Summer music festivals can be the highlight of anyone’s summer. There are few things better in life than combining a fun vacation with an a day, or several, spent watching an amazing show. Here is a look at the top five not-to-be-missed summer music festivals in the U.S. this year.
Hangout Festival: Gulf Shores, Alabama May 18-20
Although it’s not technically summer yet in mid-May, this can be one of the best times of the year to visit beautiful Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The area offers pristine white sand beaches and dazzling emerald waters.
This is the home of the Hangout Festival that will take place from May 18-20 including three days of music on the beach with over 50 bands including Jack White, the Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. General admission tickets are sold out, however, three-day VIP passes are still available and include early access to the show, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and lounging in the VIP with direct views of the stage and much more. Tickets are currently on sale now for $849, but act quickly, they won’t last much longer.
Consider a travel package that includes three-day tickets, three-nights lodging at Beach Club Resort, transportation and more for a hassle-free trip.
Sasquatch Music Festival: George, Washington May 25-28
This coming Memorial Day weekend brings one of my favorite festivals of the year that takes place at the Gorge at George in Washington state. The Gorge is a spectacular venue just above the Columbia River, and is one of the most scenic concert locations in the world.
This year’s Sasquatch Music Festival includes Jack White, Tenacious-D, Beck, The Shins, Silversun Pickups and a long list of other great bands. Four-day tickets are $315, and include camping. Camping in this beautiful setting is the best way to spend your holiday here and you don’t have to worry about driving home right after the show. George is in a fairly remote area and the closest hotel accommodations are over 20 miles away.
Bonnaroo 2012: Manchester, Tennessee June 9-12
Bonnaroo is the quintessential hippy music festival, and an amazing show for those who enjoy an especially laid back and friendly atmosphere. This year’s line up includes Radiohead, Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice Cooper and much more.
General admission tickets are sold out but there are a wide variety of VIP packages still available, including the ultimate way to spend the weekend, the VIP package for two. For $1399, it includes four-day festival admission for two with preferred camping and exclusive view areas as well as a VIP pre-event dinner and party on Thursday night and much more.
Outside Lands: San Francisco, California August 10-12
In the City by the Bay, the Outside Lands music festival will be held in Golden Gate Park, one of the best places to listen to live music in the nation. I’ve been to many shows in this gorgeous park and there’s just something magical about being there.
This year’s line up includes Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Beck, Jack White and more. There will also be a wide variety of food and wine vendors and visual artists, and the usual number of fun and lively characters that make the city even more interesting. General admission tickets are $225 and include all three days of music.
I highly recommend a stay at The Edwardian Hotel, a beautiful hotel with a bed-and-breakfast feel with rates as low as $119 per night. If you’ve ever stayed in San Francisco, you know this is a great bargain.
Bumpershoot: Seattle, Washington September 1-3, 2012
The Emerald City is home to one of the biggest and best music festivals in the country, Bumpershoot. Although this year’s line up has not been announced, it’s sure to be a good one as it has for the last four decades. In 2011, bands included Valient Thorr, Wiz Khalifa, Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs and more.
Advanced purchase for three-day admission is just $95. For lodging, there is no better value in Seattle than the Silver Cloud Inn on Lake Union. For about $110 you can get a room with a view of the Space Needle and the lake, and spend the night on one of the most comfortable beds you’ll ever sleep on. It’s just a couple miles from downtown, and the hotel has a free shuttle to get you there.