VIBE Presents: The Ultimate Guide To Festival SZN

Music News

True summertime is not only marked by high temperatures, beaches, block parties, barbecues and rooftop functions. The minute nationwide temperatures started breaching the 70-degree mark, we officially began our journey into the oft-beloved festival season.

It’s one thing to support our favorite artists by snagging their projects on iTunes and breaking our pockets to join fellow Stans at their personal concerts. Music and culture lovers take it a step further by enjoying sets from all their faves in one place surrounded by diverse, fun-loving crowds.

SEE ALSO: Music Festival SZN: Pro-Tips For Navigating Essence Music Fest, Governor’s Ball, OVO Fest and More

From people-watching fan favorites like Coachella and Lollapalooza to discovery sessions like SXSX, New Look Wireless and Hot 97’s Summer Jam, there are plenty of ways to get your fix of live performances and other shenanigans.

Can’t make it all the way out to the corners of the country to see the performances live? Not sure which lineup is worth seeing? Need to know who the best new artists to take the stages were this summer? No worries. VIBE has everything you need to stay up to speed this very busy music festival season.

 

QUICK FACTS

When: Oct. 28-31
Where: Nassau, The Bahamas
Must-See Acts: McCartha Sandy-Lewis, Hugh Masekela, Ronnie Butler, Jimmy Cliff, Omara Portoundo, Emile Straker, 2015 Soweto Gospel Choir, Cuba’s Tropicana Dancers, Lady Saw, Alison Hinds, Kes, Ras Iley
Ticket Prices: Event prices are between $25-60, VIP prices are $75-125
Super Short Summary: Sometimes it’s not always about the big festival behemoths in the U.S. The Bahamas-based 2015 installation of this Caribbean fest brings together the different sonic flavors of the islands in an effort to ignite the best possible vibes.

EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED:

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QUICK FACTS

When: Sept. 25-27
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Must-See Acts: Chance The Rapper, Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Snoop Dogg, Hozier, Duran Duran, Run The Jewels, Ghostface Killah, SZA, Ab-Soul, Alessia Cara
Ticket Prices: $115 one-day general admission passes
Super Short Summary: Las Vegas is already the life of the party over on the West Coast, and this festival brought over a slew of diverse artists from across genres to turn the notch up one more level.

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QUICK FACTS

When: Sept. 18-19
Where: Atlanta, GA
Must-See Acts: Sam Smith, Drake, Alice in Chains, Lenny Kravitz, Elton John, Van Halen
Ticket Prices: $125 (2-day General Admission), $600 (2-day VIP), $1200 (2-day Super VIP)
Super Short Summary: The diversity of music and music lovers everywhere is celebrated in this two-day event, with acts spanning across genres ranging from rock to pop to rap.

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QUICK FACTS

When: Sept. 5-6
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Must-See Acts: Beyonce, The Weeknd, J.Cole, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Future, Fabolous, Vic Mensa, Jidenna, Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson
Ticket Prices: $140 single day tickets, $256 two-day passes
Super Short Summary: With no work or school the following Monday, Budweiser and Jay Z convinced thousands to spend their Labor Day weekend in America’s birthplace to see the biggest flag-bearers in music.

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QUICK FACTS

When: Aug. 22-23
Where: Jones Beach, N.Y.
Must-See Acts: Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, Christina Milian, Justin Bieber, Fetty Wap, Santigold, Skrillex, iLOVEMAKONNEN 
Ticket Prices: $75 single day tickets
Super Short Summary: In a stride to be beyond print, awards shows and charts, Billboard’s inaugural Hot 100 Festival brought fans of the biggest artists and their dedicated fans to Jones Beach’s Nikon Theater.

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QUICK FACTS

When: Aug. 22-23
Where: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Must-See Acts: Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Kelis, Lion Babe, SZA, Danny Brown, Sam Dew, Thundercat, Raury, Jesse Boykins III, Kelela, Gary Clark Jr., Kaytranada
Ticket Prices: $75 two-day general admission, $45 Sat./Sun. admission, $250 VIP weekend pass, $150 one-day VIP pass
Super Short Summary: Want to feel good vibes and see the term “black is beautiful” manifested in all its glorious forms? For two days straight, Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park brings together unforgettable style moments, high quality crafts shops, skating, art, punk, rock, soul, alternative and R&B artists and the people that love them all together to flaunt the rich cultures they carry on their backs.

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QUICK FACTS

When: July 31-Aug. 2
Where: Chicago, Ill.
Must-See Acts: The Weekend, Sam Smith, Kid Cudi, Tyler The Creator, Young Thug, Lion Babe
Ticket Prices: $1857 (VIP) – $3600 (Platinum)
Super Short Summary: This three-day culture shock fest pulls together the cream of the crop from a multitude of genres to Chi-Town’s Grant Park for an insanely epic experience.

