Best 2018 Summer Festivals You'll Want to Start Planning for Now

As the snow melts and the days lengthen, summer beckons. The sun, the fun, the things to do – there’s little to hate about Mother Nature this time of year. With a smile and some SPF, it’s up to you to choose how to spend your days.

For those who love music, people, or a combination of both, festivals are a nice option. These are held across the US (and beyond) and cater to all kinds of people. So, who’s coming out to play this summer? The following is just a taste:


The Sasquatch Music Festival takes place in the Gorge Amphitheatre located in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington State. It dominates “Best Outdoor Music Venue” lists and offers festival goers a chance to camp and revel.  The festival itself occurs May 25-27.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

If you like your festivals scenic, it’s hard to beat anything in Telluride. The Bluegrass Festival takes place from June 21-24 and attracts musicians and fans from around the globe. Tucked neatly inside the San Juan Mountains, festival goers experience a mix of bluegrass and breathtaking views. Beware for those who aren’t used to altitude: it’s almost 9,000 feet. Denver, by comparison, is just over 5,000.


Chicago is home to this festival from August 2-5. It’s largely known for its music – it features everything from hip hop to heavy metal to punk. But it also holds plenty of space for arts and crafts, dance, comedy, and politics. It originally began in 1991 before disappearing a few years later. Since its revival, it shows no signs of going anywhere.

Burning Man

If Burning Man is on your bucket list, what are you waiting for? Grab your bucket and go (or, better yet, wear your bucket on your head). Burning Man draws tens of thousands of festival goers to the Nevada desert. It’s an event based on certain core principles, such as radical inclusion and participation, while showcasing music, art, costumes, performances, and a ritual burning (naturally). Each year it takes place at the same time: the week leading up to Labor Day.

Vans Warped Tour

If you’re more of a “the festival needs to come to me” type, the Vans Warped Tour is up your alley. This is a tour that features several bands, from Sum 41 to Bowling for Soup to Pennywise, and caters to all ages (though they don’t recommend bringing kids under eight). Worth noting: this is the last year of the tour. The curtain’s closing in 2018.

If these festivals aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of others to choose from (beer festivals, anyone?). But if you like to spend your summer days and nights taking in the sights and swaying to some tunes, this list is for you.

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