Festival season means one of two things: One sits and cries about all of the amazing festival line-ups that they’re reading about the day after, or one has the time of their life listening to a random sampling of 10,000 of their favorite bands alongside a random sampling of 100,000 of their new least favorite people on Earth.
Maybe that’s kind of bleak, but with more and more festivals having their seeds sown all across the world, it’s only becoming more realistic. But I don’t want to downplay festivals, because the reason they end up being so soul-crushing to miss is because they’re so great.
Here’s a sampling of five great festivals coming up in the near-ish future.
June 2 and 3
$90 for both days
For its fifth year in a row, the Roots Picnic is not looking like it will lose any steam in establishing itself as one of the most premier summer events in not just Philadelphia, but the East Coast. In its first year as a two-day festival, the Roots Picnic will feature, among others, the Roots themselves, along with St. Vincent, Rakim – performing all of “Paid In Full” – Philly’s own Chill Moody and, most excitingly, the legendary De La Soul backed by the Roots.
Newport Folk Festival
Fort Adams State Park Newport, R.I.
July 28 and 29
$74 for one day
As the name of the festival suggests this is not a place that you will see Sepultura. For those seeking some melodious acoustic guitar playing, the lineup of the festival’s 53rd year of operation will most likely blow your mind. Among more than fifty bands/troubadours, Newport will house Iron & Wine, The Tallest Man On Earth, My Morning Jacket and Jackson Browne will be noteworthy soundtracks to “just appreciating the sky for once, man.”
Bader Field, Atlantic City, Nj.
June 23 and 24
$150 for two-day passes
For those disappointed about the lack of Supultura at Newport, you’re in luck. They will be one of the many bizarre selections at the first-ever Orion Festival, curated by everyone’s favorite metalhead uncle’s Metallica. For a festival where you could see Best Coast, Roky Erickson, Avenged Sevenfold and Modest Mouse, you’d be hard-pressed to find a festival on this small of a scale with a more far-reaching genre arrangement.
July 20 to 22
$198 for early bird three-day passes
Yet another new East Coast music festival is the surprisingly robust Firefly Festival. Featuring appearances by the Flaming Lips, John Legend, Mariachi el Bronx and others, it appears that the Firefly Festival might exist just to give Jack White yet another festival to headline. Also of note: along with the regular features every music festival features – namely, music – Firefly’s website promises an arcade, hot air balloon rides and, wait for it, “interactive window art.”
Grant Park, Chicago
Aug. 3 to 5
$230 for the weekend
Well, duh. No other music festival can lay claim to influencing the current tidal wave of festivals as much as Lollapalooza – sorry, Gathering of the Juggalos. This year, the Zeus of cramping hundreds of bands into a three-day weekend features roughly every band you have on your iPod and then some. Frank Ocean, Passion Pit, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and – wait for it – Black Sabbath will all be on hand to give you songs to sing along to as you chug down your $5 bottle of water, stand sun burnt and try to find out what stage Dr. Dog is playing.