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2011 Summer Music Festival Guide

Sunscreen on! Clothes off! Rock out!

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

Who says you have to go to Europe for an awesome Summer festival experience? There's plenty of fantastic music action happening on this side of the pond in the sweaty months, whether you're into rock, hip-hop, electronica or even country. With the festival cycle kicking into full gear, one thing's for sure: 2011 features more music events and kickass shows than any year in history. 

Our Summer Music Guide has all the info you need to lock down your plans this Summer! Click the pic under each item to head to the festival's official site for ticket info & more. 


Vans Warped Tour 2011

When:JUN 24 – AUG 14, 2011


Who's Playing: Against Me, Paramore, The Devil Wears Prada, Pepper, Yelawolf

Vans' annual touring music and extreme sports festival kicked off as a showcase for punk rock music, but its more recent lineups have featured a diversity of genres spanning hardcore, screamo, metal and more. Extreme sports events, signing booths and a focus on fun keep the adrenaline pumping (the free energy drinks help too) while you rock out to some of the scene's most heavy hitters.


Electric Daisy Carnival

When:JUN 24 – JUN 26, 2011


Who's Playing: Tiësto, David Guetta, and Swedish House Mafia, Dieselboy, Skrillex

If you're looking for the Super Bowl of electronica and neon-freakout insanity, you've found it. The wildly popular electronic music festival roars back to life in 2011 with of 200 performers across six stages, including dancers, fire twirlers, aerialists, and stilt walkers, plus 28 full size carnival rides and attractions that are free for all ticket holders. EDC moves to a new home in 2011, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where it will host an expected crowd of over 100,000 festival-goers between June 24th and 26th.


Mayhem Festival

When:JUL 09 – AUG 14, 2011


Who's Playing: Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Trivium, Testament, In Flames

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the heralded hard rock and metal event of the summer, will make a 26-date trek across the country, leaving a wake of metal destruction behind. Last Summer's was a tour for the ages, and the metal lord only knows what kind of plans organizers have up their sleeves to top it this year!


Pitchfork Music Festival

When:JUL 15 – JUL 17, 2011


Who's Playing: TV On The Radio, James Blake, Fleet Foxes, Battles, Thurston Moore,

The Pitchfork Music Festival is an annual summer music festival organized by Pitchfork Media held in Union Park, Chicago. Cheaper and less insane than Lollapalooza, which is two weeks away and right down the street, it's the hipster alternative to the mainstream fiasco.



When:AUG 05 – AUG 07, 2011


Who's Playing: Foo Fighters, Eminem, Coldplay, Muse, My Morning Jacket

Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. Now a weekend destination festival, Lolla sets the pace for music festivals worldwide. Half the fun is sure to be the aftershow concerts, which you can catch the full lineup for here.

Check out the rest of the 2011 Summer Festivals on Page 2


Gathering of the Juggalos

When:AUG 11 – AUG 14, 2011


Who's Playing: ICP, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube, George Clinton, CKY, Kittie

The Gathering of the Juggalos (The Gathering or GOTJ) must be seen to be believed. This an annual festival put on by Psychopathic Records, featuring performances by the entire label as well as numerous well-known musical groups and underground artists, is an event destination that brings the true freaks out of the woodwork. The Juggalos – aka Insane Clown Posse fans – converge for a weekend of Family time and their very own brand of fun. This year's lineup is beyond ridiculous.


Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

When:AUG 12 – AUG 14, 2011


Who's Playing: Muse, Phish, Black Keys, Decemberists, Arcade Fire, MGMT

The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival takes place in August with hundreds of bands and attractions in the cooler breezes of late Summer in the Bay area. Chart-topping superstars let their hair down for more intimate sets alongside a host of local musicians, food vendors and visual artists representing San Francisco's vibrant cultural community.


Farm Aid

When:AUG 13 – AUG 13, 2011


Who's Playing: Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp

This annual benefit concert began on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, to raise money for family farmers in the United States. Today, Farm Aid is an organization that works to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, as vital a piece of American culture as any. Country, blues and rock music mixes with recurring players Willie Nelson, Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews.


Sunset Strip Music Festival

When:AUG 18 – AUG 20, 2011


Who's Playing: Motley Crue, Dredg, Public Enemy, Bush

Lest anyone forget that Los Angeles is the music mecca of the West, the world-famous Sunset Strip celebrates its rich musical history and influence with the three-day event that features a variety of leather-clad hair-rockers both old and new, culminating with an open air street festival on its last day. The holdouts from yesteryear's sleaze-rock mix with the talent of today for a fascinating mix on the Strip.


Rock the Bells

When:AUG 20 – SEP 10, 2011


Who's Playing: Cypress Hill, Black Star, Raekwon & Ghostface, Nas, Erykah Badu

Massively influential Hip-Hop albums will be laid out in their entirety for the first time in history at the premier Hip-Hop touring showcase, a continuation of last summer's tradition of blowing minds by the thousands. Ms. Lauryn Hill will perform her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, while Nas will perform his breakthrough debut album Illmatic with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier.


PJ 20

When:SEP 03 – SEP 04, 2011


Who's Playing: Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, Liam Finn

Pearl Jam will cap their year-long 20th anniversary celebration with a weekend music festival of their very own making, featuring The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Mudhoney, Liam Finn, Glen Hansard and more special guests to be announced (Soundgarden, anyone?). The event will take place in Alpine Valley, WI over Labor Day weekend, followed by a ten-date Canadian tour. The festival will mark the band's only U.S. performances in 2011.


Musicfest NW

When:SEP 08 – SEP 11, 2011


Who's Playing: Band of Horses, The Kills, Little Dragon, Pig Destroyer, Zeke

Tucked into the overcast emerald landscape of Northern Oregon, Musicfest NW has been one of the premiere music festivals in the country for the past decade. Rising from the ashes of North By Northwest in 2001, Portland’s rich and diverse local music scene is interspersed with performances from national acts.


Austin City Limits Music Festival

When:SEP 16 – SEP 18, 2011


Who's Playing: Arcade Fire, Stevie Wonder, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, Cold War Kids

The annual three-day music festival in Austin, Texas' Zilker Park brings together more than 150 bands across eight stages, drawing a crowd of more than 65,000 visitors each day. The Summer heat dies down just in time for some excellent festival experiences in Austin. Named after (and affiliated with) the legendary PBS concert series, the festival is produced by C3 Presents, who also co-produce the Lollapalooza festival.