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Summer 2015’s 50 Must-See Music Festivals

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

Music Festivals

This summer boasts some of the biggest, loudest and most unique music festivals, from Jazzfest to Electric Daisy Carnival and beyond.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

Looking for a weekend when you can relax with your family, rave with your friends or just hang out and listen to some of your favorite artists? No matter what you like or where you live, this summer almost certainly has a festival for you. Just as, say, Midwestern techno fans can find their rhythm at Detroit's Movement, rural New Englanders can vibe off alt-country and marvel at hot balloons from the grass of Western Massachusetts' Green River. But what if you're a nu-metal diehard stuck in western Quebec? Then Amnesia Rockfest has you covered. Below are the 50 summer festivals we're most excited about, from local events like the aforementioned to international travel destinations such as ATP Iceland and Primavera Sound.

Bumbershoot Music Festival, Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan performs at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival on August 30, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic


When: September 4th-6th

Where: Seattle, Washington

Why Go: The U.S. summer festival explosion is a rather recent phenomenon, but Seattle's Bumbershoot has existed in one form or another for four decades. 2015's lineup hasn't been announced yet, but last year's ranged from Elvis Costello and a tribute to Big Star's Third to hip-hop royalty Wu-Tang Clan. It showcased funk legends Bobby Womack and Bootsy Collins as well as up-and-coming rappers like Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown.

Must-See Acts: Lineup to be announced.

Official Site: facebook.com/bumbershootfestival

Electric Zoo

A general view of atmosphere during Electric Zoo 2013 at Randall's Island on August 31, 2013 in New York City.

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Electric Zoo: Transformed

When: September 4th-6th

Where: New York City

Why Go: For those who know only one Martin Garrix song, Electric Zoo vs. Electric Daisy is tough dilemma. For those who've downloaded every episode of the 18-year-old DJ's Internet radio show, it's a false choice. The two festivals bookend New York's extended summer, boasting a who's who of electronic music. But if you can only make one, EZoo is the better bet: Tickets are cheaper, but the bass is just as loud.

Must-See Acts: Lineup to be announced.

Official Site: electriczoofestival.com

Hopscotch Festival

Jamie xx at CAM, 2014

Jillian Clark

Hopscotch Music Festival

When: September 3rd-5th

Where: Raleigh, North Carolina

Why Go: The 2015 lineup hasn't been announced yet, but the sixth year of Hopscotch promises to offer one of the headiest weekends of music out there. Last year boasted indie stalwarts like Spoon, St. Vincent and Mastodon, while also offering up an array of outsiders ranging from Hawkwind to minimalist composer Tony Conrad to dark ambient Björk collaborator the Haxan Cloak.

Must-See Artists: Lineup to be announced.

Official Site: hopscotchmusicfest.com


Festival goers pose with the Giant Disco ball in the background at Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park on September 4, 2014 in Newport, United Kingdom

Joseph Okpako/Redferns via Getty Images


When: September 10th-13th

Where: Isle of Wight, England

Why Go: Including the word "best" in a festival's name is a bold move, but this September soiree has been doing everything it can to live up to that promise since it began in 2004. Originally intended as an off-shoot of record label Sunday Best, the four-day event is a perfect end-of-summer dance party that blends tried-and-true legends (Duran Duran, the Chemical Brothers) with the most exciting up-and-comers (FKA Twigs, Charli XCX).

Must-See Acts: Charli XCX, Duran Duran, Jurassic 5, FKA Twigs, the Chemical Brothers, Girlpool, Future Islands, Annie Mac, Flying Lotus, Tame Impala, Guy Gerber, Action Bronson, Neneh Cherry, Fat White Family, Young Fathers

Official Site: bestival.net

No Doubt, Kaaboo Del Mar

No Doubt will headline this year's Kaaboo Del Mar festival.

Richard Chapin Downs Jr./Getty Images for Global Citizen

Kaaboo Del Mar

When: September 18th-20th

Where: San Diego, California

Why Go: The first Kaaboo Del Mar festival describes itself as an "art and entertainment mix-perience" where music, comedy and art can be consumed across seven stages in sunny San Diego. Headlined by No Doubt and the Killers, Kaaboo's lineup focuses on alt-rock but makes room for Sheryl Crow, Snoop Dogg and a hefty selection of comedians. It also offers "personal indulgences" for ticket-buyers, making perks like massages and manicures available to all.

Must-See Acts: No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, the Killers, Sheryl Crow, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Minnie Driver, X, Spoon, Counting Crows, the Roots, Grace Potter, Foster the People, 311, Joel McHale, Lewis Black

Official Site: kaaboodelmar.com

TomorrowWorld, Armin Van Buuren

Armin Van Buuren at TomorrowWorld Electronic Music Festival on September 29, 2013 in Fairburn, Georgia.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic


When: September 25th-27th

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

Why Go: Escape into the mythical TomorrowWorld, complete with floating bridges, scenic lakes, mushroom stages and dream lodges for three days of EDM and fantasy. Buried deep in the scenic Chattahoochee Hills, TomorrowWorld is the U.S. version of Belgium's most popular music festival, TomorrowLand. Last year, we overheard two Americans discussing the detailed work-out regimen and trans-Atlantic flights they needed to prepare for Europe – this year, maybe they'll just drive to Georgia.

Must-See Acts: Lineup to be announced.

Official Site: tomorrowworld.com

Motorboat, Motorhead

Motorboat via Vimeo


When: September 28th-October 2nd

Where: Departs from Miami, making stops in the Bahamas

Why Go: For its second year, Motörhead's Motörboat cruise is about to get even louder. Joining Lemmy Kilmister and Co. will be Slayer, Anthrax, Hatebreed and more of the world's best metallic outfits. Plus, Motörboat promises more than just music, with a number of Q&A sessions, parties and games to be announced prior to three of the heaviest days at sea imaginable.

Must-See Acts: Slayer, Hatebreed, Motorhead, Anthrax, Crobot, Huntress, Fireball Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies, Exodus, Kyng

Official Site: motorheadcruise.com

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