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HANGOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL Gulf Shores, May 20-22. Anyone looking to combine two timeless summer pastimes — beach lounging and festivalgoing — will be well served by the Hangout Music Festival, which sets up on Alabama’s white sand gulf shore for three days each summer. A boon for the less rustic among us (“Shed the mud boots and sleeping bags and wake up each morning from a fully equipped condo,” its Web site suggests), the lineup includes Paul Simon, Foo Fighters, Widespread Panic, the Black Keys, the Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Cee-Lo Green, the Avett Brothers, Girl Talk, Primus and Ween. hangoutmusicfest.com.
WAKARUSA Ozark, June 2-5. Stationed atop Mulberry Mountain in the Arkansas Ozarks, Wakarusa isn’t an urban throwdown. Camping is encouraged here, and there are many opportunities for hiking, fishing, disc golf, yoga and kayaking. If you have any time (or energy) left over, check out My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper and Relentless7, Thievery Corporation, Umphrey’s McGee, Those Darlins, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Mumford and Sons, Budos Band, Langhorne Slim, Bassnectar and Toots and the Maytals. wakarusa.com.
HARMONY FESTIVAL Santa Rosa, June 10-12. Since 1978 the Harmony Festival has epitomized Northern California’s particular brand of cerebral mysticism, mixing music, art, health and wellness with a bit of spirituality. But if you tire of lurking in the Goddess Grove (a shady oasis that contains “a kaleidoscope of music, song, dance, art and culture all brought together by a mutual respect for the feminine spirit in all of us”), the music lineup is strong: Primus, the Flaming Lips, G. Love and Special Sauce, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Ghostland Observatory, Railroad Earth and more. harmonyfestival.com.
HOLLYWOOD BOWL June 17-Sept.18. These days it’s become somewhat de rigueur to pair a pop act with a philharmonic (one gets a little extra bombast, the other gets a bit of edge), and each summer the Hollywood Bowl plays matchmaker. This year Sarah McLachlan receives the orchestral treatment; on July 15-16 she’ll perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Other notable bookings include a Fourth of July fireworks spectacular featuring Daryl Hall and John Oates (July 2-4), Dolly Parton (July 22-23), Gladys Knight (July 27), a blues night with Robert Cray, Keb’ Mo’ and Mavis Staples (Aug. 10), and the National, Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten (Sept. 11). (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Silverado, May 27-30. This four-day electronic and dance-focused festival began on a much smaller scale — with generators, a couple strings of Christmas lights, a few stacks of vinyl records and a scrum of sweaty fans — in the forests of Southern California. It’s now over 10 years old, and — legitimacy alert! — includes workshops, panels, art installations and, apparently, “more yoga than you can shake your chakras at.” Pretty Lights, a D.J. set by Thievery Corporation, Beats Antique, Lucent Dossier Experience, a D.J. set from Bonobo and more round out on the bill. lightninginabottle.org.
MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL Monterey Fairgrounds, Sept. 16-18. Part of the allure of this long-running and sizable event (over 500 artists performing on eight stages) is its location on 20 acres of wooded fairgrounds. This year the jazz veterans Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins will return, and the festival’s themed showcases look especially compelling: “Cubano Be! Cubano Bop! A Tribute to Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie” featuring Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, with Terence Blanchard, and “An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans” with Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins and Glen David Andrews. (925) 275-9255 (tickets), montereyjazzfestival.org
SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL Boonville, June 17-19. Dedicated to the notion of “conscious music,” which its organizers define as “music with a message of peace, unity and brotherhood,” the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival might be a balm of sorts for music fans in need of an optimism boost. Including Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse, Ozomatli, Rebelution, Midnite, Vusi Mahlasela. (916) 777-5550, snwmf.com.
WANDERLUST Lake Tahoe, July 28-31. This expanding festival cum lifestyle retreat (this year there was an iteration in Miami; another version is scheduled for Vermont) gives its musical guests (who include Michael Franti and Spearhead, Girl Talk, the Wailers, Todd Boston, the Makepeace Brothers and Garth Stevenson) and yoga instructors (John Friend, Anne Marie Kramer, Shiva Rea, Stephanie Snyder, Jonny Kest) equal billing. wanderlustfestival.com.
