Fifteen Awesome Festivals
The season for seeing 80 bands in a day is back, so grab your earplugs and your SPF — and don't forget to check for ticks
(April 11-13 & April 18-20, Indio, Calif.)
Lineup Arcade Fire, Beck, Muse, the Knife, Queens of the Stone Age
Pro Bragging rights over the first OutKast show in nearly eight years. Con Having your sight line blocked by a B-list CW starlet.
Bonus The chance to catch big bands playing under pseudonyms in small area clubs between weekends.
(April 25-May 4, New Orleans)
Lineup Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Public Enemy, Aaron Neville, and…Christina Aguilera?
Pro Aside from the headliners, there are tons of legit jazz acts that won’t be anywhere else.
Con Phish are also playing.
Bonus Clapton is kind of a festival unicorn these days; he’s got only three other U.S. dates this year.
(April 25-27, Indio, Calif.)
Lineup Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line
Pro The greatest hits-per-dollar value of any festival ticket.
Con The bro-centric roster — that’s a whole lot of wallet chains. Bonus To help combat notoriously awful Indio traffic, prizes (including on-site food and merch vouchers) will be handed out to carpoolers.
(May 2-4, Tampa)
Lineup Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, Tegan and Sara, Cake
Pro They actually let you bring in a bottle of water if it’s sealed.
Con Don’t fight the drunk dude in the Porta-Potty line; Florida’s ”Stand Your Ground” laws are still in effect.
Bonus Fairground rides! What better Tilt-A-Whirl soundtrack is there than Sleigh Bells?
Rock On The Range
(May 16-18, Columbus, Ohio)
Lineup Guns N’ Roses, Kid Rock, Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer
Pro It’s one of the few fests where metal innovation gets to shine.
Con It’s also top-heavy with nonsense butt rock like Alter Bridge.
Bonus Come a day early for the roast of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, hosted by Sebastian Bach.
(May 23-25, George, Wash.)
Lineup Queens of the Stone Age, the National, M.I.A., OutKast
Pro The gorgeousness of the natural setting has not been oversold.
Con Standard festivalgoers have to pay to use the showers.
Bonus There are ”luxury yurts” available for fans of oxymorons.
Electric Daisy Carnival
(May 24-25, Rutherford, N.J.)
Lineup Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Afrojack, Steve Angello
Pro EDM crowds are way more upbeat than your average festival cluster. And face-painty.
Con It’s at a stadium in New Jersey, which cuts into the positive vibes.
Bonus The lighting effects are seriously impressive (though the dance drugs probably help).
(May 30-June 1, Napa, Calif.)
Lineup The Cure, Eric Church, Weezer, TV on the Radio
Pro The fest touts its wine and food offerings, naturally.
Con Purple teeth.
Bonus There’s also beer!
(June 6-8, New York City)
Lineup Jack White, Skrillex, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix
Pro The amazing views from the water ferry to Randall’s Island.
Con You’re trapped on an island.
Bonus You’ll have all five boroughs for your after-party.
Vans Warped Tour
(June 11-Aug. 3, Various Cities)
Lineup A rotating cast of punk and alternative acts
Pro It comes to you!
Con Realizing you’re the oldest person in a three-mile radius.
Bonus An excuse to bust the dusty Airwalks out of your closet.
(June 12-15, Manchester, Tenn.)
Lineup Kanye West, Elton John, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Frank Ocean Pro The super-remote location means no curfews and lots of surprise after-hours shows.
Con The super-remote location means tent living and no indoor plumbing.
Bonus A killer comedy tent, featuring all your favorite podcast hosts.
(June 25-29 & July 1-6, Milwaukee)
Lineup Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Brad Paisley, Nas, Fall Out Boy & Paramore, OutKast
Pro It’s billed as ”the world’s largest music festival.”
Con It’s billed as ”the world’s largest music festival.”
Bonus The à la carte option: You can buy single-day tickets for $16.
(July 3-6, New Orleans)
Lineup Prince, Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Nile Rodgers
Pro NOLA’s famously lax booze laws.
Con Louisiana can get real sticky-hot.
Bonus Prince plays on July 4. Purple fireworks? Yes, please!
(July 18-20, Chicago)
Lineup Kendrick Lamar, Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, Giorgio Moroder
Pro Experience next year’s Coachella headliners this year.
Con Only one headliner per night, so if you don’t like Neutral Milk Hotel, better hit up the Art Institute.
Bonus The awesome record fair gives you something to do while ignoring Death Grips.
(Aug. 1-3, Chicago)
Lineup Eminem, Skrillex, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, OutKast
Pro It’s in the center of the city, so no mud-pit camping for you!
Con The carbo-loading required to survive the roughly mile-long hike between main stages.
Bonus Don’t miss the dance stage.