Summer Music Festival Guide

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Summertime is here! What could be better than enjoying some good tunes in the open air? Here is our guide to Summer 2011’s best music festivals:

Outside Lands

Where: San Francisco, CA
When: August 12-14
Who: Phish, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, The Decemberists, Foster the People, Beirut, Best Coast
Why: The festival has more to offer than just an incredibly diverse and well-put together music lineup. There is an entire food and wine lineup! And in true SF fashion,”every single person attending Outside Lands will participate in decreasing the carbon footprint of the festival by checking out the hottest live acts featured on the solar-powered Panhandle Stage, choosing refillable water bottles over plastic ones, recycling and composting their waste, biking to the festival or picking up local food from our farmers’ market and restaurants.”
How much: $200 for a three-day pass, or $450 for a three-day VIP pass.

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Solid Sound

Where: North Adams, MA
When: June 24-26
Who: Wilco, Thurston Moore, Jamie Lidell, The Handsome Family, The Levon Helm Band, Here We Go Magic
Why: This annual Wilco-curated festival takes place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which sits on a 13-acre site in rural Massachusetts and looks like a mighty fine place to have a festival.
How much: $124.50 for three days, single day tickets $65 (for Friday or Sunday) or $78 (for Saturday).

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Where: Des Moines, IA
When: July 2-3
Who: Girl Talk, Of Montreal, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus, Galactic, Blackalicious, Handsome Furs
Why: 80/35 (which refers to the junction of the two highways leading to Des Moines)  started in 2004 as an attempt to bring arts and culture back to Des Moines’ downtown district, and with some big names in the indie-rock world, we hope that they are doing just that.
How much: $60 for a two-day pass, or $150 for a two-day VIP pass.

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Camp Bisco

Where: Mariaville, NY
When: July 7-9
Who: Disco Biscuits, Cut Copy, Wiz Khalifa, Bassnectar, Ratatat, Death from Above 1979, MSTRKRFT, Yeasayer, Four Tet
Why: This festival has the summer’s best line-up for lovers of the genre some have coined “indie dance.” If you are trying to get your rave-on this summer, look no further than Camp Bisco

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Pitchfork Music Festival

Where: Chicago, IL
When: July 15-17
Who: Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, Cut Copy, TV on the Radio, Neko Case, Thurston Moore, No Age, Gang Gang Dance, Deerhunter, Superchunk, Ariel Pink
Why: Because Pitchfork is one of the best online music magazines today. And they have brought together some of the best indie bands for their 6th annual festival in the heart of Chicago. Break out your skinny jeans and Ray-Bans people… in true Pitchfork style, there will be hipsters aplenty!
How much: $45 per day

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Where: Chicago, IL
When: August 5-7
Who: Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket, Explosions in The Sky, The Kills, Lykke Li, The Drums
Why: Because you had so much fun at Pitchfork and really want to go back to Chicago. But really, Lollapalooza has been around for many years and has a pretty incredible and eclectic lineup.
How much: $215 for a three-day pass, $95 for a one- day pass

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Royal Family Affair

Where: Stratton Mountain, VT
When: August 12-14
Who: Chromeo, Soulive, Lettuce, Big Gigantic, Break Science, Karl Denson, and more!
Why: Ever want to go to a festival with all of your favorite funk, future-funk, and electro artists? Can you imagine that, with just a tad bit of hip hop blended in (Chali 2Na)? Well look no further, Royal Family Affair brings it for their inaugural bash featuring Soulive, Lettuce, Chromeo, Chali 2NA, Break Science, Big Gigantic, Paper Diamond and some special guests appearances from Karl Denson and Phish favorite Jennifer Hartswick. Don’t miss out on this, you cannot beat it for the price!
How Much:
Tickets start at $89 for the whole weekend! A VIP pass will run you $199 and brings great value.

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Austin City Limits

Where: Austin, TX
When: September 16-18
Who: Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Kanye West, My Morning Jacket, Manu Chao, Fleet Foxes, Cee Lo, Cut Copy, Bright Eyes, TV On The Radio, Death From Above 1979
Why: Because Austin is one of the most progressive music cities in the country. And the lineup is pretty sick. Oh, and Steve Wonder is going to be there (!!!)
How much: $90, for Sunday only. Pretty much every other option is sold out.

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Now, if only I could figure out a way to make it to all of these festivals?