Coachella is over, which means music festival season is in full swing. Many music fans are already planning their trip to Chicago for this year’s Lollapalooza or buying their camping gear and flip-flops for Bonnaroo, but we think it’s time to take a look at a few of the more under-the-radar festivals.
Some of these fests will connect you to your surroundings, whether it’s the beaches of the Gulf Shore for Hangout Fest or the best local eats at Brooklyn’s Great Googa Mooga. Others will take you to unlikely locations, like the Gorge in Quincy, Washington for Sasquatch or the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Southeast Ohio for Nelsonville Music Fest.
Here’s our list of 10 festivals that should be on your radar (if they’re not already) for this summer and many summers to come.
Sweetlife Festival – May 11 – Columbia, Maryland
This one-day festival mixes music and food, but prides itself on its do-gooderness. Held by Sweetgreen, Washington, D.C. eatery started by three friends in 2007, the fest gives back to the local community by teaching them about the importance of healthy eating and green living. Now in its third year, the fest is preaching sustainability by keeping things carbon neutral, offsetting the power generated at Sweetlife through the use of solar panels on their main stage, which will feature performances from Phoenix, Passion Pit and Kendrick Lamar. In order to keep the Merriweather Post Pavillion clean, they’re stressing the motto “no bottle or cup left behind.” As incentive, they’re even asking fans to trade in their recyclables from the festival for Sweetlife swag like custom sunglasses, a festival poster or a skateboard.
Great Googa Mooga – May 17-19 – Brooklyn, New York
Now celebrating its second year, this festival from Bonnaroo promoter Superfly is ideally for the the music-loving foodie – the type of person who is there for the bands as much as the gourmet gluttony. Set in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, attendees can see more than 20 bands including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Flaming Lips (who kick off the festivities), while enjoying local eats from 85 different restaurants (and even more breweries) set up in charming hand-painted booths that are reminiscent of the good ol’ days of New York. Best part is, Saturday and Sunday, featuring performances from acts like Matt & Kim and Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings, are free to those who register. So pack your loosest pair of pants ’cause it’s gonna be a good time.
Kanrocksas Music Festival – June 28- 29 – Kansas Speedway
Dorothy had it right. There’s no place like home when you live in Kansas. This Midwest fest has a few well-known names in its lineup — like Tiesto, Kendrick Lamar, fun. and Yeah Yeah Yeahs — but rounding out the rest are up-and-comers to know and old favorites you may have forgotten about. This festival prides itself on its artistic spirit, which translates to there being a lot of carnival-esque activities. Hang out in Beer Island (that can’t be bad, can it?) or take a ride on the Ferris Wheel Of Lights. Need to cool off? Head over to the giant 200-foot high water slide, or maybe go check out the hot air balloons run by proud Kansas native John Petrehn, the No. 1-ranked balloonist (we didn’t even know they ranked balloon artists).