Best Music Festivals of 2016
Are you tired of your Spring social media feed being full of girls in headbands, dudes posting about how “lit” it is, and all you hear about is “‘Chella” related? We have a list of the best music festivals to hit the U.S this year and suggest which ones to attend that are outside of the Indio desert. These are some of our top picks of music festivals from 2016 you might want to catch in 2017.
Ultra Music Festival , March 18-20, 2016.
Can’t wait ’till June for EDC, or are in need of some sun and warm weather? Miami’s Ultra is where it’s at, being an outdoor electronic music festival held in the springtime in Downtown at Bayfront Park. Ultra’s 2016 line up included Martin Garrix, Crystal Castles, Hardwell, Galantis, Carnage, and Kygo. Ultra is now a worldwide phenomenon, being held in various parts of the world, including Brazil, Seoul, Ibiza, South Africa, Bolivia, Croatia, and Thailand. The festival will be held March 24-26 2017.
Electric Forest, June 23-26, 2016.
Electric Forest is an escape where music meets nature, taking place at the Double JJ Resort that’s typically for lodging and golfing, but transforms into a magical place full of light and sound. There’s a campground for the weekend stay, and you’ll see people everywhere hanging out on hammocks tied to the trees. Major Lazer, Bassnectar Tchami, and Flosstradamus were among the headliners. Electric Forest will be a two week/eight day event come 2017 so you have two weekends to experience the Midwest from June 22-25, & June 29 – July 2.
Outside Lands, August 5-7, 2016.
San Fransisco, California.
Some assume that California is sunny and warm 90% of the year, and while that might be true for the majority of the state, the August experience in San Fransisco is more about chilling on the shady side. Outside Lands is NorCal’s summer festival at Golden Gate park, that has some of the best food & wine from the Bay, and takes pride in their “Eco Lands” program. Miguel, J. Cole, and Chance the Rapper had incredible sets at this year’s event. August 11-13 will be the dates for OL’s 2017 festival.
Afropunk Festival, August 27-28, 2016.
Brooklyn, New York.
Afropunk is one of a kind, that is much more than the music. Afropunk Festival is a movement that emphasizes values of respect and those who dare to stay true. Having expanded to Atlanta, Paris, and the U.K, Afropunk spreads the message of inclussiveness and encompasses not only culture, but socio-political issues. No date for 2017 has been released yet.
Bumbershoot, September 2-4, 2016.
End your summer festivities by taking a trip to the North West, where a high chance of rain doesn’t stop the party. Seattle’s music and arts festival Bumbershoot is one of the largest festivals that has been around for 47 years, and although it is more family-friendly due to the location it’s held at, it includes a diverse programming of live music, comedy, theatre, film, visual arts, dance performance, and more. Bumbershoot falls on Labor Day weekend each year, with the date falling on September 1-3 for 2017.
Life is Beautiful, September 23-25, 2016.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Life is Beautiful is perhaps a more tamed experience in comparison to all the possibilities of sin city, but nonetheless it is an event that lives up to the Vegas lifestyle. The art found at the festival is probably the most underrated, and we suggest you take it all in once you’re there – Las Vegas doesn’t sleep, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the casinos, or anything else.
Austin City Limits Music Festival September 30-October 2, October 7-9, 2016.
If you’re one of those people that are not into the mainstream, like at all, Austin City Limits is the place for you. There are some well-known artists that have hit the stage for this festival, like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Radiohead, and Band of Horses, but the majority of the experience here is discovering great new music that you might’ve not found even looking through SoundCloud. Austin City Limits is not overpriced compared to others and is more of an up-and-close personal experience with artists with a great variety of sounds that isn’t strictly one genre. ACL will be held on October 6-8, 13-15, 2017
Camp Flog Gnaw, November 12-13 2016
Los Angeles, California.
In it’s fifth annual celebration held just this past weekend, Camp Flog Gnaw had perhaps one of the best lineups of the year – a gift and a curse because now you’re conflicted on who’s set to catch, oh the travesty. The festival was wild, and had incredible guests including YG who alongside Tyler, got the crowd to chant “FDT” bringing the city together in these dividing times the nation is facing. Those that missed it are probably crying Aubrey tears right now, because the Carnival was fucking AWESOME! No date has been released for 2017 yet.
🎬 🌻 🎬
— The FADER (@thefader) November 13, 2016
Video courtesy of The Fader.
Day for Night, December 17-18
“The Festival of the Future”, Day for Night is a unique event that takes typical festivals and transforms the setting into a new experience, intertwining music with art installations. Travis Scott, Run the Jewels, Thundercat, RZA, and Clams Casino are just a few of the great artists headlining at the festival. Tickets are still available here.
SnowGlobe Music Festival , December 29-31 2016.
South Lake Tahoe, California.
Ring in the New Year at SnowGlobe in South Lake Tahoe, at a festival that’s on a whole other level that takes you away from the heat you typically encounter at most of these events. This festival is experienced in the snow, and what a way to keep warm than to be surrounded by people that are vibing to the music with you. E-40 and Dillon Francis headlined last year, and this year Lil Yachty, RL Grim, Lil Uzi Vert, Flume, and Major Lazer, are among the artists playing this year, with 3-day passes being sold out, but individual tickets are still available here.
A re-cap of SnowGlobe 2015.
By the end of this you might think that all festivals are the same, over-hyped and with the same artists each year, but ultimately it’s up to you what you make out of the experience. Festivals may not be your thing because we know how frustrating it can be being around so many people, half of which are on some sort of substance, so we suggest not to overlook the other factors and details that go into the overall production.
Photograph Via Fest 300