Updated for 2022
What summer music festivals are you hitting this year? If you’re still not sure, you’ve come to the right place! We once again present our summer music festival guide, with a shiny new coat of paint for the 2022 season.
It’s getting harder and harder to imagine, but there was once a time when there wasn’t at least one summer music festival going on every weekend. These days, it seems as if festival season never really ends.
From destination festivals at resorts in Mexico to city festivals smack-dab in the middle of places like Chicago and Atlanta, festival-goers have never had so many choices throughout the year. During the summer, you’ve got multiple options for each and every weekend.
To help you sift through the seemingly never-ending list of festivals, we’ve assembled this brief guide to American summer music festivals. We’ve chosen one festival for just about every weekend of the summer, from Memorial Day all the way to Labor Day. Get the important details and choose the festival (or five) that’s the best for you.
Table of Contents
- Dates: May 26-29
- Location: Three Sisters Park, Chillicothe, IL
- Tickets: 3-day pass $269.50, pre-party pass $59.50, 2-day Sat-Sun $169.50, Sunday only $74.50 (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: Several options ranging from $349.50-$1,398.50
- Volunteer Program: Available, but must sign up ASAP
- Camping: Yes, but not car camping. RV options are available for purchase as well.
- Headliners: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Smashing Pumpkins, Little Feat, STS9, Zeds Dead, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Now in its 21st year, Summer Camp is something of a legend in the festival world. Many fests have come and gone over the years, but Summer Camp is still going strong with an eye always to the future.
Perennial headliners moe. and Umphrey’s McGee each deliver several shows over the weekend, with a lineup rounded out with other jambands, bluegrass, and EDM. People will gripe about the lack of car camping and the extra cost and difficulty of late-night tickets, but this remains a stellar summer music festival choice.
This will be my 10th SCamp and Rachel’s 5th. I’ve been a Camp Counselor for several years now, writing blog posts and editing short videos among other things. Check out my recap from last year if you want to take a closer look. You can also read about what it’s like volunteering in our guest post for Festy GoNuts.
Check out our 2021 recap video!
- Dates: June 10-12
- Location: Citi Field, New York, NY
- Tickets: 3-day pass $319, single-day $129
- VIP Upgrades: Single-day for $269, 3-day for $709
- Volunteer Program: Yes – info coming soon.
- Camping: No
- Headliners: Kid Cudi, Halsey, J. Cole, Glass Animals, Black Pumas
This hipster-friendly festival moved from Randall’s Island to Citi Field for the 2022 edition. It’s definitely one of the top summer music festivals for the NYC crowd.
The new site seems pretty cool, with a horseshoe design that promises shorter walks between stages and no sound bleed. Governor’s Ball also boasts a diverse lineup of music from just about any genre.
In addition to the music, they’ve some awesome art installations, with a focus on NYC street art this year. A lack of camping and the fact that it takes place in NYC makes it a costly endeavor, but this would be a great “vacation festival.”
- Dates: June 16-19
- Location: Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN
- Tickets: 4-day $350, single-day $165 w/ Nashville shuttle package (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: 4-day VIP $1,250
- Volunteer Program: Many volunteer options to choose from. Apply sooner than later.
- Camping: Yes, with a $70 charge per car. RV passes and tent rentals are also available.
- Headliners: Tool, Stevie Nicks, J. Cole, Gryffin
When it comes to modern-day festivals, Bonnaroo is definitely an OG. This 4-day party in the middle of Tennessee has been drawing crowds of 70-90,000 every year since its founding back in 2002.
Once a very jam-centric festival, the ‘Roo now caters to fans of all genres. In addition to 150+ acts on ten stages, you can catch comedians, see a flick in the cinema tent, and take part in an interactive art installation, for starters.
It’s huge, crowded, and expensive, sure, but it’s one of the Kings of summer music festivals for a reason. We’ve been to Bonnaroo quite a few times and recommend you check it out at least once.
