Festivals

Forecastle. Photo by Birds Eye Foto/Forecastle Festival
Forecastle. Photo by Birds Eye Foto/Forecastle Festival

Country Jam USA
Eau Claire, WI /// July 17-19
Attendance: 20,000
Camping: Yes

Where else are you going to be able to sit on stage for Dierks Bentley or Luke Bryan? For an additional fee, Skybox Seats bring you closer than ever to your favorite acts. Campers can enter this year’s “Christmas in July”-themed campsite decorating contest.

 

The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Trumansburg, NY /// July 17-20
Attendance: 5,000
Camping: Yes

Named one of the country’s top festivals by USA Today, GrassRoots began as an AIDS benefit concert. Thanks to founding band Donna the Buffalo and the support of countless volunteers, it has since become an annual affair featuring four stages and over 80 performers, including, this year, Dickey Betts, Anders Osborne and Jim Lauderdale.

 

Forecastle
Louisville, KY /// July 18-20
Attendance: 20,000
Camping: No

The bluegrass state hosts Jack White, the Replacements and more at Waterfront Park, along the Ohio River. In between sets, sample craft beer at the Hunter S. Thompson-themed Gonzo bar or cool down in the air-conditioned Bourbon Lodge, where some of your favorite musicians will be bartending.

 

Miranda Lambert will perform at Country Thunder. Photo by Ana Gibert
Miranda Lambert will perform at Country Thunder. Photo by Ana Gibert

Country Thunder
Twin Lakes, WI /// July 24-27
Attendance: 30,000
Camping: Yes

Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert lead the pack in this country hoedown set in the cornfields of Wisconsin. Now in its 22nd year, Country Thunder offers the ultimate festival experience, including helicopter rides and, what’s more down-to-earth but even more exciting, your personal Port-O-Potty—for a rental fee of $120.

 

Gathering of the Vibes
Bridgeport, CT /// July 31-August 3
Attendance: 25,000
Camping: Yes

This Grateful Dead-inspired jam fest remains true to its roots, hosting Dead-like acts including Widespread Panic and the Disco Biscuits, and even—in the grand tradition of Dead bootlegging—encouraging festivalgoers to tape the performances. But with diverse stars like John Fogerty and Maceo Parker also on the bill, it’s not just for Deadheads.

 

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks will perform at The Peach Music Festival. Photo by Laura Carbone
Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks will perform at The Peach Music Festival. Photo by Laura Carbone

The Peach Music Festival
Scranton, PA /// August 14-17
Attendance: 10,000
Camping: Yes

You can’t truly call yourself an Allman Brothers Band fan without experiencing the magic that takes place atop Scranton’s Montage Mountain. Rock out with Taj Mahal, Tedeschi Trucks Band and the Allmans, who will fittingly be performing Eat a Peach. You should even be sure to “Paint a Peach for Peace” to benefit Marley’s Mission, a non-profit providing free equine-based therapy to child trauma victims.

 

Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival
Brownsville, OR /// August 15-17
Attendance: 15,000
Camping: Yes

Dust off those boots and get ready for plenty of foot-stomping with some of country music’s biggest names: Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Sara Evans and more. Want to roll like the elite? VIP tickets offer bigger campsites complete with private Port-O-Potties, electricity and an exclusive beer garden.

 

C.J. Chenier will perform at Rhythm & Roots. Photo by Laura Carbone
C.J. Chenier will perform at Rhythm & Roots. Photo by Laura Carbone

Rhythm & Roots
Charlestown, RI /// August 29-31
Attendance: 5,000
Camping: Yes

This Labor Day weekend, camp on Ninigret Park’s 227 acres with its bike and hiking trails, tennis courts, planetarium (!) and freshwater swimming pond. (Terrific Delta food court, too). Oh yeah, also see killer performers like the Travelin’ McCourys, Steve Riley and CJ Chenier, some of whom will play the intimate Workshop Stage, where you can speak with your favorite artist.

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