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A Guide to Summer 2015 Music Festivals

UT students are known to scatter across the country once summer comes along, so it only makes sense that we should be spending some of our time off experiencing live music. Music festivals are the easiest way to see as many performances as possible in one weekend. Here are the best festivals to catch along the east coast this summer.


Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival

When: June 11 – 14

Where: Manchester, Tennessee

This one’s a no-brainer. With Coachella falling way too close to finals week and all the way across the country, Bonnaroo is the east coast’s chance to go a little bit nuts in a format as close to a giant counter-culture bonanza as we’ll get in 2015. Tickets are steep ($325 a pop), and the commitment is a hefty four days, but there’s no festival line-up as daunting as Bonnaroo’s. From the legendary Billy Joel to modern stars like Kendrick Lamar or Florence+The Machine, it’s not an exaggeration to say that there’s something for everybody at Bonnaroo (although four days of “roughing it” in Tennessee might not be everybody’s forté).

Artists to catch: Against Me!, Bleachers, The War On Drugs and Alabama Shakes


Big Guava Music Festival

When: May 8 – 9

Where: Tampa, Florida

While the most legendary festivals are scattered throughout the country, there’s no need to go too far to catch a great one. Big Guava Music Festival takes place at the Florida State Fairgrounds, and offers the choice of one or two day tickets. Affordable and local, Big Guava is mostly an event for indie fans, with a great mix of major and smaller artists to see. Also sporting food trucks and rides for non-musical entertainment, Big Guava is worth travelling for, even if most of us won’t have to.

Artists to catch: Lydia, Jenny Lewis, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness and Run The Jewels


Governor’s Ball

When: June 5 – 7

Where: New York, New York

This is another festival with a super diverse line up, a good chance for northerners to catch a lot of the big acts riding the festival circuit this year. Unlike Bonnaroo, single day tickets are available for Governor’s Ball, but going for a three day pass shaves over $50 bucks off.

Artists to catch: Conor Oberst, The War On Drugs, St. Vincent and Ryan Adams

Pinelands Music Festival

When: August 15

Where: New Jersey

This is a good festival to catch for northeasterners before they head back to Tampa for the Fall semester. This is a lineup of A+ pop punk bands, a good mix of early and late 2000s darlings to help say goodbye to summer.

Artists to catch: The Early November, Good Old War and You Blew It!


Boston Calling Music Festival

When: May 22 – 24

Where: Boston, Massachusetts

Taking place in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, Boston Calling is a three day festival that’s a tad less daunting than Bonnaroo or Governor’s Ball, but still has a lot of great bands to see and is substantially more affordable ($175 for all three days). If that price is still a little too steep, it can’t hurt to keep an eye on the festival’s twitter account (@Boston_Calling), they give out free tickets every once in a while.

Artists to catch: Pixies, Run The Jewels and St. Vincent


Shaky Knees Music Festival

When: May 8 – 10

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

One of the most extensive festivals in the south this summer, Shaky Knees is a good alternative to Bonnaroo, which is much further away and more expensive. A little more rock/folk centric, this one kicks off summer with a giant lineup and decent three day prices ($215). A good stop to make on the way out of Tampa for those of you headed up north, a short enough trip to not drain all of a Floridian’s summer budget.

Artists to catch: Brand New, The Mountain Goats, Built to Spill and The Damnwells


Sweetlife Music Festival

When: May 30 – 31

Where: Columbia, Maryland

Sweetlife is a music festival thrown by Sweetgreen, an organic food establishment. The festival features a more hip-hop based lineup and locally sourced, organic food trucks. Tickets range between $175 and $350, and the festival takes place at the legendary Merriweather Post Pavillion, offering discounted lodging and transportation for overnight stays.

Artists to catch: Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Marina & the Diamonds and Bleachers


Jordan Walsh can be reached at

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