As individuals involved with the EDM culture, we live for summer. Don’t get us wrong, we love when our favorite DJ’s come into town and we all squeeze inside of an overcrowded club, drinking seven dollar watered down vodka cranberries and getting our dose of heavy bass or endless dancing for as long as we are owning the night. But summer, is the true heart of our culture as it opens the doors for festivals so that we can camp out underneath the stars with our fellow buddies, listen to music from random tents and watch individuals walk by throughout the hours of the night. We live for that moment where our favorite act is on a stage and the full moon is shining above us as we forget our very worries and lose ourselves within the music.
Spring is our reminder that summer is just a few short months away. And lucky enough for us, it seems that promoters everywhere had stepped up the game this 2015 and released a wide range of festivals for you to attend this spring to get you prepped for summer. Now this list is compiled of with majority EDM festivals while there are some with a great mixture of all different types of music and a few that I had the option to attend so I can personally recommend that they are a great time. Ready for spring? Let’s get started!
March LUCKY: One exciting thing about March happens to be St. Patrick’s Day and finally someone got it right with having a festival about it. Lucky is March 13 this year and Seattle is going to become alive. This year some amazing acts such as Steve Angelo, Zeds Dead, The Chainsmokers and 12th Planet will be there keeping the party going. If you live in Washington, you can get tickets for as low as $71. If not you will have to go on to Ticketmaster and pay some hefty fees, but the lineup this year is amazing!
BUKU MUSIC & ART PROJECT: If you haven’t had the chance to visit the city of New Orleans, you should probably put Buku Music & Art Project on your schedule. During March 13 & 14, this festival takes advantage of all of the great local talent and atmosphere to give you an unforgettable experience. And this is more than just music, this is a festival for all the creative individuals out there dying to get together with other minds while attending a great set. Bassnectar, Empire of the Sun, STS9 and Porter Robinson will all be there to contribute their amazing sounds to this festival. As will Gramatik, Zomboy and RL Grime…more incredible acts that you need to see live! General Admission will run you $179.50 while you can also purchase single day tickets at $99. This is one of those experiences you don’t want to miss.
BEYOND WONDERLAND: I have to admit when I lived on the East Coast I experienced some extreme jealousy of the California music scene. I always wanted to be over there attending, what it seemed like to me, a great lineup every other weekend. Beyond Wonderland is one of those times. Put on by none other than Insomniac Events, you should know that you are going to be in for a treat with this festival. Starting March 20th and 21st, you can get lost into the hills and see acts such as Benny Benassi, Knife Party, Lookas, Dillon Francis, Tiesto and so many more! Two Day tickets start at $186 and I suggest you get your costume ready now and head over there!
ULTIMATE MUSIC EXPERIENCE: Where do you go to experience the Ultimate Music Experience? You go to Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and you get ready to have the time of your life! South Padre Island in Texas is hosting a great amount of talent March 19 – 21, starting with an amazing kick off party on March 18th from Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers and Slander. Yet the talent doesn’t stop there as David Guetta, Hardwell and Tiesto all headline the 3 day festivals. Tickets start at $169.00.
PHOENIX LIGHTS FESTIVAL: UFOs? Crazy lights? Ready for a different type of experience? Why don’t you head over to Phoenix on March 22 and join me as we both hope that an alien doesn’t come down and abduct us during the Phoenix Lights Festival. This festival is going to be glowing all night and the amazing art and sculptures we see are going to be just as intense. It’s going to be the perfect atmosphere for a Sunday and with headliners Hardwell, Zeds Dead, Robin Schulz, Route 94 & Lane 8, goers are going to be in for a treat! Tickets are crazy low for all of this talent starting at $55.00!
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL: Some of us only know March as one thing: Miami Music Week. It’s no wonder that when you go down to Miami during the last week of March that you will be flooded with talent all over no matter where you step out too. All of that excitement and talent throughout the week leading up to Ultra Music Festival. This 3-day event is just packed with talent on top of talent on top of more talent. This all star lineup includes Armin Van Buuren, Skrillex, Clean Bandit, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Big Gigantic and Martin Garrix. There is literally someone for everyone here! For those of us that cannot make it, Ultra will be streaming the event online but if you are in Miami, go get a ticket and make all of us viewing online jealous of you!
April EUPHORIA MUSIC FESTIVAL: April is normally the time where all of us are relieved of the aftermath of winter and are getting more excited for our summer festival lineup. So what should we do to get in the mood? A great start to that would be the Euphoria Music Festival in Carson Creek Ranch located in Austin, TX. And you will experience some euphoria seeing Pretty Lights, Paper Diamond, Savoy and Black Tiger Sex Machine on stage! Grab your sleeping bag and enjoy an incredible lineup!
