7 Music Festivals You Must Attend This Year

A$AP Rocky performing at the 2015 Roots Picnic in Philadelphia

Spring is on the horizon, and festival season is much closer than you may think. This year, festivalgoers can catch some of the best acts in hip-hop, R&B and jazz at one of hundreds of festivals happening across the country. With new festivals popping up every year and so many options to choose from, we’ve compiled our top picks to make your spring and summer planning much easier.

1. Jazz in the Gardens, Miami, March 19-20

What’s better than a music festival with Miami as the background? You get the best of both worlds: music and nightlife. And this year’s lineup is sure to attract an audience made up of folks of all ages, with a lineup including Aretha Franklin, Usher, Babyface and Janelle Monáe. Past performers have included Trey Songz, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Kelly Rowland, Toni Braxton and R. Kelly.


2. Broccoli City Festival, Washington, D.C., April 30

Looking for a music festival with a message? Broccoli Fest is the way to go. The festival, which was created to encourage millennials to become change-makers, will feature headliners Future and Jhené Aiko, who will be accompanied by talent such as the Internet, BJ the Chicago Kid and Sango of the Soulection collective. Festival attendees can expect to enjoy a unique selection of interactive activations, such as a full-service organic juice bar, a pop-up market featuring eco-friendly vendors, fully stocked bars and a live art installation.

3. Roots Picnic, Philadelphia, June 4

Taking place in the City of Brotherly Love, the festival—which was created by hip-hop group and Philadelphia natives the Roots (hence the name)—is sure to be a record success. Don’t believe us? Just look at the lineup: Usher, DMX, Future, Leon Bridges, Swizz Beatz, Migos and, of course, the Roots themselves.


4. Hot 97 Summer Jam, East Rutherford, N.J., June 5

Since the 1990s, hip-hop artists have known that they’d “made it” once they were finally able to grace the stage at Summer Jam, one of the longest-running music festivals in the New York City area. Summer Jam is perhaps most legendary for having some of the most infamous moments in hip-hop beefs (remember when Jay Z put Prodigy on blast?). While this year’s lineup is still TBD, it’s sure to feature some of the biggest names in hip-hop today. If they’ve got a hit on the radio, they’re sure to be at Summer Jam this year.


5. OVO Festival, Toronto, July 31

Toronto—most recently the host city for this year’s NBA All-Star Game—is officially on everyone’s travel wish list, thanks to Drake. There are sure to be plenty of fans and celebs flocking to this year’s OVO Fest. Taking place right after Caribana, Toronto’s Caribbean festival, the OVO Fest may be the biggest concert to grace our northern friends’ stages. Complete dates and the full lineup haven’t been announced yet, but last year’s performers included Drake (obviously) and some of his celebrity friends, such as Big Sean, J. Cole, Jeremih and YG.


6. Made in America Festival, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, Labor Day weekend

Curated by Jay Z, the Budweiser-Live Nation event has become one of the world’s premier music festivals and now spans two cities. And with Jay Z at the helm, the festival attracts some of the biggest talent on the planet, from Beyoncé to Kanye West. Each year, Made in America gets even bigger. This year’s lineup has yet to be announced, but we’re sure it’ll be poppin’.


7. ONE Musicfest, Atlanta, Sept. 10        

The live-music culture in Atlanta continues to get better. The ONE Musicfest, which was founded by lifestyle curator Jason Carter more than six years ago, has continued to bring unique and dynamic talent to the A. So don’t just expect a dirty South set. Last year’s lineup included A$AP Rocky, Lauryn Hill, the Roots and Janelle Monáe. This year’s festival lineup has yet to be announced, so check the website or Twitter for the latest news.


Kimberly Wilson is the social media editor at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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