Sure, taking a much-needed vacation sounds nice. But taking one based around an epic music event sounds even better.
Bumbershoot [September – Seattle, WA]
Music is central, but not the sole focus of this Labor Day weekend lineup that has boasted the likes of acts like Foster the People and Los Lobos. Sprinkle in comedians, quirky theater performances, and interactive light art, and you have the makings for the nation’s largest art and music festival.
BottleRock [May – Napa, CA]
You’d think the bookie was slightly schizophrenic when seeing this three-day event’s diverse lineup of national acts that include folk singers, English rock bands, hip hop and rap artists, and indie dance duos. But it has proven to go quite well with Napa’s best home brews, finest wines, and most savory morsels.
Sandbar Sessions [Ongoing – Little Torch Key, FL]
Normally, if you were to attend an Indigo Girls or Rickie Lee Jones concert, it’s from a distance and among the masses. But when they perform at this ongoing beach concert series at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, all that is needed is tiki torch lighting, a stage built on the sandbar, and a cozy seating area. Not to mention, with no more than 90 guests, all performances are mostly unplugged.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival [June – Telluride, CO]
This legendary four-day bluegrass event that sets the San Juan Mountains a-stomping is equally well-known for its devout church of “festivarians” – a name coined to describe those raised on this summer solstice festival who have been coming back for more than 20 years.
Private Listener Concerts [Ongoing – San Diego, CA]
Kona Kai Resort & Spa has some great local acts that tinker away in the lounge, but for something a little more “bouyant,” the resort’s ongoing quarterly series turns its private courtyard into poolside stage. Up-and-coming national acts, like Grouplove and Kopecky Family Band, put on a general-admission private concert for up to 500 guests thanks to a local radio station.
Outside Lands [August – San Francisco, CA]
If you wanted to bottle the unique cocktail that is San Francisco (equal parts progressive, foodie, artsy, and musically inclined), you could do no better than a visit built around this three-day August festival. Rooted to acts that range from Elton John to The Black Keys to D’angelo, it also serves up a heaping dose of art, gourmet fare, and eco-consciousness.