I am an avid lover of live music, and music festival season is coming up very shortly. Big-name festivals like Rolling Loud, Lollapalooza, and, of course, Coachella are right around the corner, and everyone is already flocking to buy tickets to see their favorite artists perform live. If you’re planning on trying to go to a music festival this year, here are some lesser-known festivals that you might want to check out.
This list is excluding big names like Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and so on. I have also added some that are in Ohio, so it’s not too far of a drive!
The local Cleveland music festival, formerly known as LaureLive, is a local festival for Ohioans and Clevelanders. Located at the Lakeland Community College, this year it’s bringing in big names like Portugal. The Man, Of Monsters and Men, Walk The Moon, and Saint Motel. Going from June 6 to June 7, there will be a variety of alternative, indie, and pop acts performing throughout the two scheduled days. I’ll be there this summer, so if you’re planning on coming, feel free to stop by and say hi to me!
Chicago is well known for Lollapalooza, but they also bring in another big festival called Pitchfork. Held at Union Park in Chicago, this festival has been going since 2006. The lineup for 2020 has not been announced yet, but the headliners of 2019 included Haim, Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha T, and Clairo. With a variety of music genres, Pitchfork normally brings in alternative, hip-hop, and electronic acts. The dates have yet to be announced as well, but 2019’s dates were from July 19 to July 21.
Austin City Limits
Technically, this festival is not actually held during the summer, but it’s held in October. This is a two-weekend event that has since spread to different countries and is produced by the same company that produced Lollapalooza. Held in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, this festival expanded to Auckland and Sydney. Though they typically have indie, pop, and alternative acts, 2019’s headliners brought household names such as Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Guns N’ Roses, Tame Impala, and Childish Gambino to name a few. It is happening the weekends of Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 and Oct. 9 through Oct. 11, but the lineup for this year is still under wraps. ACL includes more than just live music, as they offer an art market and activities for families with children.
Originally a festival for local musicians, Kentucky’s Forecastle music festival has grown to attract crowds in the thousands. It annually occurs at Louisville’s Waterfront Park, and the three-day festival is happening from July 17 to July 19 this year. With a large variety of genres, acts like Playboi Carti, The Killers, and Chvrches all played the festival last year. The lineup for 2020 has yet to be announced but has been teased as coming very soon. Aside from music, Forecastle encourages multiple artists to show off installation work for the festival’s yearly theme. Forecastle is also heavily involved with activism, with the creator of Forecastle starting a foundation to protect the earth.
Another Ohio festival, Sonic Temple, has replaced the long-running Rock on the Range. This rock and metal festival in Columbus at the MAPFRE Stadium has the dates that range from May 14 to May 17. This year’s current lineup brings Metallica, Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, The Pretty Reckless, and Pennywise all to Columbus. Sonic Temple also will bring artists to showcase their talents. As an avid listener of rock and metal music, it’s on my bucket list to go to Sonic Temple at least once in my life.
Only recently was Boston Calling considered a festival, as it started in 2013 but has grown immensely since. Starting on May 22 and ending on May 24, the three-day festival’s lineup for this year has headliners from the ’90s. Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline and perform alongside artists like The Struts, Banks, and The 1975.
In Rothbury, Michigan, the Electric Forest festival takes over for four days with electronic and jam bands performing. From June 25 to June 28, DJs like Major Lazer and Diplo will perform alongside bands like The String Cheese Incident and Disco Biscuits to bring the city of Rothbury to life.
So many festivals this year have great lineups, and I wish I had the money to go to every single one. Hopefully, you found a new festival to see this summer or you have decided on new plans for a road trip with your friends! I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, and I’ll see you all next week!