JAZZ ASPEN SNOWMASS Aspen, June 24-July 2 and Sept. 2-4. The nonprofit arts organization Jazz Aspen Snowmass — founded in 1991 — hosts two notable festivals in Colorado every summer. The first, in late June, is jazz focused but not exclusively so; performers include Monty Alexander, Raul Midon and Richard Bona, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Hudson and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The second, on Labor Day weekend, is always a bit more rock ‘n’ roll; this year includes Steely Dan, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Thievery Corporation, Girl Talk, Zac Brown Band, Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses. (970) 920-4996, jazzaspen.org.
FOLKS FESTIVAL Lyons, Aug. 19-21. Folk music — despite being largely acoustic — is still awfully well suited to this outdoor stage. The Folks Festival is a nice mix of new- and old-school strummers: this year Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead), Chris Robinson (of the Black Crowes) and the singer-guitarist Jackie Green will introduce their new trio, and the festival will also include Carolina Chocolate Drops, Brandi Carlile, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, Mary Gauthier, Martin Sexton and Anais Mitchell. (800) 624-2422, bluegrass.com/folks.
TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS Telluride, June 16-19. This bluegrass extravaganza prides itself on coinciding (well, almost) with the summer solstice, meaning fans can soak up as much sunshine as possible while kicking their heels to sets from Mumford and Sons, Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show, the Decemberists, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Sarah McLachlan, Steve Earle and the Dukes, the Punch Brothers, Robert Plant and Band of Joy and more. As always, the Telluride House Band (this year’s lineup: Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan) will play, and informal indoor-outdoor jams — “nightgrass,” in festival parlance — will continue long after the sun finally sinks. (800) 624-2422, bluegrass.com/telluride.
GATHERING OF THE VIBES Bridgeport, July 21-24. It should surprise no one that a festival called Gathering of the Vibes is a peaceful, jam-friendly event. Sixties rock nostalgia rages strong here (former members of the Grateful Dead, now in various bands, are a beloved staple), but Elvis Costello and the Imposters, the Ryan Montbleau Band, and Jane’s Addiction are also on the bill. (203) 908-3030, gatheringofthevibes.com.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND IDEAS New Haven, June 11-25. This eclectic and far-reaching arts festival always offers up an interesting roster of global sounds. The 2011 lineup includes the Benin-born jazz guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke (June 15), Emeline Michel, the “Queen of Haitian Song” (June 16), the Peruvian jazz singer Corina Bartra (June 21), and the rock-jazz-Afro-pop fusion band Freshlyground (June 25). (888) 736-2663 (tickets), artidea.org.
LEVITT PAVILION Westport, June 27-Aug. 28. This free summer series, held outside on the bucolic banks of the Saugatuck River, has a pleasantly adventurous lineup, includes the Early Clover (July 15), the punk duo Hank and Cupcakes (July 16), the Latin fusion band Incendio (July 24) and the South African rock band Civil Twilight (Aug. 27). (203) 221-2153, levittpavilion.com.
LITCHFIELD JAZZ FESTIVAL Kent, Aug. 5-7. Now held at the Kent School, in conjunction with Litchfield Jazz Camp, this ever-growing festival features the Clayton Brothers, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, the Albert Rivera Organ Quintet, the Champian Fulton Quartet, the Bronx Horns, the Vijay Iyer Trio, the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, the Dena DeRose Trio, Joe Lovano Nonet and the Jimmy Heath Big Band. (860) 361-6285, litchfieldjazzfest.com.
District of Columbia
DC JAZZ FESTIVAL June 1-13. Spread across 45 sites throughout Washington, this festival will feature headlining performances from Bobby McFerrin, the trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Eddie Palmieri, the Heath Brothers, the pianist Cyrus Chestnut, the saxophonist Antonio Hart and the Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuna. dcjazzfest.org.
CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL Grant Park, June 10-12. Every year organizers of this city-hosted festival honor legendary blues musicians (the tradition — and the festival — began in 1984, the year after Muddy Waters died), and there may be no better place to pay earnest homage to wailing, electrifying blues. This year’s festival includes Honeyboy Edwards, Rick Sherry, Rocky Lawrence, Hubert Sumlin, the Duwayne Burnside Band, James (Super Chikan) Johnson and Nora Jean Bruso. chicagobluesfestival.org.
