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Music Festival Calendar Beyond The West Coast: July 2013

Lilian Min |
June 19, 2013 | 9:51 p.m. PDT

Music Editor

It seems that everybody and their grandma—to be fair, they’re pretty chill grandmas—is headed to at least one major music festival a year. 

They’ll post and tweet and Instagram about their festival experience before, during, and after the actual event, and everyone around them will roll their eyes… until it’s their turn to cavort around whatever festival fairground they’re headed off to.

If you’re leaving Los Angeles for another part of America this summer, don’t worry, there are other festivals out there besides Coachella! Seriously. Below are some options to check out this July; check back later for the August calendar.


Essence Festival – July 4-7, various venues, New Orleans, LA

Headliners: Beyonce, Biz Markie, Maxwell, New Edition 

What’s so special: This Fourth of July, head down south to catch some of the classiest acts in rap, soul, jazz, and R&B do their thing in a city that knows something about all of those genres, especially jazz. While there are plenty of eye-catching names playing at Essence Festival which is put on by the magazine of the same name, look beyond the more established performers to check out critically acclaimed, but more under the radar (at least in the Top 40 scene) folks like Emeli Sande and Les Nubians. Also: Brandy. 

If music isn’t your thing (in which case… what), there are plenty of other events going on all weekend, including food stuffs, guest speakers, and gospel performances (which is still music, so).

Wavefront Music Festival – July 5-7, Montrose Beach, Chicago, IL

Headliners: Diplo, Rusko, Justice (DJ set)

What’s so special: Chicago’s sure a popular place to host a music festival. Wavefront is the first of several fests to take place near the Windy City, but it’s the only one that’s by the beach. Take in some of the world’s best EDM acts by the water, in one of the greatest music cities (for any kind of music) in the world. 

Pitchfork Music Festival – July 19-21, Union Park, Chicago, IL

Headliners: Bjork, R. Kelly, Belle & Sebastian, MIA, Joanna Newsom

What’s so special: Yeah, yeah, everybody likes to shit on Pitchfork now and then, but the best/worst place for learning about new music has put together a lineup that speaks to the site’s distinctly “learned” personality. Which isn’t to say that any of the acts playing are in any way worse off for being on the lineup: indie sweethearts like Yo La Tengo and Chairlift are sharing space with folks like R. Kelly and MIA, and that can only be a good thing.

Newport Folk Festival – July 26-28, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

Headliners: Feist, the Avett Brothers, Beck

What’s so special: Newport is like the quainter little sister to all the other big name music festivals. Here, acts like Colin Meloy and Jim James are at home, instead of wedged next to EDM acts on a festival lineup. This is the festival for people who care deeply about craft beers and vintage things—and that isn’t meant as a diss.   

Reach Music Editor Lilian Min here; follow her on Twitter here and on Google+ here.



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