Summer is that time of year when festival junkies can look forward to a wrist full of colorful admission bracelets, dancing wildly in the mud and hearing their favorite bands on tour. These five festivals are worth a trek across the country as they boast A-list performances, everyoneâ€™s favorite street food and of course, cramped camping quarters that will make you fast friends with your neighborâ€”Whatâ€™s not to love?
GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, July 19-22, Trumansburg, New York
Since 1991, this eclectic gathering of talent has been entertaining the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. Every genre, from bluegrass, zydeco, reggae, rock, hip hop, folk and rockabilly is represented among the dozens of performers. Music continues all night on at least one of the four stages that have hosted the likes of Ani Difranco, Michael Franti and Nickel Creek. Diverse cuisine and handmade arts and crafts abound at this family friendly fest, and the atmosphere is very mellow and laidback. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, by eoringel
Burning Man, August 27-September 3, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Over 50,000 people flock to the makeshift â€śBlack Rock Cityâ€ť in the heart of the desert for a week of self-expression, art, music and dance. Started in 1986, the festival has evolved into a multi-sensory extravaganza opposed to a venue for big name bands. The spirit of the gathering is â€śanti-commercialismâ€ť and â€śradical self-relianceâ€ť so you wonâ€™t find a trace of Black Rock City once the fun is over. Donâ€™t miss the ritual burning of the 12 meter tall effigy on Saturday night, an event thatâ€™s dramatically performed along with plenty of neon and fireworks. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by Tanais Fox
Electric Zoo, August 31-September 2, Randallâ€™s Island, New York
If you like electronic music, you will love this relatively new festival, established in 2009. Hugely popular and internationally acclaimed DJs keep the energy pumping to the delight of 85,000 spectators from around the world. David Guetta, Tiesto, and Deadmau5 are just a few of the big names that have graced the four headliner stages. The 24 acre park, situated along the East River, will be practically quaking beneath the vigor of the crowdâ€™s dance moves. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by weekly dig
Bumbershoot, September 1-3, Seattle, Washington
The history of this celebration reaches all the way back to 1971, when tens of thousands of eager spectators joined together at the Seattle Center. Today, Bumbershoot hosts over a dozen stages where kabuki theater, dance troupes, circuses and chart-topping musicians wow the crowds. Creative acts like breakdancing, poetry slams and contortionism have even been known to grace the stage. The countryâ€™s largest urban arts fest, enjoy gourmet food vendors, talented artisans and entertainment everywhere you turn. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by Seattle Municipal Archives
Austin City Limits Festival, October 12-14, Austin, Texas
If big names are what youâ€™re after, the Austin City Limits line up will not disappoint. Renowned for drawing the crĂ¨me de la crĂ¨me, this year it will boast such massive acts as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys and Jack White. Unique attractions like a full farmerâ€™s market, an NFL football viewing lounge and bar, and makeshift record store make the festival grounds so action packed you wonâ€™t want to leave!
Book your hotel in New York, Seattle or Austin, or pitch a tent in the desert of Nevada for an unforgettable summer festival experience!
Title Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by Christian Haugen