LOLLAPALOOZA, Grant Park, Aug. 5-7. In 1991 Lollapalooza — the brainchild of Perry Farrell, the frontman of Jane’s Addiction — was created to celebrate alternative-rock and outsider art, peripheral genres (by definition) that were suddenly gaining commercial footholds. Those footholds are far less tenuous these days, but the festival, now stationed permanently in Chicago (it opened an outpost in Chile this year), always pieces together an interesting show. The lineup for this year, the festival’s 20th anniversary, includes Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse, My Morning Jacket, Cee Lo Green, the Cars and Bright Eyes. (888) 512-7469, lollapalooza.com.
PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL Union Park, July 15-17. Most of the big summer festivals cast a fairly broad net, but Pitchfork knows its audience, and serves it well: With Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Destroyer, Neko Case, Guided by Voices, James Blake, the Dismemberment Plan, No Age and the rap collective Odd Future. (866) 777-8932, pitchforkmusicfestival.com.
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL New Orleans, July 1-3. Arguably the premiere festival destination for fans of rhythm and blues, pop and neo-soul, this year’s Essence Music Festival boasts a monster lineup, including Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Jill Scott, Boyz II Men, Fantasia and Charlie Wilson. essencemusicfestival.com.
SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL North Adams, June 24-26. In the wake of All Tomorrow’s Parties, it’s become commonplace to have an of-the-moment band schedule a special event, pulling on the quality of a group’s tastes — which will run slightly esoteric, of course — as much as its recorded output. This is the second iteration of the Solid Sound Festival, a three-day bonanza at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and organized by Wilco, who headline on June 24 and 25. The Levon Helm Band, Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth), Syl Johnson and the Sweet Divines, Here We Go Magic, the Handsome Family, Liam Finn and Sic Alps are all scheduled. solidsoundfestival .com.
DETROIT JAZZ FEST Sept. 2-5. The theme of this year’s festival is “We Bring You the World,” and organizers are bent on celebrating world influences on jazz and the jazz influence on the world. The lineup is appropriately diverse, including Ivan Lins, Dave Holland, Amina Figarova and Vijay Iyer. (313) 447-1248, detroitjazzfest.com.
MOVEMENT Detroit, May 28-30. Detroit’s techno scene is world renowned, so it’s not particularly surprising that its Movement festival — which brings together dozens of electronic artists and D.J.’s, and spawns legendary after-parties — is a globally coveted ticket. So far the lineup includes Fatboy Slim, Felix da Housecat, 69 (Carl Craig), Ana Sia, Art Department, Bruce Bailey, Cio D’or, Echospace, Goldie, Green Velvet, Kerri Chandler, Reference, Scuba, Shlomi Aber, Skrillex and more. movement.us.
SOUNDSET Shakopee, May 29. This daylong hip-hop showcase — scheduled, in part, by the underground record label Rhymesayers — boasts an especially electrifying lineup: Big Boi, De La Soul, Atmosphere, Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9”, Crooked I), Brother Ali, Doomtree and dozens more are slated to appear. (If your attention wanders, Soundset also offers M.C. battle tents, a custom car show, a skateboard showdown and various other distractions.) (612) 377-0044 (tickets), soundsetfestival.com.
TWIN CITIES JAZZ FESTIVAL St. Paul, June 23-25. Now in its 13th iteration, this jazz extravaganza sets up shop in Mears Park for three days each summer. The New Gary Burton Quartet with Julian Lage, Antonio Sanchez and Scott Colley, Danilo Perez with John Patitucci, Deodato, Sue Orfield and the Noteableswill all perform. hotsummerjazz.com.
ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES Asbury Park, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. This year, the United States version of this brain-bending British festival is being scheduled by the members of Portishead, who have plucked a handful of bands — including Ultramagnetic MCs, the Horrors, the Pop Group, Mogwai, the Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Earth and more — to perform with them on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday the elusive Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel will play for holders of three-day passes only, while Bonnie Billy, Shellac, Chavez, a Hawk and a Hacksaw, the Album Leaf and Cults will perform for all ticketed attendees. atpfestival.com.