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QUICK FACTS

When: July 3-5
Where: London, England
Must-See Acts: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, August Alsina, Joey Bada$$, Mary J. Blige, Jessie J, Rae Sremmurd, Ciara, Pusha T, Vince Staples, Logic, Jaden and Willow Smith
Ticket Prices: GA tickets starting from £60
Super Short Summary: For those itching to step out past international waters, North London’s Finsbury park gathers top notch artists to satisfy screaming hip-hop, R&B, EDM, grime and pop music lovers alike.

EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED:

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QUICK FACTS

When: July 2-5
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Must-See Acts: Kendrick Lamar, Common, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Trey Songz, Usher, Charlie Wilson, Floetry, India.Arie, Kevin Hart, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly
Ticket Prices: Single night tickets starting at $50
Super Short Summary: Venture down to the Big Easy to immerse yourself in rich culture, delicious food and performances that prompt both a turn up and trip down memory lane.

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QUICK FACTS

When: June 19-21
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Must-See Acts: You Are The Headliner
Ticket Prices: GA 3-Day Pass $368-388, VIP 3-Day Pass $749
Super Short Summary: Are you a fan of vibrant colors, bright lights, eardrum shattering electronic/dance music and PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) vibes all around? EDC Las Vegas is the stop for you.

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QUICK FACTS

When: June 11-14
Where: Manchester, TN
Must-See Acts: Kendrick Lamar, Run The Jewels, SZA, Childish Gambino, D’Angelo & The Vanguard, Flying Lotus, Dej Loaf, Raury, Gary Clark Jr., Freddie Gibbs
Ticket Prices: GA Price Level 1 $300, GA Price Level 2 $324.50
Super Short Summary: For four days, a sprawling 700-acre Tennessee farm is home for campers and free-spirited music lovers who crave positive vibes.

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QUICK FACTS

When: June 7
Where: East Rutherford, NJ
Must-See Acts: Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Big Sean, Trey Songz, Meek Mill, Fabolous, Omarion, Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Travi$ Scott, Dej Loaf, Fetty Wap, Teyana Taylor, B.o.B, Joey Bada$$
Ticket Prices: $95
Super Short Summary: MetLife Stadium gets packed for the mega-concert with hip hop’s finest, past and present, and the go-hard fans who love them. Always expect an impressive roster of surprise guests.

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QUICK FACTS

When: June 5-7
Where: Randall’s Island, NY
Must-See Acts: Drake, Future, Florence + The Machine, Rae Sremmurd, SBTRKT, Lana Del Rey, Flying Lotus, A-Trak, Logic, Bishop Nehru
Ticket Prices: 3-Day General Admission $275
Super Short Summary: Rain or shine (extra emphasis on the rain), New Yorkers flock to Randall’s Island to see some of the summer’s finest acts.

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QUICK FACTS

When: May 29-31
Where: Catalina Island, CA (this year)
Must-See Acts: It’s a mystery until the day of
Ticket Prices: Free! Potential attendees must enter a contest through social media and are chosen at random
Super Short Summary: Bud Light’s fly by ear fest for those who like surprises, like beer and are seriously up for whatever.

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QUICK FACTS

When: May 30
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Must-See Acts: The Roots, The Weeknd, Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Africa Bambaataa, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Mustard, Raury, Chronixx, Bishop Nehru
Ticket Prices: $118.40
Super Short Summary: This one-day picnic has a much more laid back vibe compared to it’s other festival counterparts, but still worth the visit.

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QUICK FACTS

When: May 8-9, 15-16
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Must-See Acts: Taylor Swift, John Legend, Jessie J, Big Sean, Bruno Mars
Ticket Prices: General admission weekend passes are $298; Daily VIP are $498
Super Short Summary: For the first time ever, the Brasil-based music fest takes its talents and the pop/rock artists we love to the United States’ most sinful city.

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QUICK FACTS

When: April 10-12, 17-19
Where: Indio, California
Must-See Acts: Drake, The Weeknd, Raekwon, Ghostface, Action Bronson, Vic Mensa, FKA Twigs, Azealia Banks, Tyler, The Creator
Ticket Prices: $375 General Admission 3-day passes ($899 for VIP)
Super Short Summary: Under the hot Indio sun, music’s boldest and brightest artists (and fans) make a sprawling polo field their hippie home for two weekends.

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QUICK FACTS

When: March 17-22
Where: Austin, TX
Must-See Acts: Nas, J.Cole, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Future, Mike WiLL Made It, Miley Cyrus 
Ticket Prices: $500-1200 for various Music, Film, Interactive and combination badges
Super Short Summary: For a setting where widely unknown artists are as main an attraction as seasoned concert headliners, SXSW proves to be a bubbling discovery base (surrounded by dope food and music heads, of course).

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