• Culture

Top Six NYC Festivals
You Must Attend This Summer

Summer kicks off in June and along with it comes a series of music, art and culture immersive festivals around NYC. Here, Slate Journal compiles a list of the top five NYC-area music and art festivals taking place this summer.Whether you’re into bass-driven hip hop, underground indie rock, soul-stirring electronic dance music or all the in-betweens, there’s a festival tailored for your interests.

Photography via Governer's Ball
Photography via Governer’s Ball

Governors Ball


Where: Randall’s Island Park, NYC
When: June 3rd-5th
Key headliners: Kanye West, The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, Robyn, Death Cab For Cutie

Wedged in between Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens lies Randall’s Island, home to Governors Ball. Outside of viewing NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge or Empire State Building, the location of the Governors Ball awards you with an awesome panorama of the city. Since its inception in 2011, the festival has offered cutting-edge art installations in addition to the musical component. This year is no exception. We’re also a fan of the laidback atmosphere of which classic lawn games are included such as Bocce Ball, Corn Hole, life-sized Connect Four and other bragging-rights-inducing activities.

northside festival, slate journal
Photography via Northside Festival

Northside Festival


Where: Brooklyn, N
When: June 6th-12th
Key headliners: Brian Wilson, Conor Oberst, Wolf Parade, Kacey Musgraves

Northside Festival serves as an inimitable platform for rising artists and a showcase for big names hosting shows at several venues around the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods in Brooklyn. While music is the heart of the festival, Northside Innovation also plays a vital role in the festival’s inner workings. The conference and expo – think mini SXSW – highlights what’s next in technology, entrepreneurship, content and design. The fest will feature the best names in the global innovation community by way of panels, keynotes (Rebecca Minkoff is one of the speakers), networking events, pitch competitions and a trade show. Additionally, on June 11th and 12th, Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue will be morphed into a public park featuring interactive art pieces, sculptures, live painting and performance art.


slate journal, firefly music festival
Photography via Firefly Festival

Firefly Music Festival


Where: Dover, DE
When: June 16th-19th
Key headliners: Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon, Deadmau5, Florence & The Machine

For those of you that want to take a mini vacay out of the city, there’s Firefly Music Festival – merely a train ride away. Firefly is broken out into eight installations outside of the main staging areas – The Market, The Thicket, The Brewery, The Coffeehouse, The Pathway, Hammock Hangout, The Beercade, and a central dining vicinity. From these eight areas, we’re particularly enchanted by The Thicket. Residing in the forest, The Thicket hosts an exclusive party that takes the silent disco (concertgoers dance in silence while wearing headphones) concept to the next level. The best way to experience Firefly is to camp onsite because you’ll be able to wake up to morning yoga sessions and keep the party going post festival with The Hub’s live DJ sets.

slate journal, panorama music festival, coachella
Photography via Panorama Festival

Panorama Music + Art + Technology Festival


Where: Randall’s Island Park, NYC
When: July 22nd-24th
Key headliners: Arcade Fire, Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem

This is your opportunity to be part of something new to NYC! Panorama debuts its’ festival in NYC this summer with a strong line-up and technology-inspired installations. Info on activities are hush-hush, so we’re banking on the beautiful Randall’s Island landscape, powerful artist roster and artistic wonders.

Photography via Full Moon Festival

Full Moon Festival


Where: Governors Island When: August 20th-21st

If indie rock and EDM are your thing, then this is the festival for you – especially if you fancy discovering new acts. Past performers include Claptone, Delorean, JDH & Dave P, The Knocks along with many other swoonworthy artists. Between the gourmet cuisine and the intimate, moonlit atmosphere (the festival caps off at 5,000-persons max), you’re in for a much welcomed sensory overload. Bonus perk: The festival is held on the Governors Island beach. How’s that for a break from the city’s concrete jungle?


slate journal, electric zoo festival

Electric Zoo


Where: Randall’s Island Park, NYC
When: September 2nd-4th
Key headliners: Tiësto, Bassnectar, Hardwell, Steve Aoki

Labor Day weekend is summer’s kiss goodbye. Why not spend that weekend with some of electronic dance music’s biggest names? The festival celebrates its eighth anniversary this year, so it’s obvious EZoo knows how to throw a proper party. Art comes to life with its ‘wild island’ theme in the form of LED-infused “plant life” and glow-in-the-dark safari motif.