Festivals to Look Out for this Summer
Good Weather + Good Music = Great Vibes! Summer brings out some of the greatest music festivals and there’s nothing better than getting to see some of your favorite artists all in the span of one-three days. Spring actually kicked off festival season with Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the highest anticipated festivals, in Indio, California back in April. They actually released advanced tickets that sold out in under 3 hours for the 20th Anniversary Coachella Festival for 2019.
Festivals not only bring out artists from different genres, but there may also be vendors, food trucks and vendors, cash bars (or open bars possibly depending on ticket type), activities, workshops, and separate events to go with the festival. This is a time to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll pretty much be outside all day depending on the festival location, and don’t forget your sunblock and portable chargers! Also, always aim for early-bird tickets as prices tend to increase the longer you wait to grab your ticket to these summer festivities. Although many have a nice price tag attached, many festivals offer payment plan options. There are also chances to go for free by earning your tickets through volunteering during the festival.
Not sure where to head, check out some of the festivals to look out for this summer across the east to west coast, and beyond! If you can’t make it this year, be sure to add these to your list for the future!
Firefly Music Festival - The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway, Dover, DE | June 14-17, 2018
Headliners: Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Logic, Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, Chromeo, The Killers & more
Deets about Festival: Four Day event taking place in the First State! This festival started in 2012 and has grown tremendously over the past six years! They offer single day passes, weekend passes, VIP and Super VIP packages. Camping is also available during the festival.
Why attend? It is a very unique experience. Not only are you getting music across seven stages, the festival is set up as a pathway through the forest. Some cool things to check for during this festival are The Thicket where there will be a silent headphone party, The Coffee House, The Nook where you can bring your own hammock to relax, and also find the arcade tent!
Smokin Grooves - The Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA | June 16, 2018
Headliners: Erykah Badu, Miguel, The Roots, Jhene Aiko, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak + Knxledge), H.E.R. & more
Deets about Festival: Originally launched in 1996 as a tour for more urban acts to be showcased across the country, but the festival has been on a hiatus for 16 years! With its return, tickets have already sold out, however resale passes are available if you’re looking to attend!
Why attend? I mean, have you seen this line up?? This All Star Urban lineup of artists will have you in good vibes the whole day! Plus, it will be a monumental moment now that the festival is relaunching with plans to also return in 2019 to 13 to 15 markets as a tour! So if you can’t make it this year, there’s definitely hope for next year,
Essence Music Festival - Multiple Venues, New Orleans, LA | July 5 - 8, 2018
Headliners: Janet Jackson, The Roots, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Miguel, Erykah Badu, XSCAPE, Daniel Caesar, Fantasia, Snoop, H.E.R., Queen Latifah, SWV & More
Deets about Festival: This festival started in 1995 as way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Essence magazine. It was actually supposed to be a one time event, but it has now grown to be the largest event in the US to celebrate African American culture and music. The festival offers weekend and single night tickets for the concert portion taking place at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Why attend? Outside of it being a music festival, there is also a conference and expo that is FREE to attend. Registration is still required, but you will be granted access to multiple vendors and workshops from Community & Culture, Beauty & Style, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and many more. This also mean in addition to this star-studded lineup, there is an additional lineup of speakers like Angela Rye, Iyanla Vanzant, and Mona Scott Young. Also, all of this is taking place in The Big Easy aka New Orleans where it is full of rich culture, amazing food, and a lot of libations! Oh and if you’re a fan of the movie ‘Girls Trip’, then you got a glimpse of what goes down at Essence Fest. One last reason to attend, in my personal opinion, The Read podcast *yes, a personal fave* is on the lineup! Where else are you getting all of this? Bonus* It's indoors, so no need to sweat in the sun!!
Lollapalooza- Grant Park, Chicago, IL | August 2 -5, 2018
Headliners: The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott & More
Deets about Festival: What started in 1991 as a farewell tour for the band Jane’s Addiction turned traveling tour featuring majority alternative bands. Now it is held in Chicago, as well as internationally in Chile, Brazil, Paris, Germany, Sweden, and Argentina. That means there’s multiple chances to hit this festival within a year! There are General Admission, VIP, and Platinum tickets with both single day or weekend options.
