6 Summer Music Festivals Worth Traveling For

Apr 23, 2017

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One telltale sign that summer’s in full swing is when music festival season kicks off. Get ready to follow your favorite acts from stages in Somerset, England, to Manchester, Tennessee, whether that means you’re camping out at farms in the middle of nowhere or dancing the night away on the beach. To get you in full festival mode, we’ve narrowed down the seemingly endless list of events happening around the globe, highlighting six of the ones you won’t want to miss this year.

1. Glastonbury Festival

Set on the 900-acre Worthy Farm in Somerset in southwestern England, Glastonbury is seen by many as the modern-day Woodstock. With more than 800 acts playing on 80 different stages, the festival brings the best in the biz, from pop stars like Katy Perry to rock legends like Radiohead. Camping fields are included in your ticket price, so pitch a tent — or Tipi if you managed to score one before they sold out — and get ready for the five-day non-stop party.

Dates: June 21-25

Headliners: Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, The Flaming Lips, Haim

Ticket Cost: Full weekend tickets are £238 (~$304), plus a £5 (~$6) booking fee

VIP Access: Not applicable

Glastonbury is a great reason to jet off to England this summer, catching acts like Radiohead and Foo Fighters. Image courtesy of Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury is a great reason to jet off to England this summer, catching acts like Radiohead and Foo Fighters. Image courtesy of Glastonbury Festival’s Facebook page.

2. Primavera Sound

Now in its 17th year, Barcelona‘s Primavera Sound will bring more than 200 acts — from punk band Descendents to the legendary Grace Jones — to this five-day indie and electronic festival that’s one of the largest in Europe.

Dates: May 31-June 4

Headliners: Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, The xx, Slayer, Solange, Van Morrison

Ticket Cost: Full festival tickets are already sold out, but you can buy a day ticket for Thursday for 80 euros (~$86)

VIP Access: Sold Out

Over 200 bands will play in Barcelona during Primavera Sound. Image courtesy of Santiago Periel via Primavera Sound Festival
More than 200 bands will play in Barcelona during Primavera Sound. Image courtesy of Primavera Sound Festival’s Facebook Page.

3. Hangout Music Festival

Half of Hangout’s allure is its beachside locale, set on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Think of this as a grown-up version of summer vacation, complete with oceanside condo stays and dancing on the beach to a top-notch lineup that gets better every year.

Dates: May 19-21

Headliners: Mumford & Sons, MGMT, Major Lazer, Weezer, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean

Ticket Cost: $309 for a general admission wristband 

VIP Access: Tickets start at $1,099 and include access to the Thursday kick-off party, stage-side pool and food and drinks all weekend long. If you really want to go all out, Super VIP tickets are $1,599 and include gourmet fare and hot tubs with prime views of main stage acts. 

Catch your favorite acts right on the beach in Alabama at Hangout in Gulf Shores. Image courtesy of The Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival
Catch your favorite acts right on the beach this summer in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Image courtesy of The Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival’s Facebook Page.

4. The Governors Ball Music Festival

The best part about this music fest is how convenient it is to reach. Set on Randall’s Island in New York City, the three-day event is perfect for those who can’t make it to larger festivals across the States — or who aren’t big on camping — but still want to catch big-name acts like Flume and Phoenix.

Dates: June 2-4

Headliners: Phoenix, Flume, Lorde, Childish Gambino, Air, Wiz Khalifa

Ticket Cost: $125 per day or $335 for a three-day pass

VIP Access: $285 per day or $740 for a regular three-day VIP pass; VIP Plus is sold out

Spend the day on Randall
Spend the day on Randall’s Island in NYC dancing to acts like Phoenix and Flume. Image courtesy of The Governors Ball Music Festival’s Facebook page.

5. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Crowds of up to 80,000 make their way to the farm in Manchester, Tennessee, each June for four days of music, art, comedy and camping. Catch 150 performances from heavy hitters like U2 spread across 10 different stages, with music that plays on until sunrise.

Dates: June 8-11

Headliners: U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Chance the Rapper

Ticket Cost: From $349.50 for a four-day pass or $210.50 for a one-day ticket, which includes a Nashville shuttle pass

VIP Access: From $1,648.50 for a pair of two VIP tickets

Camp on the farm at Bonnaroo, with more than 10 stages, a cinema and a comedy theater. Image courtesy of Bonnaroo Music & Art Festival
Camp on the farm at Bonnaroo, with more than 10 stages, a cinema and a comedy theater. Image courtesy of Bonnaroo Music & Art Festival’s Facebook page.

6. Lollapalooza

As if you needed another reason to visit Chicago, Lollapalooza’s not a bad one. The four-day festival in the center of the city brings together more than 170 bands from across the globe, as well as some of the Windy City’s best eats.

Dates: August 3-6

Headliners: Muse, Arcade Fire, The xx, The Killers, The Shins, Blink-182

Ticket Cost: Sold Out

VIP Access: From $650 for one day or $2,200 for all four days

Nosh on some of Chicago
Nosh on some of Chicago’s best street food while watching acts like Muse at Lollapalooza. Image courtesy of Lollapalooza’s Facebook page.

Which music festivals are on your summer travel bucket list? Tell us about your favorites, below.

Featured image courtesy of Lollapalooza’s Facebook page.

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