Summer 2017 Music Festival Darlings You Will Fall in Love With

Photo: Emma McIntyre (Getty Images)

For the true music head, going to a festival is not about FOMO or flower crowns, but about the actual music. What a concept, right?

While it is always a good time to see the usual headliners play their sing-a-long hits, what makes a music festival truly special is that it exposes you to new artists that you probably wouldn’t have come across if you didn’t just happen to walk by a side stage as you were headed to the beer garden or out of one to the nearest porta-potty. 

Also: Movie Composers Made for Music Festivals

Every year, a few lucky music festival darlings breakout in a big way, gaining new fans, who will then humble brag that they saw them play back in the day when no one in the sparse afternoon crowd knew who they were besides their band T-shirt wearing mom.

So, keep an ear out for these 2017 music breakout acts coming near you so you can post about them #first. 

Mura Masa

The 20-year-old DJ/producing wunderkind is a British beat slayer on the verge of superstardom. His debut LP (out July 14 on Anchor Point/Downtown/Interscope) is one of most thirsted over debuts to arrive since Jamie XX’s (whom he compares to) instant classic In Colour. And, God knows we could all use more steel drum.

Upcoming Festival Schedule

Lollapalooza, Aug. 3

Life is Beautiful, Sep. 22

Nick Hakim

Nick Hakim is the kind of deep dude whose Facebook status would be “complicated”. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter makes soft-soul music that speaks loudly. Beautifully dynamic in sound and space, you can feel the love in every spacey-jazz note and bittersweet lyric.

Upcoming Festival Schedule

Austin City Limits, TBD

Bishop Briggs

Don’t be lazy by mis-labeling this viral sensation’s sound as “vintage.” Visceral voices like Briggs are timeless, so “authentic” is a better description for this petite powerhouse, whose music production on hits like “The River” and “The Way I Do” have more in common with DJ Snake than say Adele. Check out an interview I did with her last year.

Upcoming Festival Schedule

Panorama Music Festival, July 30

Lollapalooza, Aug 4

Bottlerock Napa, May 27

Thee Oh Sees

These Bay Area punk rockers shake up any festival stage they crash with their old-school brand of high-energy power chords, growling vocals and all around bad assery. Frontman John Dwyer and company aren’t necessarily doing anything new, but they’re doing it better than most bands trying to capture that garage sound, especially live where they sound better than they do in the studio. Now, how many artists can you say that about in 2017? 

Upcoming Festival Schedule

FYF Festival, July 21

Jai Wolf

The Skrillex and ODESZA approved DJ/producer is one of those uber-talents that’s been bidding his time in the lab, working on his craft, putting out remixes and a buzzed about EP, Kindred Spirits in 2016. Now, Jai Wolf (Sajeeb Saha) is taking his show live with performances that will capture the hearts and mind of festival goers looking to escape into a cinematic landscape of warm and fuzzy, space operatic sounds.

Upcoming Festival Schedule

Electric Forest Festival, June 29

ID10T Music Festival + Conival, June 24

Lollapalooza, Aug. 5

HARD Summer, Aug. 6


The Portland rapper will be running the musical festival marathon after garnering hip hop blog buzz and major record label attention with his viral hit “Caroline”, which has racked up 179 million listens on Spotify (and counting). The outspoken and hilarious Amine is following in the sneakers of underground artists like Chance the Rapper, whose indie motto is to build your own brand and they will come (out to see you live).

Upcoming Festival Schedule

Bonnaroo June 11

Lollapalooza Aug. 6