Food + Drinks

How to Eat Like a Rock Star: The Gourmet Guide to Summer Music Festivals

Stale nachos and dodgy hot dogs no longer suffice. These five festivals feature culinary offerings as distinctive as their musical lineups.


Bonnaroo, June 9—12,
A 700-acre farm Manchester, Tennessee farms transforms into a four-day, multistage concert featuring Eminem, Neil Young, and Alison Krauss.
Food: Prater's BBQ, a Tennessee mainstay, smokes meats on-site and serves ribs, pulled pork, and chicken wings with made-from-scratch barbecue sauce and a side of fried green tomatoes.


Pitchfork Music Festival, July 15—17,
The skinny-jeans set congregates in Chicago's Union Park to see acts including Neko Case, the Dismemberment Plan, and James Blake.
Food: Local restaurant Wishbone dishes out soul food, including étouffée, corn muffins, and Hopping John, a black-eyed pea and brown-rice salad.


Lollapalooza, August 5—7,
Now in its 20th year, the festival welcomes Foo Fighters, Coldplay, and My Morning Jacket to Chicago.
Food: The Michelin-starred restaurant Graham Elliot offers truffle-Parmesan popcorn, corn dogs filled with lobster meat, and watermelon gazpacho, while Windsor Ice Cream Shoppe serves the Dipper — a frozen slice of the Eli's Cheesecake Company's legendary plain cheesecake dipped in chocolate and served on a stick.


Outside Lands, August 12—14,
San Francisco's artsy crowd gathers in Golden Gate Park to watch MGMT, Girl Talk, and The Arctic Monkeys.
Food: City favorite Namu sells Asian-style tacos (kalbi short ribs, daikon, and kimchi salsa folded into Japanese and Korean toasted-seaweed "shells"), while newcomer Straw creates savory Sno Cones of shawarma-filled pita bread served alongside sweet-potato tots.


Austin City Limits Music Festival, September 16—18,
Big hitters like Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, and Arcade Fire gather in downtown Austin, Texas, just a stone's throw from Barton Springs pool.
Food: The Mighty Cone specializes in easy-to-carry grub like a paper cone lined with a soft tortilla and filled with fried shrimp, chicken, or avocado, topped with mango-jalapeño coleslaw and ancho-aioli sauce.

—By Kelly DiNardo

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