Neighborhood block parties, sunsets in the late evening and the collective sense of optimism in the air are signs summer is upon us. It’s also the season when the public thirsts for live, outdoor entertainment.
For the music fan, festivals across the country draw large crowds of people eager to wait in long lines so they can vibe out to the sounds of artists under the heat of the sizzling summer sun.
While many of the hottest contemporary artists end up as top headliners for most festivals, others pull in big crowds by landing that ever-elusive top act. OutKast, for example, played Coachella in 2014 and Jay Z played the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival the same year.
Keeping track of music festival schedules may be confusing or you may be out of the festival loop, but don’t sweat it. Here is a definitive list of music festivals you can’t miss this summer.
1The Roots Picnic – The Jay Z-powered Made In America Festival may be the reason scores of people from across the country hit the city of Philadelphia during festival season, but many locals (and not-so-locals alike) know the Roots Picnic, created and spearheaded by legendary Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, might very well be the “Best Festival in Philly.”
To celebrate their ten-year anniversary, the Roots Picnic organizers have enlisted the likes of Khalid, Thundercat, 21 Savage, Solange, and Lil’ Wayne. Pharrell Williams, who will be backed by The Roots, is this year’s headliner. By the looks of things, you may want to check out the City Of Brotherly Love a little sooner this summer. Buy tickets here.
2Panorama – The Panorama Festival includes one of the more diverse lineups in the country this year. Created by AEG Live subsidiary Goldenvoice, a concert and entertainment production company, Panorama is in its second year.
This year, the festival returns to New York’s Randall’s Island. Organizers have managed to book a “who’s who” of talent spanning various genres of music including artists like Tyler The Creator, Girl Talk, Noname and Justice. Frank Ocean (who you’ll see as a headliner for many of these festivals), Nine Inch Nails, Tame Impala, and A Tribe Called Quest are 2017 headliners.
The three-day festival is sure to be a good time for all attendees, and you may just discover someone new there. Buy tickets here.
3Broccoli City – It’s pretty cool when festival organizers aim to provide their attendees with a great experience and also generate awareness for a particular cause. Washington D.C.’s Broccoli City Festival, created by a group of local Black creatives known as the Broccoli City Lifestyle Group, blends great musical talent with health and environmental awareness revolving around Earth Day festivities.
The festival has only been around since 2013, but has managed to attract some high-powered names like Cam’Ron, Erykah Badu, Kaytranada, and Just Blaze. This year’s show looks to build on their emerging presence with acts such as Nao, Alunageorge, Smino, Lil Yachty, and 21 Savage. Rae Sremmurd and Solange will appear as headlining acts.
If you’re looking to learn more about all-natural food practices while rocking out to “No Heart,” then the Broccoli City festival is for you. Buy tickets here.
4Lollapalooza – Rock star Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction front man, originally created Lollapalooza as a farewell touring festival for his band. Since inception, the festival has emerged as one of the best annual music festivals in the country. Chicago’s Grant Park has been the festival’s US location since its resurrection in 2005, and this year’s lineup does more than enough to uphold the festival’s prestige.
Headliners include Arcade Fire, The Killers and Muse, with a special headlining appearance from hometown hero Chance The Rapper. Other acts on the bill include Run The Jewels, Blink-182, Little Dragon, Big Sean, Sampha and more.
Bad news: tickets initially show as sold out at press time, but be sure to check out the festival’s ticket sites to see if more have been released.
5Rolling Loud – Considered the “can’t miss” festival of 2017, Miami’s Rolling Loud Festival might have the best lineup of the summer even though the festival almost didn’t happen. Local authorities disputed if the festival was submitted and authorized properly to use the Bayfront Park venue. But no worries, the festival will go on as planned, and with a lineup featuring acts such as Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Young Thug, and more, anyone checking out Rolling Loud just might be in for the concert of their life.