Summer just began, but music-festival season is already half over. Still, if you missed the postapocalyptic on-site camping experiences of Coachella, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo, there’s good news: Not only can you catch nearly every band on the festival circuit at least one more time this summer, but your remaining event options are all located in major U.S. cities, which means hotel stays and showers are readily available (and encouraged). Here’s your guide to the rest of the fests, and which day is best!
Pitchfork Music Festival
Headliners: Built to Spill, the National, the Flaming Lips
Any festival that gives a headlining spot to a dour, still band like the National knows its fan base is less interested in boozing than in the exquisite pleasure of actually hearing music. Note to bloggers: Please wear sunscreen.
Best Day: Saturday. The Black Lips, Matt & Kim, Bowerbirds, Beirut, Yeasayer…it’s like an illegal file-sharing server come to life!
All Points West
LIBERTY STATE PARK, N.J.
July 31-Aug. 2
Headliners: Beastie Boys, Tool, Coldplay
Last year’s inaugural fest was plagued by poor crowd management, bad sound, and frustrating beer policies (again, listening to music sober: good thing!). Surely they’ve worked that out by now, right?
Best Day: Sunday. Coldplay’s only American festival appearance this summer, plus the smash-bang of the Black Keys and the trendy wheezes of MGMT.
Headliners: Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, Tool, Beastie Boys, the Killers, Jane’s Addiction
The spectacle of 75,000 people rocking out in Grant Park is not to be missed. Score a seat on the sideline for Tool and watch the sea of humanity writhe. Plus: Kidzapalooza, where Perry Farrell is bound to make a toddler-confusing guest appearance.
Best Day: Saturday. From Los Campesinos! at 2:30 p.m. to the closing Beasties slot, there is a legitimately terrific band playing every minute of the day.
Headliners: Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Beastie Boys
The most wide-ranging lineup of the remaining festivals — the Black Eyed Peas, Lucinda Williams, Tom Jones — takes over Golden Gate Park. VW van optional. Pearl Jam mandatory.
Best Day: Saturday. Warm up for Dave Matthews Band with the alt-country of Ryan Bingham, the horn improvisations of Trombone Shorty, and the radio pop of Jason Mraz.
Headliners: Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, Modest Mouse
An eclectic program featuring dance, theater, and literary readings, but the longest lines usually lead to the comedy stage, where this year’s guests include Eugene Mirman, Todd Barry, and David Cross.
Best Day: Monday. Aside from a glorious female-centric daytime roster (Janelle Monae, Metric, Lenka…), Carlton Cuse and his Lost writing staff host a panel sure to be chock-full of no answers whatsoever.