Music fests are more than just Coachella

Photo// Jeff Hawkins

Photo// Jeff Hawkins


The summer music festival market has become one of the largest targets of exploitation for the booming concert industry. The current slate of 2017 festivals, both nationally and locally, seem to be no exception.

In the mid-2000s, the festival and concert industry was the sustainable financial lifeline that showed consistent growth for the fragile industry. Fast forward to 2017, and behold a recording industry in double-digit growth, music discovery powered by streaming and curated playlists, and more attempts than ever to break down the traditional barriers of musical performance.

The Sentry broke down the overwhelming number of summer festivals to highlight a handful of national festivals that are breaking the mold—move aside Coachella and Bonnaroo—and local festivals with aspirations to celebrate Colorado music.

FYF Fest

Los Angeles, Calif.

July 21-23, 2017

From among the urban sprawl of Los Angeles comes a festival that’ll boast chic appeal and some of the biggest names in the live music industry. Headliners like Frank Ocean—sizzling off his surprise record, Blonde— and Nine Inch Nails—who’ll bring a load of nostalgia-brimmed hits-—are slotted to tote the headlining heat for the festival. The real secret for FYF is its loaded mid-tier lineup. Artists like Mura Masa and Cherry Glazerr are up-and-coming in the national touring market and are set to explode onto the national scene in the coming months.

Hangout Fest

Gulf Coast, Ala.

May 19-21, 2017

Hangout Fest, a beach destination-festival on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, is anticipated to bring a mix of relaxed good vibes and favorable weather to the musical festival canon. In addition to performances from Chance the Rapper and Weezer, the festival is located beachside with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and a myriad of carnival rides and games to keep each festival-goer satisfied until the music dies.

Sasquatch! Music Festival

Quincy, Wash.

May 26-28, 2017

Located two and a half hours inland from Seattle, WA, Sasquatch! will offer a different kind of destination-festival from Hangout. With the towering Cascade Mountain Range setting the backdrop, the festival offers on-site camping that’ll marry any lover of music and the outdoors. Produced by Live Nation, the festival will be among many others this season to have Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean gracing their roster, but the addition of twenty one pilots to round out the top slot would probably bring Sasquatch! to the top of the list for any college-aged festival-goer.

Project Pabst

Denver, Colo.

May 20, 2017

Denver is set to host another rousing round of the Project Pabst music festival right in the heart of its own RiNo Neighborhood. Ice Cube, Phantogram, and STRFKR will fill the cozy streets of Larimer, Market, and Walnut with thousands of eager music fans. The festival—along with other variations in Atlanta, Portland, and Philadelphia—is showing the strength of having alcoholic-beverage companies as major sponsors. Along with Budweiser’s Made In America festival and an overwhelming amount of festivals with major sponsor support from Bud Light, the adult beverage sponsorship pool looks to continue to grow.

Spread the Word Fest

Denver, Colo.

May 5-8, 2017

Spread The Word Music Festival has organically grown to represent a large portion of the Colorado music scene and has extended its wings further than ever this year. Live music connoisseurs and party enthusiasts alike will be pleased with 40+ hours of incredible Colorado-bred music across 10 stages in a convenient downtown location.

Summer 2017 is shaping up to be a homerun for the festival market. Fans should plan in advance to purchase tickets, transportation, and lodging if they plan on attending any out-of-town events. Be prepared for loud music, big crowds, and an a irreplaceable musical experience.

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