The 5 Best Music Festivals of 2016
The worst part of growing up is losing summer break. Luckily, we have music festivals—a place where calendars, deadlines, and inhibitions melt away in the summer sun.
So prepare your crop tops, weave your flower crowns, and kiss your savings account goodbye. Read on for this summer’s five best fests.
Sasquatch (George, WA)
As Sasquatch gains in popularity, it’s pulling some impressive headliners. But its popularity still lies in second and third-tier gems (Digable Planets, Yo La Tengo, Hop Along). Set above a vast river canyon in the Columbia Gorge Amphitheater, this is also one of the most beautiful venues in the country.
Dates: May 27–30;
Tickets: $350 for four days, camping included
Lineup includes: The Cure, Florence + the Machine, A$AP Rocky, Disclosure, Alabama Shakes, Major Lazer, M83, Grimes, Sufjan Stevens, Leon Bridges, Purity Ring, Ibeyi, Chelsea Wolfe, Speedy Ortiz
Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)
Despite being the world’s largest music festival, this lakeside event doesn’t garner a lot of press. The inclusion of acts such as Tim McGraw means you might brush arms with (gasp!) a country-pop fan. You have to buy additional tickets to see the big headlining acts, but the festival touts a monstrous and diverse lineup with unbeatable ticket prices.
Dates: June 29–July 3 or July 5–10
Tickets: $80 for 11 days, $20 for one day
Lineup includes: Selena Gomez, Luke Bryan, Sting, Alabama Shakes, Def Leppard, REO Speedwagon, Martin Garrix, Garbage, Willie Nelson, Death Cab For Cutie, Nelly, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick, Commodores, The Roots, Weird Al, Violent Femmes, Sir Mix-a-Lot
Governor’s Ball & Panorama (Randall’s Island, NYC)
Coachella’s producers are opening up shop in NYC this year with Panorama, threatening to push out the more established but less moneyed Governor’s Ball. Same location, similar price point, and each one scored a music titan for a headliner. This is really just a battle between Yeezus freaks and LCD devotees.
Dates: June 3–5 / July 22–24
Tickets: $345 for three days/ $369 for three days
Governor’s Ball lineup includes: Kanye West, Beck, The Strokes, Robyn, Death Cab For Cutie, M83, Chvrches, De La Soul, Father John Misty, Miguel, Bloc Party, Against Me!, Cold War Kids
Panorama lineup includes:
LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, Broken Social Scene, FKA Twigs, DJ Khaled, The National, Run the Jewels
Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN)
Bonnaroo has been creeping up on Coachella and Lollapalooza for about a decade trying to outdo its older siblings. With late night DJs that go until sunrise and mind-blowing 20+ act SuperJams that run for hours on end, it’s certainly close.
Dates: June 9–12
Tickets: $384.40 for four days, $59.75 + fees for camping
Lineup includes: LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, Dead & Company, J. Cole, Tame Impala, M83, Death Cab For Cutie, RL Grime, Father John Misty, Miguel, Leon Bridges, Tyler the Creator, Third Eye Blind, Ibeyi
Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL)
This year Lollapooza is blowing everyone else out of the damn water with its 25th anniversary lineup, not only scoring the festival season’s golden boys, LCD Soundsystem, but snatching up festival unicorn and music legend Radiohead, a feat only one other fest in the U.S. managed to accomplish this year. As of right now, it’s the only sold out fest on this list, and it sold out in less than an hour.
Dates: July 28–31
Tickets: $335 for four days
Lineup includes: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Lana Del Rey, Future, Major Lazer, Disclosure, M83, Die Antwoord, Grimes, Leon Bridges, Cherub, Third Eye Blind, A$AP Ferg