June Festival Guide
by Stephen Slaybaugh

If your week has been anything like mine, it’s been marked by a heatwave that has made it perfectly clear that summer has arrived. As such, the idea of getting away for a weekend of music sounds particularly appealing, especially if it means heading to the beach or to more temperate climes in Canada. Nonetheless, there is a wide array of events of various types and sizes happening across this great land this month.

Roots Picnic, Philadelphia, June 2–3
For the fifth year in a row, Philly native sons The Roots will be throwing a two-day party at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. The band will play its own set, as well as back De La Soul and Rakim, who will be doing Paid in Full in its entirety. Diplo will be doing a solo set and perform as Major Lazer, while other artists include Kid Cudi, Shabazz Palaces, tUnE-yArDs, and St. Vincent. Two-day and single day passes are still available; for more info, head to the event’s website.

Bonnaroo, Manchester, June 7–10
This festival in Tennessee has ballooned into what is probably the largest event in the country, attracting approximately 80,000 people each year for four days of music and activities around the clock. Fortunately, Bonnaroo’s recycling and composting program has diverted more three million pounds of waste from landfills since 2002. This year’s line-up is as diverse as ever, with headliners like Radiohead, Phish, and The Beach Boys, and other acts including Danzig doing his Legacy set (where he performs Danzig, Samhain, and Misfits songs), Kenny Rogers, Ludarcris, and The Black Lips. For the full line-up and to purchase passes, head to the Bonnaroo website.

North By Northeast Music Festival, Toronto, June 13–17
As its name denotes, North By Northeast is the Canadian equivalent of South By Southwest, albeit smaller and shorter (it runs for just one week). Like SXSW, it has a film and interactive component, but what we’re concerned with—the music portion—runs for five days, and also like the Austin event, takes place at a multitude of venues throughout the city. With more than 600 artists performing, this year’s fest is highlighted by Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, Archers of Loaf, Bleached, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. For the complete schedule and other details, check out the NXNE website.

Northside Music Festival, Brooklyn, June 14–17
What began as an above-average weekend in New York has blossomed into a week-long event that not only spotlights the inherent talent in Brooklyn, but showcases artists of every discipline and locale. Music remains at the heart of Northside, however, and this year’s eclectic line-up includes The Olivia Tremor Control, Ultramagnetic MCs, Of Montreal, and Dam Funk. Check out the Northside website to purchase passes and get the complete schedule.

Sled Island, Calgary, June 20–23
As I type this, it’s 20 degrees cooler in Calgary, Alberta than it is in Brooklyn, which seems particularly attractive as sweat drips on my keyboard. This four-day festival spread out over the city’s clubs features more than 200 acts. This year those acts include Hot Snakes, Feist, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Antlers, and The Spits. There is also an impressive line-up of comedians that includes Toddy Barry and Neil Hamburger. For the full lowdown, check out the Sled Island site.

Analog-A-Go-Go, Rehoboth Beach, June 22–23
As I’m a big fan of both Dogfish Head beer and Reboboth Beach, this small event sounds particularly fun. The shindig begins Friday night with The Fleshtones and Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 playing at the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats brewpub in downtown Rehoboth. The next day, at the brewery in Milton, vinyl collectors and retailers like Other Music and Rainbow Records will be selling records alongside artisans selling their wares. Bethany Blues will be on hand serving BBQ, while Dogfish will be tapping kegs of their music-related brews. Saturday night, Bonnie “Prince” Billy will be performing at the brewpub, but the separately ticketed event is already soldout. For more information, go to the Dogfish website.

The Governors Ball Music Festival, New York, June 23–24
Originally staged on Governors Island (hence the name), this year The Governors Ball has been moved to Randall’s Island—no doubt to accommodate this year’s bigger acts and the bigger crowd they will attract. Those acts include Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, and Fiona Apple. The Ball will also feature a Silent Disco, and plenty of other activities like table tennis and lawn games. For all the details, go to the festival’s website.