For some, summer means long days of working and for others, it means long days by the pool. Regardless of what’s on the agenda, everyone needs to get his or her good dosage of music in for the summer, ideally by way of festivals. Whether it’s a reward after a week’s work at your hectic internship, or simply something to look forward in the midst of an otherwise uneventful summer, a music festival is always an excellent item to mark up your calendar with.
For the in-state student, Bonnaroo may be the farthest trek, located in Manchester, TN, but it's certainly worth the journey, as it features the largest total amount of artists among the festivals. For mid-westerners, the ritual visit to Chicago is a summer staple—what better way is there to see the city than en route to hear top-notch music? (And for people looking to get their 80s on, I guess this is the place…just don’t cry when you see how old Robert Smith is). Pitchfork, also in Chicago (Union Park), is the underestimated gem of festivals—small and manageable, yet an equally killer time—and it’s not too late to buy tickets!
Most anticipated: Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Björk. Including Wilco, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Animal Collective.
Most underestimated highlight: Tallest Man on Earth. Watch Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson play for one of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.
Most anticipated: The Cure, Mumford & Sons, and The Killers. Including Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, New Order, The Postal Service, Azealia Banks, Lana Del Rey, Crystal Castles, and Beach House.
Most underestimated highlight: MS MR. Listen for the New York duo’s debut single “Hurricane” and check out their compelling music video compilation.
Most anticipated: Björk, Belle & Sebastian, and R. Kelly. Including Joanna Newsom, Solange, M.I.A., Toro y Moi, Sky Ferreira, Parquet Courts, Chairlift, and Yo La Tengo.
Most underestimated highlight: Phosphorescent.
Detroit Electronic Music Festival in Hart Plaza, downtown Detroit, began in 2000, focusing on dance beat/DJ artists and bringing in over 100,000 listeners last year. Voted “Best Niche Festival” in 2011 by Rolling Stone, performances not only feature musicians from all over the world, but also cater to viewers at any age. The festival is a capital way to support Detroit’s regrowth while getting in on the forefront of techno musician performances—so in addition to the summer's chief music festivals, this is one you want to be sure not to miss.