With dozens of festivals honoring everything from pop music and po-boys to tomatoes and Tennessee Williams, New York City is a festival-filled destination every weekend of the year. Whether you want to rock out to live music, sample craft cocktails or admire thousands of gorgeous orchids, there’s something to do this weekend.
Launched in 1959 as a counterpoint to Newport Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival has since become a showcase for both traditional and contemporary folk musicians. Today it continues to push boundaries with a lineup that includes blues, country and alt country artists along with folk punk and indie folk acts. The event also attracts a diverse crowd that celebrates the music with dance parties, merriment and a renowned food marketplace.
The longest-running music festival in America, Chicago’s Lollapalooza was founded by a group of college students who wanted to create a music festival that highlighted their city’s eclectic mix of talent. The festival has grown to include more than 120 bands on multiple stages at Grant Park over the course of four days each August, while also introducing the world to electronic and hip-hop acts that are now household names. Despite its popularity, Lollapalooza maintains an intimate atmosphere and remains one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in North America.
Located just over three hours apart, Reading and Leeds Festivals are a two-day series of music festivals in England. Known for their rowdy crowds, mosh pits and legendary headliners, the events are managed by festival powerhouse Festival Republic and have an anything goes attitude that hasn’t diminished over the years. The festival was also a launching pad for several UK punk rock bands including the Misfits and Def Leppard, and continues to draw heavy metal and alternative music fans.
In 2022, Pharrell launched his own music festival titled Something in the Water to celebrate his hometown of Virginia Beach, Va. Unlike many other music festivals, he doesn’t release the full lineup until just before it begins so that attendees can anticipate what artists will perform and plan their trip accordingly. The festival has now expanded to Washington, D.C. and is a popular choice for fans of electronic music who want to escape from the daily grind and get lost in the music.
For music and beer lovers, the Denver Cannabis & Music Festival is an excellent opportunity to get some live action in an otherwise solitary city. This year’s line-up includes Alkaline Trio, The Story So Far, Four Year Strong, Hawthorne Heights and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. The event will also host a 5K run, a tribute to the late Zack Golditch, and a variety of cannabis-related activations.