The Bucket List | 5 Essential U.S. Music Festivals

Before you know it, the 2017 music festival season will be upon us and to ease the decision making process, we’re kicking off a weekly roundup of the scene’s best bets. Festival rookie or not, you have some tough choices, and as the list of amazing festivals continues to grow, we don’t foresee that changing. Keep reading for five essential U.S. festivals that should definitely be on your bucket list.



Despite the sticky Tennessee heat, this festival is considered one of the best in North America. Bonnaroo attracts more than 80,000 people each year and its massive stages have been graced by a long list of legends including Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Jay Z, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others. Between watching performances from top artists and comedians, attendees can enjoy a wide variety of activities on the festival’s permanent grounds including films, shopping, parades, water slides, and even a 5K race if you’re up to it. This four-day, multi-stage, outdoor music event is spread across a 700-acre farm southeast of Nashville and if you’re anywhere on the Eastern side of the country, it’s definitely an experience you can’t pass up.

When:  June 8-11, 2017   Where:  Manchester, Tennessee   Website:



Firefly, one of the country’s fastest growing festivals, is considered to be the upper East Coast’s premier music experience. Heading into its sixth year, this festival takes place over the span of four days at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, a 105-acre festival site in the capitol of Delaware. With a history that includes performances by Outkast, Jack White, Foo Fighters and many more, it’s easy to see why Firefly is quickly becoming a can’t-miss summer tradition for music fans from around the world.

When:  June 15-18, 2017   Where:  Dover, Delaware   Website:



Electric Daisy Carnival’s Las Vegas edition is a cornerstone of Insomniac’s growing festival empire. Featuring the industry’s most extravagant stages and lighting, an unparalleled selection of iconic performers, and over 400,000 attendees each year, EDC has become one of the largest electronic music festivals on the planet. Taking place at the massive Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this festival is a dreamlike audiovisual experience that will leave your head spinning and ears ringing for weeks.

When:  June 16-18, 2017   Where:  Las Vegas, Nevada   Website:



For three days each summer Chicago’s Union Park attracts more than 50,000 people of all ages for the best in new and emerging music. What makes this festival special is its dedication to supporting local businesses and promoting its city’s arts community as a whole. Pitchfork also maintains a commitment to keeping ticket prices low, making it an easy addition to your summer festival calendar. With a new satellite edition recently added in Paris, this year’s lineup is sure to feature some incredible talent from across the pond, so be sure to get your tickets asap.

When:  July 14-16, 2017   Where:  Chicago, Illinois   Website:



If Pitchfork didn’t give you enough of the Windy City experience and you just have to come back for more live music and deep dish pizza, Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza always brings a stacked multi-genre lineup that even Malia Obama can’t ignore. For 25 years, Perry Farrell’s legendary event has welcomed some of the biggest names in music and this year is sure to be no different. If you’re interested in attending this festival, act fast. Tickets to Lollapalooza always sell out quickly and without camping options, a nearby hotel is highly recommended.

When:  August 3-6, 2017   Where:  Chicago, Illinois   Website: