March 28, 2012

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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.