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  • Stereogum's 10 Most Anticipated Summer Festivals Of 2012
HANGOUT MUSIC FEST: 5/18-5/20, Gulf Shores, AL. Featuring: Jack White, the Flaming Lips, Skrillex, Dave Matthews Band, String Cheese Incident, Alabama Shakes, Dr. Dog, Randy Newman

It’s almost that time of year again: SUMMER FESTIVAL SEASON. Are you still deciding, last-minute, what you want to do and where you want to go? Or, maybe, telling your friends you’re interested in going to a festival if they do the legwork while secretly hoping that the festival in question just streams all of the good stuff anyway, so you don’t have to put pants on? Well, in any case, this rundown of American fests for the 2012 summer season should be helpful. (Also of note: while it didn’t make this list, you should consider Essence Festival — which just added D’Angelo for his first US show in ten years.) Here are our top ten fests of the late spring/summer in chronological order. Whether it’s on the list or not, which are you most excited about? And obviously if you have the funds to travel overseas for music … well, we’re jealous.

Comments (61)
  1. Can’t top Saturday at P4K, yall.

  2. Michael_  |   Posted on May 3rd, 2012 +4

    The festival of the summer that I’m looking most forward to and won’t happen until its very last days in September nor has it even announced its lineup yet is the FYF Fest. This year it’s expanding to TWO days (September 1st and September 2nd.) I went last year, the lineup was incredible for anyone who is equal parts indie and punk / hardcore and it’s super cheap (Early bird tickets were just $35 for a single day.) I’m expecting this year’s lineup to include Ceremony, Trash Talk, maybe American Nightmare? I don’t know, but the thought of it alone has me excited, and I’m not even going to be able to attend.

    • Michael_  |   Posted on May 3rd, 2012 +14

      …And remember Stereogum commenters, this is your time to send out feelers for a potential guest post opportunity!

    • Holy shit, thanks for telling me about this festival. How can you seriously say no to Girls, No Age, The Weakerthans, Japandroids, Ty Segall, Strange Boys, Olivia Tremor Control, Explosions in the Sky, OFF!. Definitely considering the 5 hours drive for this.

      • Oh nevermind, this was last years line up. Sadness, sadness all around

        • Michael_  |   Posted on May 3rd, 2012 0

          I wouldn’t get a case of the sads just yet — FYF is a heck of a promoter and if you look into their past lineups, they’ve increasingly gotten better, not to mention that they always have a few “holy shit!” acts that no other festival has nor would any other festival be able to pull off.

          • Did Chromatics tour last summer/fall? I haven’t seen any tour dates for them or their names listed on any festival bills for this summer. I know they put out a lot of songs from Kill For Love on youtube last fall, but I’d still think they play a few fests to support the proper album.

          • Michael_  |   Posted on May 3rd, 2012 0

            They played an LA date with Abe Vigoda at the beginning of this year I do remember. FYF have always supported them and anything Johnny Jewel-related (Glass Candy played at FYF last year) so I would be surprised if they weren’t on this year’s lineup.

        • Whoa, that was a pretty sweet lineup. Bummer, I’m sure it will be good this year too but 2011 will be difficult to top.

  3. Videogum’s own Steve Winwood getting great billing at Hangout Fest.

  4. Ummm I think you’re forgetting OSHEAGA!!

  5. Oh look another totally homogenous spate of regional festivals.

  6. You list something liek Woodsist but not Nelsonville or Firefly?

  7. Is that djfreshié on the Lollapalooza bill!!!!!!! You could have told us you were headlining

  8. Lists are obsolete.

  9. Pitchfork, really? I went to the second one, couldn’t hear any of the music over the constant chatter of hipster douchebags telling one another how cool they were for being there. No thanks.

  10. No Outside Lands? Maybe I am biased because I live in SF, but I am ridiculously excited by their lineup this year.

  11. I’m pretty excited for Orgy-fest in Orgy, Oregon.

  12. Sasquatch and Newport Folk Festival look the most appealing. Pitchfork is a joke compared to what it was last year.

  13. Some great Festivals on there! Here’s another awesome one:

    Summer Camp, May 25-27, Chillicothe IL

    Jane’s Addiction
    Pretty Lights
    Gogol Bordello
    Umphrey’s McGee
    and more….

  14. Hopscotch Fest in Raleigh NC has a great lineup this year. And yes, Pitchfork on Saturday is the day to go

  15. This might sound pedantic but I feel like Wilco and the Flaming Lips should be on the second line of Hangout Fest instead of The String Cheese Incident (performing two sets).

  16. Sasquatch looks amazing. Really want to go there one year, they’ve always had great line ups.

  17. I haven’t seen much from Rock The Bells, but their lineup is usually pretty stacked. That’s worth considering even if the execution of said fest series is, err, pretty damn erratic.

  18. Going to sasquatch for the 4th year in a row. Can’t wait!

  19. Hangout Music Fest

    Letting it all out since 2010

  20. …no all hologram Coachella?

  21. Shall be investigating the first annual Great Googa Mooga. Cautiously optimistic, getting tickets was a nightmare. Looking forward to the food probably more than the music.

  22. OUTSIDE LANDS!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Outside Lands is pretty solid this year. Lots of big and small bands, well known and not so well known. Cool that Neil Young and Metallica get big outdoor “home” shows. I actually can’t remember Metallica ever playing live outdoors IN San Francisco, and I’ve been seeing them live in the Bay Area since 1987. They’ve played live outside in the Bay Area, and they’ve played live in SF, but I don’t think they’ve played live OUTSIDE, IN San Francisco. Certainly not something as big as this could be. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong please. Regardless, looks like a solid weekend. Considering I can get there in an hour on PT, that would be the one I’m most looking forward to.

  24. Hey, we have music festivals in Canada too you know!

    • Their Hierarchy is goofy. How are Plants and Animals ahead of Passion Pit? How are they ahead of like ten other bands too? Are Plants and Animals way more popular than I realize?

  25. would love for y’all to cover gary clark, jr more (he’s playing most of these fests) and allen stone (who’s playing a few of these, too–i’m sure readers would be down for some soul)

  26. Hot 97′s festival is declining every year. I don’t get why it’s in the top 10.

  27. Jess H. Livinghouse  |   Posted on May 5th, 2012 0

    I’m skeptical of any music festival that bills something called the “String Cheese Incident” higher than Wilco…

    • May have something to do with what time they’re playing. Wilco could play anytime and still be great. SCI is late night music. I’m just guessing, but that’s the only way it would make sense to me.

    • Never mind. I was thinking of somebody else…. somebody whose name I can’t place right now… Galactic, maybe? Anyway, I went and checked YouTube. 1) SCI has done entire shows in the middle of the day. 2) It wouldn’t matter what time they played, it should still be before Wilco.

  28. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  29. Osheaga has been snubbed. I’m appalled.

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