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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.

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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.

Kid Rock, Summerfest

Kid Rock performs at the Marcus Amphitheater on July 3, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Summerfest

When: June 24th-28th, June 30th-July 5th

Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Why Go: The Guinness Book of World Records has certified this music festival as humankind's largest, but it's also one of our most affordable. Spanning 11 days and 11 stages – and costing no more than $80 to see it all – Summerfest sits lakefront on 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park. Think of it as an all-ages rock & roll day camp.

15 Must-See Acts: Rolling Stones, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, Florida Georgia Line, Schoolboy Q, Kaskade, Halestorm, Ximena Sariñana, Gogol Bordello, the Flaming Lips, Santigold, the Isley Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Kings of Leon, "Weird Al" Yankovic

Official Site: summerfest.com

Electric Forest

A general view during day 1 of the 2012 Electric Forest Festival at Double JJ Ranch on June 28, 2012 in Rothbury, Michigan.

C Flanigan/WireImage

Electric Forest

When: June 25th-28th

Where: Rothbury, Michigan

Why Go: Remember that dream where you do-si-do'd to the String Cheese Incident's progressive bluegrass then raved to the pulse of Steve Angello's Swedish house? That wasn't a dream, it was a flashback to last year's Electric Forest. The aptly named rural festival literally lights up the woods, blasting Wonderland visuals into the natural environment. Once again, the soundtrack will include EDM, jam bands and a lot of twentysomethings saying, "Ooh."

Must-See Acts: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Kaskade, Carl Cox, Flux Pavilion, Galactic with Macy Gray, Green Velvet, Joe Russo's Almost Dead, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Flume, Lettuce, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Four Tet

Official Site: electricforestfestival.com

Dierks Bentley, Farmborough

Dierks Bentley will headline the inaugural Farmborough in New York City.

Mark Horton/WireImage

Farmborough Country Music Festival

When: June 26-28

Where: New York City

Why Go: New York City is undergoing another country transformation – first a radio station dedicated to the genre, now a massive festival full of chart-topping, truck-and-moonlight superstars. It may be dominated by male acts (where are you, Miranda, Carrie, Kacey?), but the party vibes are balanced by a lineup of new outlaws – Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Clark and leader of them all, Dwight Yoakam. Expect lots of tailgaters, plenty of tanlines.  

Must-See Acts: Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam, Maddie and Tae, Sturgill Simpson, the Cadillac Three, Charlie Worsham, Brandy Clark, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Lindsay Ell, Kip Moore, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser, Wade Bowen

Official Site: farmboroughfestival.com

Linkin Park, Loudwire

Linkin Park will headline this year's Loudwire Music Festival.

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Loudwire Music Festival

When: June 26th-28th

Where: Grand Junction, Colorado

Why Go: Loudwire's lineup is filled with some of the country's biggest hard rock and metal bands, from Linkin Park to Halestorm. The event may be new this year, but its location, Colorado's Jam Ranch, has been hosting music festivals for decades. That means a raging yet well-organized event from promoters thoughtful enough to include a "Quiet Area" in the back of the campground.

Must-See Acts: Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, Weezer, Halestorm, A Day to Remember, Hoobastank, Hinder, All That Remains, Chevelle, Vajra

Official Site: loudwiremusicfestival.com

Mary J. Blige, Essence Music Festival

Recording artist Mary J. Blige performs the 2014 Essence Music Festival on July 5, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Essence Festival

When: July 2nd-5th

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

Why Go: The long-running Essence Festival is both a musical and cultural experience. Daytime events include an "Empower U" conference with panel discussions, a career fair and speakers such as Al Sharpton, Deepak Chopra and Iyanla Vanzant. Nighttime is for concerts by superstars like Mary J. Blige and 2015 Super Bowl MVP Missy Elliott. If you just want to have fun all weekend, skip "Empower U" and head to the Essence DJ Party Series at the Sugar Mill, where Funkmaster Flex and DJ Drama will command the dance floor.

Must-See Acts: Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Usher, Common, Mystikal, Erykah Badu, Floetry, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Lecrae, Trey Songz, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, Nico & Vinz

Official Site: essence.com/festival

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop of Iggy and The Stooges performs on stage in London, England on June 20th, 2013.

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ATP Iceland

When: July 2nd-4th

Where: Ásbrú, Keflavík, Iceland

Why Go: What's cooler than ATP fest? ATP fest in Iceland. Indeed, there may be no better way for the music cognoscenti to escape the summer heat – which isn't to say that headliner Iggy Pop will wear a shirt. Or that this year's typically, and gorgeously, eclectic lineup – ranging from rabble-rousing hip-hop to shoegazing black metal – won't leave clothing sweat-soaked and faces melted.

Must-See Acts: Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, Belle and Sebastian, Public Enemy, Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Run the Jewels, Mudhoney, Deafheaven, Bardo Pond, Lightning Bolt, the Bug, Iceage, Clipping., Chelsea Wolfe

Official Site: atpfestival.com/events/atpiceland2015

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, Body Count

Atmosphere as Body Count performs during the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre on July 6, 2014 in Mountain View, California.

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Rockstar Mayhem Festival

When: June 26-August 2nd

Where: Chula Vista, CA; San Bernadino, CA; Mountain View, CA; Auburn, WA; Nampa, ID; Phoenix, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; Morrison, CO; Council Bluffs, IA; Milwaukee, WI; Noblesville, IN; Clarkston, MI; Tinsley Park, IL; Toronto, ON; Camden, NJ; Burgettstown, PA; Hartford, CT; Holmdel, NJ; Gilford, NH; Bristow, VA; Mansfield, M