Travel

6 Summer Music Festivals Worth Traveling For

Outdoor concert season is finally here
Best Summer Music Festivals 2017
Photo: Osheaga via Facebook

Summer concert season has finally arrived which means quick and easy weekend getaways with your closet friends. And since most concerts and music festivals take place over weekends, it's easy to turn a quick trip to see your favorite band into an actual vacation.

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Extend your time by arriving a day early or staying a day late to cruise the scene and check out local restaurants and bars. Plus, if you're flying, you might save yourself a few bucks by traveling on days when the flights aren't as expensive.

While Coachella has come and gone already, we found plenty of others that should be at the top of your list. Here are six music festivals worth traveling to this year.

  • CMA Music Festival (Nashville, TN)

    June 8 to 11

    Grab your cowboy boots and sunscreen, and head to Music City, where you'll be surrounded by country music 24/7. While you'll need tickets to see big-name artists like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Brett Eldredge play at night, there are plenty of free concerts taking place throughout the day at smaller venues all over the city. Or just step inside any bar along the strip and check out the local artists. After the shows, fuel up at restaurants like Martin's Bar-B-Que and Arnold's Country Kitchen, or grab a drink at Pinewood Social.

    Photo: CMA Country Music Association via Facebook

  • Eaux Claires (Eau Claire, WI)

    June 16 and 17

    This festival is going to be bigger than ever this year with artists like Chance the Rapper, Paul Simon, Wilco and Danny Brown on the list. Several Wisconsin musicians will also be making appearances, including local avant-garde instrumental group Collections of Colonies of Bees, Sylvan Esso and Nicholas Sanborn. Don't miss the chance to swing through Madison or Milwaukee, which are just a few hours' drive away. In Milwaukee, James Beard-nominated chef Justin Carlisle has a tasting menu-focused restaurant called Ardent.

    Photo: Eaux Claires via Facebook

  • Essence Festival (New Orleans, LA)

    June 29 to July 2

    As if we needed another reason to go to New Orleans, the lineup for this year’s 23rd annual celebration includes some of the biggest names in the music business: Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, Chance the Rapper and John Legend. The city is full of restaurants representing a variety of cuisines, so make sure to check out places like Commander's Palace, Frey Smoked Meat Co. and Poke Loa.

    Photo: Courtesy of JR Thomason/Essence 

  • Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, IL)

    July 14

    This annual festival welcomes people from all over the country who want to see the hottest new bands in hip-hop, indie and underground music. LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest and Solange are scheduled to headline this year, with more than 15 additional acts set to take the stage. If you're looking for a place to eat before or after the concert, there's Bar Siena just down the street, as well as other top restaurants like Au Cheval and Girl & the Goat just a short drive or bus ride away.

    Photo: Courtesy of Matt Lief Anderson

  • Panorama Festival (New York, NY)

    July 28 to 31

    The three-day event takes place across the Harlem River at Randall's Island Park, where more than 60 artists—including Solange, Vance Joy, Nick Murphy, A Tribe Called Quest and Justice—will perform. The festival pulls in top-tier food vendors, but after you're done dancing the day away, head to Patsy's Pizza and check out Charles Pan Fried Chicken for great, old-fashioned birds.

    Photo: Panorama via Facebook

  • Osheaga Festival (Montreal, Canada)

    August 4 to 6

    More than 100,000 music lovers attend Osheaga every year to watch local and national artists take the stage. This year includes Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Snoop Dogg and many others. Since you'll be partying all weekend, we suggest checking out Resto La Banquise, a 24/7 poutinerie, for the perfect hangover breakfast.

    Photo: Osheaga via Facebook

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