We haven’t been since 2009 and already get the “too old for this s**t” vibe from the ‘Roo, but they’ve got Tool and Billy Strings this year along with Goose and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong late-nights. This seriously makes us want to come out of retirement!
- Dates: June 18-19
- Location: The Mann, Philadelphia, PA
- Tickets: 2-day GA tickets $89, single-day $49.50
- VIP Upgrades: Pit tickets are $199 for 2-day and $110 for single
- Headliners: Disco Biscuits, Bob Moses, moe., the New Deal
Ok this one technically isn’t a festival, but what can we say – we like to party, sorry if you don’t! We’re huge Biscuits fans and it looks like they’re once again not moving forward with their Camp Bisco festival.
In its place will be a 2-night event at the Mann in the band’s hometown of Philly. Hats will be blown sideways by the untz and we’ll all be pumping our fists like Rocky Balboa.
We haven’t been to Philly since our last City Bisco way back in 2013, so we’re super excited to return to the City of Brotherly Love.
- Dates: June 23-26
- Location: Double JJ Resort, Rothbury, MI
- Tickets: SOLD OUT for 2022, so be sure to check Cash or Trade
- VIP Upgrades: Also sold out
- Volunteer Program: Yes, for both weekends. Apply with FanStaff.
- Camping: Yes – tent, RV, glamping, cabins, cabanas – you name it!
- Headliners: String Cheese Incident, Griz, Disco Biscuits, Porter Robinson, Louis the Child
The festival formerly known as Rothbury (where we met!) has been going strong as Electric Forest since 2011. String Cheese Incident plays all 3 nights with the rest of lineup rounded out with EDM, jambands, and quite a bit of funk this year.
If you’re not a fan of hula hoops and EDM, this might not be the festival for you. That being said, the Sherwood Forest and its decorations alone are worth the price of admission making it one of the most popular summer music festivals.
It’s definitely a hot ticket, as it sells out every year.
- Dates: June 30-July 3
- Location: Quincy, CA
- Tickets: 4-day pass $335, 3-day pass $290, 2-day $200, single days $75-99 (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: Sold out for 2022
- Volunteer Program: Yes, with Clean Vibes or Parking & Traffic (click here)
- Camping: Yes – included in the ticket but vehicle costs extra. RV options are sold out.
- Headliners: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Greensky Bluegrass, Disco Biscuits, Goose
This classic jamband-heavy festival is celebrating a milestone with its 30th anniversary. It’s always on the 4th of July weekend, making it a great choice for your long, freedom-filled holiday.
Unlike some of its competition, High Sierra is very much a family-friendly fest. If you’ve got little w00ks in training, this is one of your best bets. We’ve never been, but have heard nothing but good things and definitely have it on our radar one of these years.
With JRAD, Bisco, and Goose atop the lineup, this is one of the most appealing summer music festivals to us. If we can pull it off, we would love to be there!
- Dates: June 30-July 3
- Location: Montage Mountain, Scranton, PA
- Tickets: 4-day GA $239, 4-day reserved $429
- VIP Upgrades: $699 for VIP, $1350 for Super VIP, travel packages available as well
- Volunteer Program: Not at this time.
- Camping: Yes, but not car camping – $60 extra for the weekend.
- Headliners: Trey Anastasio Band, Black Crows, Billy Strings, Goose, JRAD
Montage Mountain hosted Camp Bisco and Peach Music Festival back-to-back weekends for a few years. It looks like the Peach will once again be the lone option for festy-goers here, though.
As per usual, the lineup at Peach is pretty stacked. This is always one of the top summer music festivals for jamband fans and this year is no different. It’s nice to see them bringing back some Allman Brothers love as well, with Trouble No More performing “Eat a Peach.”
Oh yeah – there’s also a water park here! Floating down the lazy river or ripping down water slides is part of the fun at the Peach. Why don’t all summer festivals have a water park?!
