1. Coachella — Indio, CA
Coachella is held in April and is known best for booking some of the biggest names in music at the moment, not to mention the “talent” that comes out to see ‘em. This year Radiohead and the Black Keys headlined.
2. Bonnaroo — Manchester, TN
Bonnaroo is about as big on the east coast as Coachella is on the west, but also features art and film as well as music. This year it’s from June 7-10, and features names like Radiohead, Bon Iver, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Kooks.
3. Lollapalooza — Chicago, IL
One of the most well-known festivals on this list is Lollapalooza, held on August 3-5 this year. The event has a storied history since its beginnings in 1991, and accordingly its headliners this year are the Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Florence + the Machine, and At the Drive-in.
4. Electric Daisy Carnival — New York, NY
In May, the festival to look for is the Electric Daisy Carnival—wherever it may be. It started in LA, has been thrown in Las Vegas, and from May 19-20, 2012, it’s making its first appearance in New York (well, right across the river in East Rutherford, NJ, technically).
5. Austin City Limits — Austin, TX
Like its brethren SXSW, Austin City Limits is held in Texas; however, it’s a few months later, running from October 12-14. The 2012 lineup hasn’t been released yet, but last year the festival featured Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, and Kanye West, among many others.
6. Sasquatch! — George, WA
Sasquatch! is arguably the best music festival on the west coast, though anyone who goes to Coachella would strangle you for even thinking so. It’s also all outdoors, but in a giant gorge, and features artists in a similar vein—this year (from May 25-28), Beck, Bon Iver, Beirut, and the Shins are headlining.
7. South by Southwest — Austin, TX
Held in March, South by Southwest is best known for breaking new and upcoming artists, but also features popular ones as well. This year, Fiona Apple, the Magnetic Fields, and Andrew Bird were all headliners.
8. Summerfest — Milwaukee, WI
Summerfest claims it’s the world’s largest music festival, which may or may not be true, but it is certainly the biggest in the Midwest. While it runs from June 27-July 1 and July 3-8, the Beach Boys, Iron Maiden, and the Zac Brown Band are headlining.
9. Governors Ball — New York, NY
Governors Ball is probably the most well-known current music festival in New York state, held on tiny Randall’s Island in between Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. Running June 23-24, this year’s lineup includes Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Fiona Apple, and Explosions in the Sky.
10. Pitchfork Music Festival — Chicago, IL
Naturally, Pitchfork’s festival focuses entirely on independent artists, though it also features big names from that ambiguous category—including Vampire Weekend, Feist, and Hot Chip. Runs from July 13-15.
If your life got audited, would you pass the Fun Audit? Perhaps checking out one of these festivals would help improve your score.