2018’s Top Summer Music Festivals

We’ve just marked the first day of summer, and it’s time to get your sunblock, pack a bag and head out to hear a great selection of music from some of the best music festivals on the globe.

Fortcastle – Louisville, KY – July 13-15

It’s a celebration of music and bourbon at Kentucky’s Fortcastle held in Louisville. In addition to a fleet of breweries sharing their best wares, the festival will have a great selection of musical acts: Margo Price, Modest Mouse, Jenny Lewis, Kurt Vile, Oh Wonder, Arcade Fire, Chris Stapleton, and much more. We’ve written about most of these acts on this very website so check them out!

VillaMix Festival Goiânia 2018 – Goiânia, Brazil – June 30 to July 1

Brazil keeps the party going year-round with seasonal installments of VillaMix. The summer edition takes place the weekend of June 30 through July 1. The eighth annual even starts with Nick Jonas and Shawn Mendes, and also includes some of Brazil’s biggest musical acts. VillaMix takes place in the capital of Brazilian state Goiás, near the Serra Dourada stadium.

Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI – June 27 to July 8

One of the longest summer festivals is Wisconsin’s 11-day even, Summerfest. The event tries to please just about everyone, with pop acts like Halsey, Shawn Mendes and Imagine Dragons, legends like James Taylor, country acts like Florida Georgia Line, and indie classics like the Flaming Lips. It takes place from June 27 to July 8.

ESSENCE Festival – New Orleans, LA – July 5-8

The ESSENCE Festival is one of the biggest events of summer, July 5 to 8. It also has one of the best lineups: Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, and Janet Jackson are all headliners for the three-day event. Acts like Snoop Dogg, Miguel, and even Idris Elba (taking a break from acting to DJ) all join the party.

Pitchfork – Chicago, IL – July 20-22

The venerable music site Pitchfork came of age in the 1990’s with alt and indie rock. Now that the festival is 12 years old, it has remained true to its roots, favoring experimental artists and cult stars, with a healthy dose of local acts. Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, Tame Impala, Noname, and Keela will be on hand July 20-22 at Union Park in Chicago.

Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival – Long Island, NY – August 18-19

Halsey will heat up the Billboard Hot 100 Festival by headlining the event for the second time. She will be joined by Future, DJ Snake, Rae Sremmurd and Kehlani. The annual summer festival is held at Northwell Health at the Jones Beach Theater on August 18 and 19. The event features pop, hip-hop, indie and electro musicians.

Summer Sonic Festival – Osaka and Chiba, Japan – August 18-19

The two-day rock festival known as Summer Sonic is played in Osaka and Chiba, with artists playing one city the first day and switching the next. The five-stage festival grabbed headliners Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Why Don’t We, Shawn Mendes, Marshmello and Back Number. Beck, Mike Shinoda, Chance the Rapper and others will kick off the event in Chiba. The event is known for mixing international acts with the best Japanese talent. It starts on August 18 and ends on the 19th.

Electric Zoo – Randall’s Island, NY – August 31-September 1

The electronic music festival Electric Zoo is held during Labor Day weekend in NYC, on Randall’s Island. The festival brings in the best talent in every genre of electronic music across four stages. This promises to be a giant party, since 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the festival. The headliners are Kaskade, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson’s Virtual Self,  Tiesto and Alesso.