We’ve heard great things about this festival and almost went last year. We tried to fit it into our plans this year as well but it looks like we’ll be tuning in to the stream again. One of these days…
- Dates: July 8-10
- Location: Marshfield Fair Grounds, Marshfield, MA
- Tickets: 3-day ticket $289, single-day $99-129
- VIP Upgrades: 3-day ticket $499, single-day $199-239
- Volunteer Program: Yes – they have single-day volunteer opportunities. Apply here.
- Camping: Off-site camping is available for purchase.
- Headliners: Vulfpeck, Phil Lesh & Friends, Jack Johnson
Started by a local surf/skate shop in 2003, the Levitate Festival has grown to a 3-day event with camping. It’s located just 30 minutes from Boston and definitely will have a grassroots/homegrown feel.
For city slickers in the northeast looking for a weekend getaway without a huge price tag, this looks like a great option. Plus, it’s definitely a down weekend for American summer music festivals, making this one an easy choice.
- Dates: July 14-16
- Location: Legend Valley, OH
- Tickets: 3-day tickets $149, 2-day $99, early arrival $40 extra (click here for options)
- VIP Upgrades: 3-day $279
- Volunteer Program: No information at this time
- Camping: Yes – GA camping is included, but car camping and wooded camping are extra
- Headliners: The Werks, Umphrey’s McGee, Andy Frasco & the UN, Lawrence
After making our first trip to Legend Valley last year for the Goose shows, we wanted to make sure we had one of the summer music festivals that happen there on our list. This is an awesome place to camp out and see live music for a few days, with a few dinosaurs roaming the grounds…
This festival is put on by The Werks every summer and they always bring some great bands along for the ride. Umphrey’s top the lineup and will be playing two sets this year. There’s also a Stevie Wonder Dance Party that’s sure to be fun.
If you’re in the Midwest and are looking for something to do in the middle of July, this is a solid call.
- Dates: July 27-31
- Location: Floyd, VA
- Tickets: 3-day tickets sold out, single-days available for $110 (click here for options)
- VIP Upgrades: Sold out
- Volunteer Program: Yes – apply here.
- Camping: Yes, but it costs extra. You can bundle with a ticket or buy it individually.
- Headliners: String Cheese Incident, Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile
Floyd Fest is a rare 5-day festy that has been around since 2002. It’s located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and features multiple stages with an eclectic blend of music.
Thanks to its location, Floyd Fest also offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, disc golf, or mountain biking. It might get lost in the melee of summer music festivals, but it looks like a damn good time and is high on our list.
- Dates: July 28-31
- Location: Grant Park, Chicago, IL
- Tickets: 4-day pass $350, 3-day $330, 2-day $220, single-day $125 (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: GA+, VIP, and Platinum upgrades available
- Volunteer Program: No.
- Camping: Double no.
- Headliners: Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole, Green Day
Lollapalooza was started back in 1991 by Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction and it continued as a touring festival until ’97. Eventually, it found a home in downtown Chicago, where it has remained since 2005. It’s one of the biggest summer music festivals, drawing big-name headliners and the crowds to match.
Hopefully, you’ve got friends in Chicago as we do, otherwise, this adds up to one expensive weekend. If you can’t get into the festival all four days, there are tons of great late-night shows going on all over the city. This is the first time they are offering all kinds of combinations for tickets, so you can be flexible with your weekend.
We’ve been to Lolapalooza once, back in 2016 on our month of music trip. It was awesome seeing LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead that year, but we probably won’t be going back. Huge city festivals aren’t really our thing, although it would be cool to see Billy Strings open for Metallica this year…
- Dates: August 5-7
- Location: Ninilchik, AK
- Tickets: 3-day $182, 2-day $149, single-day $85-95 (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: No
- Volunteer Program: Yes! Sign up here
- Camping: Yes – it’s not on-site but there are options in walking distance as well as a shuttle
- Headliners: Umphrey’s McGee, Shaky Graves, Rising Appalachia
Surprisingly, this is not a festival put on by Leftover Salmon. It’s an actual festival for the fish. And it’s in Alaska. Oh yeah, and Umphrey’s is headlining this year.