SPRING WEEKEND FESTIVAL: If you live in Florida, you too have been the subject of some of my festival envy (see Ultra above) for the amount of amazing shows that call itself home in the state. Here is another great one to add if you live in Panama City Beach and want a chance to get out and party ON THE BEACH! Spring Weekend Festival is incredible just because of the excitement of raving out on the beach but adding in headliners such as 3lau, Brillz & Zeds Dead with many more to come just gives it that extra little bit of spice it needs! Grab your tickets and bikinis and get the ultimate workout by shuffling in the sand.
COACHELLA: What’s better than one weekend of amazing talent? Two weekends of amazing talent. April for some of us this year means none other than Coachella. During April 10th through the 12th and 17th to the 19th, you can catch some amazing artists and celebrities at this festival. A small sample of the talented individual that will be here are Nero, Alesso, Ratatat, Kygo, St. Vincent, Kaskade & Martin Solveig. If you are lucky enough to afford a ticket and some time off to go attend this one, I highly suggest you head over and embrace the experience that many of us will be wishing we had the chance to attend.
SOMETHING WONDERFUL: Sometimes all you need is just one day to get your EDM fix in. We just need a solid lineup, an amazing venue and the speakers with the bass turned as loud as possible so that we can get our fix in till summer. Something Wonderful in Dallas, TX does just that. The lineup for this one-day at the Cotton Bowl is on point, including Tiesto, Zeds Dead, Carnage, Keys ‘n Krates, Snails, TroyBoi and more! With tickets only being $74, this is a steal and I would definitely make sure to attend if you are in the area.
May Now while May is our last bit of spring before we jump fully into all things summer, we get to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. This year, there are six incredible festivals happening over Memorial Day weekend which makes it very hard to pick which one you want to attend especially when the lineups are solid for each of them.
THE GLOBAL DUB FESTIVAL: A great place to start prior to Memorial Day during May 15th in Denver, CO for The Global Dub Festival. What makes this one special is all about location, location, and location. Go to Google and check out the Red Rocks Amphitheatre to see the beautiful view of this festival. Go get yourself pumped for the talent of Excision, Zomboy, Yellow Claw, Ookay & Must Die! Another plus of this one, is the incredible Executioner video & lighting installation that is going to be blowing our mind away with visuals. I’d definitely grab a ticket for this one and get ready to enjoy a night of heavy bass in the mountains.
HANGOUT FESTIVAL: What’s one of the best parts about attending a festival? It’s probably hanging out with your friends together and enjoying the music in an incredible venue. Well that’s the secret winning formula of The Hangout Festival during May 15th to 17th on the Gulf Shores of Alabama. Attending this festival you will get to enjoy the white sand underneath your toes while watching Beck, Skrillex, Major Lazer and Adventure Club plus many more. I suggest heading to the gym to get your body ready and grabbing a ticket to go to this amazing event.
Memorial Day Weekend Picking a festival for Memorial Day weekend is tough and with what I am about to show you, I don’t think I am helping you any more by giving you all these options. I suggest picking one with the most acts you want to see and then just commit to it by buying a ticket and getting ready for one talented filled weekend of fun and excitement with friends. Here’s six incredible festivals happening over the weekend:
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE: One of the great parts about festivals is that someone you may see at 2:00 pm in 2014 may now be headlining in 2015. Arts & music festivals promote that type of growth and are always on the look for fresh talent while also bringing the big names as well. Enter Lightening in a Bottle, an incredible camping event in Bradley, CA during May 21st to the 25th. This camping festival is located in an amazing venue with crazy good talent such as Flume, Odesza, RL Grime, GRiZ plus many more. I suggest if you want a low key vibe filled with the chance to explore and become part of a festival community, that you grab your tent and head to this one.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I go to festivals based on headliners alone. I will forget about where its at, who else is there all because I have to see that *one* act that I cannot get enough of. But now I am going to give you a challenge that I am giving myself this summer: go try some smaller and less known EDM acts. These individuals may be blowing up within a year or two and you can be ahead of all of your friends when you get to pull out such an incredible infamous line – “Oh yeah, I saw them way back before anyone ever knew who they were.”
MOVEMENT MUSIC FESTIVAL: Start this journey of new artist discovery at The Movement Music Festival in Detroit, MI. This festival promotes all of the fresh new faces to the EDM world and what it is going to supply you with is a weekend full of dancing and discovering talent. Granted movement is also bringing you acts that you have heard of and are itching to see such as Dog Blood (Skrillex & Boys Noize), Disclosure and GRiZ. I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews on this festival so I suggest if you are in this area to take this Memorial Day weekend to try something new.
