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5 open-air music festivals aim to outdo Bonnaroo, Coachella

By Alison Rohrs
updated September 29, 2021
Courtesy <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/26958457@N08/2648120248/" target="_blank">kuba425/Flickr</a>

Open-air music festivals let you see dozens of your favorite bands for a single ticket. The booming attendance numbers for Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza have, in turn, spawned a wave of other outdoor events. Here are five newcomers, listed in their order of appearance this summer.

Rothbury, Mich.

Six miles from Lake Michigan, the scenic Double JJ Ranch hosts the second annual Rothbury Festival. Bob Dylan, the Dead, and Willie Nelson take center stage, while smaller acts such as the Black Crowes, Cold War Kids, and Guster round out a slew of jam bands. July 2–5; advance weekend pass $250; two-day Saturday/Sunday pass $152, rothburyfestival.com.

Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Country mainstays like Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, and Big&Rich; have large followings in the South, but this summer they're heading up north for the first annual Cavendish Beach Festival, where they'll be joined by Canadian stars like Paul Brandt and smaller bluegrass acts like the Grass Mountain Hobos. July 10–12; three-day pass $174; $54 Friday; $73 each Saturday and Sunday, cavendishbeachmusic.com.

Commerce City, Colo.

Denver-natives the Fray will play their hometown for the second Mile High Music Festival, which will take over 18 soccer fields in a park just outside the capital city. They'll share stages with dozens of other musicians, such as Widespread Panic, India.Arie, and Matt Nathanson. Tool will perform live for the first time in two years. July 18–19; two-day pass $162.50; single day $90, milehighmusicfestival.com.

Jersey City, N.J.

All Points West Music & Arts Festival's three stages in Liberty State Park have views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. A big hit on its debut last year, the festival aims for an even better second year. Beastie Boys, Tool, and Coldplay headline three nights of more than 65 artists. July 31–August 2, 3-day pass $199; single day $89, apwfestival.com.

San Francisco, Calif.

Sixty-four acts took over Golden Gate Park last year at the inaugural Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, and it's back this August with a killer lineup, including Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, M.I.A., Jason Mraz, and the Black Eyed Peas. August 28–30; advance 3-day tickets $225.50; regular three-day is TBD, sfoutsidelands.com.


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