The Biggest North American Festivals To Look Forward To In 2016

– by Brendan Reid, Editor –

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Summer is one of the most exciting times to be a music lover. Festival season begins in April and rolls right through to September, with acts all around the world taking part in the revelry. Here are North America’s biggest and best festivals to look forward to in 2016.

Osheaga (Montréal, Québec, July 29th-31st)

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A distant view of the Osheaga mainstage.

Held annually in Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montréal, Québec, Osheaga is the largest and most prestigious music festival held in Canada. Taking place over five stages, the variety of music at Osheaga is astounding, and fans of hip-hop, rock, electronic, folk, and everything in between will find something to enjoy. The festival has always boasted stellar headliners, and 2016 is no different, with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Ray, and Radiohead all leading the charge.

Festival Website: http://www.osheaga.com/

Bonaroo (Manchester, Tennessee, June 9th-12th)

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Bonaroo 2016 logo.

Taking place in a 700-acre farmland in the backcountry of Manchester, Tennessee, Bonaroo is an experience rife with fun activities and great music. Some of the attractions include a water slide, a silent disco, a short film cinema, countless art exhibitions, and an outdoor shower. Furthermore, Bonaroo returns in 2016 with familiar landmarks such as the Arch, the Fountain, and the Tower (Bonaroo alumni will know what I mean). This year’s line-up boasts the likes of Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem, Macklemore, and Tame Impala, as well as the traditional four-day camping experience.

Festival Website: http://www.bonnaroo.com/

Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois, July 28th-31st)

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A fiery view of the stage from Lollapalooza in Chilé.

Yet another four-day festival, the world-renowned Lollapalooza is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016. The brain-child of Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farell, Lollapalooza was originally designed as a farewell tour for his band, but has evolved into something much more. Now it is one of the largest alternative rock festivals in the world, with offshoots that have flourished in South America and Germany. The 2016 lineup is yet to be announced, but if last year’s headliners of Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Florence + The Machine are any indication, it’s bound to be great.

Festival Website: http://www.lollapalooza.com/

Electric Forest (Rothbury, Michigan, June 23rd-26th)

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Electric Forest 2016 logo.

Electric Forest is more then a festival; it’s a sensory experience. The festival forest becomes draped in lights and chandeliers of every colour you can imagine, and hidden between the trees are countless art exhibits and oddities. On top of it all is a astounding lineup of electronic and funk artists, this year featuring the likes of Bassnectar, Major Lazer, and The String Cheese Incident. Electric Forest is an enchanted forest come to life, and must be seen to be believed.

Festival Website: http://www.electricforestfestival.com/

Coachella (Indio, California, April 15th-17th and April 22nd-24th)

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Coachella 2016 logo.

Taking place over two weekends, Coachella is one of the largest festivals on the Western coast. Featuring indoor and outdoor stages, countless art installations inspired by the culture of Burning Man, and dozens of incognito Hollywood stars, Coachella is not a festival to be missed. The desert valley of Southern California is transformed into an oasis for Coachella, and countless water activities abound to help beat the heat. This year’s headliners includes Guns N’ Roses, A$AP Rocky, Calvin Harris, and LCD Soundsystem, as well as a diverse lineup that has something for everyone to enjoy.

Festival Website: https://www.coachella.com/

This list only begins to scratch the surface of the festivals taking place across North America. Take a look at Fest300 (https://www.fest300.com/festivals) for a full catalogue of what’s going on around the world. For preparation, take a look at our music festival survival guide. No matter your taste or location, there is bound to be a festival fit for you, and the summer of 2016 is looking to be an amazing one.