Summer Guide 2019: Music, Movies, Festivals, Tours, Beach Reads - Rolling Stone
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The Rolling Stone Guide to Summer 2019

All the reasons to get psyched for the season, from the hottest new MC to the craziest new theme park — and much more

Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures; RMV/Shutterstock; Stephen Lovekin/WWD/Shutterstock

Twenty-seven reasons to get psyched for the season — from the best tours and festivals to the hottest new music, the biggest movies, the juiciest beach reads, and much more.

ceria beer

Weed Drinks Deliver a Light, Liquid High

For those who find smoking gross and edibles too strong, new easy-drinking weed beverages — from beer to soda, liquor and mocktails — are here. With most, the high hits in as little as 10 minutes and fades after just a couple of hours. “No one wants to be high for two full days,” notes Erik Knutson, CEO of Colorado-based Keef, which teamed with Blue Moon founder Keith Villa to launch nonalcoholic THC beer Ceria. “People have to work sometimes — unfortunately.” –Elisabeth Garber-Paul

Lollapalooza 2019: Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala

Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, the Strokes and more will headline this year's Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Getty Images, Shutterstock (2)

Lollapalooza Steps Up

Twenty-eight years since its inception, Lollapalooza remains the mother of modern festivals, and its latest edition remains as true as ever to its original genre-melting vision. From August 1st to 4th in Chicago, superstars like Ariana Grande, Meek Mill, Janelle Monae and Childish Gambino will rub shoulders with indie-rock heroes (the Strokes, Mitski), rising rap titans (Lil Baby and Gunna), Latin pop royals (J Balvin, Rosalia) and much more. Who needs Woodstock? -Jon Dolan

charly bliss

Ebru Yildiz

Charly Bliss’ Summer Soundtrack

For all your windows-down joyriding needs, turn to Young Enough, the sparking new album from Brooklyn indie rockers Charly Bliss. The foursome’s anthemic second effort bridges the bubblegum grunge of their debut with LCD Soundsystem-inspired pop grandeur. “What’s central to our music,” says singer Eva Hendricks, “is this massive feeling of fun.” -Jonathan Bernstein

lion king, simba

The ‘Lion King’ Circle of Life

Do we need a photorealistic version of The Lion King? No. But we do need Beyoncé singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” Thankfully, that cover comes with director Jon Favreau’s highly-anticipated CGI remake of the 1994 animated classic, due out July 19th. Bey voices future lion queen Nala in the star-studded reboot, joining Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as comic meerkat-warthog duo Timon and Pumba, and James Earl Jones, who reprises his role as Simba’s father Mufasa. Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver and Amy Sedaris round out the cast. Even better: Beyoncé reportedly pitched in to help Elton John with the entire soundtrack. -Brittany Spanos

Maggie Rogers Plots Headlining North American Tour

Maggie Rogers extended her 2019 tour with a new run of summer and fall North American dates.

Richard Isaac/Shutterstock

Maggie Rogers: Festival Healer

“I think of it as healing-energy work,” says Maggie Rogers. The singer is talking about her new role as a spreader of good vibes at festivals like Coachella and Life Is Beautiful, where she’s been drawing huge crowds, bringing her mix of Seventies singer-songwriter piano balladry, synthy electro-pop and witchy shawl-dancing that’s drawn comparisons to her hero Stevie Nicks.

While Rogers broke through as a viral internet sensation in 2016, playing one of her tracks for Pharrell during an NYU class, she proved she was a force on Saturday Night Live last year. Rogers showed off intensely powerful vocals and an easy command of the stage. “Can you die from getting goosebumps?” John Mayer asked on Instagram afterward, singling out “Fallingwater,” a soulful song that lately has become the centerpiece of Rogers’ live show. “I usually close the set with it,” she says. ”Looking into these seas of people all clapping together — it’s a superslow, epic moment that’s just…perfect.”

Rogers assembled her band only three years ago, and admits that graduating from clubs to huge stages has been an adjustment. “I find the road to be really overstimulating,” she says. “It’s hard to write a supervulnerable song and then get onstage in front of 4,000 people. I try to protect myself from emotional whiplash.” She gets comfortable by playing covers — lately, she’s been working Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” (a song Rogers has known since sixth grade) and Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” into her act. “It’s a way to stay creative and engaged,” she says. “It allows myself and the band a personal release, a space to feel things.”

Over the next few months, Rogers’ schedule will take her to storied spots like the Newport Folk Festival and the Santa Barbara Bowl, but there’s one place she can’t stop thinking about: New York in October, where she’s sold out two nights at Radio City Music Hall. “It’s this very special full-circle moment, because my college graduation was there,” she says. The ceremony marked her first performance of “Alaska,” the song that delivered her big break. “To be able to return there is beyond my wildest dreams.” -Angie Martoccio

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 08: Celine Dion performs during the final show of her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on June 08, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for AEG)

Celine Dion performed a new song during her farewell performance in Las Vegas.

Getty Images for AEG

The Dionaissance is Here

It’s all coming back to her now. Céline Dion is riding high these days in a full-fledged Dionaissance. Three years after tragically losing her husband and manager, Réné Angélil, she’s working on a new album, Courage (due in November), and hitting the road for her first tour in more than a decade. She’s also prepping her very own Bohemian Rhapsody-style biopic, The Power of Love. Dion is more relatable than ever now, a single mom to three sons, moving on with a little help from her new BFF, dancer Pepe Muñoz, the gay sidekick she’s always deserved. “He’s my best friend, and we dance together,” she told Extra. “Even just holding my hand, it’s something that I haven’t had for a long time. A hug from a six-foot-three man, it was wonderful.” Welcome back, Céline — your heart will go on and on. -Rob Sheffield

tierra whack

Tierra Whack has unveiled new song "Gloria."

Nick Canonica

Tierra Whack’s Musical Takeover

This summer’s hottest rapper is a 23-year-old woman from Philadelphia with a sideways vision of hip-hop realism and a voracious sense of artistic ambition. Whack’s 2018 debut, Whack World, a mind-bending LP of one-minute songs, set the table for a breakout 2019, which she opened by releasing a song a week for five weeks, from the vibe-y “Wasteland” to the hard-hitting “Clones.” Where she will go next is anybody’s guess. -Brittany Spanos

Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," directed by David Leitch.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.'

Daniel Smith/Universal Pictures

‘Fast & Furious’ Rides Again

Throw today’s two biggest action stars into the genre’s biggest franchise and you’ve got a blockbuster on steroids. The Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, due out August 2nd, forces sworn enemies from past installments — the Rock’s federal agent Hobbs and Jason Statham’s ex-British Special Forces assassin Shaw — to work together against a genetically-enhanced supervillain (Idris Elba). Expect whiplash-inducing stunts, physics-defying fistfights, eyebrow-melting explosions and a truckload of ballbusting zingers between two consummate pros. -Jon Blistein

dark crystal

A trio of Gelflings embark on a quest to save Thra from the Skeksis in the new trailer for Netflix's 'Dark Crystal' prequel series.

The Muppets’ Dark Turn

For years, fans held out hope for more of Jim Henson’s 1982 dark-Muppet fantasy world, The Dark Crystal. Finally, our wish has come true in the form of a 10-episode Netflix series due in August, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. A prequel that follows three good-elf heroes as they try to rescue a life-giving crystal from the evil Mitch McConnell-like Skeksis, this is one nostalgic reboot we can get behind. –David Fear

kamala harris, biden, elizabeth warren

Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren

Alex Brandon/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Tony Dejak/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Nati Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Presidential Hopefuls’ Beach Reads

For political junkies who don’t want a break from the race, even at the beach, try one of these books by a 2020 Democratic contender

Andrew Yang, The War on Normal People (2018)
A surprising page-turner on economics, packed with stats on the effects of AI and automation on our economy. By the end, you’ll be convinced Yang’s “Freedom Dividend” — $1,000 a month for all Americans — will be the only thing standing between us and the robot apocalypse.

Pete Buttigieg, Shortest Way Home (2019)
Figures the erudite Boy Wonder of South Bend would nick the title of his memoir from James Joyce. But the 37-year-old proves he’s done enough living to know about more than the literary canon. As he takes us from the military to the mayor-ship to coming out at 33, it’s clear he’s done hiding.

Elizabeth Warren, This Fight Is Our Fight (2017)
A compendium of the multitude of ways that big business is screwing you — and using the government to do its bidding. Warren follows the money as it exits the pockets of the American middle class and beelines for corporate bottom lines. Best read with a stiff drink.

Kamala Harris, The Truths We Hold (2018)
The California senator offers up a textbook campaign memoir that celebrates her multicultural heritage (she’s the daughter of Indian and Jamaican parents) and her record as a prosecutor without truly exploring the complications of either. Here’s hoping there’s a second volume.

Bernie Sanders, Where We Go From Here (2018)
Tracing his travels around the country during “two years in the resistance” to Trump, Sanders rehashes his platform and rebukes greedy capitalists. There’s plenty to please supporters but little to surprise in his third book in as many years, a run that’s made him (horrors!) a millionaire.

Joe Biden, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (2017)
In his deeply personal account of losing his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, the former vice president shows what was happening behind closed doors during one of the most difficult periods of his life. The decision of whether or not to run in 2016 hovers over Biden and his family as they deal with Beau’s failing health and eventually his death. Obviously, we know what Biden decided. But the timing is right, so he’s running again.

Related: 15 Presidential Campaign Books You Need to Know for 2020, vegetarian cheesesteak

Questlove’s Clean-Eating Mission

Questlove’s quest for perfect beats and perfect eats have dovetailed lately, and this summer he’ll launch Questlove’s Cheesesteaks at 39 Live Nation venues across the country. The $15 sandwich is Philly style, of course, down to the Amoroso rolls — “key to Philly cheesesteak,” the Philadelphia native testifies. The twist is they’re vegetarian, made with Impossible plant-based meat, a company Questlove’s invested in. “‘Eating Good,’ a Wu Tang term I believe, is a sign of success for the hip-hop generation,” he says. “It means not having to hustle to know where your next meal is coming from, or not subjecting yourself to consuming just anything.” The health-conscious drummer, who picked an Impossible burger over his beef favorite in a blind testing, isn’t looking to convert strict carnivores so much as open their minds. “We simply want to offer the proper alternative — a bridge, if you will, to the other side.” -Will Hermes 

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