It’s that time of year, again: summer festival season. Millions of euphoric, excited festival-goers will soon crowd into open-air venues around the country, all whooping and hollering in anticipation of an electrifying mix of under-the-sun live music.
Are you still debating on which festivals you want to try out this year? This rundown of U.S. fests for the 2012 summer season should help. Read on for some of Gibson.com’s favorite summer 2012 festivals and details about each event. Whether or not it made the list, what festivals are you most stoked to check out this year? Let us know in the conversation, below.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day event held on a 700-acre farm 60 miles outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The festival always strives to mix up genres, from bluegrass to alternative to rock, and this year’s lineup boasts Radiohead, Phish, the Beach Boys, Bon Iver, the Shins, the Roots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ben Folds Five, Skrillex and more.
Details: June 7-10 at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee
Orion Music + More
Metallica, in partnership with C3 Presents, will hold their first annual Orion Music + More, a new annual music, arts and lifestyle festival, this June in Atlantic City. The men of Metallica hand-picked the lineup, which features Arctic Monkeys, Modest Mouse, the Gaslight Anthem, Best Coast, Titus Andronicus, Cage the Elephant, A Place to Bury Strangers, Roky Erickson, The Black Angels, Hot Snakes, Gary Clark Jr., the Sword, Liturgy, Eric Church, Avenged Sevenfold and more. Of course, Metallica will headline each night’s festivities.
Details: June 22-23 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Governors Ball Music Festival is a two-day music festival held on Randall’s Island in New York City. This year’s lineup offers an indie rock-heavy pallet of Fiona Apple, Beck, Modest Mouse, Explosions in the Sky, Chromeo, Passion Pit, Santigold, Duck Sauce, Built to Spill, Devendra Banhart and more.
Details: June 23-24 at Randall’s Island Park, New York
Summerfest takes place every summer at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event, also known as “The Big Gig,” runs for11 days and attracts approximately 1,000,000 people. So, how big is Summerfest? The Guinness Book of World Records lists Summerfest as the world’s biggest music festival. This year’s performs offer something for every musical taste: Foo Fighters, Train, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, the Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, Ziggy Marley, Kellie Pickler, the B-52s, Sublime with Rome, Chevelle, Hanson, Skillet, Art of Dying, Hollywood Undead, the Roots, 311, Young the Giant and more.
Details: June 27 – July 1 and July 3-8 at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Pitchfork Music Festival
If you’re looking for a cooler-than-school blend of indie rock bands, look no further than Pitchfork Music Festival 2012. The festival is known for booking buzzed about up-and-comers and respected alt-rock vets alike. This year’s lineup offers Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Grimes, Tim Hecker, Dirty Projectors, Feist, Beach House, ASAP Rocky, Cloud Nothings, Lower Dens, Sleigh Bells and more.
The details: July 13-15 at Union Park in Chicago, Illinois
Newport Folk Festival
Now in its 53rd year, the Newport Folk Festival strives to highlight folk talent and keep the legacy of folk storytelling live. This year’s bill features Jackson Browne, Conor Oberst, Iron & Wine, Dawes, My Morning Jacket, Deer Tick, HoneyHoney and more.
Details: July 28-29 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island
Lollapalooza started as a touring festival, much like the Vans Warped Tour. Founded in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, the festival features a wide variety of musical styles, but notably, lots of alternative rock. This year’s festival spread features Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White, Florence + the Machine, At the Drive-In, Avicii, the Shins, Justice, Passion Pit, Sigur Ros, the Weeknd, M83 and more.
Details: August 3-5 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois
Made in America Festival
Jay-Z put together this year’s Made in American Festival lineup, and the result is nothing less than eclectic. The bill boasts Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, Skillrex, Maybach Music (featuring Rick Ross, Wale and Meek Mill), Odd Future, Calvin Harris, D’Angelo, Passion Pit, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Prince Royce, Rita Ora, Savoy (DJ set), the Knocks and more.
Details: September 1-2 (Labor Day weekend) at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Photo: Anne Erickson