One thing the pandemic took from us -- up until this summer -- has been music festivals, and thankfully for music lovers across the world, festivals are back, and there are so many you can pick from.
There are obviously the big ones, like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, but there are also tinier festivals across the country that have smaller lineups, but aren’t as expensive.
It’s all about the vibes of the festival and if it fits with what you’re looking for.
Here’s what to expect:
Location: Manchester, Tennessee
Headliners: Stevie Nicks, The Chicks, Tool, J. Cole and Flume
You’ve probably heard of Coachella (which took place earlier this month), but Bonnaroo is almost the opposite of Coachella.
Sure, you’re going to see more or less the same kind of acts, but Bonnaroo is dirty, sweaty and hot. You aren’t dressing to hopefully get photographed by a Vogue photographer -- you’re dressing for comfort and survival.
That being said, it’s just a really fun music festival. Everyone is super nice, it never feels cramped, and it’s fun to camp at the same place where the music is happening. Get yourself a little “Roo crew” and you’ll have the best weekend of your life.
Bonnaroo is really good at curating a lineup with a little something for everyone. You’ve got rock, country, rap, pop and everything in between.
Headliners: Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day and Doja Cat
This Chicago fest was lucky enough to happen last summer, so it’s not like fans missed it too much, since it only took off one year.
Lollapalooza is a fun music festival to go to if you’ve never dipped your toe in the festival world. It takes place in the heart of Chicago, so it’s nice that you get to go back to a hotel/Airbnb/friend’s couch at night and get some solid sleep.
It is always extremely crowded, with a lot of young kids from the ‘burbs on their own in the city for the first time without their parents, but if you go see artists who Gen Z isn’t obsessed with, you can do a pretty good job of avoiding the big, obnoxious crowds.
Much like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza has a decent mix of genres of music, but as always, things tend to be aimed at Gen Z now, and not millennials.
Location: Somerset, England
Headliners: Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish
If Coachella is the premiere music festival in the United States, then Glastonbury is the counterpart in England.
Now, that doesn’t mean that Glastonbury has the same vibes as Coachella. It’s actually more comparable to Bonnaroo, especially when it comes to picking a diverse lineup of acts. Where else in the world can you see a Beatle and a Supreme headline in the same weekend?
Sadly, Glastonbury has been sold out for quite some time, so unless you have a ton of money to drop, none of us will be there. Still, it’s nice to imagine how much fun this festival would be.
Location: Dover, Delaware
Headliners: Halsey, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Dua Lipa and Weezer
If you want a tinier version of Bonnaroo with not-so-muggy weather, this Firefly event is perfect for you.
The camping element is there, which is always so much fun, and again, they offer a pretty diverse lineup. You’ll get all the pop and rap you need, but with the inclusion of My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Weezer and Avril Lavigne, so you can relive those emo high school days.
Headliners: Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Metallica, Weezer, Modest Mouse and HAIM
There are two things that make Boston Calling different from the other festivals.
One, is that the festival takes place on the grounds of Harvard University. You get to brag to your friends that you’ve been to Harvard, so that’s pretty fun!
Second, is that this festival stays true to its rock ‘n’ roll origins. Sure, there are a few rap acts, but this is mostly guitars, and for fans of indie rock and six strings, this festival was basically made for you.
Headliners: Big Sean, Glass Animals and Jhene Aiko
All the festivals on this list have been huge, with massive lineups, but not every music fest is trying to go super big.
Take Mo Pop, in Detroit, for example.
With around 24 acts, you can actually see each and every band that plays at the festival, where as at other festivals, you end up only seeing a handful of the artists because there are four different bands playing at the same time.
If you want super chill vibes where you can lay in a hammock and listen to music on a beautiful summer day, buy some tickets to Mo Pop.
Life Is Beautiful
Location: Las Vegas
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris, Gorillaz, Lorde
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and the same can be said about the Life Is Beautiful festival.
This is one of those music festivals where it almost doesn’t matter who is playing because you’re in Vegas. You’re going to have fun, regardless of who is playing. If you love dancing to DJs and house music, this festival is one for you.