamsMGMT and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets: Sold Out!]

Euphoria Music Festival in Austin,TX (April 25-26) This two-day, two-night festival majorly stepped up its game this year by including a camping option for the first time at its new open-sky venue along the Colorado River, known as Carson Creek Ranch. The main-stage is mapped out to be directly in front of the Austin skyline, which is destined to create an unforgettable live music experience. As part of its transformation, this will also be the first year that Euphoria Festival is going to include interactive workshops and amazing art-installations in addition to live music acts. Artists from the bill: The Crystal MethodBeats AntiqueBonoboLOTUSZeds Dead and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

CounterPoint in Rome, Georgia (April 25-27) Only in its third year, CounterPoint is an eclectic outdoor festival with a huge talent roster and a beautiful location. Rolling fields, a tranquil pond and gorgeous trees abound, make this an ideal environment for one to set up a hammock and sway to the sounds of the weekend. Of course when the sun sets, CounterPoint sheds its dreamy daytime wonder and slips into a full on electronic dance party throughout the night. The parties don’t end with the stages either, but continue afterwards in various campgrounds on site. Artists from the bill: OutkastPretty LightsThievery CorporationFoster the PeopleSTS9Shpongle, and more. Camping: Yes. [Tickets]

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA (April 25-May 4) The city of New Orleans is a cultural melting pot that exudes charm, magic, and diversity. Most people use the February celebration of Mardi Gras as their excuse to spend a wonderful week in this city, but for many others, Jazz Fest is of no comparison. To fully capture the allure of Nola is to attend this festival; a celebration of the richest musical heritage in America. Stretching over two weekends, the city’s streets bulge with an estimated 600,000 festie goers, taking in the artistic sights and indigenous sounds that the festival has become known for since its inception. Did we mention it’s been named Festival of the Year multiple times by PollstarArtists on the bill: Robert PlantSantanaPublic EnemyChaka KhanBruce Springsteen and many, many more. Camping: No [Tickets]

Austin Psych Fest in Austin,TX (May 2-4) Known by many as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, ATX will be living up to the boast at this year’s Pysch Fest, keeping the little city weirder than ever. Aiming to provide attendees with the best in psychedelic rock, APF brings in a wide range of artists from several different continents and time periods. For example, this year’s festival will see The Zombies, one of the first psychedelic rock bands of the 1960’s, as a headliner. Six continents across the world will be represented musically at the festival, as well as countless multi-media art installations and psychedelic wonders to feast your eyes on. Artists on the bill: The Brian Jonestown MassacreThe War on DrugsBlack LipsThe Dandy Warhols, and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL (May 16-18) The white sands and crystal clear waters of Alabama’s Gulf Shores are lovely enough for one to make the trip on that alone, but these beaches also host a beautiful festival, known as Hangout. The relaxing atmosphere of Hangout is what pulls in the crowd, along with their knack for producing top notch lineups year after year. Artists on the bill: Modest Mouse, Chance the RapperRobert Delong, The Killers, and more. Camping: Yes, but campgrounds are located at Gulf State Park [Tickets]

Lightning in A Bottle in Bradley, California (May 22-26) Moving locations for their 12th year, LiB has been one of the premiere wellness, music and art festivals in the United States since its’ inception. Run by The Do LaB, the festival is a self-sustainable event, encouraging attendees to participate in the festival activities as much as possible; the event is also 100% family friendly. Featuring an array of workshops, classes, and world-renowned speakers, Lightning in a Bottle serves to provide you with one of the most relaxing, vibing and mind-opening weekends you’ll ever experience. Artists from the bill: Moby, Little DragonAmon TobinPumpkinThe Gaslamp Killer and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe,IL (May 23-25) Priding itself as the perfect balance between a music festival and camping program, this event provides an array of eco-friendly activities and family friendly shenanigans, completed with seasoned camp counselors to guide you throughout the weekend! Attendees can sign up for field day teams, help out at Kids Camp by painting faces and filling balloons, or take a trip to the Soulshine Tent to learn more about the non-profits involved with Summer Camp. With all of this going on, you’ll have to remind yourself to catch your favorite acts! Artists on the bill: moe.PrimusSlightly StoopidThe Devil Makes ThreeZac Brown BandHerobust, and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Free Press Summer Festival in Houston, TX (May 31 + June 1) Keeping inline with the ‘being green’ scene, attendees are offered incentives for recycling and performing other ‘green deeds’, and to top it off, all carbon output at FPSF is balanced by carbon offset credits! Who doesn’t love that? Satisfying even the most eclectic music lover, this festival packs a punch when it comes to musical diversity as well. Where else would you expect to find LA punk band the Bronx performing insane mariachi music under the aptly named moniker, Mariachi el Bronx? This fest is destined to rise in popularity; 2014 being its sixth year, tickets are set to sell out. Artists on the bill: DeftonesWu-Tang Clan, Flatbush Zombies, Laidback Luke and more. Camping: No [Tickets]

