If you were unable to grab tickets for giant, premier summer music festivals have no fear, your upcoming months can still be filled with legendary performances by some of the biggest touring acts. In just about every part of the country, there are music festivals scheduled to take place, and not all of them have to break the bank. Here are the Best (Affordable) Multi-Genre Summer Music Festivals, packed with line-ups, ticket prices, and more.
Date: August 12-13
Current Eaux Claires Ticket Price: 169+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Lucius, Bon Iver, Beach House, Erykah Badu, Vince Staples, The National as The Grateful Dead
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner will be hosting their annual music festival in the beautiful location of Foster Farms in Eau Claire Wisconsin. The festival is all ages, and has generally advocated itself as a low-key festival, with high regards to the artists and performers involved. This year’s lineup offers a wonderful blend of hip-hop, electronic, indie, and R&B. Plus, Camp Eaux, the official campgrounds for Eaux Claire, offer some pretty affordable options for on-site camping. Or, for another cheaper option, U of Wisconsin is offering dorm rooms + free festival shuttles during the weekend of Eaux Claires. This festival has some serious family vibes, as it’s still a young festival on the circuit. We think Eaux Claires tickets are running for a pretty decent cost, considering the beautiful experience festival goers had in years past.
Date: August 5-7
Current Vertex Festival Ticket Price: 235+
2016 Festival Highlights: Alabama Shakes, Odesza, Trey Anastasio Band, Dawes
This year will be the first Vertex Music and Arts Festival, located at Cottonwood Meadows, just a mile outside Buena Vista, Colorado. This camping festival is centered on it’s beautiful location, with snowcapped mountains (beware of high altitudes, 21+ festival goers!), a creek running through the festival itself, and Colorado’s spectacular summer weather, Vertex is geared towards pairing an incredible atmosphere with truly great music. Primarily a jam band and electronic festival, with the addition of some country/bluegrass, Vertex Festival will be a great time for a range of festival attendees (Vertex is all ages!). Not to mention, Vertex will be offering adventurous excursions, including river rafting and rock climbing. All Vertex tickets include Festival and Camping admission, which makes for a really great deal.
Date: July 15-17
Current Forecastle Ticket Price: 170+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Death Cab for Cutie, Gary Clark Jr, Brandi Carlile
Located at Louisville’s Waterfront Park along the Ohio River, Forecastle Festival has turned up the Midwest with stellar lineups, bourbon, and beautiful views of the Louisville skyline. The line-up is wonderfully diverse, packed with the current biggest acts, and some nostalgic picks as well. The festival site is filled with artist vendors and food booths on the outskirts of the stages, not to mention two bourbon stations, one “Gonzo” themed after the iconic writer Hunter S. Thompson, and the other a more holistic bourbon experience paired with culinary creations. Forecastle seems to be for both the classy festival goer and the party animal, with an EDM tent and shows that run pretty late into the night. And, luckily for us, Forecastle tickets are some of the most affordable 3-Day music passes offered this summer.
Date: June 2-5
Current Mountain Jam Ticket Price: 260+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Beck, Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Train, Umphrey’s McGee, Brandi Carlile
This year marks the 12th Annual Mountain Jam Festival, located in Hunter Mountain NY, at one of the most pristine natural amphitheaters. The Catskills offer some fantastic views, especially via The Sky Ride, which is available for more adventurous fans who want to take in the performance stages at a new height. Zip-lining is also available for those of you feeling really adventurous. Mountain Jam is 4-Day Camping festival that prides itself on being family friendly, and for providing a happy and creative environment for its attendees. With workshops ranging from music to cannabis to hula hoops, to the socially conscious Awareness Village, to the Kid’s tent with activities running all day, it’s almost impossible to believe Mountain Jam tickets have remains so affordable. It’s wonder that Mountain Jam has been one of the most popular, multi-genre summer music festivals in the Northeast.
Date: June 3-5
Current Governor’s Ball Ticket Price: 305+
2016 Lineup Highlights: The Strokes, The Killers, Kanye West, Beck, Haim, Death Cab for Cutie
Governor’s Ball is certainly the most expensive of the festivals represented on this list, but for the lineup, we have to consider it. Especially since this year’s bill includes Kanye West, who is being all too coy about an upcoming “Saint Pablo” Tour. Located on NYC’s Randall’s Island Park, Gov Ball has continued to bring Northeast music fans together with some of the biggest names in the industry for a relatively reasonable price, especially when compared to the cost of similar premier festivals, such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits. It’s just been announced that Governor’s Ball was recently acquired by Live Nation, the owner of many aforementioned festivals in the summer circuit, so we anticipate that Gov Ball ticket prices will certainly be adjusted next year, as the festival is no longer in the hands of a few young promoters.
Date: June 3-5
Current Bunbury Festival Ticket Price: 190+
2016 Lineup Highlights: The Killers, Florence + The Machine, Tears for Fears, Haim, Ice Cube, Grimes
This year’s Bunbury Music Festival line-up could not be any better. With such an eclectic mix of genres, Bunbury brings together music fans of every genre together from North of the Ohio River. Located along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Bunbury Music Festival is comprised of two main stages, and two smaller stages. This year’s 3-Day festival features an incredible line-up, including Florence + the Machine, The Killers, and is the only one who features Ice Cube. We think Bunbury Festival tickets are particularly affordable, and though the location isn’t as scenic as other summer music festivals, Bunbury prides itself on providing an incredible weekend of music, entertainment, and good vibes.
