With summer looming, it’s time to gas up the car, put the windows down, and hear as many bands as possible in a single day. From jazz and jam bands to roots rock and world music, here are 13 outdoor music festivals where you can take in a world of sounds under the stars across New England.
SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL
Billed as “Wilco’s music and arts festival,” the band has curated a broad range of entertainment for this three-day affair, from the psychedelic rock of Brazilian legends Os Mutantes to Medeski Martin & Wood’s progressive take on jazz fusion.
When: June 21-23
Where: MASS MoCA, North Adams
Miles from Boston: 150
Top billings: Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Neko Case, the Dream Syndicate
Others not to miss: Foxygen, “Border Music” with Marc Ribot and David Hidalgo, Sean Rowe, the Relatives
Before you go: Tickets $65 (single-day pass) and $149 (three-day pass). 413-662-2111, www.solidsoundfestival.com
CAMP COLDBROOK MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
Electronic dance music meets jam bands, and the amenities alone warrant a road trip: four stages hosting more than 100 musical acts, “an Olympic-size swimming pool,” a tiki bar, and so on.
When: June 21-23
Where: Camp Coldbrook Golf and RV Resort, Barre
Miles from Boston: 67
Top billings: Max Creek, Break Science, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant, Christian Martin
Others not to miss: Hot Day at the Zoo, Moe Pope, Something With Strings, Worthy
Before you go: Tickets $40 (Sunday pass), $120 (weekend pass), $150 (RV camping pass), and $275 (VIP camping pass). www.campcoldbrook.com
PAULIE’S NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL
The Crescent City comes to the Bay State for this annual festival with a particularly strong lineup this year, including the rightly titled Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas.
When: June 21-23
Where: Keystone Plaza Urban Fairgrounds, Worcester
Miles from Boston: 47
Top billings: Thomas, Anders Osborne, Derek Warfield & the Young Wolfe Tones, Mem Shannon & the Membership
Others not to miss: New Orleans Suspects, Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters, George Porter Jr., Shaka & the SoulShakers
Before you go: Tickets $15-$50 (single and two-day passes) and $65 (three-day pass). www.baevents.com
OUTSIDE THE BOX
On the heels of Boston Calling, the city’s first-ever weekend rock festival, this inaugural event casts an even larger net, touching on music, theater, food, dance, and family activities over a nine-day stretch. The event is especially strong on homegrown talent.
When: July 13-21
Where: Various venues, indoors and out, including Boston Common and City Hall Plaza
Top billings: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Los Lobos, Ricky Skaggs, the Lemonheads
Others not to miss: Dale Ann Bradley, Alejandro Escovedo, Boston Bhangra, Buffalo Tom
Before you go: No tickets required; events are free. www.outsidetheboxboston.org
NORTH ATLANTIC BLUES FESTIVAL
They’ve got a right to sing the blues at this two-day event in northern Maine, anchored by the inimitable Mavis Staples (who’s on the road behind “One True Vine,” her forthcoming album produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy).
When: July 13-14
Where: 275 Main St., Rockland, Maine
Miles from Boston: 184
Top billings: Staples, the Holmes Brothers, the Lee Boys
Others not to miss: Eddie Taylor Jr., True Blues (with Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart), the Blues Broads
Before you go: Advance tickets $25 (day pass) and $50 (weekend pass). 207-691-2248, www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
When there’s a tent specifically for dancing, you know you’re in for a good time. In addition to music on three stages, food vendors, kids activities, and hot-air balloon rides are among the attractions.
When: July 20-21
Where: Greenfield Community College, Greenfield
Miles from Boston: 123
Top billings: Gogol Bordello, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, the Bernie Worrell Orchestra
Others not to miss: JD McPherson, the Skatalites, Spirit Family Reunion, Bombino
Before you go: Advance tickets $65 (day pass), $90 (weekend pass), free for ages 12 and under. 413-773-5463, www.greenriverfestival.com
GATHERING OF THE VIBES
Groove is in the heart at this beloved event that brings together bands known for their extended jams, be it in the realms of rock, funk, soul, and DJ sets.
When: July 25-28
Where: Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Conn.
Miles from Boston: 154
Top billings: Phil Lesh, the Black Crowes, the Roots, Tedeschi Trucks Band
Others not to miss: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Lord Huron, John Butler Trio, Funky Meters