Although the roots of the camping-and-music craze date back to the Summer of Love and Woodstock, the popularity of music festivals in America has grown exponentially in recent years. Each region has developed its own signature event, complete with a locally inspired aura and lineups that cater to a specific segment of the listening public.
The summer is fast-approaching, meaning it’s time to start planning your summer 2015 music festival itinerary. These five festivals offer exciting features to please even the most jaded live music fans: beautiful settings, diverse lineups, and unique dining options.
Ultra Music Festival — Miami — March 27-29, 2015
Ultra Miami has positioned itself as America’s premier electronic dance music showcase. The 2015 edition builds on the success of last year’s event, bringing three days of big beats, explosive drops and big melodies to two stages at Miami’s Bayfront Park.
While some of Ultra’s biggest-name performers are its headlining DJs, it’s the festival’s Live stage that separates it from similar events. Some of the world’s most popular EDM and IDM artists will perform with the help of live bands, taking their stage shows beyond what you’d expect from a DJ set. Thanks to Miami’s thriving nightlife scene, the Ultra party doesn’t stop at the festival entrances. Parties by Space and Link Miami Rebels bring Ultra-approved underground artists to South Florida’s best clubs.
Ultra Music Festival 2015 Lineup Highlights:
Porter Robinson (live)
Ultra Music Festival 2015 price: $449.95
Coachella — Indio, Calif. — April 10-12, April 17-19
You can’t discuss the new wave of American music festivals without mentioning Coachella. This California event is the standard-bearer among summer live music events, drawing hundreds of thousands of fans to the Southern California desert in search of sets from some of the world’s most popular musicians.
Coachella traditionally skews toward the indie set, attracting performers both up-and-coming and established. This year’s list covers genres as diverse as hip-hop (Run the Jewels, Drake), EDM (John Talabot, John Hopkins) and indie (Perfume Genius, Sylvan Esso), providing two weekends’ worth of sonic splendor just a short drive away from LA.
Coachella 2015 Lineup Highlights:
Coachella 2015 price: $375
Sasquatch! Festival — Quincy, Wash. — May 22-25
Sasquatch carries on the rich tradition of the Pacific Northwest, a corner of the United States that has never been starved for sonic innovation. Local legends, rap royalty, and up-and-coming indie favorites share the stage at the festival, located several hours east of Seattle.
The festival takes place at the Gorge, a beautiful location in the remote reaches of Central Washington. Modest Mouse is the region’s most acclaimed representative, joined by critically acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar, electro-pop producer Cashmere Cat, and emergent indie-folk musicians Angel Olsen and Courtney Barnett. The feel of Sasquatch is pure PacNW, bringing quirk and personality to the banks of the Columbia River.
Sasquatch! Festival Lineup Highlights:
Father John Misty
Sasquatch! Festival price: $350
The Governors Ball — New York City — June 5-7
This weekend-long festival mirrors the diversity of its city, bringing to NYC a host of performers from every corner of the music world. The Governors Ball takes place on Randalls Island, a relatively remote strip of land in the middle of the East River. Although it turns transportation a bit of a chore, the location sets up spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline looming large over the main stage.
Fans of rap, indie, pop, and even folk can find an artist to embrace on The Governors Ball 2015 lineup. Old standards like Conor Oberst and Atmosphere take the stage between sets from newcomers like Twin Shadow and DIIV, solidifying the Big Apple’s claim to the title of “Music Capital of the World.”
The Governors Ball Lineup Highlights:
The Black Keys
Sharon Van Etten
Governors Ball 2015 price: $260