March 28, 2012 Slideshows

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The Best Off-the-Radar Music Festivals 

With Coachella next week, the summer music festival season is officially beginning. And for outdoor live music, this country offers a lot more than just sweaty hipsters in Southern California. There are sweaty metalheads in Maryland, sweaty EDM dancers in Las Vegas and sweaty reggae lovers in Southern Florida. If you're planning a road trip this summer, you could do worse than following the trail of these music festival across the country.

Curated by Rebecca Aronauer
Summer in New York is one big music showcase, starting with Ende Tymes Festival, an experimental noise, music and video festival coming out of Brooklyn and Queens. This year's event will take place from May 17-20, 2012 and feature music by Sudden Infant and Cheapmachines, and a film by Phill Niblock and Katherine Liberovskaya.

Above, Crank Surgeon plays at Ende Tymes in 2011.
Joshua Davis
The Blip Festival in New York from May 25-27, 2012 is a celebration of "chiptune," the music made out of the beeps and bops of ancient video game consoles.

Above, Bit Shifter performs at the 2007 Blip Festival.
Palika Makam
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is a borough-wide celebration of hip-hop. De La Soul's Posdnuos, pictured, played last year, and this year's festival takes place from July 9-14, 2012.
Cee-Lo Green was set to perform at last year's Afro-Punk Festival in New York until the Hurricane Irene canceled the show. But this fusion-heavy festival should be back with a vengeance this summer on August 25, 2012.

In this photo, Janelle Monáe performs at Afro-Punk in 2009.
From New York, drive a bit south to The Maryland Deathfest, "America's biggest metal party of the year," from May 24-27, 2012. The showcase will feature Godflesh, Morbid Angel and Electric Wizard in Baltimore.

Above, Nuclear Assault performs in 2011.
Yesenia Hernandez
After the metal show, keeping take I-95 south to Nine Mile Music Festival, a.k.a. Marley Fest in Virginia Key Beach Park, Florida, organized by Bob Marley's mom, Cedella Marley Booker. This year's festival on March 3, 2012 was its eighteenth anniversary. Along with ticket entry, each guest must bring four cans of food, and organizers have collected more than two million canned goods to be distributed in Miami and Jamaica.
Kat Bein
Ravers in Southern Florida satisfied their glow stick cravings from March 23-25, 2012 at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. This year, Fatboy Slim, M83 and New Order, among others, played to a crowd of 165,000.

Above, Chase & Status play at this year's Ultra.
From Florida, head west: Independent music shop Goner Records will put on Gonerfest, a punk and garage rock festival in Memphis, Tennessee from September 27-30, 2012.

Above, Pity Fucks at play Gonerfest in 2011.
Craig Hlavaty
SXSW is not the only music festival in Texas. Free Press Summer Fest in Houston features crowd surfing, girls covered in body paint, and overheated young people. This year's showcase, from June 2-3, 2012 includes The Avett Brothers, Primus, Flaming Lips, Major Lazer, Best Coast and more.
Chaos in Tejas is a celebration of a variety of music — from crust to punk, indie to hardcore — from May 31-June 3, 2012. This year's showcase in Austin, Texas will feature Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, the Clean and Death Evocation.

In the photo above, a man crowd surfs while Tragedy plays Chaos in Tejas in 2008.
Catherine Downes
If you haven't heard of 35 Denton in Denton, Texas, it may be because the four-day festival has changed its name three times. It started as a local response to SXSW and took place from March 8-11, 2012. This year's acts included The Jesus and Mary Chain, Built to Spill and Mountain Goats.

In the photo above, Ty Segall plays this year's festival.
Austin Psych Fest in Austin, Texas celebrates the city's history of psychedelic rock and multimedia art. This year's showcase, from April 27-29, 2012 includes the Black Angels,the Black Lips and Brian Jonestown Massacre.

