As the days get warmer, and the airport gets busier, I can’t help but think about all of the Sub Pop bands tearing it up on tour and crushing the summer music festival circuit. While many great festivals have already occurred this year, such as Coachella, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo, there are still plenty more to discover, some in your own backyard, others in far-off locales. You might be saying to yourself, “Sure, I want to get my fest-vibes on this summer, but how do I distinguish between all of these authentically-curated music festivals?” Well, I have taken it upon myself to synthesize some of the information located at https://www.subpop.com/tours and compile a list of 10 music festivals worth attending this summer. For each festival, I’ve included information on current and former Sub Pop recording artists on the bill, other notable musicians to see, and a unique Festi Fun Fact™. Starting with two festivals right here in Seattle, followed by eight others around the world, let’s dig in!
July 22 - 24
Sub Pop Bands to See: Washed Out, Porter Ray
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Clams Casino, DoNormaal, Dude York, Nail Polish, Mommy Long Legs
Festi Fun Fact™: This three day music festival takes place in Seattle’s funky and hip Capitol Hill neighborhood. (If you want to talk like a local when you visit, be sure to call it ‘Cap Hill.’) MTV’s The Real World is currently filming its newest season in Cap Hill, and locals are excited at the prospect of even more people filling up their bars and restaurants every weekend, hoping to see the cast members in-action.
September 2 - 4
Sub Pop Bands to See: So Pitted, Father John Misty
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Tame Impala, Run the Jewels, Kamasi Washington, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Chastity Belt
Festi Fun Fact™: This annual Labor Day weekend festival has been running in Seattle Center every year since 1971. The word ‘Bumbershoot’ is a dated and humorous term for an umbrella, and the festival gets its name from the large wooden effigy of a bumbershoot that is constructed every year, and then burned to the ground, in a ritualistic sacrifice to the rain gods.
July 23 and 24
Sub Pop Bands to See: Father John Misty (solo set), the Head and the Heart
Other Artists I’d Check Out: M83, Twin Peaks, Mac DeMarco
Festi Fun Fact™: With this year’s special solo performance by Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman), Mo Pop continues its legacy of hosting talented male performers, as previous festivals have seen the likes of Brandon Flowers, Andrew Bird, and J Roddy Walston grace the West Riverfront Park stage.
July 29 - 31
Sub Pop Bands to See: Wolf Parade, Foals
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Grimes, Kurt Vile, Vince Staples, Radiohead
Festi Fun Fact™: While many famous musicians have called Montreal, Canada, home, members of the indie-rock band Of Montreal are not, in fact, from there. They are proud Americans from the city of Montreal, Wisconsin.
August 5 - 7
San Francisco, CA
Sub Pop Bands to See: Heron Oblivion, Beach House, Rogue Wave, Foals
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Chance the Rapper, Lana Del Rey, Third Eye Blind, Radiohead again.
Festi Fun Fact™: With their top-billing at this year’s Outside Lands festival, local San Fran band Third Eye Blind will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of opening for Oasis at the Frisco Civic Auditorium, by playing an identical song-for-song setlist.
August 5 - 7
Happy Valley, OR
Sub Pop Bands to See: Beach House, Wolf Parade, Fruit Bats
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Julia Holter, Thee Oh Sees, BADBADNOTGOOD, La Luz, Protomartyr
Festi Fun Fact™: La Luz and Protomartyr have both released albums on Hardly Art, everyone’s favorite scrappy upstart record label in Seattle, who will soon celebrate 10 years of being a scrappy upstart record label in Seattle.
August 12 and 13
Eau Claire, WI
Sub Pop Bands to See: Shabazz Palaces, Beach House, Melvins
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Bon Iver, Erykah Badu, James Blake, Jenny Lewis, William Tyler
Festi Fun Fact™: If you go to the Eaux Claires festival by yourself, one way to make a lot of friends would be to walk around the grounds saying, to no one and everyone in particular, “For an éclairs festival, I thought there’d be more pastries haha.” Repeat as necessary until people start recognizing you as the really funny éclair guy.
August 27 and 28
Los Angeles, CA
Sub Pop Bands to See: Beach House, Father John Misty, Wolf Parade
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Kendrick Lamar, Sheer Mag, AIR, Anohni, Charles Bradley
Festi Fun Fact™: Despite repeated excavations at the historic Los Angeles Sports Arena and Exposition Park, in Los Angeles, California, F.Y.F Fest organizers have failed to recover the original tableaus that contain the translation, and meaning, of the initials “F.Y.F.” This year, it was decided that festival goers would vote for a new original backronym, and “Family friendlY Fun” was recently declared the top vote getter.
September 1 - 4
Sub Pop Bands to See: Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop, GOAT, the Shins, Kelley Stoltz
Other Artists I’d Check Out: Animal Collective, Cat Power, Broken Social Scene, Savages
Festi Fun Fact™: If you are from the U.S. and plan on going to the festival, be mindful that many attendees from the surrounding area might be sensitive about the recent ‘Brexit.’ It would be unwise to ask the nearest person with an unfamiliar accent about their thoughts on the U.K. leaving the European Union, but if you still want to be informed, be sure to stop by the End of the Road official ‘Brexit Information Tent presented by Tesco’ where volunteers are eager to fill you in on this unprecedented development in global politics.
Sept 23 - 25
Long Beach, CA
Sub Pop Bands to See: METZ, Iron and Wine, Melvins
Other Artists I’d Check Out: The Specials, Sylvan Esso, Living Colour, De La Soul, Warpaint
Festi Fun Fact™: Synesthesia is defined as “a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain color.” Studies have shown that 86% of people who claim to regularly experience synesthesia are liars.