Festival season is undoubtedly upon us. There isn't a weekend that goes by where you can't catch two or three days of live music and gorge on over-priced food truck treats. And while festivals like Lollapalooza, FYF, Coachella, and Bonnaroo have become inundated by hefty lines and ticket prices (not to mention the hordes of hipsters and bros), there's still a ton of smaller, lesser know, but just as great music festivals this summer that won't put such a damper on your wallet and patience. Here's a list of our picks for the most killer and budget-conscious festivals this season.
Returning to New York's legendary South Street Seaport is The Village Voice's 4Knots Music Festival. The free, one-day festival is be back for its sixth year and is a continuation of the Voice's 15-year history with live music festivals. 4Knots will be showcasing renowned and emerging artists on today's breaking music scene, like Guided By Voices, Protomartyr, Car Seat Headrest, Girlpool, and Mild High Club.
In The Red Records has long been one of the world’s leading underground rock labels. It's roster is bursting at the seams with feral punk and garage rock that maintains the label's connection to rock ‘n’ roll’s volatile roots. The label turns 25 this year, and to celebrate, it’s throwing a three-day concert in Los Angeles this summer. Everyone from Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin (performing Reverse Shark Attack), The Gories, CFM, GØGGS, and Meatbodies will be taking the stage at the Echo and Echoplex.
Described by The New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” AFROPUNK BROOKLYN promises an eclectic line-up and an audience as diverse as the acts they come to see. Heavy-hitting OGs like Ice Cube, Bad Brains, and George Clinton will be sharing the stage with some of today's leading voices like Tyler the Creator, TV On The Radio, Flying Lotus, The Internet, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat, and Shabazz Palaces.
Cherry Glazerr, No Parents, Guantanamo Baywatch, Mike Watt & The Missingmen, Meat Market, Death Hymn Number 9, Winter, Lovely Bad Things, So Many Wizards, Walter, Wild Wing, Sloppy Jane, Jurassic Shark, FRENCH VANILLA, Loko Ono, Super Lunch, Kuromi. Also don't miss the pre-party on July 22nd at Non Plus Ultra.
More and more cities are starting to adopt the multi-venue festival model, including Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh's Hopscotch festival engages a range of venues across the city with 120 acts performing within a walkable downtown footprint. Catch everyone from Beach House, Erykah Badu, and Wolf Parade, to Young Thug, Television, Kelela, and Vince Staples.
Over the last nine years, Low End Theory has gone from an empty club night at the Airliner in Locoln Heights, to hosting legends like Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu to play secret sets with a line down the block. The subwoofer-rattling collective has helped cultivate and launch the carears of dozens of local LA phemons, and will host its third one-day festival with a line-up that includes Ghostface & Raekwon, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Daedelus, Prefuse 73, Jonwayne, Daddy Kev, Gonjasufi, Teebs, Milo, and Samiyam. As well as Low End mainstays the Gaslamp Killer and D-Styles.
The three-day hardcore/punk/industrial rock extravaganza, which started off as a “stinky chaotic mess of punk goodness” at Los Globos, has now moved on to a bigger and better venue, The Teragram Ballroom in Downtown LA. This year’s lineup will feature Psychic TV + special guests performing Force The Hand of Chance in its entirety, along with the first ever U.S. appearance of cult Swedish noise-rock outfit Brainbombs, and a rare performance by Belgian proto-punks The Kids. Others to see: Destruction Unit and Shopping.
For a first-time festival, Music Tastes Good is debuting with a remarkably solid slate of acts, led by headliners Iron and Wine, Sylvan Esso, De La Soul, Dr. Dog, Warpaint and a pair of legendary British bands, The Specials and Squeeze. Further down the flier, things really get interesting, with a mix of left-field hip-hop (P.O.S., Le1f, Kate Tempest), progressive punk acts old and new (Melvins, Rx Bandits, Metz), alternative Latin (Las Cafeteras, Los Master Plus) and even some jazz (mighty trumpeter/ bandleader Christian Scott). Undoubtedly one of the most eclectic music fests this summer.
Desert Daze (Friday Oct. 14 - 16th in Joshua Tree) If you waited in those dumbass virtual lines for the over-priced, classic rock mega-fest Desert Trip, but didn't snag a ticket, then you can make your way to the desert for the fifth annual Desert Daze festival. The festival has announced that the festival will now take place in Joshua Tree, California, and that it has expanded to three days, with acts like Suicide (first West Coast performance in 16 years), The Brian Jamestown Massacre, The Sonics, Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Thee Oh Sees, Temples, Beach Fossils, La Luz, White Fence, Night Beats, Fartbarf, Death Valley Girls, and Cherry Glazerr.
Ohana (Saturday Aug. 27 - 28 at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point) Ohana is like the music festival you wouldn't mind going to with your parents. There's a little something for everyone to enjoy, including Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, and the seminal LA punk band X. Ohana, which takes its name from the Hawaiian word for "extended family" will also host Band of Horses, Mudhoney, Lana De Rey, City and Colour, and Cat Power. This is the debut year for Ohana.
Woodsist Festival is coming back to Big Sur, California for the seventh year this summer. Besides the obvious Woods, an indie institution whose own Jeremy Earl founded the Woodsist label, the psychedelically folky/folkily psychedelic lineup also boasts White Fence, Jessica Pratt, Michael Hurley, Kevin Morby, Ultimate Painting, Gun Outfit, Cian Nugent, Little Wings, and Alex Bleeker And The Freaks, along with a few special guests still to be announced. Don't forget your patchouli.