In the photo above, Pete International Airport plays the 2011 show.
Nick Schnelle
From Texas, head north to LouFest, an indie rock festival in St. Louis, Missouri taking place on August 25-26, 2012. Previous acts included TV on the Radio, TV on the Radio, Jeff Tweedy and Broken Social Scene. Adding to its indie cred, last year LouFest offset more than 194,000 pounds of direct and indirect carbon emissions.

Above, Ume plays LouFest in 2011.
Denis Jeong Plaster
Keeping heading north for Soundset, the annual hip-hop festival outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, proves rap in the midwest is no oxymoron. Atmosphere, Ghostface Killah and Kid Cut Up will play at this year's show on May 27.

Above, Big Boi performs at last year's Soundset.
Aaron Thackeray
From Minnesota, head to the mountains. The Global Dance Festival is a three-day dance party and is held at the historic Red Rocks amphitheater outside of Denver, Colorado from July 20-22, 2012. This year's lineup includes Knife Party, Above & Beyond and Adventure Club.

Above, Infected mushroom! plays the Global Dance Festival in 2010
Colin Young-Wolff
From June 8-10, 2012 ravers will overtake Las Vegas, Nevada for the Electric Daisy Carnival. Don't expect to get any sleep over the three-day electronic dance music festival.
Jonathan McNamara
Southeast of Las Vegas is the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona. The festival celebrates local musicians, as well as jam and indie acts. As always, this year's festival, from April 13-15, 2012, is not for profit, and proceeds will benefit Ear Candy and the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Galactic and Dark Star Orchestra will be playing.

Above, Matisyahu performs at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival in 2009.
Benjamin Leatherman
Country Thunder is a four-day celebration of pop-country music in Florence, Arizona. This year's festival, from April 12-15, 2012, will feature Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton and Alan Jackson.
Christopher Victorio
From Las Vegas, head to Southern Californa. One part Coachella and one part Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle is an arts and music festival in Silverado from May 24-28, 2012. This year's lineup includes Bassnectar, The Glitch Mob and Shpongle.
Wendy Gilmartin
The Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice, California is an indie-rock community-orientated music showcase. This year's festival is set for September 30, 2012 and last year, Thundercat, Kisses and Mia Doi Todd played.

Above, Marion Hodges plays last year Abbot Kinney Festival.
Christopher Victorio
From Venice, drive north to Noise Pop Festival, which started off as a small showcase in San Francisco, California, and turned into one of the biggest and most respected indie festivals in the country. This year, Noise Pop celebrated its 20th anniversary from February 21-26, with a line-up that included The Flaming Lips, The Hold Steady and Built to Spill.

Above, The Flaming Lips plays this year's Noise Pop.
Hanna Quevedo
The Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast. Over 90,000 visitors take in the jazz on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, California every July. This year's festival takes places on July 7-8, 2012.
Christopher Victorio
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, formerly Strictly Bluegrass, is a bluegrass-related festival held in San Francisco, California every October. Last year, the free three-day festival drew 750,000 people. This year's showcase is scheduled for October 5-7, 2012.

Above, Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys play in 2011.
Hanna Quevedo
Officially, LovEvolution is a parade, and historically, it began in Germany to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now in Oakland, California, the after-parade dance party is one the best techno raves in the country. This year's parade is on September 22, 2012. Past after-parade spinners have included Deadmau5, Above & Beyond and DJ Rap.
Catherine Anstett
North of the Bay Area, Hollow Earth Radio, an internet based music station, put on the Magma Festival in Seattle, Washington all of March, 2012 to support local musicians.

Above, Tahoe Jackson performs at this year's Magma Festival.
1/25
Summer in New York is one big music showcase, starting with Ende Tymes Festival, an experimental noise, music and video festival coming out of Brooklyn and Queens. This year's event will take place from May 17-20, 2012 and feature music by Sudden Infant and Cheapmachines, and a film by Phill Niblock and Katherine Liberovskaya.

Above, Crank Surgeon plays at Ende Tymes in 2011.
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