There are more summer music festivals now than there have ever been, specifically in the EDM genre. There’s a lot to weigh into consideration when determining the best music festival for you: camping vs. no camping, rural vs. urban location, 3-Day fests vs. 4-Day fests…the options are endless. Though there are many more music festivals than represented on this list, we decided to narrow it down to a single genre, for those EDM fans out there looking to finalize their summer party plans. So, here are Top 7 EDM Festivals to Attend This Summer, in ranking order.
No. 1: Mysteryland
Dates: June 10-13
Location: Bethel Woods, NY
In just three years, Mysteryland has made quite an impact on the EDM summer music festival circuit, embracing fans both nation and worldwide. Mysteryland had a good rep behind them in the UK, which probably helped when recruiting some of the best EDM acts for their innaugural lineup. Mysteryland is a camping festival, and offers several lodging options for those trying to save money, brave the elements, or for those splurging VIP style. One perk of Mysteryland is the location. Bethel Woods, known as the holy grounds of ’69 Woodstock, provides some pretty spectacular views of the Catskills throughout the festival and camping grounds. The aesthetic, the walking performance artists, installations and decorated stages give Mysteryland its addictive charm which brings festival goers back each year, and in growing numbers. If the weather permits, Mysteryland can definitely be an incredible time. This year, the lineup (which gets better every year) includes Odesza, Skrillex, Bassnectar, The Chainsmokers, Zeds Dead, Ty Dolla Sign, and many more.
No. 2: Electric Forest
Dates: June 23-26
Location: Rothbury, MI (The Sherwood Forrest/ Double JJ Resort)
Electric Forest, held annually in Rothsbury Michigan at the Double JJ Resort, has become one of the biggest EDM/ Jam Band festivals in the states. But what makes Electric Forest a truly unique experience is the Sherwood Forest, which, by day, is lit beautifully by the sun, and by night, transforms into a luminescent playground that’s bumping with EDM and jam band music. Throughout the forest are opportunities to create art, witness performances, take photos of installations, or just hang out amongst the hammocks. The lineup has yet ot be released, but past artists include The String Cheese Incident, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Flume, and more. The crowd at Electric Forest is as split as the lineup, but both genres draw a similar type of fan, the most dedicated and enthusiastic of music lovers. Electric Forest is one of the best music festivals in America, but it’s pricey. Don’t let Electric Forest stay unchecked on your bucket list, it’s truly an amazing festival.
No. 3: EDC Las Vegas
Dates: June 17-20 (EDC Week: June 13-20)
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV (EDC Week in Multiple Locations)
Those of you who have been know that there is absolutely nothing to prepare you for the thoroughly entertaining and immersive experience of EDC Las Vegas. Every year, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway turns into a wild, imaginative, and breathtaking world. With eight stages, twenty-four + carnival rides, dazzling art installations, and thousands of festival goers dressed in their finest rave gear, EDC Las Vegas is a true spectacle in itself. Not to mention, EDC, much like E-Zoo, tends to grab the best of the best for their annual lineup. This year, in order to celebrate 20 Years of EDC, there will be a weeklong schedule of events leading up to the premier music festival. EDC Las Vegas is typically epic in proportion, so grab your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable week/weekend beneath the electric sky.
No. 4: Electric Zoo NYC
Dates: September 2-4
Location: Randall’s Island, NY
NYC’s premier EDM festival, Electric Zoo, has been one of the most epic weekends for awhile now. Last year, Adventure Club, Above & Beyond, and Alesso were a few of over fifty acts to inhabit Randall’s Island for Labor Day Weekend. E-Zoo doesn’t release their lineup until the beginning of the summer, but this festival rarely disappoints. In addition to bringing the biggest EDM acts together with their fans, Electric Zoo is packed with themed installations, performers, and set designs. This year, Electric Zoo brings you “Wild Island“, transforming the festival into a jungle of ravers, with stages inspired by the world’s most magnificent animals. We consider the festival pretty affordable, considering the amount of talent and entertainment Electric Zoo packs into one weekend.
No. 5: Imagine Festival
Dates: August 26-28
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Imagine Festival is Atlanta’s premier electronic music festival, cultivated by Iris Presents, who has been actively supportive in the club/dance scene in Atlanta for the past ten years. For its third year, Imagine Festival has expanded to accommodate a third day of entertainment. And in following suit with other, longer festivals, Imagine Festival now offers an option to camp on site. Now that Imagine Festival has gained a considerable amount of traction, festival promoters wish to make Imagine a 360 degree sensory experience, packed with circus performers, art installations, workshops, music, and more. This year, Imagine Festival wants you to join them on an “invigorating aquatic Fairtytale“. The lineup for 2016 includes the likes of Dillon Francis, Excision, Borgore, Gramatik, Nero, Benny Benassi, Showtek, Zeds Dead, and more.
No. 6: Backwoods Music Festival
Dates: September 1-5
Location: Route 66, Stroud, OK
A lesser known event in the music festival circuit, Backwoods Music Festival is a music + camping festival located in Stroud, Oklahoma. On Labor Day weekend, the Backwoods Music Festival will return with seven stages, an incredible lineup, a ferris wheel, a hay maze, beach access, yoga classes, and a giant slip n’ slide. There aren’t many EDM festivals in the south, so if you’re in the Oklahoma/Texas region and don’t want to trek to Atlanta to attend Imagine Festival, we think Backwoods is a perfectly great (and affordable) alternative. Though be warned: since Backwoods is a relatively new festival, they are still working out the kinks, such as hiring a new security company, providing more dust control (welcome to the south, y’all), more food vendors, and more. This year at Backwoods, you can catch headliners moe. and NERO, along with sets by Big Gigantic, Autograf, and more. For a relatively affordable, five-day music festival, Backwoods definitely won’t disappoint.
No. 7: Summer Meltdown
Dates: August 11-14
Location: Darrington, WA (Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater)
The humble beginnings of Summer Meltdown make this music festival all the more endearing. From being held in a friend’s backyard with a single sound system bought on a Guitar Center credit card (the first Summer Meltdown ticket went for $10 and included a keg cup), to a camping festival which accommodates thousands in a 40-acre plot in Darrington, Washington, Summer Meltdown continues to be a beloved tradition in the community. For the second year in a row, Summer Meltdown is offering off-site adventures to fully take in the beautiful landscape of Washington. Guided river rafting, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more will be offered this summer alongside some incredible performers. In the lineup is Griz, STS9, Gramatik, Beats Antique, Keys N Krates, and more. In considering the size of the festival, the lineup, and the price, Summer Meltdown isn’t the best bang for your buck. BUT, if you’re looking to attend a smaller, low-key EDM festival with other entertainment options nestled in nature, we think Summer Meltdown would be a near perfect fit.