While Coachella rocks the Valley on the West Coast, visions of fringe, shades and food trucks danced into our heads for the real season of music festivals: summer.
What better way to experience the tantalizing sounds of your favorite—and potential new favorite—artists than festival-hopping across the country? If you missed SxSW or even ‘Chella, have no fear because the forecast for this summer is lit.
Before you head to each musical soiree, brush up on VIBE’s protips below.
April 10,11,12 & 17,18,19
Protip: Don’t be starstruck. Folks you more than likely stalk on Instagram (Rihanna, Shay Mitchell, Kendall Jenner have been attendees) will probably be hanging out in the crowd.
2. SweetWater Festival
Protip: Pack your own green, water bottles and munchies.
3. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 24-May 3
New Orleans, LA
Protip: New Orleans has the jazz, but they also have the grub. Venues here don’t sell the usual popcorn and wieners on a stick. Here, you’ll find alligator pies, po’boys, muffulettas, and crabmeat stuffed shrimp. LAWD! Bring your appetite, and possibly a detox drink after you indulge in all the soul food.
April 29- May 3
Downtown West Palm Beach, FL
Protip: SunFest keeps the focus on the celebration. In other words, leave your selfie sticks at home. No flash photography or tri-pods allowed here.
5. Rock In Rio USA
May 8,9 & 15,16
Las Vegas, NV
Protip: Held on one of the biggest stages in the country, this is an event you want to enjoy in VIP. Skip the hassles of outdoor show-hopping and witness the magic in your own AC’d tent, open bar and private bathrooms.
6. California Roots
Protip: Championing community outreach and activism, this festival is where Jimi Hendrix torched his guitar back in the ‘60s. Fistpump in the name of nonprofits here.
Protip: Rain or shine, the show will go on. Bring an extra jacket and an umbrella, and be sure to double and triple-check your Weather app.
8. The Roots Picnic
Protip: As eclectic as the line-up is—The Roots, Erykah Badu, A$AP Rocky, Phantogram—you can’t hit shuffle. Once you are let into the venue, there is no re-entry.
9. Governors Ball
New York, NY
Protip: Governors Ball has an amazing after-party guide. They partner up with certain artists and throw the biggest after-hour bashes New York has seen. Rack up on sleep or gulp down a 5-hour Energy drink beforehand. Take a look at the festivities here.
10. Hot 97 Summer Jam
East Rutherford, NJ
Protip: Keep your Uber or Lyft apps handy. Traffic ain’t nothing to play around with after the show.
12. North by Northeast
Protip: It’s the same concept as SxSW but different location. For priority access, cop a badge and draft up an itinerary to see your favorite acts. But even if you don’t stick to the script, dare yourself to see acts outside of your comfort zone.
13. Essence Music Festival
New Orleans, LA
Protip: This isn’t your average festival. With their “Empowerment Experience”, Essence Fest will spotlight key speakers such as India.Arie, Deepak Chopra, Al Sharpton, Iyanla Vanzant, and others. Pack your notebook or download the Evernote app to jot down notes.
14. Pitchfork Festival
July 17- 19
Protip: If you’re an artist on the come-up or an event planner with sticky fingers, plastering your promotional posters on light poles, telephone poles, or any other piece of city property will run you $250 a flyer.