Best Summer Music Festivals 2011

Best Summer Music Festivals 2011

by Samantha Sherlock

Thus far, 2011 has been one of the most exciting years in music in history. Just like last year CoolJunkie will be continuously updating the festival guide, so that we can bring you the latest details as they come out. This is what we know so far, but keep checking back with us for more details.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

When: April 15 – 17

Where: Indio, CA at Empire Polo Club

Who: Robyn, Kings of Leon, Cee-Lo Green, Erick Morillo, Mumford & Sons, Bright Eyes, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, The Strokes, Duran Duran, Jimmy Eat World, Chromeo, and many more!

The Price: Tickets are sold out! This was the fastest sellout for this concert.

Worth the Price: Without a doubt, Coachella is the all-around best summer festival that has been announced thus far. Bringing together a mixture of classic sounds and newly envisioned projects, Coachella 2011 is at the forefront of independent and major label music.   

New Orleans Jazz Festival

When? April 29 - May 1; May 5 - 8

Where? New Orleans

Who? Arcade Fire, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Neville Brothers, Willie Nelson, The Strokes, Robert Plant, Mystikal, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tom Jones, Jeff Beck, Sonny Rollins, John Legend & The Roots, Trombone Shorty, The Avett Brothers, Dr. John, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Better Than Ezra, Mumford & Sons, Alejandro Sanz, Allen Toussaint, Jason Mraz, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Lupe Fiasco, Arlo Guthrie, Jamey Johnson, Fantasia, Cowboy Mouth, Kenny G, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Irma Thomas, The Decemberists, and many more!

Choices, Choices: Pricing varies depending on who you want to see, where, when, etc. If you buy tickets in advance it is $45; buy a ticket at the gate and it will cost you $60. There are three different VIP packages so you can have the best experience at Jazz Fes.

It Ain’t No Thing, ‘Les it’s got that swing!?  Aside from the "advertised headliners" this festival is completely and totally immersed in the culture,  experience, and institution that help put the Big Easy on the map (not to mention classify American Culture around the '30s). Go for the music and stay for the food. Indulge in a bowl of gumbo and crawfish, brush up on your Creole, and immerse yourself in something uniquely dare we say... American.

Summer Camp

When: May 27 - 29

Where: Chillicothe, Illinois

Who: moe., Umphrey's McGee, STS9, Gov't Mule, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, EOTO, Cornmeal, Slightly Stoopid, 7 Walkers, Wiz Khalifa and more! There are 65 bands performing on over 5 stages in 3 days!

The Price: Three day pass: $165 (including camping), Pre-party pass: $25, VIP upgrades: $175 - $1,000 (Different packages can be found on the festival website)

Why go? Musicians will enjoy a wide variety of workshops in the festival's "Make A Difference" area (in addition to the lineup of jam, funk and folk bands performing). There will also be a "Kids Camp" each day for the little tykes, making the festival more enjoyable for fans of all ages.

Movement Electronic Music Festival

When: May 28– 30

Where: Detroit, MI (Hart Plaza)

Who: Fatboy Slim, Carl Craig, and Felix Da Housecat. There are also 26 other acts scheduled to perform over the 3-day span.

The Price: $50 for a three-day pass; $150 for the VIP pass.

What to Expect: Once every year the collective minds of some of the best electronic dance music artists in the world unite in Detroit for an epic event that highlights their music. Every sub-genre in EDM will be represented at the festival, so be prepared for a wild celebration! 

Sasquatch Music Festival

When: May 27 – 30

Where: Quincy, Washington (at The Gorge)

Who: Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Robyn, Flogging Molly, Beach House, Black Mountain, Noah & the Whale, and so many more! 

The Price: Tickets are already sold out, so if you already have one consider yourself lucky.

Check Out the Beautiful Scenery! The Gorge is located on a lake in the middle of the Pacific northwest. Expect a beautiful ambience for one of the best festivals in the country.


When: June 2 – 5

Where: Ozark, AR (Mulberry Mountain)

Who: Mumford & Sons, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, Lotus, Galactic, The New Deal, EOTO, Mountain Sprout, Hugo, Iration, and more.

The Price: Full event pass: $154 + fees, VIP event pass: $595 + fees, Weekender Event Pass: $119 + fees, and VIP Weekender Event Pass: $495 + fees

Why Should I Make the Trip to Arkansas? Great bands, fairly inexpensive tickets compared to other summer music festivals, and balloon rides. Need we say more?


When: June 9 – 12

Where: Manchester, TN

Who: Eminem, Arcade Fire, Lil Wayne, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, Pretty Lights, STS9, Robyn, Wiz Khalifa, and more.

The Price: Price Level 1: $209.50 (Sold Out), Price Level 2: $224.50 (Sold Out), Price Level 3: $234.50 (Sold Out), Price Level 4: $249.50 + fees (there's still time, folks.)

So What Else is New?: Yoga classes and Green Initiative 

Harmony Festival

When: June 10 – 12

Where: Santa Rosa, CA (at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds)

Who: Michael Franti, The Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe, Gaudi, G. Love, Grace Potter, Primus, Railroad Earth, and more.

The Price: Whole festival pass $180, whole festival pass with camping $210, and VIP whole festival pass $340

Why go? While all summer music festivals shed a somewhat peaceful vibe, Harmony Festival literally promotes peace and harmony, making it a little less chaotic than the others. This event will be a bit smaller and more kid-friendly, so if you're looking for a more peaceful vibe out of your summer music fest experience, Harmony Festival is where it's at. (But don't get us wrong, there's still tons of wild fun to be had including a trance tent and many exotic performers).

Camp Bisco

When: July 7 - 9

Where: Mariaville, NY (Indian Lookout Country Club)

Who: The Disco Biscuits, Wiz Khalifa, Pretty Lights, Lotus, The Magician, Death From Above 1979, The Hood Internet, Paper Diamond, and more.

The Price: 3 Day Pass: $160, VIP Combo: $359, and Platinum Combo: $509

Why Bother? Besides the music, Camp Bisco brings killer vibes and a Color War competition reminiscent of real camp (well, sorta). The olympics will feature volleyball, tetherball, tug-o-war, scavenger hunts, chess, and even a spelling bee.


When: August 5 – 7

Where: Chicago, IL

Who:  TBA

How Much? TBA

Why Bother? Details are sketchy as of right now, however Perry Farrell generally does not disappoint when it comes to bringing together one of the most eclectic and exciting festivals in the country. This year is Lolapalooza's 20th birthday party and is sure to be a good time. Rumors have started that Eminem, The Foo Fighters, and Muse will be three of the six to headline the show. More information will be out in April.

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