When: February 18 - 19
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Why You Should Go: Three years ago, snowboarding legend/guitarist Shaun White brought a global Big Air snowboard competition and music festival to L.A. Not only is Air + Style a competition featuring the world’s best winter athletes, but also has the hottest music artists in the game. The two-day event series, held at Expo Park at the L.A. Coliseum, will have performances from Vic Mensa and YG to Flume, Major Lazer and much more. Let's not forget the activities— learning how to snowboard on an Olympic-level, interacting with the latest technology, sampling a variety of food, and creating art.
When: March 13 - 19
Where: Austin, TX
- Drake Makes Surprise Appearance at SXSW: Watch
- Deftones Rock SXSW, Bring Out Bushwick Bill as Special Guest: Review
Why You Should Go: It's the best festival in the world for uncovering new raw talent. SXSW means hopping around bars and venues in Austin, mingling with a mixed group of music fans and music industry people and watching future stars earn their stripes. Of course, you get the big names, too—who could forget Lady Gaga's high-octane performance in 2014?—but half the fun is stumbling across a brand new act, loving them and then bragging about it when that act blows up four months later.
When: March 24 - 26
Where: Miami, FL
2016 Lineup Highlights: Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Kygo, Yellow Claw, AlunaGeorge, Icona Pop, Chainsmokers.
Why You Should Go: Ultra is the most famous EDM festival in North America and for good reason. Do you see the lineup highlights from 2016 up there? We could have kept adding more if we wanted. Also, Miami is a hell of a city to throw a huge party in. Ultra was condensed from two weekends to one in 2014, but that just means the fun is more concentrated.
When: April 14 - 16, April 21 - 23
Where: Indio, CA
- Watch Usher Perform Prince’s ‘I Would Die 4 U’ at Coachella
- Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Reunite N.W.A, Perform with Kendrick Lamar at Coachella: Watch
- Sia's Coachella Performance was One of The Festival's Best Ever
- Coachella 2016: The 13 Best Things We Saw on Sunday
Why You Should Go: Taking place in the middle of the desert, Coachella is a top-notch festival experience that feels like the start of summer festival season. It provides an argument each year that its lineup is king of all festivals, and 2016 was no exception. This year, Beyoncé, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar will headline, need we say more? So do whatever you can to find tickets.
When: May 5 - 7
Where: Atlanta, GA
2016 Lineup Highlights: Major Lazer, ZHU, A$AP Ferg, Tory Lanez, Chromeo, Nas, Yellow Claw
Why You Should Go: The sister festival of rock fest Shaky Knees is back for its second year. Shaky Beats will continue to shake Centennial Olympic Park with headliners like The Chainsmokers, Kaskade, Griz, Flosstradamus, Zeds Dead and Galantis. Get ready to dance the night away with electronic, hip-hop and indie acts.
When: May 5 - 7
Where: Memphis, TN
2016 Lineup Highlights: Beck, Zedd, Megan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls, Lunchmoney Lewis, Bastille, Cypress Hill, Panic! at the Disco, Weezer.
Why You Should Go: Beale Street consistently brings forth one of the most eclectic festival lineups we see year to year. It's a huge advantage to be able to catch such a wide variety of acts in one weekend, so if you're looking for one festival to take in and you have scattered tastes, this might be the one for you.
When: May 12 - 14
Where: Atlanta, GA
2016 Lineup Highlights: Florence and the Machine, Young the Giant, Deftones, My Morning Jacket, Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids, Jane’s Addiction.
Why You Should Go: The rock-centric festival takes place at Centennial Olympic Park and International Plaza. Rock-lovers of all ages can witness more than 60 artists on three stages ranging from iconic to up-and-coming. Check out this year's headliners including The xx, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix and more while munching on food from Atlanta's locals.
When: May 19 - 21
Where: Gulf Shores, AL
2016 Lineup Highlights: The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, The Chainsmokers, Fetty Wap, Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Run the Jewels, Haim, Cage The Elephant.