UNITED WE PLAY Las Vegas, May 27-30. Las Vegas is known, most of all, for its unapologetic hedonism, and this dance music festival — “four days of poolside partying and late night revelry” — follows suit. Above and Beyond, Armin van Buuren, ATB, Chuckie, Fatboy Slim, Laidback Luke, Markus Schulz, Redfoo, Robbie Rivera, Roger Sanchez and more will perform at the Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub. marqueelasvegas.com.
New York City
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! Prospect Park, June 10-Aug. 11. There are few things more pleasing to Brooklynites than gathering around Celebrate Brooklyn!’s outdoor band shell on a balmy summer night, swatting errant mosquitoes and blissing out to (mostly) free tunes. The full lineup is still developing, but Andrew Bird (June 10), the Roy Hargrove Quintet (June 24); Justin Townes Earle, the Punch Brothers and the Hackensaw Boys (June 30); the Feelies, Real Estate and Times New Viking (July 23); Dr. John and the Lower 911 (July 30); and Sufjan Stevens (playing a ticketed benefit on Aug. 2) are all confirmed. (718) 683-5600, bricartsmedia.org/celebrate.
CITY PARKS FOUNDATION'S SUMMERSTAGE June 7-Sept. 2. SummerStage turned 25 last year, and the City Parks Foundation celebrated by consolidating its performing arts programs under the SummerStage umbrella. In addition to its trademark shows in Central Park, SummerStage now presents events across all five boroughs. Highlights of the free music program in Central Park include Hugh Masekela (June 26); Wanda Jackson and Imelda May (July 27); Yemen Blues, Watcha Clan, Shabate and Awesome Tapes From Africa (July 31); and Friendly Fires, the Naked and Famous and Cults (Aug. 7). Elsewhere in the city catch a salute to hip-hop with EPMD and Funkmaster Flex at Betsy Head Park (June 7), Talib Kweli at Red Hook Park (June 21), We Are Scientists and Milagres at Red Hook Park (June 23), Slick Rick and DJ Brucie B at Crotona Park (July 12), Budos Band at Tappen Park (Aug. 3), Wavves at East River Park (Aug. 25) and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival featuring Toots Thielemans, James Carter, Tia Fuller and Cecile McLorin Salvant at Marcus Garvey Park (Aug. 27). (212) 360-2777, summerstage.org.
ELECTRIC ZOO Randalls Island, Sept. 2-4. This outdoor dance music festival is back for its third year: Stave off end-of-summer ennui with bold headlining sets from Tiesto, David Guetta and Armin van Buuren; over 100 acts are expected, so attendees can shimmy well into the night. electriczoofestival.com.
GOVERNOR’S BALL MUSIC FESTIVAL Governors Island, June 18. If you can’t get out of town very often this season, hopping a ferry to Governors Island can feel like something of a miniadventure: Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Empire of the Sun, Big Boi, Neon Indian, People Under the Stairs, Mac Miller, Miami Horror and more will perform at this daylong festival. govball.com.
LINCOLN CENTER Each summer Lincoln Center holds three summer series of note for pop and jazz fans. Midsummer Night Swing (June 27-July 16) pairs dance acts — like Diogo Nogueira, Ray Collins’s Hot Club and the Palmetto Bug Stompers, all making their New York City debuts — with dance instructors. (A lesson is included in the ticket price.) On July 19 the Lincoln Center Festival will present the Brazilian musician Tom Ze at Alice Tully Hall. Out of Doors (July 27-Aug. 14) will host its popular Roots of American Music show on Aug. 13-14 (this year the lineup pays tribute to Sun Records, with performances by Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers, Cowboy Jack Clement, Rudy Grayzell and Hayden Thompson), while the annual Ponderosa Stomp (July 30) will honor the songwriter Ellie Greenwich (“Be My Baby,” “Leader of the Pack”) with La La Brooks, Lesley Gore, Maxine Brown, Margaret Ross of the Cookies, Barbara Harris of the Toys and many more. (212) 875-5456, lincolncenter.org.
MAD. SQ. MUSIC: OVAL SERIES Madison Square Park, June 22-Aug. 10. Although it’s one of the city’s smaller outdoor series, there’s plenty worth seeing on Wednesday nights in Madison Square Park — including, this year, the mesmerizing singer and songwriter Tift Merritt (June 22), the West African guitarist Lionel Loueke with the Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda (July 6) and the jazz bassist Christian McBride (July 13). madisonsquarepark.org.
NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL Brooklyn, June 16-19. This relatively young festival, hosted by L Magazine, is pleasantly multifaceted. (It’s a self-proclaimed celebration of “so-called dreamer types.”) Each summer it takes over an array of sites — both traditional and unexpected — throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Over 250 bands will perform, including Guided by Voices, Beirut, Deer Tick, Twin Sister, Allo Darlin’, Ava Luna, Gabriel and the Hounds, Javelin, Delicate Steve and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. northsidefestival.com.
RIVER TO RIVER June 19-July 16. All summer this citywide festival sponsors free events at various locales in Lower Manhattan. Highlights include: the annual Bang on a Can marathon at the World Financial Center (June 19); Vijay Iyer (June 23), Laurie Anderson with Bill Laswell (June 30), Shara Worden (July 7) and Patti Smith (July 14) at Castle Clinton; and a tribute to New York City presented by the Bottom Line — and featuring Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III, Dar Williams, Marshall Crenshaw, Suzzy and Lucy Wainwright Roche and more — at Rockefeller Park on June 22. Beginning in late June the Seaport Music Festival (which is also hosting afternoon shows, as part of the new Seaport Lunchtime Music Series) offers an early glimpse at the indie-rock hot shots of tomorrow. (Previous picks include Sufjan Stevens, the National and No Age.) Impress friends with your prescience by checking out Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (June 24), the Radio Dept. (July 15) and Hospitality (July 17). rivertorivernyc.com, seaportmusicfestival.com.
VISION FESTIVAL June 5-11. Specializing in something called Avantjazz (a complex, open-ended and admirable notion), this weeklong festival always assembles a compelling lineup. This year it includes Blood Trio (June 5), Ted Daniel’s International Brass Membrane Society (June 7), Peter Brotzmann’s Quartet, Quintet, and Duo (June 8), the Dick Griffin Swing Quartet (June 9), Evan Parker and Matthew Shipp (June 9), Planetary Unknown (June 10), Paradoxical Frog (June 10) and the Connie Crothers Quartet (June 11). (212) 696-6681, visionfestival.org.
New York State
CLEARWATER’S GREAT HUDSON RIVER REVIVAL Croton-on-Hudson, June 18-19. All proceeds from this event go to the nonprofit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc., led by Pete Seeger, with a mission to clean up the Hudson. (In 1966 Mr. Seeger vowed he would “build a boat to save the river,” and the resulting vessel — the Clearwater — routinely sails from Beacon to Brooklyn, operated by adults and teenagers enrolled in its floating environmental education program.) Aside from sails on the Clearwater and its sister ship, the schooner Mystic Whaler, a juried crafts show, a Green Living expo and a dedicated “activist area,” Mr. Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Drive-by Truckers, Martin Sexton, the Indigo Girls, the Felice Brothers, Arlo Guthrie, Josh Ritter, Billy Bragg, the Low Anthem, Justin Townes Earle and more will perform. (845) 418-3596, clearwater.org/festival.
MOUNTAIN JAM June 2-5, Hunter. Mountain Jam, now in its seventh year, is a streamlined summer festival experience: there will be loads of rollicking, mostly guitar-based music and not too much else. The Warren Haynes Band, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and My Morning Jacket will headline joined by the Avett Brothers, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Mavis Staples, Dawes, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. (888) 512-7469, mountainjam.com.
HOPSCOTCH Raleigh, Sept. 8-10. Now in its second year, this festival presents established independent rock acts (the Flaming Lips, the Dodos, the Drive-by Truckers, Guided by Voices, Swans, J. Mascis) alongside many diverse up-and-comers (Yelawolf, Cold Cave, Twin Shadow) and a few plucked from somewhere in-between (John Vanderslice, the Black Lips). With 135 bands (about 40 percent are locally sourced) scheduled for 12 sites (including the 600-seat Fletcher Opera Theater) over three days, it’s bound to embody its name, with wrist-banded throngs bouncing from stage to stage like giddy school kids on a playground. hopscotchmusicfest.com.
