Upcoming Music Festivals for 2022

As the vaccination rates rise and more research about COVID-19 comes out each week, the US is finally seeing more musical festivals return (albeit, cautiously) in 2021. I even attended one myself (Inkcarceration in Mansfield, OH). But many of the big festivals such as Coachella, Boston Calling, and Bunbury decide to hold off another year. In 2022, there are dozens of festivals popping up, and in all genres of music. There are so many that it can be a bit overwhelming to look through the big lineup posters pasted all over social media. To make things easier, I decided to list which music festivals seem worth checking out. But there’s one problem with that, isn’t there? The United States is a big chunk of land. And someone in New York can’t so easily travel to Washington for a festival over there. So, we’ll be breaking it down by region (as best as I can, at least). I’ll even put the genre if it applies. If you’d still like to fly from Ohio to Nevada after seeing this list, that’s cool too. Maybe this list will help you plan a summer trip! So... let’s get into it.

Imp source: https://www.complex.com/music/music-festivals-2022/lovers-and-friends

West

When We Were Young – Las Vegas, NV

Source: whenwewereyoungfest.com


Genre: Emo, Rock, Metalcore, Pop Punk, etc.


The absolute mayhem this festival announcement brought to the internet was insane. A first-year event, When We Were Young Fest is a huge amalgamation of emo nostalgia. With huge acts on the bill such as My Chemical Romance, Paramore, AFI, Alkaline Trio, Avril Lavigne, and many more, the festival has had a lot of people interested, especially outside of Las Vegas. With over 60 bands on the poster and the event initially meant to take place on one day, people were understandably concerned about how the festival would work. Due to popular demand, the festival added two more days, but rather than disperse the big lineup over a weekend, the extra days added are set to have the same lineup. This type of setup is nothing new considering the gone-but-never-forgotten Vans Warped Tour had a similar arrangement in each city, but it did alarm fans that so many huge acts were set to perform all in one day. It seems impossible to catch every artist you’d want to see, most certainly not even a quarter of the lineup’s full sets. Despite understandable concerns, it is an absolute killer lineup for fans of emo, both young and old(er). I’m sure the event will be unlike any other emo/rock scene has ever seen.

The fest takes place on October 22, 23, and 29, 2022. If you’re looking to grab tickets though, you’ll, unfortunately, have to join a waitlist or grab from a reseller because tickets for all dates sold out FAST. Even if you can’t go this year, this is definitely one to keep your eye on to see if...

1) It pans out as planned.

2) They decide to make this a yearly event.

We’ll have to wait and see and live vicariously through folks who managed to secure a ticket. Maybe if this becomes a yearly event, they can book The Killers. After all, the festival is called When We Were Young. You can learn more about the event here


Coachella – Indio, CA

Source


Genre: Pop, Rap, Hip Hop, Indie, etc.

Coachella is one of the most well-known music festivals happening today. Taking place in California, it’s attended by fans, celebrities, influencers, and the like. It’s an “it” event, vastly popular. Still, I wanted to bring it up simply because it is a festival with a great reputation. Running since 1999, the festival first completely sold out in 2004. It seems that since then, it’s become so popular because aside from the festival always booking hugely popular musical acts, it’s also become a hotspot for celebrities. The festival is also known for its good food, often, and special surprises. It’s also become a place for fashion. Another reason I wanted to bring it up was that for the first year since 2019, Coachella is returning. The lineup includes Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, and 21 Savage. This year, it’s on the weekends, April 15-17 and April 22-24. Passes for Coachella 2022 sold out within mere hours of going on sale, but fear not! Thanks to social media and live streaming, you can still experience this year’s Coachella from the comfort of your own home.

Learn more info: https://coachella.com/youtube-premium

The Smoker’s Club - San Bernardino, CA

Source: The Smokers Club website


Genre: Rap, Hip Hop

For fans of rap and hip hop who love to have a good time, with or without the help of a little green, then The Smoker’s Club Festival might be the one to check out. Taking place on April 30, 2022, at the Glen Helen Amphitheater, the festival is described as a celebration of both cannabis culture and the stoner hip-hop scene, especially from the 2010s. The Smoker’s Club will have headlining sets from Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Playboy Carti, ScHoolboy Q, and Wiz Khalifa. The festival will also feature acts such as Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, Lupe Fiasco, and Rico Nasty. Put on a NYC-based lifestyle brand with the same name, the brand started out with Smoker’s Club tours in the 2010s until they eventually formed a full festival due to high demand. Past festival lineups have featured Mac Miller, Lil Pump, and 2 Chainz. This festival is coming up soon so if you’re in the area, and into this kind of music, it’s worth checking out.

Tickets:https://smokersclub.frontgatetickets.com/?_ga=2.203351572.426044249.1648736916-2005005655.1648736916

Lovers & Friends – Las Vegas, NV

Source: Loversandfriends.com


Genre: Rap, Hip Hop

This festival takes place May 14–15 and features a killer lineup including Lauryn Hill, Usher, Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Timbaland, Ciara, and Akon. It was meant to be just one day but due to high demand, they added a second date with the same lineup. This poster is one big word: nostalgia. And if you’re looking to hit that sweet spot of nostalgia for '90s-2000s hip hop/rap, then you may want to look further into this festival.

Tickets: https://www.loversandfriendsfest.com/


East

Boston Calling – Allston, MA

Source: Pitchfork


Genre: Rock, Pop, Indie, etc.

