A Quick Guide to the Best Summer 2012 Music Festivals

So what if you didn't make the annual hipster pilgrimage to Indio, California, for Coachella? There may not be another showstopping Tupac hologram in the works, but there are still plenty of opportunities to hang with the indie kids and satisfy your live-music fix this summer. Here's a list of eight of the best festivals to look forward to.

• • •

The Roots' Picnic
The perennially cool ?uestlove and the legendary Roots crew host their fifth-annual Roots' Picnic (now expanded to a two-day affair).
When: June 2-3
Where: Philadelphia
Who: the Roots, Kid Cudi, De La Soul, St. Vincent, Wale, Major Lazer, Diplo, and a DJ set by James Murphy of DFA/LCD Soundsystem


Bonnaroo (pictured above)
If you're into camping and concerts, this four-day festival has you covered. Beyond the music, you'll find comedy and cinema tents, a makeshift salon, on-site yoga, and oodles of gourmet-food options.
When: June 7-10
Where: Manchester, Tennessee
Who: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, Beach Boys, Aziz Ansari, Dispatch, Bon Iver, the Shins, Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A., Fitz and the Tantrums, Phantogram, and Feist


Pitchfork Music Festival (pictured above)
The online music mag's annual outdoor festival features a mix of rising indie artists and big-time headliners.
When: July 13-15
Where: Chicago
Who: Feist, Vampire Weekend, A$ap Rocky, Dirty Projectors, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells, AraabMuzik, Beach House, Real Estate, and Cults

XPoNential Festival
Philadelphia public radio welcomes an eclectic lineup to its eighth-annual summer music bash on the Camden Waterfront. And unlike some seedier festivals, this one's family-friendly.
When: July 20-22
Where: Camden, New Jersey
Who: Wilco, the Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog, Counting Crows, the Hold Steady, Mike Doughty, and Good Old War


Catalpa Festival (pictured above)
The inaugural Catalpa Festival not only features a killer line-up, it also includes art installations, bumper-car rides, and a silent disco.
When: July 28-29
Where: New York City (Randall's Island)
Who: the Black Keys, Snoop Dogg (who will perform Doggystyle in its entirety), TV on the Radio, Girl Talk, Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim, Umphrey's McGee, Matisyahu, and the Big Pink


Newport Folk Festival (pictured above)
Looking for a tranquil, folksy fest? You've found it.
When: July 28-29
Where: Newport, Rhode Island
Who: My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Conor Oberst, Dawes, Guthrie Family Reunion, Jackson Browne, Tallest Man on Earth, Tune-Yards

Lollapalooza (pictured at top)
This nineties-born alt-festival still attracts the masses, thanks to serious street cred and big-name performers. Tickets sold out quickly, but you're resourceful—and you have the Internet.
When: August 3-5
Where: Chicago
Who: the Black Keys, Bassnectar, Passion Pit, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Weeknd, Bloc Party, the Tallest Man on Earth, Neon Indian, Chairlift, At the Drive-In, Sigur Ros, Florence + the Machine, and Jack White


Outside Lands (pictured above)
You know those people who say they listen to "everything"—and actually do? This is their festival.
When: August 10-12
Where: San Francisco
Who: Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Metallica, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird, Big Boi, Franz Ferdinand, Norah Jones, the Kills, Dr. Dog, the Walkmen, Fun., Explosions in the Sky, Santigold, Alabama Shakes, Tennis, and Zola Jesus

—Maggie Mallon (@maggiemallon) is a blogger and a regular contributor to

• • •

Also on
Best Men's Fashion From Coachella 2012
The Best Food Festivals of Summer 2012
Early Morning Rebel: Exclusive First Look at New Video + Q&A

Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson
Details Newsletters
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Subscribe to Details
Newsletter Sign Up
  • Get the latest in men's style, grooming, diet, fitness and pop-culture trends every Wednesday. See Sample
  • Get the most popular articles, blog posts, and slideshows of the past week every Saturday. See Sample
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, and Privacy Policy.
Powered By ZergNet
Subscribe to Details

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest in men's style, grooming, health, and pop-culture news every day.
Will be in accordance with our Privacy Policy