Get up and go: summer music festivals

Looking for a hyper-dose of new music this summer?

You don’t need pegged jeans, Pitchfork, and a stack of Half Japanese records to stay one step ahead of the musical mainstream, you just need the gumption to get up and go…to one of the nation’s many emerging, slightly-below-the-radar music festivals.

Here are a few I recommend.

Pemberton Music Festival – July 14-17 – Pemberton, B.C.

Set in the beautiful Pemberton Valley with Mount Currie as its back drop, Pemberton made a name for itself with its wide range of bookings and beautiful scenery. In 2016 acts like Pearl Jam, J. Cole, Snoop Dogg, Kaskade and The Chainsmokers. Four-day general admission passes start at $295 CAD. You can stay in a four-star hotel in Whistler (30 minutes away, shuttle passes available) for as little as $118 per night and up.

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival – July 13-16 – New York, NY

The Bronx might the birth place of hip-hop, but Brooklyn has its fair share of hip-hop history. This festival showcases the positive aspects of hip-hop culture by highlighting hip-hop’s legacy as an agent of artistic progression, community building and social change. Artists this year include Common, Mobb Deep, and Freeway. In addition to music, the festival features panel discussions, exhibitions and an award show. Single-day tickets start at $55. Three-star hotels in Brooklyn (Greenpoint-Williamsburg) are as low as $135 per night and up.

Camp Bisco – July 14-16 – Scranton, PA

Started by jam band The Disco Biscuits, this festival features names from across electronic music, hip-hop and live jam bands such as Odesza, Lettuce, RL Grime, Zeds Dead, and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals. Held in a waterpark, Bisco offers a wave pool, wild water rides, slides, a lazy river, volleyball court, and a zip line over the festival grounds. Three-day general admission passes start at $155. Find rooms in three-and-a-half star hotels for a little as $52 per night and up.

Hinterland – August 5-6 – St. Charles, IA

In just its second year, Hinterland is already pulling names like Willie Nelson, Ray LaMontagne, and Grace Porter. The festival features a blend of music, camping, art, craft vendors, family engagement, and more. Two-day general admission passes start at $95. If camping isn’t your thing, Des Moines is only 30 minutes away where a three-star room will run you as little as $74 per night and up.

Capitol Hill Block Party – July 22-24 – Seattle, WA

If you are looking to attend a real block party, this is your festival. Capitol Hill Block Party closes off three blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood for three days and brings a diverse range of a hip, emerging rtists. With a main stage nestled between buildings, CHBP also utilizes some of Seattle’s best clubs to showcase the talent. This year’s festival brings local favorites Odesza, CHVRCHES, The Joy Formidable, Crystal Castles, and DJDS. Three-day general admission passes start at $135. A three-and-a-half-star room can be had for as little as $162 per night and up.

Bumbershoot – September 2-4 – Seattle, WA

Held downtown under the backdrop of the Space Needle, “Seattle’s Festival” has been bringing a wide range of local, national and international artists – from musicians to comedians to dancers to theater troupes and more –  for nearly 50 years. This year the grabbed Macklemore, Kygo, DJ Snake, Run the Jewels, and Third Eye Blind to satisfy all musical tastes. If comedy is more your thing check out Ron Funches, Nick Thune, Morgan Murphy, or Any Haynes. Three-day passes general admission passes start at $210. A three-star hotel in downtown Seattle will run you as little as $206.

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