10 East Coast Music Festivals

In Concert

The music festival scene has exploded in the United States during recent years, leading to a symphony of options accessible from New York without a car. There are still plenty of long summer days to catch East Coast music festival lineups that range from alternative to hip hop to jazz, and everything in between.

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival | July 11-16

Where: New York, New York

Why: Festival producers Brooklyn Bodega want a true celebration of hip-hop culture, and they are especially excited about Q-Tip’s headlining performance.

Cost: Varies

Vans Warped Tour | July 23

Where: Uniondale, New York

Why: Top 40 names like 3OH!3 and lesser known acts such as Yelawolf make one of several stops in New York on the annual cross-country Warped Tour.

Cost: $48.05

How to get there: Take the Long Island Rail Road to Lineola. Walk to the transit center and take the N40/41 bus to Hempstead before transferring to the N70/1/2. Arrive at Hempstead Turnpike and Glenn Curtiss Boulevard and walk to the Nassau Coliseum.

Gathering of the Vibes | July 21-24

Where: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Why: Jane’s Addiction leads the lineup at this family-friendly festival that also promises plenty of quality time on the beach. Gathering of the Vibes is an annual celebration of the Grateful Dead and offers a mix of genres such as folk, funk rock and jazz.

Cost: $75/day

How to get there: Take an Amtrak train to Bridgeport. Festival shuttles will run regularly to the festival. As music ends after the last train, there is a bus running late each night to Penn Station.

Osheaga | July 29-31

Where: Montreal

Why: Eminem, Death Cab for Cutie and Broken Social Scene are only a few of the big names making the trek to Montreal for this eclectic music extravaganza.

Cost: $217.50 CAD

How to get there: Take a train from Penn Station to Montreal. Take the 2 subway to Berri-UQAM and then take the 4 to Jean-Drapeau.

Newport Folk Festival | July 30-31

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

Why: Folk favorites Amos Lee, Elvis Costello and the Decemberists are joined by rising acts like Trampled by Turtles and the Cave Signers.

Cost: $125

How to get there: Take a Greyhound bus to Newport. Transfer to the Jamestown-Newport Ferry to Fort Adams.

Escape to New York | August 5-7

Where: Southampton, New York

Why: Best Coast, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Of Montreal headline the first United States iteration of the UK’s alt-rock Secret Garden Party. Food is also an integral part of the festival, from cart dining to “the world’s largest brunch.”

Cost: $275

How to get there: Take the Long Island Rail Road to Southamptom.

Newport Jazz Festival | August 5-7

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

Why: Wynton Marsalis, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Michael Feinstein and others perform in scenic Newport as a part of a jazz festival that once hosted Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles David.

Cost: $40-100 Friday; $69 Saturday and Sunday

How to get there: Take a Greyhound bus to Newport. Transfer to the Jamestown-Newport Ferry to Fort Adams.

 

Dave Matthews Band Caravan | August 26-28

Where: New York, New York

Why: Dave Matthews headlines each night of this Governors Island festival, bringing along friends like O.A.R., Dispatch and Gogol Bordello.

Cost: $195

How to get there: Take the R to Whitehall Street or the 1 to South Ferry. Ferries will run from the pier.

Electric Zoo | Sept 2-4

Where: New York, New York

Why: Nestled between Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, Randall’s Island will host internationally renowned electronic performers like Tuesto, David Guetta, Moby and Rusko.

Cost: $249

How to get there: Take the footbridge from E. 103rd Street in Manhattan or the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge from Manhattan, Queens or the Bronx. You may also purchase festival passes packaged with ferry or shuttle transport.

Popped! Music Festival | Sept. 23-24

Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Why: Pretty Lights, Girl Talk and the Shins are sure to delight electronic and alternative music fans alike. Festival goers’ tickets also provide access to comedy acts throughout the weekend.

Cost: $110

How to get there: Take an Amtrak train to Philadelphia. Transfer to the SEPTA Broad Street subway and ride to Pattison Avenue.

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  • Jim M.

    Fabulous choices