America’s Best Summer Music Festivals 2022

Have you had a hard time getting tickets for a previous summer music festival? If so, then you might want to get started sooner than later. After all, tickets are already on sale and the longer you wait, the higher the price will be. Besides, don’t you have some pent up energy to unleash after …

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Outside Lands summer music festival

Have you had a hard time getting tickets for a previous summer music festival? If so, then you might want to get started sooner than later. After all, tickets are already on sale and the longer you wait, the higher the price will be. Besides, don’t you have some pent up energy to unleash after being masked up and socially distanced? To get you primed and ready, take a look at 10 of the best music festivals happening this summer and who will be on stage.

Note: Please check with your summer musical festival of choice(s) regarding health and safety requirements and additional information. Additionally, age requirements will vary with each event.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Farm
1560 New Bushy Branch Road
Manchester, TN  37355

Dates: June 16-19, 2022
Tickets: 4-Day General Admission Starting at $350

Last year, Bonnaroo had a bit of bad luck, having to cancel their entire summer music festival due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Ida. But this year, the event is being moved to mid-June so that there is a lesser chance of bad weather. That’s good news for thousands of music fans as they descend upon this farm 65 miles southeast of Nashville. What’s more, there is going to be a great lineup mixed with world class talent and up and comers. Headlining Bonnaroo this year are J Cole, Tool, Stevie Nicks and Machine Gun Kelly. If that’s not enough, you’ll also get to see Gryffin and Robert Plant & Allison Krauss. Even some familiar names like Ludacris and Herbie Hancock are going to appear. Don’t overlook the After Hours lineup either.  Instead of going back and forth via shuttle, considering camping right on the farm.

Related: Best Summer Music Festivals In Europe

CMA Fest

Nissan Stadium
1 Titans Way
Nashville, TN  37213

Dates: June 9-12, 2022
Tickets: Single Night Tickets Start at $82

Nashville is going to be one of the hottest American cities to visit this summer. For one, you have the Grand Ole Opry and Honky Tonk Row. For another, you have the Country Music Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame. On the other hand, Music City’s largest summer music festival is the annual CMA Fest. In fact, after being canceled the past two years, this year’s lineup might be the best ever. Take for instance, headliners like Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band all on the first night! The following evenings, you’ll get to see more superstars, like Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Lady A. Together with more big names like Alan Jackson, Luke Combs, Carly Pearce and Kelsea Ballerini, CMA Fest can’t be missed. That’s not to mention Experience Fest and additional music venues like Chevy Riverfront Stage.

ESSENCE Festival of Culture

Caesars Superdome
1500 Sugar Bowl Drive
New Orleans, LA  70112

Dates: June 30-July 3, 2022
Tickets: General Admission is FREE with registration, Essence Fest concert tickets start at $60

There won’t be virtual performances this year at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans. To put it another way, this festival celebrating African American music and culture is expected to draw sell out crowds. Not only will big name acts be on hand, but there will be arts, crafts and plenty of great food. Headlining the event are Kevin Hart, Janet Jackson, Minaj and a rare appearance by the legendary R&B group New Edition. In addition are more big names, like The Isley Brothers and The Roots & Friends. If you need more, there also will be virtual vendors to check out. More concert ticket information to appear online through the ESSENCE website in the following weeks.

Related: America’s Best Summer Solstice Celebrations

Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren at a live electronic music concert
Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren (credit: Wikimedia)

Electric Zoo

Randall’s Island Park
20 Randall’s Island Park
New York, NY  10035

Dates: September 2-4, 2022
Tickets: 3-Day Presale General Admission $259.99+$63.06 service fee

You’ll have to wait until Labor Day weekend for New York’s top electronic music festival. On the other hand, if you want to go, get you tickets soon. Indeed, presale tickets are already sold out and remaining tickets are on sale now. That’s to say nothing of who will appear this year on Randall’s Island. Take for instance, Armin van Buuren, Diplo and Martin Garrix are among the top artists on billing. That’s to say nothing of additional big names like AC Slater, Afrojack, DJ Snake, Tchami and VNSSA. Of course, you’ll also have plenty of choices for great food and drink while at the fest. Please note that this event is for attendees 18 years and older. Also make sure to know how to get there in advance of the show. In spite of this, you have options like the ferry, subway and a shuttle from Brooklyn.


The Woodlands
Dover International Speedway
1131 N. Dupont Highway
Dover, DE  19901

Dates: September 22-25, 2022
Tickets: Weekend General Admission Tier 2 $329

You’ll have to wait until it’s technically past summer for this year’s Firefly Music Festival. However, you might not want to miss this one huge event. Last year’s rain-soaked event featured Billie Eilish, Wiz Khalifa and Megan Thee Stallion, in addition to The Killers and more. However, due to the ongoing Covid situation, they performed in front of a limited capacity audience. This time around, concert organizers are expecting double the number of visitors who will see several top acts. For instance, Halsey and My Chemical Romance will lead the bill on the first two nights. Equally important are the next two nights, with Green Day and Dua Lipa closing out the final evening. Lastly are additional big acts like Weezer, Big Sean, Aviril Lavigne, Charli XCX and Zedd. Stay the entire weekend and camp out at the Speedway.