Taking place on Memorial Day weekend in 2022 (May 27-29), Boston Calling is a festival beloved within the city. Debuting in May 2013, the festival used to take place twice a year in May and September as two-day events, but it now takes place once a year as a three-day event. Boston's Calling's line-up is co-curated by Aaron Dessner of The National and is produced by Crash Line Productions, a Boston-based entertainment production company that also produces Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. This year’s lineup includes Metallica, Weezer, The Strokes, and Run the Jewels. The festival had secured The Foo Fighters but due to the devastating passing of their drummer Taylor Hawkins, the band had to pull out from the festival. The festival is currently working on finding a replacement to headline the festival on Friday.

Past lineups have featured Lorde, The Pixies, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Killers. According to their website, as I’m writing this, tickets are still available, and if the full weekend doesn’t entice you, single-day tickets are available too. The variety of acts on this year’s lineup is what made me want to call attention to it. It seems like it’s worth traveling for if you can swing it.

Tickets: https://bostoncalling.com/

Blue Ridge – Lynchburg, VA

Source: @BlueRidgeRock on Twitter.


Genre: Metal, Metalcore, Rock, Hardcore, etc.

Taking place this year at Virginia International Railway, Blue Ridge Rock Festival is run by a team that aims to replicate the killer lineups of Vans Warped Tour into an affordable weekend affair. If you thought over 60 artists for a festival was a lot, Blue Ridge boasts a staggering 171 artists for the full 4-day event. The festival proudly calls itself a "fan driven rock experience." According to the festival, they received over 285,000 votes from fans to help determine the 2022 lineup.

I have mixed feelings about this festival. The lineups are always enticing and compared to other music festivals, the ticket prices feel like a steal. The highest tier of pricing for general admission is less than $300 before fees. But I also heard firsthand from attendees that the festival organization was a mess, and that camping/parking was a nightmare. Some attendees allege that they oversold the festival, and this was only made worse by lax security. But it sounds like the organizers learned their lesson because, for this year, they announced that they’d be expanding camping check-in day hours to ease entry and traffic at the new location. The main stages will also sit side-by-side this year to reduce walking and overlapping sets, a problem last year.

Since the lineup is fan-driven, it’s full of artists within the metalcore/rock scene that will bring a huge crowd. There are a number of special sets scheduled to take place including a reunion show by A Skylit Drive, Saliva with the return of their original singer Josey Scott, and Saving Abel playing a special set with Jared Weeks returning as their frontman for the festival. They are still slowly releasing the rest of their lineup, but so far so some exciting ones they’ve announced include Lamb of God, Motionless in White, Bad Omens, and The Acacia Strain. Blue Ridge Rock Fest takes place in 2022 on September 8-11, and as long as they’ve learned from their mistakes last year, it seems like a great festival to check out. Tickets: https://blueridgerockfest.com/festival-passes/

Newport Jazz – Newport, RI

Source


Genre: Jazz

The Newport Jazz Festival has a history that dates all the way back to 1954. For decades, the festival has hosted artists like Herbie Hancock, Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, and Miles Davis. These days, the festival is three full days of jazz on four unique stages on the grounds at Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island. In 2022, the Newport Jazz Festival takes place July 29-31. Some of the artists on this year’s lineup include Norah Jones, Esperanza Spaulding, and the Ron Carter Quartet. This is a festival worth attending just once if you’re a big fan of jazz. They even have a student discount ticket rate for anyone in school-age 10-25. Check it out!

Tickets: https://www.newportjazz.org/tickets

Electric Zoo – New York, NY

Credit: Electric Zoo


Genre: Electronic

Electric Zoo at the very least looks cool. Taking place in New York City, this annual electronic music festival takes place every year on Labor Day weekend. The festival describes it as a festival “with stacked artists ranging from bass to techno and everything in between, Electric Zoo promises to not disappoint attendees.” Randall’s Island Park (where the festival takes place) is transformed into an “electronic playground” where for three days, fans of electronic music can have an out-of-this-world experience. In 2022, Electric Zoo will take place September 2-4. In the past, the festival has featured artists on its lineups like Steve Aoki, Alesso, and Adventure Club. The lineup for this year hasn’t been released as to when this is written, but it definitely seems like a cool festival worth checking out.

Tickets: https://wl.seetickets.us/event/Electric-Zoo-Festival-2022/454206?afflky=ElectricZoo2022

Maryland Deathfest- Baltimore, MD

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Genre: Metal (although the festival does not like to conform to genre restrictions).

As a fan of metal, this was a cool festival to come across. Festival organizers Ryan and Evan created Maryland Deathfest in 2003 and have brought together both legends and up-and-coming bands in the underground scene for one weekend of headbanging. Deathfest’s website says its main goal is to “bring to the world the best and most extreme bands the underground has to offer. Never conforming to trends, or being limited by genre restrictions, we want to showcase what extreme music, both new and old, is capable of. With an emphasis on diversity, our festivals bring together the very best death metal, grindcore, doom, thrash, hardcore, black metal, and experimental bands from all around the world.” Deathfast also takes place in the UK and Netherlands, but the Baltimore one I’m highlighting takes place May 26-29, 2022. Artists on this year’s lineup include Obituary, Hellhammer, Carcass, and Destruction. Tickets: