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Summer 2014’s 40 Must-See Music Festivals

From Jazzfest to Electric Daisy Carnival, a guide to the season’s biggest and loudest bashes

bruce springsteen lorde perform

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With concert revenues increasing, EDM continuing to expand and companies like Live Nation creating new events every year, 2014's crop of music festivals might be bigger and larger than any to come before it. In order help make sense of the madness, Rolling Stone has compiled a list of 40 festivals taking place across the United States and Canada, beginning with Jazzfest in April and ending with TomorrowWorld in September, detailed what makes them unique and put together a list of the 15 must-see acts at each one. Get ready a few months of suntans, sun burns, loud music and plenty of Outkast. By Cady Drell, Sean McCabe, Nick Murray, Mosi Reeves, Katherine St. Asaph, Alexis Stephens, Christopher R. Weingarten, Killian Young


Hurray for the Riff Raff

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Newport Folk Festival

When: July 25th-27th

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

Why Go: Fort Adams' bayside location makes Newport Folk the most temperate festival you’ll attend this summer, guaranteed. The lineup for 2014 may be the best (and most eclectic) the festival has had in years, with a mix of fresh-faced local groups and seasoned national vets playing on a stage that comes pre-equipped with its own rich musical history. Newport is back on the must-see list.

Must-See Artists: Jeff Tweedy, Reignwolf, Mavis Staples, Jimmy Cliff, Robert Hunter, the Lonesome Trio, Lake Street Dive, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Band of Horses, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Deer Tick, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Jenny Lewis, Valerie June

diplo performs

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Mad Decent Block Party

When: July 26th – September 21st

Where: Ft. Lauderdale (FL), Atlanta (GA), Washington, D.C., Norfolk (VA), Philadelphia (PA), Brooklyn (NY), Boston (MA), Toronto (ON), Detroit (MI), Las Vegas (NV), Denver (CO), Nashville (TN), New Orleans (LA), New Braunfels (TX), Dallas (TX), Calgary (AB), Phoenix (AZ), Los Angeles (CA), San Diego (CA), Berkeley (CA), Eugene (OR), Vancouver (BC)

Why Go: Kids come for the names like Diplo and Dillon Francis but dance just as much to the artists they otherwise might never have heard. The lineup changes from city-to-city, but make sure you arrive early enough to catch sets from people like soca superstar Bunji Garlin, Mexican genre-fuser Toy Selectah and Philly club DJs Sega and Swizzymack.

15 Must-See Acts: Outkast, Diplo, Garlin, Fatboy Slim, Dillon Francis, Chance the Rapper, DJ Sega, DJ Swizzymack, Riff Raff, Sleigh Bells, Toy Selectah, Walshy Fire, A$AP Ferg, Dan Deacon, DJ Snake

disco biscuits

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Gathering of the Vibes

When: July 31st – August 3rd

Where: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Why Go: There are a handful of festivals keeping the Northeast both weird and intoxicated, but none do it quite as successfully as the Gathering of the Vibes, the jam band spectacular that was founded in 1996 as a way to cope with the passing of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. This year's festival includes not only Dead tribute wizards Dark Star Orchestra but also a Disco Biscuits set that will include former Dead members Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart.

15 Must-See Acts: The Disco Biscuits, John Fogerty, Dark Star Orchestra, Widespread Panic, Ziggy Marley, Umphrey's McGee, Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Maceo Parker, Rusted Root, Widespread Panic, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Moe., Rodrigo y Gabriela, Keller William's Grateful Grass, Slightly Stoopid


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Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

When: August 1st-3rd

Where: Montreal, Quebec

Why Go: Sharing a weekend and a handful of artists with Lollapalooza, Osheaga is one of Canada's best music festivals, held in the middle of summer at Montreal’s scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène. Though headlining acts are split between two adjacent stages, none of their sets overlap, so it’s still possible to see every big name perform.

15 Must-See Acts: Outkast, Jack White, Skrillex, Haim, Lorde, the Replacements, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Lykke Li, Chromeo, Chvrches, Sbtrkt, Tiga, Against Me!, Danny Brown