This Is the Soundtrack to Your Summer
The best summer music fests. For you. For her.
Because every man needs a plan, and some of us need that plan with a flowchart, we present Where to Take Her: a series that answers a gentleman’s most pressing lifestyle questions. Today: the summer music festival. Remember: always go for the VIP tickets, and make good use of StubHub (or worldly equivalent). Want something more global? Try our National bureau.
For a preview of the tunes on tap, check out our Summer Festivals 2015 playlist on Spotify.
Chicago Blues Festival (June 12-14, Chicago)
Blues greats Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal are one thing. Soul singer Syl Johnson is another. But closing out the fest with centennial tributes to Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters is an entirely next-level event. All in, one of the best blues fests in recent years.
Firefly Musical Festival (June 18-21, Dover, Delaware)
Camping. A silent disco. A farmer’s market and a beercade. It’s kinda’ like Bonnaroo, but green and beautiful. On deck: McCartney. Morrissey. The Killers. Modest Mouse. Hozier. If you wanna skip the camping (you do), check in 40 minutes out at the Dogfish Inn — Dogfish Brewery’s ode to the roadside motel.
Movement Electronic Festival (May 23-25, Detroit, Michigan)
A trip to Detroit this summer: a must-do, especially if you’re one who likes the untz untz. The lineup at Movement has got a lot of house, techno and drum ‘n’ bass heads excited: the UK’s Disclosure, house legend Kerri Chandler and Richie Hawtin are all on the bill. Also: Danny Brown and some DJ who calls himself Snoopadelic … yeah, it’s Snoop Dogg. Or is it Snoop Lion?
Newport Folk Festival (July 24-26, Newport, Rhode Island)
Nestled right on Newport Harbor, this is easily the classiest fest on this list. And surprisingly, it’s ultra hip. What you won’t find here: twenty-somethings in neon tie dye. What you will find: Iron & Wine, Tallest Man on Earth, Sufjan Stevens, Angel Olsen, Sturgill Simpson and more.
North Coast Music Festival (September 4-6, Chicago)
Really impressive lineup this year — a diverse forward-thinking balance: from the Chemical Brothers to The Roots, Chromeo to Tycho. But let’s face it: you gotta go to see one man and one only: D’Angelo. Time to get sexy.
Osheaga Festival (July 31-August 2, Montreal, Quebec)
Pronunciation: Oh-she-ha-gah. Very well-organized festival grounds. If poutine isn’t reason enough to visit Montreal, this year marks Osheaga’s 10th anniversary. Lineup leans toward danceable Electronica (Hot Chip, Kygo, Chet Faker), rounded out by some A-list hitters (The Black Keys, Weezer, Nas).
Pitchfork Music Festival (July 17-19, Chicago)
Another festival celebrating its 10th: Chicago’s favorite indie darling music festival. Our recommended schedule goes as follows. Day One: Jessica Pratt, Iceage, Chvrches and Wilco. Day two: A$AP Ferg, Vic Mensa, Kurt Vile, Future Islands and Sleater-Kinney. Day three: Viet Cong, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs, How To Dress Well and Chance the Rapper.
Photo: Kendrick Lamar, Pitchfork 2014 by Jessica Lerhman