MUSICNOW Cincinnati, May 13-15. This relatively young festival celebrates artists who “take risks and do not fit neatly into categories” and is anchored by a performance by the Ohio-born (and now Brooklyn-based) rock band the National. (Bryce Dessner, who performs with the National, is also MusicNow’s curator.) The rest of the lineup is rich and appropriately genre-blurring: Shara Worden with yMusic, Megafaun, Fight the Big Bull, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, Little Scream and Sharon Van Etten will all appear. (513) 621-2787, musicnowfestival.org.
ROCK ON THE RANGE Columbus, May 21-22. Rock can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but for the creators of Rock on the Range it involves loud, raucous guitars, aggressive vocals and plenty of opportunities for tossing up devil horns. Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Staind, Alter Bridge, Hinder, A Perfect Circle, Disturbed, Stone Sour, Danzig and many more round out this hyper-masculine bill. rockontherange.com.
MUSIKFEST Bethlehem, Aug. 5-14. This sprawling, eclectic event — billed as “the largest nongated, free music festival in the nation” — features artists spread across 15 different sites, including Maroon 5, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Miller Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Steely Dan, Ravi Coltrane, John Oates, Ed Kowalczyk, Al Di Meola, the Verve Pipe and the Red Horse Project.. (610) 332-1300, musikfest.org.
NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL Newport, July 30-31. Given its rich history it might be tempting to dismiss the Newport Folk Festival as a relic, but it’s still remarkably vital, even in its 52nd year. As always, established acts (Earl Scruggs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Gillian Welch, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello) mingle happily with newer voices (the Decemberists, M. Ward, Tegan and Sara, the Felice Brothers, Gogol Bordello, Freelance Whales, Mountain Man, the Head and the Heart, Middle Brother). newportfolkfest.net.
NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL Newport, Aug. 5-7. This year’s Newport Jazz Festival kicks off with a Friday evening performance of Michael Feinstein’s “Come Fly With Me” (with the special guest Joe Negri), and begins in earnest on Saturday with performances by Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Esperanza Spalding (fresh off an unexpected Grammy win for best new artist — a coup that, unfortunately, earned her the undying ire of Justin Bieber fans), Wynton Marsalis, Al Di Meola World Sinfonia, the Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Steve Coleman and Five Elements and more. On Sunday, Trombone Shorty and Ms. Spalding will perform again, along with Angelique Kidjo, the Ravi Coltrane Quartet, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Mingus Big Band, the Berklee College of Music All Stars, Avishai Cohen’s Triveni with Anat Cohen, Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio and more. (800) 745-3000, newportjazzfest.net.
BONNAROO Manchester, June 9-12. Even though it’s just 10 years old, Bonnaroo already feels like an institution: Conan O’Brien starred in a video announcing this year’s lineup, and the festival earned its very own flavor of Ben and Jerry’s (Bonnaroo Buzz: light coffee and malt ice creams with whiskey caramel swirls and bits of English toffee). Eminem, Arcade Fire, the Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Lil Wayne, a partly reunited Buffalo Springfield (now with Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas and Joe Vitale), My Morning Jacket, Big Boi, Beirut, String Cheese Incident, Robert Plant and Band of Joy, Mumford and Sons, the Strokes, the Decemberists, Ray LaMontagne, Iron and Wine, Girl Talk and far too many more to list will perform. (800) 594-8499 (tickets), bonnaroo.com.
C.M.A. MUSIC FESTIVAL Nashville, June 9-12. The Country Music Association’s annual festival, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is a can’t-miss event for country music devotees. Although Nashville is rarely short on 10-gallon hats and coiffed hair, fans would be hard pressed to find another four-day span so saturated with twang. Performers this year include Brad Paisley (the C.M.A.’s reigning “Entertainer of the Year”), Zac Brown Band, Sara Evans, Little Big Town, Trace Adkins, Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Josh Turner and many more. (800) 745-3000, cmafest.com.
SASQUATCH! George, May 27-30. The Pacific Northwest’s best answer to Bonnaroo, the lineup for the Sasquatch! Festival — held annually at the spectacular Gorge Amphitheater, overlooking the Columbia River — gets more impressive each year. For 2011 Foo Fighters, Wilco, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, the Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, the Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Robyn, Guided by Voices, Sleigh Bells, Beach House, Best Coast, the Thermals and more have signed on. sasquatchfestival.com.
