Every spring, we seem to come across a new batch of music festivals, vying with verdant eagerness for our attendance. There are the tried and true festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Sasquatch, and Pitchfork, which like almost any fest, are subject to the myriad of finicky conditions—booking complications, poor weather, stale programming—that can lead to one year not quite standing up to the last. But somewhere out there past the well-known fests, far beyond the countless indistinguishable “EDM” jubilees, lay some truly impressive under-the-radar music festivals.
In places like Brooklyn, Seattle, Asheville, and Boulder, musicians and fans are organizing events that reestablish the eclectic, community-oriented, and tasteful experiences that keep attendees returning every year. These festivals become that special date that attendees look forward to each year, counting down the days until they’re once again transported to a new yet familiar experience of music and community.