Why You Should Go: Gorgeous beaches aren't your typical setting for a major music festival, but Hangout manages to draw massive headliners to the beautiful Alabama coastline for a weekend of serious shredding. As its name implies, Hangout is a chill affair that balances the more high-energy antics of Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival and the like with a lineup that is always wildly eclectic.
When: May 26 - 28
Where: George, WA
2016 Lineup Highlights: Disclosure, A$AP Rocky, Oh Wonder, Andra Day, Lion Babe, Vince Staples, Bayonne.
Why You Should Go: The setting alone is enough to coax hordes of people to Sasquatch!, as the main stage is literally on the precipice of a giant cliff overlooking a majestic gorge. Between OutKast's incredible headlining set, Chance The Rapper's triumphant return to the festival circuit and HAIM's most hard-rocking performance of the season, Sasquatch!'s run in 2014 brought about tons of memorable musical moments. (Not like we'd expect anything less from a festival that sold out in a record 90 minutes in 2013.)
When & Where: Mexico City, Feb 25 - 26; Las Vegas, June 16 - 18; UK, July 8; Tokyo, April 29 - 30
2016 Lineup Highlights: Afrojack, Marshmello, Cosmic Gate, Kaskade, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Alison Wonderland.
Why You Should Go: The New York City event is a two-day warm-up for the bigger attraction, which is the insane party in Las Vegas—and 2015 marked the year that EDC went international! There's nary an EDM festival that's more widely anticipated, and Electric Daisy does it right by having acts perform between sunset and sunrise as opposed to during the day. Make sure you stay hydrated—you'll get surprisingly tired considering the sun's not out—but besides that, it's a blast of a festival.
When: June 2 - 4
Where: New York, NY
2016 Lineup Highlights: Kanye West, The Killers, Jamie xx, Two Door Cinema Club, Miguel, Haim, Beck, Robyn, Mac Miller.
- Top 10 Best Performances of (A Shortened) Governors Ball 2016
Why You Should Go: Governors Ball 2013 proved to be the meaning of "the show must go on," as the festival weathered a tropical storm and a flash flood warning on New York's Randall's Island. With an incredible lineup, it was a weekend where attendees had to look past their own mud-caked features and appreciate the music at hand. 2014 paid off for those who returned, as they got to watch major talents hailing from every genre rock so loudly their tunes bounced off the nearby Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Even the super-celebs were stage-hopping: Madonna made sure to catch Disclosure's set, and André 3000 brought his son Seven to the photo pit in order to get up close and personal with Childish Gambino. Don't even get us started on 2015, with Lana Del Rey, deadmau5, Black Keys, Drake and more.
When: June 8 - 11
Where: Manchester, TN
- Chance the Rapper was the Not-So-Secret King of Bonnaroo This Year
- Bonnaroo 2016: Saturday's 10 Coolest Things You Might Have Missed
- Pearl Jam Rocks Bonnaroo, Eddie Vedder Knocks Trump & Transgender Discrimination
Why You Should Go: None of the top few American festivals are as "hardcore" as Bonnaroo for most people who go. It's one of the greatest camping experiences at any festival in the world, and Bonnaroo organizers constantly deliver a fantastic lineup. Once you survive four days sleeping outside and watching awesome bands in the intense Tennessee heat, no one will doubt your festival experience. (And definitely try to catch at least one late-night super jam.)
When: June 15 - 18
Where: Dover, DE
2016 Lineup Highlights: Mumford & Sons, deadmau5, Florence + The Machine, Blink-182, Kings of Leon and more.
- Firefly 2016: The Coolest & Quirkiest Things We Saw
- Gallant's Firefly Performances Were the Secret Treasure in the Woods
- What It Means To See Florence + The Machine on the Last Night of Tour
Why You Should Go: Firefly can still be classified as a start-up of sorts, only launching in 2012. But the festival claims a unique home in the beautiful woodlands of Delaware and has come on strong with powerful lineups. There's camping available as well, so you can make a lot out of this fest!
