South by Southwest »
March 8-17
Austin, TX - President Obama might call this the Vulcan Mind Meld of media: SXSW fetes original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. On the music side, more than 1,300 bands are scheduled for the 27th annual fest, from established headliners like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Vampire Weekend, and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, to emerging talents such as Lord Huron, Jake Bugg, Foxygen and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
 
Coachella »
April 12-14 and 19-21
Indio, CA - Coachella is a musical rite of passage for west coasters, the blazing desert practically daring fans to brave its unforgiving heat in the name of musical dedication. But bathroom lines, water tents and sunburns are no deterrent for die-hards -- the 2012 festival drew a record 80,000-85,000 people in its first weekend. Tickets have been known to sell out in as little as 15 minutes. One of the lucky holders? You'll see heavies like Phoenix, The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lou Reed, plus highly anticipated favorites like the elusive Postal Service, and Ben Gibbord of Death Cab for Cutie.
 
Stagecoach Festival »
April 26-28
Indio, CA - Coachella's country cousin is a rising star in its own rite. A record 55,000 fans attended the sold-out fest in 2012, outpacing Coachella's growth. It shouldn't have any trouble attracting crowds this year with Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, the Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, Darius Rucker and a boatload more.
 
JazzFest »
April 26-May 5
New Orleans, LA - This year JazzFest looks more like a Top 40 Billboard chart. Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, just to name a few of the list-toppers. But it's as much about the mystical Louisiana atmosphere -- and the food, from crawfish po-boys to shrimp bread and alligator sauce.
 
Sasquatch! »
May 24-27
The Gorge - Quincy, WA - Camping along the Columbia River, RVs and strollers welcome, fun, singing and smiles encouraged. For a decade, Sasquatch! has been one of the more family-friendly music fests of the season. And the setting is epic, the stage carved into the basalt cliffs above the gorge. Awesome, mellow-dominant lineup: Mumford & Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Andrew Bird, Elvis Costello, The XX, Cake, the list goes on...
Orion »
June 8-9
Detroit, MI - You better bring the energy for this one. Metallica, Rise Against, Silversun Pickups, Deftones, Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, and... the seemingly ubiquitous Red Hot Chili Peppers.
 
Bonnaroo »
June 13-16
Manchester, TN - If you're a music festival groupie, by June the roadie life may be feeling a little... ripe. And it's not even officially summer yet. Bonnaroo feels you. They're offering an "On-Site RV Oasis." Pay the rental, and a newish RV will be waiting for you when you arrive. No need to drive it there, and you only have to park it once! Clean bathroom and shower, people. Oh, right, the music: Bjork. Paul McCartney. Tom Petty. Wilco. Mumford. It's a serious list, and it's big.
 
Firefly Festival »
June 21-23
Dover, DE - This is a cool gig: Alabama Shakes alone makes it. Plus, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, MGMT, Passion Pit, The Avett Brothers and dozens more.
 
Summerfest »
June 26-30, July 2-7
Milwaukee, WI - They say it's the world's largest music festival. 11 Days. 11 Stages. 800+ acts. 900,000 revelers. The Grammy-winning band, FUN. (Best New Artist, Best Song), headlines along with Tom Petty, New Kids on the Block, Jason Aldean, and Tim McGraw.
 
Bunbury »
July 12-14
Cincinnati, OH - FUN., MGMT and The National highlight the "bee free" fest, backed by more than 20 opening bands each day.
 
Pitchfork Music Festival »
July 19-21
Chicago, IL - Bjork, Belle & Sebastian, and R. Kelly lead the list. Plus, The Breeders are back, Joanna Newsom and more.
 
Lollapalooza »
Aug. 2-4
Grant Park - Chicago, IL - The granddaddy of annual music fests, Lollapalooza still sells out. But organizers are still mum at press time about who's playing for 2013. Expect details in April.
 
Hard Summer »
Aug. 3-4
Los Angeles, CA - Essentially a mass-scale rave in downtown L.A., Hard Summer is a pulsating 48 hours of alternative and electro-pop-rock. Details are still TBA, but expect a huge set list. Last year's epic ticket brought Skrillex, Bloc Party, Little Dragon and Miike Snow. Bring your comfy dancing shoes. Or your 24-inch platforms. Whatever floats it.
 
Outside Lands »
Aug. 9-11
Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, CA - Shoot, we're still getting the old "Save the Date" treatment. No lineup yet. But we do hear organizers are planning to release 10,000 more tickets than last year. That bodes well.
 
Burning Man »
Aug. 26-Sept. 2
Black Rock City, NV - First rule of Burning Man: Do not talk about Burning Man. Part music, part performance art, part impromptu village party in the desert, Burning Man defies categorization, and its organizers like it that way. Ultimately, it's all about community and participation. The website's "First-Timer's Guide" includes survival tips, a Recommended Reading List, and Ten Core Principles. According to the website, "The heat is oppressive, electrical storms are common, and dust storms can affect sensitive equipment. Rain can turn a fun(ky) miniature golf course into a mud wallow."
 
Bumbershoot »
Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Seattle, WA - Nobody's talking lineup yet. But at just $100 for three days of music, comedy, dance and visual arts, it's a pretty safe bet no matter what. Check back for updates.
 


Check back for updates on these and future fall concerts, including Austin City Limits and CMJ Music Marathon.