The Best Music Festival Lineups for Summer 2015
If you’ve got any feeling left in your legs after the spring festival season, there’s plenty of summer music festival fun to be had. From June through August we have the biggest and best festival lineups for your music-loving ears with bands — Smash Mouth included! — that will have you salivating. Oh wait, that’s just the drugs.
Wakarusa (Ozark, AR)
When: June 4-7
Kicking off the summer festivals is one of a couple Ozark, Arkansas lineups, which keeps it simple with great bands that fly a little under the radar. Older bands like The Roots and Old 97’s meet new arrivals The Growlers, Young the Giant, and Glass Animals. In addition, attendees of the affordable Wakarusa festival will get a glimpse of solo guys like Ben Harper and Donavon Frankenreiter with their full band ensembles.
Governor’s Ball Music Festival (New York City, NY)
When: June 5-7
New York’s biggest summer festival never disappoints, usually right up there with Bonnaroo’s quality lineup. This year, The Black Keys, Tame Impala, and Florence + The Machine will rock the stage hard with new music, and solo artists Ryan Adams and Noel Gallagher will knock your socks off with their backing bands. On the other side of the spectrum, Deadmau5 and Odesza will turn you up while sexy lady singer-songwriters Bjork and Lana del Rey will lightly move your hips. If that’s not enough, mid-level rockers The War on Drugs, My Morning Jacket, and The Decembrists will make it on stage to finish you off.
Mountain Jam (Hunter Mountain, NY)
When: June 4-7
Mountain Jam is another New York festival of the smaller variety that attracts an earthy crowd. The Black Keys will host a few soulful acts like Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Rusted Root, and Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters. Alabama Shakes will debut some of their latest new music, and Gov’t Mule will perform two sets, including new music from their latest album, “Dark Side of the Mule.” If you’re looking to relax and feel out some good tunes, this is the less hectic of the New York festivals.
Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN)
Bonnaroo never disappoints and this year is no different. Pulling in some classics, Tears for Fears and Billy Joel will have you reaching for your acid-wash jeans, along with Mumford & Sons and Ben Folds holding some headliner slots. Alabama Shakes will continue their strong festival stretch, along with the ever-androgynous Against Me! and Florence + The Machine to shake your head to. Guster and Glass Animals will tie up loose ends and then, of course, everyone will lose what’s left of their minds to the beats of Flying Lotus, Tycho, and Kendrick Lamar.
Firefly Music Festival (Dover, DE)
When: June 18-21
Kings of Leon is back, but the boys didn’t come alone. They’ll be greeted along with other American rockers Modest Mouse and The Killers, all debuting new music for (our eager ears). Other cool acts to check out feature Morrissey and Snoop Dogg, along with Kid Cudi and the beautiful sounds of Tycho. Cold War Kids, The Kooks, and Empire of the Sun will fill in the gaps, along with Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, Bad Suns, and the newly trending Grizfolk.
Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)
When: June 24-July 5
For 19 bucks you can check out Jane’s Addiction, Kings of Leon, and Linkin Park; that alone is well worth the ticket price. But concert goers can also get a load of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Coheed and Cambria, Third Eye Blind, and The Kooks as well. Solo acts like
Kaskade, Kendrick Lamar, and Keith Urban will pull ears in another direction or two and classic bands like Flogging Molly and Foghat will pull up some good old fashioned musical nostalgia. And if that doesn’t give your tinnitus, the resurgence of staple ’90s groups, Tonic and Smash Mouth, will!
Pitchfork Festival (Chicago, IL)
When: July 17-19
The smaller, indie style festival will keep its lineup simple but impressive with Wilco at the helm, and Caribou, Chvrches, and Kurt Vile & the Violators to follow behind. Jessica Pratt and The New Pornographers will also make an appearance, but in relation to the Chicago Blues Festival and Lollapalooza, Pitchfork holds its spot as the quaint, yet steady rocking, affordable Chicago summer festival
Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL)
When: July 31-August 2
Chicago is going for quality this year at Lollapalooza, so as soon you finish up at Pitchfork, rest up and hit the Windy City for the likes of Paul McCartney, Florence + The Machine, Tame Impala, and Father John Misty. New music from Alabama Shakes and alt-J will grace the stage and smaller but solid acts like Angus and Julia Stone, The War on Drugs and Of Monsters & Men will tear open the weekend. Flying Lotus, Kaskade and Sam Smith will mix things up a bit, and we suppose Metallica will be there making a ton of noise too.
Outside Lands (San Francisco, CA)
When: August 7-9
San Francisco knows how to get weird in the summertime, and Outside Lands will bring out the best with Wilco, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, and Elton John set to headline. Lots of anti-rock is in store with the likes of Robert Delong, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, and Caribou. Tame Impala, Glass Animals, and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals will appear to hand off some of their latest tunes. Did we mention Billy Idol will be there?
The Peach Music Festival (Scranton, PA)
When: August 13-16
With a small but sturdy lineup, Scranton’s Peach Festival will welcome some old timers like Gregg Allman, Willie Nelson & Family, Rusted Root, and Bob Weir with Bill & The Kids. In addition, G. Love & Special Sauce and Old Crow Medicine Show will get the kids moving at the hips. Santana and Warren Haynes will be in attendance with some of the festival’s biggest solos.