Now that most of the summer music festival lineups have been announced, the clock is ticking for fans to make their decisions: Which music festival to attend? Because of ticket prices, travel and accommodation costs, it’s likely that you’ll only get one shot at the summer music festival experience. So we want to help with the difficult choice, of deciding the best lineup money has to offer.
Here—based on who we think is offering the best talent for the best price—we’ve ranked the 2019 Summer Music Festival Lineups. Check back with us, as more festival lineups have yet to be announced.
Where: Manchester, TN
When: June 13 – 16
You’ve either been for yourself, or heard the stories: the legend of Bonnaroo, the best summer music festival in America. And Bonnaroo’s 2019 lineup only helps the saga continue. Heading the festival are performers who are incredibly expensive to see live: Phish, Childish Gambino, Post Malone. Not to mention the strong second tier of artists: Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, Hozier, Brandi Carlisle, The Avett Brothers, Solange. Bonnaroo, yet again, managed to score this past year’s most relevant musicians, in addition to ensuring a wide range of entertainment for the attending fans. We also want to boost Bonnaroo’s 2019 lineup for honoring Tennessee’s country roots with the Grand Ole Opry headlining Thursday—oh, and for somehow convincing Maya Rudolph to make an appearance with the band Princess.
Where: Chicago, IL
When: August 1 – 4
All four days of Lollapalooza are going to be stacked. The 2019 Lollapalooza lineup, in our opinion, is the best it’s been in years. For starters, headlining this year’s festival is Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, and The Strokes. Beneath them, will be Tame Impala, Flume, The Chainsmokers, and J Balvin. Beneath them, an arguably better tier of performers: Lil Wayne, Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves, Hozier, Meek Mill. The dominating characteristic of Lollapalooza is the amount of talent throughout the roster, which remains strong near the bottom with the inclusion of rising rapper Tierra Whack, indie-rock singer Alec Benjamin, and experimental musician and frequent Chance the Rapper collaborator Francis and The Lights. Lollapalooza continues to be in the know of who is leading today’s music industry, as evidenced in their deeply talented 2019 lineup.
3. Woodstock 50
Where: Watkins Glen, NY
When: August 16 – 18
It’s been 50 years since Woodstock Music & Arts Festival. The anniversary of three days of peace, love, and music will be celebrated with a three day festival. Though there have been commemorative events in the past, nothing compares to what Woodstock 50 is bringing, a lineup headed by The Killers, Dead & Company, and Jay Z, followed by Miley Cyrus, Chance the Rapper, Imagine Dragons, The Black Keys, and The Lumineers. The talent goes on to include those who performed at the inaugural festival, such as John Fogerty and Santana. Though ticket prices are unknown, this is easily in the top five of summer music festival lineups 2019 has to offer. Will Woodstock 50 generate the storied energy of the Woodstock 1969? With the festival in the hands of these musicians, we think it’s likely.
Where: Indio Valley, CA
When: April 12 – 14 & April 19 – 21
For those lucky enough to attend Coachella, the future is only getting brighter. Not only has the festival become a hot event for celebrities, but the performers have dedicated themselves to leaving it all behind on those Indio Valley stages. Beyonce, Outkast, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, so many have made history at Coachella. The 2019 Coachella lineup is led by Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande. We expect those sets to be mind-melting. Filling out the bill is Janelle Monae, Diplo, Solange, Billie Eilish, Anderson .Paak, Bad Bunny, Kacey Musgraves, and more. Coachella is a fixture on the summer music festival circuit that has an imperfect history of selecting the best acts of today’s popular music, but the 2019 lineup doesn’t disappoint.
5. Governors Ball
Where: Randall’s Island, NY
When: May 31 – June 2
Gov Ball, which quickly became one of America’s premier music festivals, doesn’t always have the most compelling headliners. This is one of those years. But it’s the second and third tier talent that keeps Gov Ball in the top five of summer music festival lineups. Rap collective Brockhampton. The fascinating French producer Gesaffelstein. Arguably one of the most important rappers to come out of NYC, Nas. Kaytranada, Noname, Playboi Carti, The Internet, and Vince Staples will contribute to what is going to be a more hip-hop leaning Gov Ball. That’s something else we love about the fest; it’s whimsical nature, it’s fearlessness to embrace one genre over another. Because above all, Gov Ball promises a great time. And this year’s talent is just interesting enough to keep the party going.
Where: Dover, DE
When: June 21 – 23
We’re stoked that Post Malone is amongst the headliners for Firefly 2019, but we don’t think rounding out the weekend with Travis Scott and Panic! At the Disco makes it one of the stronger lineups for the famed festival. The rest of the bill is completed by a mix of indie and electronic performers including Kygo, DJ Snake, Griz, Zedd, Awolnation, Vampire Weekend, Courtney Barnett, and others. Because this festival never disappoints and the 2019 Firefly lineup succeeds in drawing just about every type of music fan, there are still plenty of reasons to head to the Delaware Woods this Summer.
Where: Gulf Shores, AL
When: May 17 – 19
Perhaps the biggest reason to travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama is the Hangout Music Festival. This year, the headliners largely hail from the rap/hip-hop arena: Travis Scott, Khalid, and Cardi B. The Lumineers, Vampire Weekend, and Kygo will also serve as headliners. In addition to the strong second tier of performers—The 1975, Diplo, Hozier, Griz, Walk the Moon, Jimmy Eat World—the Hangout Music Festival is also here to provide beachy vibes, boasting a true “music vacation”. Though there are better lineups being offered in 2019, the shore aesthetic is unmatched elsewhere on the festival circuit.
8. Boston Calling
Where: Allston, MA
When: May 24 – 26
Smaller but definitely not lacking in talent, Allston’s Boston Calling Music Festival is offering some of the acts we’ve seen in other lineups—Janelle Monae, Tame Impala, Travis Scott, Brandi Carlile, Odesza, etc—but in a less chaotic setting. If you’re over the (albeit super fun) insanity of Coachella or Lolla and are looking for a more low-key fest, Boston Calling is here for you. Rounding out their diverse lineup is Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Mitski, Logic, Chromeo, Ravyn Lenae, and more.
9. Shaky Knees
Where: Atlanta, GA
When: May 3 – 5
The rock-leaning summer music festival Shaky Knees seems to be stretching the definition of the genre even further by choosing Tame Impala as one of its headliners. Though, Gary Clark Jr., Father John Misty, and Cage the Elephant will definitively provide some edge to the 2019 Shaky Knees Music Festival. Not to mention Jim James, who is performing limited dates this year, Shaky Knees being one of the lucky few. We also appreciate rising star Maggie Rogers near the top of the bill, which alerts us to Shaky Knees knowing the future influencers of rock music. Though this isn’t their strongest, the 2019 Shaky Knees Music Festival lineup promises a sublime, rock-filled weekend.