Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs at Eaux Claires Music Festival on Aug. 12, 2016.
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs at Eaux Claires Music Festival on Aug. 12, 2016.
RMV/REX/Shutterstock 

Off the Beaten Path: Ten (Low-Key) Must-See Music Events This Summer

by Ilana Kaplan
June 13, 2017, 11:37am EDT

Presented by: Miller Lite

While festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and SXSW often get the most attention, there are countless live music experiences happening outside of the mainstream. Without realizing, you could potentially be missing some of the biggest acts headline some of their most intimate performances (not to mention some of the coolest integrated arts and media installations). To help you avoid that conundrum, we've highlighted 10 live music destinations in the U.S. and Canada that passionate music fans shouldn't miss out on.

 

Hopscotch Festival
Date: September 7-10

With small showcases spread across the city, Hopscotch Festival is comparable to SXSW, but it's in on the East coast in Raleigh, N.C. The four-day event features over 120 bands that play in the great outdoors and also in smaller club settings. This year's lineup features headliners Solange, Run The Jewels, and Future Islands.

Trans-Pecos Festival
Date: September 28-October 1

Self-proclaimed as the "festival of music and love," Trans-Pecos Festival is a weekend of live music, art installations and even sandlot baseball at new age campground El Cosmico. With past performers like Kacey Musgraves, Jenny Lewis, and Meshell Ndegeocello, the fall event is the perfect reason to take a trip to Marfa, TX.

 

Bumbershoot
Date: September 1-3

While Sasquatch seems to get most of the Washington state street cred, Bumbershoot is an alternative to the festival that takes place at the Seattle Center. With a three-day lineup on-par with Lollapalooza and Governors Ball, Bumbershoot is not to be ignored. This year, Lorde, HAIM, Flume, and Gucci Mane will all be playing.

 

Shadow of the City
Date: TBD

Much like Bruce Springsteen, Bleachers' Jack Antonoff loves to pay tribute to his home state. Since 2015, Antonoff has thrown an annual pop-filled fest at the Jersey Shore. The lineup usually includes Antonoff's friends and collaborators -- Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, and The 1975 have played in the past. Since the festival is near the Asbury Park boardwalk you can experience a nice getaway from New York City. And while the lineup is TBD, the odds are pretty good that some of your favorite pop performers will make an appearance.

 

Camp Flog Gnaw
Date: October 28-29

Six years in, Tyler, The Creator, and Odd Future's California brainchild is back. With 70,000 attendees, Camp Flog Gnaw is one, wild ride, featuring carnival rides, games and of course, live music. While the lineup isn't announced, last year's two-day festival featured sets by Erykah Badu, Death Grips, and Chance The Rapper.

Eaux Claires
Date: June 16-17

Each year, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner curate a two-day festival full of indie-rock, hip-hop and folk artists in Eaux Claires, WI. Festivalgoers can look forward to interactive artwork and hidden venues, along with performances by Feist, Danny Brown, Perfume Genius, and Mountain Man.

 

Osheaga
Date: August 4-6

Hosted in gorgeous, downtown Montreal, Osheaga is essentially the Coachella of Canada. The three-day event in Parc Jean-Drapeau is the premier destination for indierock and pop acts right outside of the U.S. This year, you can catch Lorde slaying the stage alongside Sampha, Father John Misty, and Broken Social Scene.

 

Rockin' on the River
Date: May 26-September 2

While you might not know it Rockin' On The River is the longest-running outdoor concert series in Ohio. Fusing hair-metal cover bands with the occasional world-famous rock group, fans can enjoy national, regional and local artists near the river in Lorain. This summer you can catch Queen, Bruce Springsteen, and The Eagles all getting the tribute treatments.

 

Northside Festival
Date: June 8-11

Throughout outdoor venues, intimate clubs and hotels, Northside Festival fuses music and innovation together to essentially create the Brooklyn version of CMJ. With a flurry of free and ticketed events, it's the perfect mix of DIY meets mainstream culture for four days. This year you can catch Thursday, Dirty Projectors, and Miguel all playing throughout North Brooklyn.

 

WayHome
Date: July 28-30

For music lovers wanting to go to Canada, WayHome is another great alternative to Osheaga. The three-day music and arts extravaganza is perfect for Bonnaroo fans who are looking for a more intimate experience. Set on Burl's Creek in Ontario, this year's lineup includes Flume, Dashboard Confessional, and BANKS.