Related: Suggested Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Governor’s Ball

Citi Field
41 Seaver Way
Queens, NY  11368

Dates: June 10-12, 2022
Tickets: Weekend Single Day General Admission, $129+fees, 3-Day General Admission $319+fees

The Governor’s Ball is returning to the Citi Field complex and for good reason. Although before Covid, the enormous event was always held at Randall’s Island. Yet obviously, with easy access to the train and subway, Citi Field is far more fan-friendly. Only this time around, the event will be held much earlier in June. Nevertheless, you can see high profile acts like Kid Cudi, Halsey and J. Cole. Furthermore, several more top performers are on the bill, like Migos, Black Pumas, Flume and Jack Harlow. In all, 70 acts are on the concert lineup and food and drinks will be available too. Single day and 3-day general admission tickets remain available. On the other hand, organizers say remaining tickets are limited. As far as parking, don’t bother and instead take public transportation.

Music fans in front of an inflatable Lollapalooza sign in Chicago's Grant Park
Lollapalooza Chicago Sign (credit: Wikipedia)

Lollapalooza Chicago

Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL  60601

Dates: July 28-31-2022
Tickets: 4-Day General Admission starting at $350, Single Day Tickets Coming Soon

Despite Covid still lurking about last year, Lollapalooza drew 100,000 music fans each day. This time around, you can expect similar crowds albeit in a hopefully safer atmosphere. Whatever the case, this is another summer music festival you should not miss. That’s because of who is slated to appear in Chicago’s Grant Park. In case you haven’t already heard, Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole and Green Day are the headliners. Equally impressive are additional top acts, like Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Kygo and Doja Cat. Oh and there is one big surprise for older rockers with a special guest appearance from Jane’s Addiction. In all, Lollapalooza Chicago will feature over 170 performances across eight different stages. Don’t forget to try out the food from great Chicago chefs and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.


Union Park
1501 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL  60606
Dates: July 15-17

Dates: July 15-17, 2022
Tickets: 3-Day General Admission $200+$33.83 service fee

Not nearly as large or as popular as Lollapalooza, Pitchfork still manages to draw enthusiastic crowds. After all, it’s in the height of summer and it’s also among the country’s most affordable summer music festivals. Although this may be true, Pitchfork kicks off less than two weeks before the larger-scale Lollapalooza. Either way, Pitchfork will host great musical acts, like The National, Mitski and The Roots. Additional artists to look for are Spiritualized, Toro y Moi and Japanese Breakfast, who has a very busy summer schedule. If you go, take in the beauty of Union Park while also enjoying the gourmet food, arts and crafts. The park is easily accessible via the Chicago L at the Ashland station.

Rolling Loud

Hard Rock Stadium
347 Don Shula Drive
Miami Gardens, FL  33056

Dates: July 22-24, 2022
Tickets: 3-Day General Admission from $349

If you want tickets for Rolling Loud 2022, you need to act fast. On the other hand, you can place a deposit on tickets that you can pay for later on. Besides, a general admission deposit is just $9.99 while VIP deposits are $19.95. Furthermore, if you like rap and hip hop, this will be the year’s top summer event for those musical genres. Leading the list of musical artists are mega-stars Kanye West (Ye), Future and Kendrick Lamar. That’s to say nothing of accompanying stars like Playboi Carti, Lil Durk, Da Baby, Gucci Mane, Kodak Black and Lil Baby. If you need transportation over to the Hard Rock Stadium, Rolling Loud is offering shuttles for an additional fee.


American Family Insurance Amphitheater
100 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI  53202

Dates: June 23-25, June 30-July 2, July 7-8, 2022
Tickets: Single Day Festival Passes (no admission to featured concerts) $25, 3-day $60,  Amphitheater concerts start at approximately $66 for lawn seats.

It’s no longer the world’s largest music festival but Summerfest is a massive event. In fact, by drawing an estimated 900,000 fans, it’s still the largest music fest in the U.S. Moreover, it’s held over not one, not two but three weekends. To that end, Summerfest is bringing some huge names in the music business. For starters on the opening weekend, you’ll have Jason Aldean, Justin Beiber, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Wu-Tang Clan. Next up are Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey and an act to be named later. Not to be outdone, the final weekend will have Thomas Rhett, Backstreet Boys and British rocker Rod Stewart. If that’s not enough, also appearing are Avril Lavigne, John Fogerty, The Black Crowes and Steve Aoki. Throw in Ann Wilson of Heart, Steve Miller Band, the Commodores and Boyz II Men and you get the idea. Paid parking is available although the best way to Summerfest may be with the Hop Streetcar.

Bonus Choice

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

Golden Gate Park
1232 John F. Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA  94121

Dates: August 5-7, 2022
Tickets: More Information To Follow

The lineup for this year’s Outside Lands summer music festival has yet to be announced. In spite of all this, the Eager Beaver 3-Day Tickets are already sold out. As a matter of fact, fans will scoop up the remaining tickets equally as fast upon release. In contrast are high-end tickets that may also sell out, like Ken Fulk’s Golden Gate Club at $4,495. Whatever the case may be, Outside Lands is the Bay Area’s top summer music festival and is the place to be. Last year’s event featured acts like Nelly, Tyler the Creator, Tame Impala and Lizzo. Of course, there will be gourmet food, plenty of drink, creative art and a few other surprises. If this will be your first time to the festival, don’t bother finding a place to park. Ride sharing can also be problematic so consider taking the San Francisco Muni bus 5 Fulton, if you can.

Related: America’s Best Spring Music Festivals 2022

About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal,, CBS Radio, Engadget,, and He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.