Why attend? “With 8 stages, and 170+ bands from all over the world, every Lolla lineup makes hands wave, heads nod, and crowds holler.” - Lollapalooza. Chicago has some of the greatest food so the food vendors are sure to be a hit. Outside of the musical performances, it is an experience featuring artisans like Black Ink Art, a market, and nonprofits.
Editors note: SO MANY FUCKING TEENAGERS
Outside Lands - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA | August 10-12, 2018
Headliners: The Weeknd, Florence + Machine, Janet Jackson, Future, Beck, Odesza, Bon Iver, DJ Snake & more
Deets about Festival: Taking place in the Bay Area. this festival started in 2008. Outside of music, this festival focuses on Food, Wine and Art! Single Day and Weekend Passes are available for General Admission and VIP.
Why attend? Aside from the great lineup, the Wine Lands and Beer Lands really set this weekend event apart. There will be dozens of wineries and breweries where you will have the chance to try all they have to offer! This sounds like a win win. Another bonus is that Outside Lands has a strong focus on being eco-friendly and going green!
AfroPunk NY - Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn, NY | August 25-26, 2018
Headliners: Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe, Tyler the Creator, Miguel, Twin Shadow, Lolawolf, The Internet, Jaden Smith & more
Deets about Festival: Inspired by the 2003 documentary film Afro-Punk, this festival began in 2005. Initially the festival was to be a safe space for outcast blacks according to co-founder James Spooner, but it has since grown to be mainstream and more diverse. AfroPunk has also expanded beyond New York to Atlanta, Paris, London, and Johannesburg. Outside of the music festival, AfroPunk focuses on fashion, art, business, media, and activism. Tickets are available for General Admission and VIP. There is also still time to snag tickets for the Atlanta and Paris festivals!
Why attend? You’re getting a combination of amazing neo-soul and care-free dope artists! This is a festival for the culture, by the culture. Featured activities include Best Trick Jam Skate Contest, Bites&Beats Food Fest within the fest, artwork and original murals, as well as an Activism Row! If you’re feeling Wakanda Forever, you’ll definitely feel full of pride and power at AfroPunk. Oh yea, don't forget to bring out your most fashionable and unapologetic fits!
Made In America - Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA | September 1-2, 2018
Headliners: Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo, Zedd, Miguel, Janelle Monae, Alessia Cara & more
Deets about Festival: Founded by Jay -Z, this festival began in 2012 and is held Labor Day Weekend each year. It was started as way to bring together music and culture. There are Weekend General and VIP tickets available for this festival!
Why attend? Meek Mill is out free and will be performing in his own hometown! The lineup has a great mixture of genres and you will not be disappointed! There will also be a Culinary Competition, hosted by the festival, happening on Day 2 of the festival, which is free to the general public. It includes 20 Tasting tickets to over 100 vendors, for FREE! Cause Village is also a part of this festival where over 50 charitable and activist organizations represent for many causes.
One MusicFest - Central Park, Atlanta, GA | September 8-9, 2018
Headliners: Nas, Cardi B, Miguel, Big Sean, Jeezy, T.I. & more
Deets about Festival: Began in 2009! Started as a way to "unify through music" and show the many aspects of Atlanta's music culture according to founder J. Carter. General Admission VIP and Platinum Tickets are now on sale!
Why attend? Well for starters, I'm going! This is a festival where you can bring the whole family and everyone will be entertained. A great mix of old school and new school, two live stages and a DJ stage. This festival is a diverse mix but for the culture and one of the few festivals that's majority full of melanin in the crowd. To top it off, there is The ATL Crunk Set in the line up featuring Youngbloods, Ying Yang Twins, the Eastside Boyz and more. A lot of old dance moves will be coming out at this festival.
This is only a short list of many festivals happening this year, but some of my top picks! Let me know where you’re headed this summer for Great Vibes!