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The Best Northeastern Music Festivals

These events are at the top of our lists.

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From the iconic and historic Woodstock in 1969, to modern day incarnations, there thrives a spirit in the music festival culture that is truly one-of-a-kind. What follows are three of the best festivals found in the Northeast that every music lover should know and experience.

Lockn’ Festival

Featuring an outrageous lineup year after year, Lockn’ Music Festival burst onto the scene in 2013 with a presence that grabbed everyone’s attention. The festival is held in Virginia on Oak Ridge Farm – an impressive piece of property stretching 4800 acres of rolling fields and forest.

The stage area boasts two full size main stages, side by side. This ensures that the music doesn’t stop, as bands start one right after another (hence the festival’s name, a play on the word ‘interlocking’). In addition, Lockn’ has a smaller intimate stage for special performances. The first year, I stumbled upon Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band performing a surprise set.

Perhaps one of the most beloved aspects of Lockn’ however, is their reputation for musician cross overs and sit-ins. It’s guaranteed that attendees will get to see sit-ins featuring some of their favorite musicians.

The lineup this year features Bob Weir, Carlos Santana, Galactic, Gov’t Mule, Jimmy Cliff, Karl Denson, Keller Williams, Phil Lesh, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic and many, many more. The show took place on Sept 10-13th earlier this month.

Gathering of the Vibes

A twenty year veteran of the music festival scene, Gathering of the Vibes is a Connecticut based festival set in a unique location. Held at the beautiful Seaside Park, the festival grounds run adjacent to the sparkling harbor, which is accessible via a rock wall and sandy shore. The festival hosts two stages. The main stage is in a large grassy field. The smaller stage sits by the water; perfect for watching the sunrise during early morning sets.

The lineup has featured artists such as Primus, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ziggy Marley, Tedeschi Trucks, Grace Potter, John Medeski, Phil Lesh, Papadosio, Bob Weir, Jackie Green, String Cheese Incident and a vast many more.

Held July 30th-August 2nd this year, you’ll have to wait until 2016 to experience the vibes. But with a killer lineup every year, a gorgeous location and some of the best crowds around (known fondly as the VibeTribe), Gathering of the Vibes is definitely one for the bucket list.

The Peach Music Festival

Last on the list (but certainly not least) is the Peach Music Festival, located at the beautiful Montage Mountain in Pennsylvania. Peach is the only festival inspired and curated by the legendary Allman Brothers Band, and it continues to uphold and celebrate their spirit since they dismantled last year.

Montage Mountain is home to gorgeous sprawling mountains, an enormous permanent stage, and a fully functional water park. In addition to the main stage, Peach features two other smaller stages— one of which sits directly in the water park. So if you dream of watching incredible music while floating down the lazy river or taking a dip in the wave pool, then Peach is the festival for you.

Artists who have performed at the festival in the past include the Allman Brothers Band, Trey Anastasio, Parliament Funkadelic, Ratdog, Grace Potter, Gov’t Mule, Rusted Root, Big Gigantic and so many more. Peach fest has also already passed, having taken place on August 13-16th this year. However, there’s always next year, and with the incredible atmosphere Peach has to offer, it’s a festival that should be on everyone’s list at least twice.

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