When: June 16 - August 6
Where: Throughout North America
2016 Lineup Highlights: Good Charlotte, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Waka Flocka Flame, Sum 41, The Summer Set, Yellowcard
- Warped Tour 2016: Live Photos From Scranton
- Yellowcard Is Ending Its Career on a Joyful Note: Warped Tour Review
- 10 People At Warped Tour Told Us What They Thought of The Festival's Pro-Life Tent
Why You Should Go: Warped Tour is the only festival on this list that's actually a full North American tour. It stops in more than 40 cities throughout the course of eight grueling summer weeks, setting up and tearing down a mini-city each day. The festival celebrated its twentieth year in 2014 and continues to blend acts ranging from pop to metalcore to pop-punk to electronic and everything in between. If you're looking for one full, action-packed day of watching bands, Warped is a great place to go and probably not too far from you.
Where: LA & NYC
2016 Lineup Highlights: BTS, Girls' Generation-TTS, CNBLUE, Seventeen, Dynamic Duo, Crush, Twice
- KCON Grows to Biggest Attendance Yet for Fifth Anniversary
- What KCON Tastes Like: Join Us on Our K-Food Tour
- 7 Things You'll Find at KCON That You Won't at Any Other Festival
- KCON 2016 Los Angeles: 12 Best Moments From the Sunday Concert
Why You Should Go: KCON has been called the Mecca of all things K-pop, and has grown exponentially since it was first introduced in 2012 (a.k.a. the year of "Gangnam Style"), evolving from a one-day convention to a multi-coast extravaganza. Even if you aren't well-versed in all things K-pop, the extreme passion you'll see from fans is engaging as any other major festival culture.
When: June 28 - 30
Where: New York, NY
2016 Lineup Highlights: Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Run the Jewels, Grace Potter, Foals, Blood Orange, FKA Twigs, Silversun Pickups, Schoolboy Q.
- Panorama Festival: The 11 Best Acts We Saw at NYC's First-Ever 'Coachella East'
- 14 Big Surprises From the First Day of the First-Ever Panorama Festival in New York City
- Panorama Festival: For Arcade Fire's Return to America, The Music Doesn’t Change, But You Do
Why You Should Go: Here's an east-coast music festival alternative to Coachella, if you didn't get a hold of tickets or can't make it out to the west. The new music festival will give you an almost similar experience with art installations, local food selections and a wide range of music performances. Last year gave us three days of sick lineups. 2017 will bring us Solange, MGMT, Frank Ocean, Nine Inch Nails, A Tribe Called Quest and so much more!
When: June 29 - July 2
Where: New Orleans, LA
- The Best Photos From Essence Festival 2016
- Mariah Carey Hits All the Right Notes at Essence Fest
- Kendrick Lamar Owned Essence Fest With a Mic & Nothing Else
- The Best Shoes Spotted at Essence Festival 2016
Why You Should Go: The magazine's annual festival always brings out R&B and hip-hop royalty (the 2017 iteration will see performances from Chaka Khan plus Diana Ross playing the fest for the first time) along with tons of rising talent and classic favorites. Fans fill NOLA's Superdome for a stylish getaway weekend where everyone dresses to impress while singing along to their favorites of today and yesterday.
When: July 28 - 30
Where: Newport, RI
2016 Lineup Highlights: Edward Sharpe, Norah Jones, Alabama Shakes, Father John Misty.
Why You Should Go: Newport Folk is an American music tradition at this point, but it's hardly just for the family-friendly/Dylan-crooning set. Over the course of three days, musicians that redefine "folk" in every fashion from the soulful belts of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings to the hard-rocking ways of Jack White descend upon Fort Adams and let their music waft across the sail boat-speckled Narragansett Bay. It's scenic, it's chill and it's a great excuse to eat lobster rolls for an entire weekend while rediscovering an appreciation for banjos.
When: August 3 - 6
Where: Chicago, IL
2016 Lineup Highlights: J. Cole, Lana Del Ray, Future, Major Lazer, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Disclosure, Halsey, Ellie Goulding
- Lollapalooza 2016: The Best Live Photos
- Red Hot Chili Peppers Rocked Lollapalooza 2016 (Almost) Like 1992
- The Quintessential Lana Del Rey Things We Saw During Her Lollapalooza Set
Why You Should Go: Lolla has a great reputation as one of the most organized festivals in the country, as we saw in 2012 when a gnarly storm shut things down for part of the weekend. Sets were rescheduled and the show impressively went on. Other pros about the Chicago fest: Krewella say you don't have to dress fancy and you can explore the city by day.
