With the strum of the first chord, you realize you're in a great place. A clear summer day, a stretch of perfectly manicured grass on which to plant yourself, and a slew of musicians playing before throngs of onlookers. You could make your way from food stalls hawking ice-cold beer and barbecued turkey legs back to the other stages where bluegrass, country, and blues play until well past sunset or just stake your claim, stay put, and soak in the tunes. Yes, the music festival is one of the wonderful things about summer.
That was the atmosphere during the 16th annual South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March, and you'll find similar scenes all across the globe this June through September at little pockets of freedom where the rules are fun, food, family, and some of the best grooves from both newcomers and the groups that bring back summers past in all their glory. Here you'll find several of the top events coming to a stage or field near you. In the left sidebar you'll find a listing of some of the biggest and best music festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Let the festivities begin.
Few would deny that Californians have a deep love for jazz. The SFJAZZ Spring Season is taking place in the theaters and clubs of San Francisco, culminating with a concert by Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and Roy Hargrove on June 15. This year's performances explore six eclectic musical themes: Jazz Women, Celebrating Sonny Rollins, What's New Worldwide, the Buena Vista Social Club Presents, In the Groove, and Modern Masters.