8 Festival Lineups that Will Blow You Away

MARCH 10, 2013

Photo: Diana Urquhart

Festival season has just launched! It seems every week a new festival is announced, and I find myself looking at my calendar and flight prices to scope out the possibility of making it. The below is by no means an exhaustive or definitive list. Most of the middle to late summer festivals, like Lollapalooza and Burning Man, haven’t even announced their lineups yet. But there’s plenty to be excited about.

Below are my recommendations of who to check out. There are a lot of overlaps in the lineups, so the lists may look a bit alike. Many of these bands are already on the Quarterlette Spotify playlist, but I’ve spotlighted some new artists, so take a listen below or on Spotify!


  • The Deets: Austin, TX; Mar 12-17 (music); Mar 8-16 (film & interactive)
  • Headliners: Major Lazer, Cold War Kids, Third Eye Blind, Green Day, Muse, Passion Pit
  • Who I’d See: Divine Fits, Ivan & Aloysha, Lone Bellow, Macklemore, Haim, St. Lucia, Atlas Genius, Tegan & Sara, Ra Ra Riot, Michael Kiwanuka, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Airborne Toxic Event, Allen Stone, Rayland Baxter, Family of the Year, Fitz and the Tantrums, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Dave Grohl, Elizabeth & the Catapult, Vampire Weekend, Jake Bugg, BOY, Bronze Radio Return, Aloe Blacc
  • Spotlight: Bastille – Pompeii, Wildlife Control – Analog or Digital


  • The Deets: Indio, CA; Apr 12-14 & Apr 19-21 (same lineup both weekends)
  • Headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, The Stone Roses, Blur
  • Who I’d See: Passion Pit, Franz Ferdinand, Two Door Cinema Club, Portugal. The Man, Allen Stone, Shovels & Rope, Japandroids, Divine Fits, Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala, Lumineers, Airborne Toxic Event, Father John Misty, Tegan & Sara, Lord Huron, Hot Chip, Of Monsters & Men, Jake Bugg, The Wombats, The xx
  • Spotlight: Metric – Youth Without Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacriledge

Beale Street Music Festival

  • The Deets: Memphis, TN; May 3-5 (ok, I’m biased… went to this every year growing up)
  • Headliners: The Black Keys, Alice in Chains, Bassnectar, Sheryl Crow, Flaming Lips
  • Who I’ll See: Phoenix, Hall & Oates, The Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top, The Black Crowes, The Roots, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Big Boi, Jake Bugg, Heartless Bastards, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Kingston Springs
  • Spotlight: Gary Clark, Jr. – Ain’t Messin’ Round, Star & Micey – I Can’t Wait


  • The Deets: The Gorge, WA; May 24-27 (Memorial Day weekend)
  • Headliners: Mumford & Sons, The Postal Service, Macklemore, Vampire Weekend, The xx
  • Who I’ll See: Lumineers, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Imagine Dragons, Empire of the Sun, Tame Impala, Father John Misty, Shovels & Rope, Michael Kiwanuka, Youngblood Hawke, Japandroids, Atlas Genius, Holy Ghost!, Twin Shadow, Alt-J
  • Spotlight: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire, Divine Fits – My Love Is Real

Governor’s Ball

  • The Deets: Randall’s Island (NYC); June 7-9
  • Headliners: Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Guns N’ Roses
  • Who I’d See: The xx, Grizzly Bear, Lumineers, St. Lucia, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters & Men, Gary Clark Jr., Divine Fits, Portugal. The Man, Japandroids, Alt-J, Haim, Young the Giant, Beirut, Holy Ghost!, Twin Shadow
  • Spotlight: Of Monsters & Men – Mountain Sound, Miguel – Adorn 


  • The Deets: Manchester, TN; June 13-16
  • Headliners: Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • Who I’d See: Lumineers, Passion Pit, The xx, Of Monsters & Men, Macklemore, Cat Power, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man, Matt & Kim, Father John Misty, Walk the Moon, Divine Fits, Allen Stone, Japandroids, John Fullbright, Django Django, JD McPherson, Holy Ghost!, Alt-J, Lord Huron
  • Spotlight:  Haim – Don’t Save Me, Milo Greene – Don’t You Give Up On Me


  • The Deets: Dover, DE; June 21-23
  • Headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People
  • Who I’d See: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit, MGMT, Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, Grizzly Bear, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Matt & Kim, Walkmen, Atlas Genius, Django Django, Youngblood Hawke, The Royal Concept, The Last Royals, Japandroids, St. Lucia
  • Spotlight: Kishi Bashi – Bright Lights, Lorn Huron – Time to Run

 Newport Folk Festival

  • The Deets: Newport, RI; July 26-28
  • Headliners: The Lumineers, Andrew Bird, and still announcing others
  • Who I’d See: Hey Marseilles, Rayland Baxter, Father John Misty, JD McPherson, Shovels & Rope, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers
  • Spotlight: The Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody, Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

Did I miss a band that you’re excited to see? Share it with the Quarterlette community in the comments.


  • Karl 5 years ago

    Memphis in May weather can be spectacular

  • Eddy 5 years ago

    How do I find your playlist in Spotify? Can’t seem to find it but maybe Spotify doesn’t search playlist names.

  • Eddy 5 years ago

    Nevermind! Found it!

  • Kathryn 5 years ago

    Glad you found it. If anyone else is having trouble, please click on the “spotify” hyperlink at the top of the article!

  • Kyle 5 years ago

    You’d go to Coachella and NOT see Modest Mouse? Crazy…Good list though, Beale Street Music Festival has a crazy good, awful line up. I guess they’re trying to appeal a massive variety of people.

  • Kathryn 5 years ago

    Update! Prince has joined the SXSW lineup! Who would you rather see… Prince at SXSW or Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo?

  • Kathryn 5 years ago

    Update! Prince and JT have joined the SXSW lineup! Who would you rather see… Prince at SXSW or Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo?

  • Gail Schledwitz 5 years ago

    How could you go to Bonnaroo and not see Paul-the cute one!
    Great list!

  • Gail Schledwitz 5 years ago

    How could you go to Bonnaroo and not see Paul-the cute one!
    Great article.