When: September TBD
Where: Philadelphia, PA
- Coldplay, Rihanna & More: The Best Made in America Photos
- The 7 Craziest Made in America Shows
- Bill Clinton Hit Up Made In America Festival with Beyoncé and Chance
- Rihanna Brings the Anti World Tour to Made in America Festival
Why You Should Go: How could a festival founded by Jay Z not be cool? Already in its fifth year, Made in America continues to get more ambitious with both the type of talent and amount of talent it brings to Philly each year. There's an emphasis on pop, hip-hop and electronic acts here, and even though the fest is no longer bi-costal, it still becomes an excellent way to spend Labor Day weekend and close out your summer.
When: September 15 - 17
Where: Chicago, IL
2016 Lineup Highlights: The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Method Man & Redman, Jimmy Eat World, Morrissey, Rob Zombie
Why You Should Go: Riot Fest provides the ultimate cross between mainstream and independent acts, current punk rock megastars and legendary bands from the past. This was on full display in 2013, when Humboldt Park hosted two mega-awesome modern headliners in Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy, and then followed it up with Weezer bringing some serious musical might to the stage alongside acts like the Flaming Lips and Descendents. 2016's lineup (The Flaming Lips, Fitz & The Tantrums) was just as exciting. If the relatively new Riot Fest can keep the momentum going, it'll soon be mentioned in the same breath as America's heaviest-hitting festivals.
When: October 6 - 8, October 13 - 15
Where: Austin, TX
2016 Lineup Highlights: Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, LCD Soundsystem, Kygo, Willie Nelson, Flume, LL Cool J, Chris Stapleton
- Austin City Limits 2016: The Best Photos
- The Chainsmokers Bring Out Desiigner, Perform 'All We Know' With Phoebe Ryan at ACL Fest 2016
- 6 Reasons Mumford & Sons Were the Perfect Headliners to Close ACL Fest 2016
Why You Should Go: ACL Fest comes later in the calendar than Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and SXSW, but that's what makes this festival such a special one to attend. Make no mistake, it's still a huge deal and has sold out for the last decade! But falling in October means that the summer festival rush has ended and this serves as a positive: You get a more relaxed crowd, milder temperatures in Austin and less chaos on the whole. Plus, it's two weekends long now, so the party is twice as good!
When: October TBD
Where: Gainesville, FL
2016 Lineup Highlights: The Ergs!, Less Than Jake, Latterman, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, Dillinger Four
Why You Should Go: If you like punk rock, The Fest is probably one of your favorite weekends of the year. It's a mecca of sorts for punk fans, drawing attendees from countries all over the world. Held in downtown Gainesville, it's a lot like SXSW in that you'll be hopping between multiple venues every day, but the similarities end there, as it's retained a DIY feel throughout each of its 12 years. Held on the same weekend as the annual Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, the University of Florida's college town is left entirely to the 5,000 punks who descend upon it, and the atmosphere is something you have to witness.
When: October 27 - 29
Where: New Orleans, LA
Why You Should Go: Everyone talks about summer festivals, but October's Voodoo Music Experience, in the lively city of New Orleans, challenges the summer fests with an attitude of its own. Whether you're looking for a top-tier festival to beat the heat or wanting to cap off an awesome summer of music with one more weekend of watching huge-name acts, Voodoo is a great choice.
When: November TBD - cancelled?
Where: Austin, TX
2016 Lineup Highlights: Jane's Addiction, Wu-Tang Clan, Chvrches, Grimes, Cheap Trick, ScHoolboy Q, Gogol Bordello
Why You Should Go: Austin just keeps on giving. Fun Fun Fun Fest prides itself on highlighting independent and progressive music, and while it doesn't get the same mainstream love as SXSW or the Austin City Limits Festival, it's still an impressive lineup. All music fans need to make a trip to Austin eventually, and FFF Fest provides an excellent opportunity to do so.
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