Early high school summers will never be forgotten. For me, they consisted of scheduling friend hangouts between shifts at my part-time job, nights of music discovery black holes on Myspace or through Fueled By Ramen playlists on YouTube, frequent window-shopping excursions to Hot Topic and most importantly the Van’s Warped Tour.

I feel like I am a Warped Tour veteran. I did my tours during the prime days of Mayday Parade, Cobra Starship (pre-“Good Girls Go Bad”), The Academy Is…, Chiodos, Paramore, Motion City Soundtrack, The Rocket Summer, As I Lay Dying, Saosin, All Time Low, The Maine, Brokencyde, Gym Class Heroes and even Forever The Sickest Kids. I was even there the one year that Katy Perry showed up on one of the small stages and nobody knew who she was. My, how things have changed.

Circa 2009 Circa 2009

Although Warped Tour is still around and great, our tastes have changed as we’ve grown older. I am so thankful that I grew up with my festival experiences and I am excited about the new festival experiences that I have discovered since then. If you are a Warped Tour veteran like me that is looking for more festivals beyond the well-known Coachella and Afropunk, check out this short list of festivals that I know will be worth your while this year:

1. Governors Ball– June 2-4th, 2017 in New York City

2. Buku Fest– March 10-11, 2017 in New Orleans, LA

3. Firefly– June 15-18, 2017 in Dover, DE

4. Riot Fest– September 15-17, 2017 in Chicago, IL and Denver, CO (dates not yet announced)

5. Bonnaroo– June 8-11, 2017 in Manchester, TN

6. LollapaloozaAugust 3-6, 2017 in Chicago, IL

7. The Fest– October 2017 in Gainsville, FL

8. Voodoo Music Festival October 27-29, 2017 in New Orleans, LA

Last year’s lineup (2016)

9. GoldenVoice Presents Panorama– July 28-30th in New York City

Which festival are you adding to your calendar? Which ones would you add?



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  • Aslam

    An instructive post. People to really know who they want to reach and why or else, they’ll have no way to know what they’re trying to achieve. People need to hear this and have it drilled in their brains..
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

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