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Telluride Forbes Global

The 10 Coolest Summer Festivals In America

There are more summer festivals in more cities now than ever, so it won’t be hard to find a great one near you. But these standouts from the pack are worth traveling across the country to experience.

1. Sasquatch!
May 24-27
Quincy, Washington

Kicking off the summer over Memorial Day weekend, Sasquatch! is held in the Gorge Amphitheatre, overlooking a broad picturesque curve of the Columbia River. Acts include The (reunited!) Postal Service, Sigur Rós, Nick Offerman, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. (

2. Governor’s Ball
June 7-9
New York

Governor’s Ball is the only rock festival held in Manhattan (technically on Randall’s Island), and boasts an array of the city’s best food trucks in addition to a stellar lineup. Plan to see Kanye West, Guns ‘n Roses, and Kings of Leon. (

3. Bonnaroo
June 13-16
Manchester, Tennessee

Set on a 700-acre farm in rural Tennesee, Bonnaroo is one of the biggest and most diverse festivals in the country. This year’s bonkers lineup includes Paul McCartney, the Wu-Tang Clan, Daniel Tosh, and “Weird” Al Yankovic. (

4. Electric Daisy Carnival
June 18-25
Las Vegas

Drawing over 345,000 attendees, this dusk-to-dawn dance event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the largest party in North America. Additional smaller EDCs are being held this year in New York, Chicago, London, Puerto Rico, and Orlando—but you might as well go big. (

5. Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23
Telluride, Colorado

Now in its 40th year, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival features a wider range of acts and genres than you might expect, set against the epic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. This year you’ll see Mumford and Sons, Feist, and Jackson Browne, among others. (

6. Electric Forest
June 27-30
Rothbury, Michigan

This dance-focused festival runs through both day and night, but you won’t want to sleep through the stunning light show that illuminates the tall Michigan conifers every night to the rhythm of the bass. This year’s acts include the String Cheese Incident, Pretty Lights, and Passion Pit. (

7. Pitchfork Music Festival
July 19-21

The festival organized by the music tastemakers at features a varied array of indie acts, and uncoventional headliners like Bjork, R. Kelly, The Breeders, and Yo La Tengo. (

8. Lollapalooza
August 2-4

This legendary festival was founded by Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell and toured the country throughout the 90s. Now permanently planted in Chicago, it still boasts some of the biggest names in music, including Mumford and Sons, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and The Killers. (

9. Outside Lands
August 9-11
San Francisco

Produced by the same folks who put on Bonnaroo, Outside Lands is as much about northern California’s beer, wine, and produce—there’s even a farmer’s market—as it is about music. Big draws this year: Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, and Willie Nelson. (

10. Bumbershoot
August 31-September 2

What began as Seattle’s “Mayor’s Arts Festival” in 1971 has grown into an eclectic mix of music, comedy, theatre, visual art, and films. This year’s headliners include fun., Death Cab for Cutie, Heart, and MGMT. (

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