Guide to Summer Music Festivals


Brian Culligan

Which festival will you attend this summer?

The school year is almost over, friends! A temporary respite from the stress and chaos of higher education is finally coming up. Whether you are looking forward to a lush, relaxing summer filled with fun and beach balls or dreading the sweat-sticky, smelly hell that is about to ensue—well, you don’t have a choice. Time is passing all the time and it’s about to get really warm.

Students in classrooms all across MHS are starting to pay less attention in class and instead staring intently out the window. Why, you ask? It might be that they’re looking out for that mysterious man in the neon vest who has recently been spotted sprinting across school grounds, sure, but more importantly, they are waiting for summer. Sweet, sweet summer! Breathe in deep, feel the pollen enter your nostrils and tickle your nose hairs; kick off your flip flops (willy-nilly, it doesn’t matter where they land) and plunge each of your toes into that gorgeous grass; open your mouth real big and holler with all your might into the clear blue skies: aaAIIEEEEE! YOOOWWW! Woo, wo-WOOP!

It’s really coming, everyone.

What better way to celebrate this miraculous season than listen to music? For centuries, music has been an ineffable source of unearthly pleasure for humans. Forget about the old stuff, though. We’re talking about new stuff now. And no, I’m not talking about Stravinsky! I’m talking about the good new stuff, I’m talking about Chance (the rapper), I’m talking about U2, and yes, even Tool. Your favorite good, new artists are all performing soon, at a music festival near you.

Pack up your things and get ready to go! Here are some of them.


Who: You!

What: Governor’s Ball Music Festival

Where: Randall’s Island, New York City

When: June 2 – June 4

Why: The headliner is Tool, among some other lesser known artists, such as Childish Gambino, Cage the Elephant, Lorde, Wu-Tang Clan, Beach House, and Schoolboy Q. It’s just a drive to the train station, a train to the city, a walk to the ferry, a ferry to the island, and a walk to the venue away! You can’t miss this big one. It’s a big one.


Who: Not you, but maybe your cousin or something

What: Bonnaroo Music Festival

Where: Manchester, Tennessee

When: June 8 – June 11

Why: If you’re a real American, you have to go to this music festival. It’s in Tennessee, which is definitely in America, and you’ll get to hang out with your cousin! And maybe get to see performers like the Weeknd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and the XX. Show everyone you’re a true American.


Who: me. I’m going to this one.

What: Boston Calling Music Festival

Where: Allston, Massachusetts

When: May 26 – May 28

Why: Massachusetts is one of America’s most beloved and historic states. Home to some of the nation’s most prestigious institutes (Harvard University, MIT, and Berklee College of Music, to name a few) and quaint LGBTQ-friendly hubs (Wellesley College), going to Boston Calling is the perfect excuse to explore the rich culture that the Boston area has to offer. Bon Iver might make an appearance at some point, and I’m sorry about that but you’ll have to sit through it—it’s all worth it if you get to tour the beautiful city of Boston afterwards.


Who: not me, and I’m upset about it

What: Panorama Music Festival

Where: New York City, New York

When: July 28 – July 30

Why: Frank Ocean, Solange, Tyler the Creator, and Alt-J are among some of the artists playing at Panorama. That is why you should go.


Who: YOU!

What: Lollapalooza

Where: Chicago, Illinois

When: August 3 – August 6

Why: We just can’t get over this name. It sure sounds fun, and I bet they have lollipops there.


Whoa! Please, stop rolling around on the ground. I know you’re excited about all the music coming up, but you need to control yourself. Now take a deep breath, and finish your duty as a student at MHS. The sweaty days will be here before you know it!