Where: Napa, CA
When: May 24-26
Why you should go: BottleRock takes the food, drink, and music fest, and combines them into a one-stop weekend. BottleRock offers the best bites and drinks from trendy food trucks and restaurateurs -- and with their lineup of the greatest bands in the indie scene, they appropriately tap into your ears’ taste buds, too, to great the ideal Cali summer experience.
Headliners: Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons, plus Pharrell Williams, Santana, Tash Sultana and many more boldface band names on the ticket.
Other acts to check out: Adrian Galvin may have the rustic vocals of a folk singer, but he takes his sincere lull and songwriting to a pop space as its intertwined with crystalline production in his indie pop project Yoke Lore; after his departure from Paramore, drummer Zac Farro went on to form his own solo project, HalfNoise, in which lo-fi partners psychedelics as if they were always a sweet, obvious pairing.
Where: Cincinnati, OH
When: May 31-June 2
Why you should go: Festivals may be heavy along the East and West Coast, but that doesn’t mean the Midwest doesn’t have its fair share of great events. Ohio’s Bunbury, for example, typically gathers a roster of solid, major rock headliners to claim stake as an excellent alternative festival. On top of that, they also host a handful of must-see hip-hop up-and-comers to really celebrate the music in this early summer event hailing from downtown Cincinnati.
Headliners: Fall Out Boy, Greta Van Fleet, The 1975, and popular acts like Awolnation, Dashboard Confessional, Run the Jewels, and Stone Temple Pilots
Other acts to check out: The Aces are an indie pop band with a shimmering, electronic leaning, and made up of four childhood girlfriends, the group brings the most special spark of chemistry with them onto the stage; and if you’re in the mood for even more pop at this rock-minded fest, Poppy is a face (whose true identity is largely a secret) revolutionizing the game by coming out of YouTube and continuing to produce internet fiend-like tracks, paired with ska undertones.