Telluride Blues & Brews
Sept 17-19, www.tellurideblues.com
All Friday and Sunday, fest-goers get down to top-notch blues artists such as last year’s headliners Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal. (2010 line-up announced May 15.) The same goes for Saturday, but with an added bonus—unlimited samples from over 50 breweries, mostly smaller ones that Colorado is famous for even if the breweries themselves aren’t famous yet. Alas, it overlaps this year with Colorado’s other beer fest, GABF, but the scenery inside a convention center can’t compete with mountains and a view of Bridal Veil Falls.
Of course, beer is available for sale all fest long from the official brewery sponsor, Sierra Nevada. This year, event marketing and operations director Courtney McClary says, “We are creating our own beer this summer for the festival. [Sierra Nevada] Beer Camp beer is a go!”
Pitchfork Music Fest
July 16-18, www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com
Think Chicago and you think blues, jazz and Chess Records. Clubs like Buddy Guy’s Legends and B.L.U.E.S. are must-hears. And now housed in the former Chess offices, Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven is museum for music lovers. Dixon once said, “The blues are the roots. The rest are the fruits.” Among the fruits, Pitchfork is a three-day fest in Union Park celebrating independent rock, folk and more, and this year’s lineup boasts Broken Social Scene, Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon and 20-year veterans of the indie scene―making it difficult to call them college rock―Pavement. Just note, the fest’s “premium beer” lineup consists of Heinie, Heinie Light and Amstel Light.
Aug 6-8, www.lollapalooza.com
Lollapalooza takes place in Grant Park and headliners include Soundgarden, Green Day and Lady Gaga, with supporting acts across the aural spectrum from Devo to Erykah Badu to the gotta-see-’em-live Balkan Beat Box. Beers in the Lederhosen’s biergarten are all AB-InBev brands.
Siren Music Festival
July 17, siren.villagevoice.com
Sept. 5-6, www.electriczoofestival.com
CMJ Music Marathon
Oct. 19-13, cmj.com/marathon
Music fests take over New York during the summer months and include weekly events at Summer Stage in Central Park. Siren is a free all-day indie-rock bonanza at Coney Island. Electric Zoo is an electronic music gathering at Randall’s Island Park (between Harlem and Astoria) headlined by the Chemical Brothers and Armin Van Buuren. And don’t forget the granddaddy, CMJ Music Marathon, which is a bit later in early autumn.
The Festival D’Été de Québec
(Quebec Summer Festival)
July 8-18, www.infofestival.com
Canada’s largest music fest spans 11 days of diverse musical programming―can you believe that Canada’s national treasure, Rush, will be performing at it for the first time? Other artists receiving top billing are British singer-songwriter Charlie Winston and German dance-metal outfit Rammstein. As is to be expected, Molson is a corporate sponsor, so quench your thirst with Molson Dry and maybe some Molson Canadian.
Brian Yaeger is the author of Red, White and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey. He homebrews in San Francisco and if you have an intact bottle of Ring of Fire, beer mail him at byaeger on the communal sites or at email@example.com.