The most wonderful time of the year is coming up quickly. It’s almost that time when live music becomes an obsession, friends become family and shoes are completely optional. You guessed it, it’s almost music festival season.
It’s also that time of the year when everyone starts compiling their “top festival” lists. So, you ask, what makes us qualified to compile such a list? What sets ours apart from a sea of other top festival compilations?
For starters, we are a collection of music producers, festival fanatics and live music fiends. Between the lot of us, we’ve attended, performed and worked hundreds of festivals worldwide.
This is our list of the festivals we highly suggest making it to this season. Since we love all of these festivals equally for different reasons, they are listed alphabetically.
This festival is a staple in the central Texas creative community and it is thriving into something grander every year. Gracefully walking the delicate line between a burn and a festival, Art Outside hires local and national touring acts and encourages participant involvement. The annual event showcases art installation that intrigue and inspire all attendees to also channel their inner creator. From rowdy “dome life” late night DJ sets to healing sunrise yoga classes, this festival has something for everyone including the kiddos. Art Outside is icing on the cake for any festival lover, because it occurs after festival season shenanigan madness has dwindled down in October. The 2015 lineup has not yet been announced, but we predict plenty of exciting surprises.
Gravitas artists Psymbionic, BREDE, ONE4ALL, and Somatoast have played Art Outside many times over the last 6 years.
What started as an extended rave has transformed into a full weekend camping and music festival with eclectic music acts from around the world. Euphoria has evolved exponentially since its inception. What is unarguably the most impressive lineup for this particular gathering yet, Euphoria has announced STS9, Pretty Lights, Ghostland Observatory and many more festival circuit favorites on this year’s bill. They also have a lot of awesome interactive contests up their sleeves to encourage festival spirit leading up to the event.
Electric Forest is in a league of its own when it comes to creating an unforgettable experience; the festival is one of the most imaginative, intricate and over-the-top experiences offered on the circuit. The annual gathering raises the bar on event production, lighting design and entertainment beyond just music for the festival community. From the rowdy saloon, to giant neon dream catchers, to interactive art installations, there are so many things just waiting to be discovered in the depths of Sherwood Forest. The festival’s lineup also exemplifies just how beautifully bluegrass and electronic music can co-exist at one festival.
Envision Festival is a wanderlustin’ festival fanatic’s dream. Located in the exotic lands of Costa Rica, the festival takes place on the beach and has plenty of excursions and adventures available for all festival attendees. In addition to plenty of electronic, and downtempo music, Envision puts an emphasis on creating a holistic and transformational gathering. Renowned international yogis lead classes, and thought leaders from around the world lead workshops. Gravitas artists AMB, ill-esha, Govinda and Perkulat0r will be playing this years festival so if you have the opportunity to make it out to Costa Rica, Envision Festival is definitely a jungle gathering you don’t want to miss this season.
Great North is a new festival on the circuit that is already gaining itself an impressive reputation for providing it’s attendees top-notch underground electronic music and visionary art from all over the country. The three day festival takes place in Norridgewock, Maine at the end of the summer.
Gravitas had a huge presence there last year with Psymbionic, D.V.S*, The Digital Connection, ill-esha, CloZee, Govinda, Of The Trees, BREDE, ONE4ALL, The OriGinALz, Somatoast, Soulular, Marvel Years, Lidsky and Space Jesus all playing fire sets in the Temporal Dome. The Zane Kesey and his Merry Pranksters even showed up for the party. Great North is kaleidoscopic experience of sensory indulgence that we recommend everyone makes a point of catching.
Only the masterminds of The Do LaB could dream up something as fanciful as Lightning in a Bottle. The festival has won our hearts over as one of the most unique experiences on the festival circuit. LiB is a parallel universe of imaginative installations, futuristic music, inspiring workshops, and nourishing food. What distinctively sets the festival apart is that it’s truly a “choose your own adventure” gathering; if you want to shake your bass at the woogie stage all day you can, but if you want to take yoga classes and healing workshops all day you can do that as well.
Nestled in the beautiful Red Woods of Northern California, Northern Nights takes the cake as one of the fastest growing festivals on the circuit. The beautiful location is enough to take a nature lover’s breath away, but it is only one perk of this unique gathering. The festival also offers one of the best electronic lineups on the circuit, full of sexy west coast bass music. Yoga workshops take place throughout the day, and a silent disco amongst other fun activities like burlesque shows take place after the main stages shut down.With such a diversity of fun offerings, it comes as no surprise that the festival sold out during only its second year of being in existence.
Another international feat, we highly recommend crossing the Canadian border for this festival. Shambhala’s stage design is like nothing we’ve ever seen before; each one is themed and looks like something out of a fantasy land. Few things in life compare to seeing your favorite DJ while dancing in a tree house, and Shambhala makes that possible. The festival truly is an adult playground full of things to climb, explore and dance amongst. Although the event is a full four day affair with electronic music that goes on basically 24/7, the energy level never seems to slow down. Bring all of your energy and your dancing shoes to this one.
Mulberry Mountain comes to life with the magic that is known as Wakarusa. Waka is one of the rowdiest, most raw festivals in the United States, and partying on top of Mulberry Mountain has become a right-of-passage for well traveled festival junkies. The festival does a great job of executing a well rounded line up, with a balanced bill of talent representing electronic music producers, jam bands and funky soul music. In addition to a crave worthy lineup and top-notch production, Wakarusa also provides unique art installations, adrenaline pumping carnival rides, and a swimable river to cool off in during hot times of the day.
There you have it. That’s our list of top festivals to make it to this year. Whether you make it to just one or make the voyage to all nine, we hope you have the 2015 festival season of your dreams.