Worth the Drive: 2019 Music Festivals
June 26-30, July 2-7 • Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee • summerfest.com • Billed as the “World’s Largest Music Festival,” the iconic Summerfest boasts an incredible lineup of top-notch headliners featuring Bon Iver, Willie Nelson, Billie Eilish, SchoolboyQ, Snoop Dogg, Zac Brown Band, The Avett Brothers, Julien Baker and many, many more.
Rock the Garden
June 29 • Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis • walkerart.org • Held at the beautiful and newly renovated Walker Arts Center, this one-day festival has a killer lineup with performances by The National, Courtney Barnett, X, deM atlaS, and The Beths.
July 19-21• Union Park, Chicago • pitchforkmusicfestival.com • A music festival in Chicago hosted by the Pitchfork music publication. Includes performances by HAIM, Mavis Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha-T, The Isley Brothers, Belle & Sebastian, Robyn, Charli XCX, Jeremih, and more.
Mile of Music
Aug. 1-4 • Appleton • mileofmusic.com • The 7th coming of Appleton’s downtown music festival includes 900 live musical sets, 70 venues, all in 1 mile of great music. There’s a whole mile of safe, walkable, no-cover charge events to explore. All original music from various genres like indie rock, country, soul, R&B, jazz, folk, and more. Plus check out craft shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Aug. 1-4 • Grant Park, Chicago • lollapalooza.com • One of the country’s biggest music festivals, Lollapalooza has been serving up great talent since ’91. Performances by The Strokes, Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Kasey Musgraves, Lil Wayne, and Janelle Monae.
Surly Festival Field
All summer • Surly Brewing, Minneapolis • surlybrewing.com • Twin Cities brewing giant Surly has teamed up with First Ave. for a handful of truly cool shows in the festival field at their brewing headquarters. Big performances include acts like Tame Impala, Lord Huron, Ben Folds, Violent Femmes, Gary Clark Jr., and Shakey Graves. But this year, every Tuesday is Summer of Sounds featuring breakout Twin Cities artists like Har Mar Superstar, Dessa, Lazerbeak, deM atlaS, Jeremy Messersmith, and Toki Wright.
Basilica Block Party
July 12-13 • The Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis • basilicablockparty.org • The gorgeous Twin Cities staple the Basilica of Saint Mary is the backdrop for a two-day festival that brings a fresh mix of indie artists to Minneapolis. This year, across three stages, the Basilica Block Party welcomes the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Dawes, CHVRCHES, Lissie, Hanson, and Jason Mraz.
Aug. 30-31 • Huntington Back Pavilion, Chicago • northcoastfestival.com • As summer months start to wind down, Chicago’s North Coast festival aims to ramp it up again. The EDM festival celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year with acts like Bassnectar, Major Lazer, Jai Wolf, Yung Bae, and Snakehips.