ALL GOOD FESTIVAL Masontown, July 14-17. Each year a delightfully mellow crowd assembles atop Marvin’s Mountaintop in West Virginia (there’s no postal address, so don’t bother with Google Maps; just follow the directions on the Web site) for the optimistically named All Good Festival. This jam-friendly event believes deeply in the power of a good groove, as evidenced by the unflustered faces of its grinning attendees. This year’s lineup includes jam circuit regulars like Further, Primus, Pretty Lights, Umphrey’s McGee, the Dark Star Orchestra, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams and Galactic. allgoodfestival.com.
COUNTRY U.S.A. Oshkosh, June 21-25. The emphasis here is on big-name, radio-friendly country — Miranda Lambert, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum all headline — but some of the relatively smaller acts (Gloriana, Justin Moore, Josh Turner, Bella Cain) are worth checking out too. (920) 882-4949 (tickets), countryusaoshkosh.com.
ROCK FEST Cadott, July 14-17. At Rock Fest the mission is simple: Come to rock and don’t expect much else. But if rocking is your plan, you’ll be awfully well served: Rob Zombie, Kid Rock, Avenged Sevenfold, Def Leppard, Heart, Seether, Hinder, Three Days Grace and more will play. rock-fest.com.
SUMMERFEST Milwaukee, June 29-July 3, July 5-10. This enormous event — the world’s largest music festival, it claims — takes place over 11 stages, including the nearly 25,000-capacity Marcus Amphitheater. It’s a little tricky to find a common thread in the scrum of performers — which include Peter Gabriel, Kanye West (with Kid Cudi), Toby Keith, Kid Rock (with Sheryl Crow), Def Leppard, the Black Keys (with Florence and the Machine), Katy Perry and Sugarland — but there’s certainly a flavor here for every taste. (414) 273-2680, summerfest.com.
KENNY CHESNEY One of country music’s most triumphant (and bronzed) superstars, Kenny Chesney, forever bedecked in a cowboy hat and boots, is bringing his “Goin’ Coastal” show to East Rutherford, N.J., on Aug. 13. The tour, which has been going strong all spring, finishes on Aug. 28 in Foxboro, Mass. kennychesney.com.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND CARAVAN In lieu of a big summer tour, festival stalwarts the Dave Matthews Band are staging their very own road show, which sets up for three days at a time. Attentive hosts, they’ll close each night (Mr. Matthews is also likely to perform an acoustic set with the guitarist Tim Reynolds), and David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, the Flaming Lips, O.A.R., Amos Lee and many more will also perform. It stops at Bader Field in Atlantic City (June 24-26), Lakeside in Chicago (July 8-10), Governors Island in New York (Aug. 26-28) and the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash. (Sept. 2-4). dmbcaravan.com.
GLEE LIVE! It’s hard to imagine a harder-working crew of kids than the cast of “Glee,” who are trotted out each summer for this live singing-and-dancing extravaganza. (The set list is crammed with crowd-pleasers from the television show, including “Empire State of Mind,” “Toxic,” “My Life Would Suck Without You” and — of course — the omnipresent “Don’t Stop Believin’?.”) The North American leg begins May 21 in Las Vegas, hits East Rutherford, N.J., on June 16-17, and concludes with two shows at Nassau Coliseum on June 18. gleelive.com.
PHISH The reigning godfather of jam bands (a crown it inherited from the Grateful Dead), Phish plays wobbly, improvisational guitar jams that have earned it scads of dedicated followers (they often express their delight via wiggly, carefree dancing). The band’s summer tour begins May 27 in Bethel, N.Y., stops at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, N.J., on May 31 and June 1, and ends in Portsmouth, Va., on June 19. phish.com.
RIHANNA This Barbadian singer is a constant bright spot on the pop horizon. Her vocals are singular, and her performances can be delightfully odd (but without the distracting “watch me” determination of her peer Lady Gaga). The summer leg of her “Loud” tour begins June 4 in Baltimore and stops at Nassau Coliseum on July 19 and in East Rutherford, N.J., on July 21. She plays Boston on July 24 before heading overseas. rihannanow.com.
U2 Last summer, after Bono had emergency back surgery, U2 was forced to postpone all the North American dates of its “360” tour. But they’re back now and making good: the rescheduled stint kicked off on May 21 in Denver, comes to East Rutherford, N.J., on July 20, and finishes on July 26 in Pittsburgh. u2.com.