Manchester, Tenn., June 11–14
Situated in an unassuming Tennessee town, Bonnaroo has come to attract hippies and those who can handle port-o-potties, carnival-style cuisine, and three straight days of camping. This year’s lineup features two shows by the freshly reunited Phish and sets by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Elvis Costello, David Byrne, and Al Green.
Essence Music Festival
New Orleans, July 3–5
The Crescent City welcomes visitors with a solid lineup of R&B, soul, and hip-hop acts. The Essence festival’s big-name headliner—including Beyoncé, John Legend, and Bill Cosby—stand out among summer’s surfeit of rock-based festivals.
Pitchfork Music Festival
Union Park, Chicago, July 17–19
For the past three years, the website Pitchfork has built on its coverage of indie acts by uniting them onstage each summer. This year, ticket holders can suggest set lists for Friday’s performers, which include Built to Spill, Yo La Tengo, and Tortoise.
George Wein’s Folk Festival 50 and Jazz Festival 55
Newport, R.I., Aug. 1–2, Aug. 7–9
George Wein, the brains behind the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals, this year presents a folk slate that includes a pleasant mix of the old and new, with acts ranging from Pete Seeger and Joan Baez to Fleet Foxes and Iron & Wine. The Jazz Festival brings together such legends as Tony Bennett, Etta James, and the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
Grant Park, Chicago, August 7–9
Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction founded Lollapalooza in 1991, and he reunites with the band at this year’s edition. Other headliners include Tool, the Killers, and Depeche Mode. But the real draw is the year’s standout indie acts, including Vampire Weekend, Andrew Bird, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and No Age.
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Aug. 28–30
Only in its second year, the Outside Lands festival takes place in the heart of San Francisco. The Dave Matthews Band is headlining, and Pearl Jam, M.I.A, and Mastodon are also scheduled to perform.
All Tomorrow’s Parties
Kutsher’s Country Club, Monticello, N.Y., Sept. 11–13
After last year’s successful trial run, the acclaimed British festival has found a home in the United States. The slate, including Animal Collective and Panda Bear, is curated by the Flaming Lips, who will perform on Sunday.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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