2016 Music Festival Guide

It’s that time of the year again when you and your friends are deciding which music festival to empty your bank accounts for. With music being so diverse and universal, it’s hard to pick just one (not that you have to). However, when trying to figure out which festival to attend, you have to consider the energy that exists in the various events, your ideal location and willingness to travel, and of course the lineup that will get you the most turnt hyped. It’s not an easy decision, but festivals are completely worth it. Choose your friend(s) that you’re able to stand for multiple days and your poison of choice, and you’re set! This year’s lineups are pretty different, but I’m here to help you choose the right one and the acts that you shouldn’t miss.

downloadThere’s actually a festival coming up this weekend that I wish I were going to. Buku Music and Art Project comes just in time for spring break this year, and if you’re feeling spontaneous you definitely should try to round up the troops and head down to Louisiana. With headliners like Pretty Lights, Kid Cudi, Future, CHVRCHES, Fetty Wap, and so much more, it’s hard to imagine not having fun at the two-day event. It’s in New Orleans and that alone should be a selling point for any newly 21-year-olds. This year marks the fifth year for the festival. Someone please go with me.

Artists you may have missed: Kehlani, AlunaGeorge, BØRNS, Earl Sweatshirt

Another festival coming up this week is South By Southwest. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Austin, Texas area during the week of March 15th, then definitely check it out. If I wasn’t going on Spring Break, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Let’s fast forward a little bit to May. Graduation time (literally the weekend before Rutgers graduation)! What better way to celebrate the end of the year than at a crowded EDM event? All joking aside, I’ve been to Electric Daisy Carnival NYC three times and although it can be a hit or miss, when it’s good – it’s good. This year’s headliners include DJ Snake, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Zedd, Kaskade, Rusko and more. Not a bad lineup, and definitely something that people will buy tickets for last minute. Looks like Jersey residents will have to take a little more of a hike this year, seeing as it takes place at Citifield rather than Met Life Stadium. However, don’t sit on EDC. It’s a good time, surrounded by overly happy (but oddly comforting) people and environment.

Governors Ball has a crazy fun lineup this year. I might just be saying that because Kanye West is set to headline. If The Life of Pablo didn’t get you excited to see the MC, then I don’t know what will. On top of that, The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, and Robyn will be rocking the stages during the two-day event. Although I’ve never attended, I’ve been told that volunteering at this concert gives you the same (and free) experience as a person who threw down the money.

Artists you may have missed: Haim, Vic Mensa, Meg Mac, Matt & Kim, Jamie xx

You know I had to mention this next festival. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has been on my calendar since departing the Farm last summer. If you’re looking for a fun road trip down to Tennessee and positive vibes, go check it out. I wasn’t so excited over the 2016 lineup, but having J Cole as a headliner alone was enough to get me to sign up.This year is the 15th anniversary for the festival. With a more earthy, but still exciting energy, Bonnaroo presents Pearl Jam, Dead & Company, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and more! Like last year, I am volunteering for the festival, and it’s not hard to be happy with music-loving, drug-taking concertgoers surrounding you. Take off for four days and head down to Manchester, you won’t regret it.

Artists you may have missed: Vince Staples, MisterWives, Halsey, Marian Hill, Andra Day

A week after Bonnaroo blows your mind, pick yourself back up and head back to the East Coast. Delaware will be filled with the same type of people and a fairly similar branded lineup. Firefly Music Festival has been on my list for the past three years, but I just haven’t been able to commit. It was the first lineup I was really excited about for 2016. Headliners include acts I’ve seen before but you will surely enjoy, like Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, and Deadmau5. While I really appreciate these headliners, the other acts are so hard to beat. The 1975, Wet, and The Neighbourhood are performances that I can imagine getting lost in. Surround yourself with the right people and pace yourself when it comes to overnight, camping events like this one. It’s easy to get distraught after a whole 24 hours of non-stop partying. Be sure you know your limits because you’re going to need your energy the next day for more fun acts.

Artists you may have missed: MØ, Oh Wonder, Porter Robinson, The White Panda

Vanessa-Hudgens-attending-Coachella-Music-Festival-April-2012One of the most anticipated festivals every year, Coachella, has always been on my list. I think the hype is partially the music (obviously) and partially its high-profile, super expensive, west coast appeal. The boho-chic look is just so damn cool. Anyway, this year’s lineup is decent. Headliners include Guns N’ Roses, LCD Soundsystem, and Calvin Harris, in addition to acts like Ice Cube, Sia, James Bay, Jack Ü, and more. 

Artists you may have missed: Zella Day, SZA, Joywave, Rae Srremmurd, Years & Years

Speaking of Coachella, the creators decided to bring the fun to the East Coast, as well. Although I do not think the vibe is the same, the excitement and grand acts are definitely making an impression. Panorama: Music, Art and Technology is throwing down at Randall’s Island Park, NY on the weekend of July 22nd. This is the same location of another annual festival, Electric Zoo, which doesn’t take place till the end of August.  Panorama is bringing Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, and so many more for their first concert. Talk about beginning with a bang.

Artists you may have missed: ScHoolboy, AURORA, Melanie Martinez, DJ Khaled (major key)

There are so many music festivals coming up, that’s it’s hard to map them all out. There is Made in America to consider, which hasn’t announced their lineup. I’m crossing my fingers for Drake and Rihanna appearances for the end of summer event. Similarly, we’re waiting on EZoo‘s lineup – but let’s be real, it’s probably extremely similar to EDC’s. Those two take place the same weekend, so it’s always a decision on whether a trip to NYC or Philly is in your best interest – keeping in mind the hip-hop vs. EDM difference.

No matter which concerts you choose to attend, it’s going to be a great time. Tap into your bank account, enjoy your favorite artists, and indulge on the food trucks (cause they’re always amazing).

Happy Festival Season!

Drop us a comment with which festival you have your eyes set on this year!


About Kathleen Mariquit 36 Articles
Katie Mariquit is Senior Editor of RUckmakers.com. She loves music festivals, eating jalapeno chips, and everything Selena Gomez. Follow her at @kmariquit

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