This Is the Soundtrack to Your Summer

The best summer music fests. For you. For her.

May 6, 2015 9:00 am

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.

Huichica (June 12-13) Sonoma
The tagline of “music, wine, and food” suggests that the menu here is curated as tightly as the musical lineup, which is heavy on homestate heroes like L.A.’s Allah-Las and S.F.’s Jessica Pratt. For the former, think familiar names like Kronnerburger and Blue Plate … Did we mention Huichica is held at an actual winery?

Outside Lands (August 7-9) San Francisco
The chilliest summer festival in America, Outside Land offers in good music — D’Angelo, St. Vincent, Mumford, Wilco, Kendrick Lamar — what it usually lacks in the way of the sun’s radiating warmth. Bonus: A three-day festival with a major league lineup and the chance to sleep in your own bed each night. 

BottleRock (May 29-31) Napa, CA
There’s something for everyone (over 30) at this year’s BottleRock, from Robert Plant to Los Lobos to No Doubt. Bonus: the participation of two dozen wineries — including Jamieson Ranch and Silver Oak — plus a half-dozen breweries.

Glastonbury (June 24-28) Pilton, UK
Only the world’s best musical festival. Bring your boots, expect rain and prepare for an eclectic, accomplished, ambitious lineup ranging from headliners Kanye West and Foo Fighters to veterans like Patti Smith to next-gen types like Perfume Genius, Sharon von Etten and Ben Howard.

Gathering of the Vibes (July 30-August 2) Bridgeport, CT
The spirit of the Grateful Dead lives on at GOTV, which was founded as a tribute to Jerry Garcia and branches out in interesting ways: expect members of the Dead sitting in here and there, as well as star turns from Wilco, Gregg Allman and Ben Harper.

Pilgrimage (September 26-27) Franklin, TN
Tennessee’s two marquee music festivals are worth attending, but if your time in the Volunteer State is limited, we’d go with Pilgrimage over Bonnaroo: made for relaxing in the sun with a beer in one hand, your lady in the other and a lineup led by Willie Nelson.

Pemberton (July 16-19) Pemberton, BC
If you want to take a pass on the festival camping experience, consider Pemby. The lineup’s sufficiently starry (Kendrick Lamar, M.I.A., Hozier, Jane’s Addiction, etc.), but the real selling point is the ability to skip the tent in favor of shuttling in from a hotel in nearby Whistler — we prefer the Four Seasons or the Nita Lake Lodge.

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