The best (late July and) August music festivals


WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 — Summer is synonymous with music festivals, and the second half of summer offers some music festivals worth the price of admission.

If you are looking for last-minute, late July festivals, your best bets are Merge 25 and the Newport Folk Festival.

Merge 25 highlights bands from Merge Records, including Lambchop, Bob Mould, Superchunk, Netural Milk Hotel, and Mikal Cronin, Wye Oak and others. The venues for the July 23 – July 26 festival in North Carolina include Baldwin Auditorium (Durham), Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro), and an outdoor party in Carrboro. July 24 and July 25 are sold out, but you can still buy tickets to the July 23 and July 26 events. Previous attendees say this alternative party is well worth attending.

The Newport Folk Festival from July 25 to July 27 in Newport, Rhode Island, is always a highlight of the summer festival series. Jack White, Ryan Adams, Jimmy Cliff, and Mavis Staples are just a few of the amazing artists at this years show. The folk, blues, country, bluegrass and rock festival is a guaranteed hit. Unfortunately, many of the shows are now sold out, but if you can get a ticket, definitely go.

Gathering of the Vibes, from July 31 to August 3 in Bridgeport, Connecticut offers a varied line up including John Fogerty, Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Ziggy Marley, Dark Star Orchestra and more. Their festival guide explains everything you could ever want to know about attending. Please follow the rules, relax and enjoy. Past attendees say “Come be a deadhead for a weekend.”

Chicago will host Lollapalooza from August 1 to August 3, featuring Eminem, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and more. Definitely a bang for the buck experience.

Pickathon, in Happy Valley, Oregon, from August 1-3 features “indie and alternative and just about everything else.” See Nickel Creek, Blind Pilot, Warpaint, Parquet Courts, Angel Olsen, Robbie Fulks and others. How do you beat a festival that consistently tries to answer the question “what does it take to be the best weekend festival of the year for music lovers?”

San Francisco hosts the Outside Lands Music Festival from August 8 to August 10. The show will satisfy every music taste, from Kanye West to Tom Petty, from the Killers to the Flaming Lips. And oh so many more.

The goal of the ARISE Music Festival from August 8 to August 10 in Loveland, Colorado, is to Activate, Reconnect, Interact, Synchronize, and Empower. ARISE includes yoga intensives, art installations, workshops, film festival and, of course, music. Bands include Beats Antique, Galactic, The Infamous Stringdusters, Grateful Grass ft. Keller Williams, Tribal Seeds, Groundation, and The Polish Ambassador.

Rounding out the month is Bumbershoot, Seattle’s longest running music and arts festival, from August 30 to September 1. See Foster the People, J. Cole, Wu Tang Clan, The Replacements, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Panic! At the Disco, Los Lobos, Luscious Jackson and a host of other performers. You can download the Bumbershoot app or plan to attend the family-friendly Youngershoot festival within the festival. It also includes comedy and arts.


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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.