A Quick Guide to the Best Summer 2012 Music Festivals

You may not get to experience a showstopping Tupac hologram, but there are still plenty of opportunities to hang with the indie kids and get your live-music fix at these summer festivals.

Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson

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.

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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


Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson

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


Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson

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

Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson
Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson

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


Outside Lands photo by Cameron Neilson

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 photo by Cameron Neilson

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 Details.com

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