Despite the bulky sweater I'm wearing today, summer is almost here. In fact, judging by the summer festival calendar, summer is here. Two of the biggest summer music festivals, Coachella and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, are already in the books for 2012, and there's a whole lot more coming real soon.
In the U.S. alone there are a few hundred summer music festivals showcasing everything from bluegrass to jazz to pop, jambands, electronica, country and pretty much everything in between.
Maybe you are too busy gigging to make it to any festivals this summer or maybe you are playing a few yourself. If you have the time (and money and sunscreen) we highly recommend getting out there and getting some inspiration from these great festivals.
Here's our brief overview of the Summer Music Festival Calendar, showcasing a few of the biggest summer fests and a few of the top acts at each:
Sasquatch! Music Festival – May 25-28 George, WA
Beck, Jack White, Tenacious D, Bon Iver and a lot of fans who will look like they'd be right at home on the set of Portlandia. Plus a gorgeous setting.
Bonnarroo – June 7-10 Manchester, TN
Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, Bon Iver, The Roots and a whole lot more at another one of the summer's biggest, and hottest, festivals.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival - June 21-24 Telluride, CO
Alison Kraus & Union Station, John Fogerty, Del McCoury Band, Sam Bush Band and Bruce Horsnby, not to mention the beautiful surrounding of Telluride, CO.
Pitchfork Music Festival – July 13-15 Chicago, IL
Vampire Weekend, Real Estate, Beach House, Hot Chip and Atlas Sound, Overheated Hipsters (that last one isn’t actually a band name, yet).
Gathering of the Vibes – July 19-22 Seaside Park Bridgeport, CT
Primus, Phil Lesh & Friends, Bob Weird & Bruce Hornsby, The Avett Brothers, lots of tie-dye and bare feet.
Newport Folk Festival – July 27-29 Newport, RI
Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Gary Clark Jr., Jackson Browne and much more at one of the country's oldest and most historic festivals.
Newport Jazz Festival – August 3-5 Newport, RI
Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz band, The Bad Plus, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny Unity Band...the jazzbos take over Newport a weekend after the folkies (people still say stuff like that, right?).
Lollapalooza – August 3-5 Chicago, IL Grant Park
Black Sabbath (!), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Jack White, The Shins, Black Sabbath (!!), Sigur Ros, Dawes and did we mention Black Sabbath?!!
Outside Lands – August 10-12 San Francisco Golden Gate Park
The return of Neil Young & Crazy Horse plus the great Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Jack White, Foo Fighters and Beck in San Francisco's serene, occasionally scary Golden Gate Park.
Going to any festivals this summer? Gigging at any festivals this summer?! We wan't to know about it! Don't be shy! Leave us a comment!