Wakarusa on Mulberry Mountain, AR (June 5-8) Nestled in the valley of Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas, Wakarusa has been one of the best reviewed festivals in the country for over ten years. The lineup satisfies the older crowd by featuring well-known jam bands as well as bridging the gap between the younger generation with a variety of rising EDM stars. Wakarusa has found the perfect balance within the musical acts they choose, and in return have created an ideal festival environment for a first timer. Artists on the bill: The Flaming LipsInfected MushroomEdward Sharpe and the Magnetic ZeroesThe Flooziesill-esha and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

 Daniel Zetterstrom

What The Festival in Wolf Run Ranch, OR (June 19-22) All it requires to be won over by this festival is simply taking a walk through the Illuminated Forest, which you can do virtually here. The forest serves as an open art gallery for those needing an artistic outlet during the weekend. Another signature part of the WTF experience is the Splash Pool Party stage, an oasis to relax from the sun’s rays. Swimming while simultaneously enjoying your favorite acts on stage is always a plus in our books. Complete with mesmerizing art installations (such as Rob Bell’s ‘Zomes’ structures), a relaxing on-site hookah lounge, and with Funktion-One providing the sound for each stage, WTF is lining up to be one of our most anticipated festivals of the year.  Artists on the bill: The Glitch MobCashmere CatOpiuoKAYTRANADA, and more. Camping: [Tickets]

Sonic Bloom in South Park, CO (June 19-22) Summer Solstice occurs when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, making it the longest day of the year. The extra sunlight has been celebrated throughout history with a variety of rituals involving dance, music and fire. Sonic Bloom encompasses those rituals into its existence as the nation’s premier summer solstice electronic festival. Artists on the bill: TipperThe Polish AmbassadorKalya ScintillaBenji VaughanTemplo and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Electric Forest in Rothbury, Michigan (June 26-29) The Sherwood Forest has been called enchanted as long as any of the locals can remember. Sprawling over 72 acres of land, this four-day festival is a combination of visual arts, jam-band roots, and pure innovation. When the festival was under the name Rothbury, it featured bluegrass-folk band The String Cheese Incident as their headliners every year. Electric Forest keeps that tradition alive while also incorporating a top shelf of electronic acts into their lineup. Adventuring through the forest, festival goers can expect to find all sorts of quirky and up-cycled structures to hang out in, including the insanely detailed speakeasy, the Sollun. Artists on the bill: Flying Lotus, The Glitch MobMs. Lauryn HillBooka Shade and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Hudson Music Project in Saugerties, NY (July 11-13) Nothing compares to experiencing the birth year of a festival, and attending Hudson Project is your chance to do that this summer. Claiming the valleys of the Catskill Mountains as their host, the Hudson Music Project takes place on the historic Winston farm that was home to Woodstock ’94. Although final details are still being worked out, the fest plans to have several workshops and group activities for attendees as well.  This festival provides a relaxing yet exhilarating experience for live music lovers across the board, because it is removed from the hustle and bustle of The Big Apple. Artists on the bill: Big GiganticAtmosphere, Lindsay Lowend, Robert DelongOdesza and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

The Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY (July 18-20) There’s something about a small festival environment that is to be loved, and Forecastle pulls it off seamlessly, while bringing in huge talent. If you’re looking for a small-town vibe with a diverse selection of world renowned talent, this is your festie paradise. Prioritizing environmental activism, the festival also features a lineup of established organizations and prominent speakers to raise awareness on a span of topics. Oh, and seeing as Kentucky is a whiskey capital of sorts, make sure you spend at least half of your time at Forecastle’s very own Bourbon Lodge. Yes, the Bourbon Lodge is exactly what it sounds like. Artists on the bill: OutkastFlumeAgainst Me!Nightmares On WaxThe ReplacementsSpoonJack WhiteBeck, and more. Camping: No [Tickets]

Shambhala in Salmo, British Columbia (August 8-11) Shambhala has kept its humbling vibe since its very first party in 1998, where 500 people first gathered to celebrate life, music and art. Every year this gorgeous farm makes way for one of the best underground dance parties of the year. A ticket to this completely grassroots festival (no corporate sits! ponsors whatsoever) gets you 3 full days along the beautiful Salmo River in British Columbia as well as the most tantalizing lineup we’ve seen all year [full announcement drops April 8]. Given that the Salmo Creek Ranch is a fully functioning farm from September to July, Shambhala provides their very own organic and local produce. Even the newest of campers can appreciate this effort more than anyone, which makes it one of the top reasons this festival is our number one go-to. Artists on the bill: BassnectarEmancipatorAndy CSkreamGRiZ, and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA (August 30-September 1) This festival hasn’t dropped their lineup yet, but don’t let that stop you; tickets are already flying. Previous Bumbershooters know that this is an event that doesn’t disappoint. Last year’s headliners included Bassnectar, Death Cab for Cutie, The Breeders, The Animals (yes, with Eric Burdon) and the list goes on. Since their humble beginnings in 1971, Bumbershoot continues to be one of the premier festivals the North West has to offer. Not to mention, we are thoroughly impressed with their green efforts, as all of the festival’s electricity is 100% hydroelectric and completely renewable! Artists on the bill: Lineup TBA Camping: No [Tickets]

Great North Music + Arts Festival in Norridgewock, ME (September 19-21) With the next phase of their lineup scheduled to drop May 1st, the initial announcement already has tickets flying. This comes as no suprise, because the lineup is already promisingly stellar, with the likes of GRiZ, as well as a plethora of EDM favorites from respected label: Gravitas Recordings. Equally as stacked is Great North’s live painting roster, which includes visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey, as well as the Welch Brothers. It’s also heavily rumored that the legendary Further Bus from the Kesey legacy may be making an appearence here. The location is tucked away near the beautifully scenic Belgrade lakes, creating an atmosphere surrounded by picturesque woodlands, fresh open air and mind-expansive grooves all weekend long. Artists on the bill: BREDE, Bluetech, GRiZ, Psymbionic, Desert Dwellers and more. Camping: Yes [Tickets]

 

Fun Fun Fun Festival in Austin,TX (This year’s date is TBA, but last year was Nov 7-9) If you’re bold enough to put the word ‘fun’ in your name and then go even further by adding two more ‘fun’s’ after it, chances are you know what you’re doing. FFF are the badasses of the festival scene, like the cool kids on the playground who weren’t afraid to chum it up with the nerdy kids in the courtyard after school. In addition to a lineup of stellar entertainment across the genre board, seen evident by the Black Stage (Past: The Descendents, X, Gojira), the Orange ‘Comedy’ Stage (Past: Doug Benson, Sarah Silverman, Rob Delaney) and the Blue Stage (Past: Tycho, MIA, RJD2, Ice-T), the festival also hosts a recreational athletic area for BMXers and skateboarders to grind during the weekend. Last year’s festivities included anarchy wrestling matches, the magically delicious comeback of Twinkies, and taco cannons. No lineup has been released as of yet, but when you’re festival gurus like these guys, we understand that spontaneity takes time to plan.  Artists on the bill: Lineup TBA Camping: No [Tickets TBA; Early birds are sold out!]

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