SASQUATCH MUSIC FESTIVAL: Washington State has some amazing venues and is definitely a state on my list this year where I am itching to attend a show. During May 22th to the 25th over the holiday weekend located at The Gorge is an incredible lineup for the Sasquatch Music Festival. Sponsored by Bud Light this festival will not only satisfy your EDM craving from acts such as The Glitch Mob, Flume, Odesza and SBTRKT but will also give you some amazing bands such as Of Monsters and Men, Modest Mouse and Kendrick Lamar. The full lineup is incredible and I suggest you go take a look at it absorb all the talent but to also think about making a purchase and attending this show.
SUNSET MUSIC FESTIVAL: Tampa knows how to party and the Sunset Music Festival is just that, a great party over the holiday weekend. The venue is the Raymond James Stadium and on their website they have also included that they have taken all of the feedback from previous years and have made improvements for this year experience, including water sources and distribution. This is a must with any festival as dancing all day long under the sun can really be damaging if there is only one or two places with a 40 minute wait line to get some warm water out of a small spout. Luckily with these new improvements plus more this festival is going to be amazing this year! They are still working on the lineup but last year had a great bunch of artists including Zedd, Benny Benassi, Hardwell, Krewella, Borgore, Cosmic Gate & Cash Cash. They have been delivering solid lineups since 2012 so I think its safe to buy a ticket knowing you are going to get some top acts plus more water improvements as well!
MYSTERYLAND: New York is home to two great Memorial Day festivals and I am glad that I don’t live close enough to have to struggle to choose. One of these events happens to be Mysteryland, the Electronic Music Culture & Arts Festival. Located in Bethel Woods, this is a beautiful venue and a great place to camp out and see some amazing talent. Now the lineup isn’t out yet but I have a feeling it is going to be packed someone you will want to see. 80% of the camping is already sold out and that’s without knowing who will be there which is a sign that this is one you will want to be in attendance for. Last year they had Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Branchez and Big Gigantic and I have no doubt in my mind that they will deliver once again. Whoever they announce, I would make sure you grab a camping ticket soon as I am sure once the lineup is announced it will be sold out within minutes.
COUNTERPOINT MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL: Last year I was back home grumbling at work while my friends were in Georgia having the time of their lives. All the pictures and videos they sent me only made me more jealous and I strongly encourage that if you live close to Georgia that you make sure to make it over to Counterpoint Music and Arts Festival so you don’t end up with an extreme case of jealously like I did. This festival is set in the beautiful location of Kingston Downs and is going to be three fun filled days of camping and creative experiences around every corner. This year’s lineup includes Zedd, Kygo, Knife Party, Dillon Francis, Zeds Dead, What So Not and so much more. This is definitely one festival you should think about attending if you can.
ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL NYC: There are those that look forward to one festival all year long and that is EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival). This event has evolved so much over the past few years and I only see it getting bigger and better. While this summer in Vegas you can be having the time of your life, you can also attend this show on the road in New York over Memorial Day weekend. Yes, just like Mysteryland the lineup hasn’t been announced yet but don’t let that stop you. Insomniac Events puts on great shows and always includes a solid lineup for everyone to see. I was at this event last year and I personally recommend it to individuals, as it was spectacular. I have high hopes for it this year and I am sure that they will deliver. Last years amazing lineup including Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, Tiesto and so much more. Go enjoy yourself at the MetLife Stadium and great ready to experience an Insomniac event.
Bonus Summer Warm Up NORTHERN NIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL: Though it may not be happening until July, this is definitely a festival to warm up your summer festival planning with. This summer, prep yourself for Northern Nights Music Festival to once again take over Cook's Valley Campground at the Mendocino & Humboldt County Line the weekend of July 17th-19th. [PURCHASE TICKETS HERE THROUGH EPIC]. Northern Nights Music Festival is a weekend long celebration that brings together attendees from all around the globe, connecting them together to celebrate music, art, food, culture and love. With a newly announced lineup including Autograf, Gold Panda, Rufus Du Sol, Slow Magic, Lane 8 & and more - this is a unique festival experience you definitely want to add to your bucket list. Northern Nights Music Festival looks forward to bringing back festival goers this summer to the Redwoods, hoping to make this year's event the best yet. The festival promoters will also continue their involvement in the community, creating a path to a green festival focused on sustainability. Don't forget to grab your tickets HERE, and we'll see you this summer at Northern Nights Music Festival!
AUTHOR CREDIT: SHANNON BALMES & AMANDA COWAN