This is a festival for a cause. And that cause is protecting and preserving Bristol Bay, which is the largest wild salmon fishery in the world. If you’re looking to finally check Alaska off your bucket list while rocking out and supporting a good cause, this is the festival for you!
I would absolutely love to do just that and see one of my favorite bands on my birthday, but a trip to Alaska isn’t in the cards for us at the moment. This is going to be a super cool event, though, so get out there if you can!
- Dates: August 11-14
- Location: Blackthorne Resort, East Durham, NY
- Tickets: 4-day $330
- VIP Upgrades: No
- Volunteer Program: No information available
- Camping: Yes; lodging and RV options also available
- Headliners: Dark Star Orchestra, the Disco Biscuits, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, the New Deal
Only in its 2nd year, the Catskill Mountain Jubilee is back with a vengeance this summer. In addition to four sets of legendary Dead cover band Dark Star Orchestra, they’ve got two shows from none other than the Disco Biscuits.
This looks like an awesome place for a summer music festival. There are some cool cabins, some of which are still available. There’s also a pool and even a haunted house. Now that could be fun late night after a Bisco show…
- Dates: August 19-21
- Location: Charlotte, NC
- Tickets: 3-day GA $189 (click here to buy)
- VIP Upgrades: 3-day $299
- Volunteer Program: No information available
- Camping: No
- Headliners: Greensky Bluegrass, Oteil & Friends, the Infamous Stringdusters
A new kid on the block as far as summer music festivals go, this jam-filled event will hit the Queen City this August. It’s taking place at the NoDa Brewing Company, so you’ll get some tasty brews along with the crunchy tunes.
We actually just went to NoDa a few months ago to see Eggy on their indoor stage. A 3-day festival outside in the summer sun will definitely be a great time! They’ll have food trucks in addition to the craft beer that’s sure to be flowing all weekend.
We’ll be doing the Goose Colorado run and the Umphrey’s/Biscuits Caverns show at this time, but we hope this event is successful so we can check it out next year!
- Dates: August 26-29
- Location: SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL
- Tickets: 3-day GA $165, single-day $67 (click here for all options)
- VIP Upgrades: 3-day $375, single-day $128
- Volunteer Program: No, but they do have a street team
- Camping: Not on-site but there are campsites nearby
- Headliners: Phil Lesh & Friends, Khruangbin, the War on Drugs, Black Pumas
With it looking like another LOCKN’-less year, someone had to step up and put something big on in August. Cue the inaugural Sacred Rose festival. This end-of-summer blowout is put on by the same team that does Summer Camp, and I still had no idea about it.
What’s really cool about this festival is that they dropped their daily lineup right off the bat. This allowed you to easily pick the best day or two for you if you couldn’t swing the whole weekend. We jumped right on those Saturday tickets and may even go on Sunday.
While most of the lineup at the top is more of the hipster variety, (other than Phil), look at the next couple of lines for the jam. You’ve got Umphrey’s, STS9, Goose, the Biscuits, Lotus, Sunsquabi, and more. This lineup is stacked!
It’s not really in Chicago but is quite far south at the MLS stadium. It will be a long and awful commute to and from the city, so it’s a good idea to look at hotels, Airbnbs, or campsites closer to the venue. We’re still not sure where we’re staying but we’re working on our plans.
Either way, this is going to be a great way to wind down the summer! We’re really looking forward to it and hope to see some friends there.
Pick the Summer Music Festivals that are Right for You
We’ve focused on the larger festivals and the ones that are more jam-centric, but there are plenty of other options as well.
Those looking for a smaller, more local festival have more choices than ever these days. There are also plenty of summer music festivals geared towards one particular style of music rather than a mixed bag. Not surprisingly, EDM-heavy festivals are on the rise and are not hard to find.
There’s never been a better time to be a live music fan or a festival goer, so get out there and live it up this summer. We’ll be right there dancing beside you!