Date: April 29-May 1
Current Beale Street Music Festival Ticket Price: 105+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Neil Young and the Promise of the Real, Beck, Paul Simon, Weezer, Meghan Trainor, Zedd
We almost can’t believe how cheap Beale Street Music Festival Tickets are, especially considering it’s a 3-Day Festival, and especially when you take into account the talent represented in the line-up. For nearly half the cost of other multi-genre music festivals, Beale Street Tickets will allow you to see over 60 rock, blues, jazz, and contemporary artists in the historic district of Beale Street, in Memphis, TN. At the Beale Street Music Festival, which has been running for 40 years now, fans get to experience one of the major birthplaces of rock and blues music, all while getting to overlook the mighty Mississippi which flows just west of Tom Lee Park. So, if you’re willing to head a little South, Beck, Paul Simon, Weezer, and many more will take part in the famed Beale Street Music Festival this year.
Date: June 4-5
Current Free Press Summer Festival Ticket Price: 160+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Collegrove (Lil Wayne + 2 Chainz), Modest Mouse, DeadMau5, The National, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Located at Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston, TX, the Free Press Summer Festival has gained considerable traction in just seven years since it arrived on the festival circuit. Still, FPSF has maintained it’s dedication to both up-and-coming artists alongside the big name acts. Houston can’t quite offer the ambiance of other festivals such as Vertex or Mountain Jam, but FPSF tickets have remained pretty affordable, even with enlisting big acts this year such as Lil Wayne and Deadmau5 (both of which don’t appear on any other affordable multi-genre music festival line-up). FPSF, for the past six years, has served as a great start to the summer, especially for the folks who reside down South.
Date: May 27-29
Current Boston Calling Festival Ticket Price: 185+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Sia, Sufjan Stevens, Disclosure, Haim, Odesza, Janelle Monae, Miike Snow
This year’s Boston Calling line-up has certainly surpassed expectations, and has yet again succeeded in bringing together fans from several contemporary genres. Located in Boston City Hall Plaza, the 3-Day festival will be, as it has been in the past, pretty much one big party. Each stage is incredibly accessible (the venue isn’t very large), with food and artist vendors dispersed throughout. This year, Boston Calling is providing a special wine pavilion with several different wineries represented, in addition to a re-vamping of the culinary options offered. Boston Calling is definitely more of a low-key festival, though if you live in the Boston area (or the Northeast in general) and are looking to attend a fest with EDM offerings, Boston Calling’s line-up certainly doesn’t disappoint. For a 3-Day fest, and with well curated eat/drink vendors, we think Boston Calling tickets could, and perhaps will, start going for way more.
Date: July 15-17
Current Pitchfork Music Festival Ticket Price: 170+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Carly Rae Jepsen, Beach House, Brian Wilson, Empress Of, FKA Twigs, Blood Orange
For those who live in the Chicago/Midwest area and can’t afford a 400+ Lollapalooza ticket, the Pitchfork Music Festival has taken on the responsibility of providing a low-cost, well organized event that can be attended by fans from every genre. Not to mention, this year, the acclaimed composer/performer/former Beach Boy Brian Wilson will be appearing on the Pitchfork stage to perform Pet Sounds, which will be one of the few times he performs that album live this year. Brought to you by Pitchfork Magazine and taking place in Union Park, Chicago, Pitchfork Music Festival has been known for its dedication to good music, and a great time. Pitchfork Music Festival tickets are still available for an incredible price.
Date: July 16-17
Current Sloss Festival Ticket Price: 125+
2016 Lineup Highlights: Ryan Adams, The Flaming Lips, Ray Lamontagne, Death Cab for Cutie, Grouplove, Sylvan Esso, Shovels & Rope, Danny Brown
The Sloss Music and Arts Festival dedicates itself to both music, entertainment, and commemoration of a thriving, resilient city. Located at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, AL, the festival has placed itself in the middle of an incredible history, and provides its attendees with a proper dose of Birmingham culture by showcasing both its industrial and agricultural past. With three separate beer gardens, a hands on iron pouring demonstration, and 3 stages showcasing the sets of Ryan Adams, The Flaming Lips, and more, Sloss Festival Tickets are definitely a steal. Especially if you live in the South.
Date: September 2-4
Current Bumbershoot Festival Ticket Price: 160+
2016 Lineup: TBA
Though the line-up has yet to be announced, the Bumbershoot Music Festival has never let fans down when it comes to securing some of the best touring acts for their 3-Day, Labor Day Weekend fest. Located in the heart of Seattle, Bumbershoot Music Festival has brought the best and the weirdest for 45 years, and now embarking on their 46th, we can expect great things. So, for those of you who can’t splurge on Sasquatch! tickets, we suggest getting your Bumbershoot Tickets soon. Alongside Pemberton Music Festival and Sasquatch, Bumbershoot is definitely one of the premier music festivals in the Northwest.