Labor Day Weekend Top 5 Music Festivals for 2014

Top 5 LDW Music Festivals

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It’s Labor Day weekend – the last weekend of summer, and (theoretically) the last weekend for summer music festivals. If you’re looking for a way to end your summer with a music-filled bang, below is FDRMX’s list of five top US music festivals for Labor Day weekend 2014, starting in the east and heading west across the country (you could visit all of them, theoretically).

1. American Music Festival in Virginia Beach
This near tidewater music festival means Beachstreet is flooded with blues, rock, R&B, and country. Multiple performances on numerous stages take place simultaneously along the gorgeous Beachstreet which runs parallel to the beach boardwalk. While it boasts of many excellent and talented local artists, this year will also feature Blues Traveler Creedance Clearwater, and Hunter Hayes. Music starts when the sun goes down, so get your tan on during the day, fuel up and wander through the street festival at night.

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2. Electric Zoo Festival on Randall’s Island, New York
Typical of most festivals hosted on an island, Electric Zoo features all types of electronic music. Having received International Dance Music Awards, the festival this year estimates an expected 150,000 people in attendance. After last year’s sad turn of events with the accidental deaths of Jeffery Russ and Olivia Rotondo (due to hyperthermia and MDA overdose), the events organizers are heavily concerned with festival goers’ safety this year and are making every effort to ensure everyone involved has an enjoyable (safe) experience. The festival starts at 1pm all three days, and ends around 11pm.

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3. Chicago Jazz Festival
A full four day-long festival, this Jazz fest includes soul, bebop and Dixieland. It starts on Thursday at Chicago Cultural Center and Millenium Park, continues on Friday with Terence Blanchard, Ravi Coltrane and Lionel headlining the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Saturday and Sunday are primarily located at Grant Park where four stages are stationed for Dave Holland, Gary Burton, the Ari Brown Quintet, Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn and Eric Harland, as well as Cécile McLorin Salvant and Sun Ra Arkestra. If you play, bring along your saxes, because these cats are usually open to jamming with unknowns.

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4. Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival in Aspen, Colorado
This festival is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.S., surrounded by mountains to hike, lakes to fish, trails to bike, and great local musicians who perform alongside bigger names. This year it’s the likes of Carrie Underwood, Earth Wind and Fire, Ziggy Marley, OneRepublic and more, meaning it’s more than just jazz. The festival also features a market with craft beer, amazing local food, and crafts as well. The earliest performances get started around 3pm.

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5. Bumbershoot in Seattle (Art in the Great Northleft)
As the Largest Urban Arts Festival in the US, Bumbershoot has not only music, but film, theater, dance, visual arts, comedy and all manner of performance. Located beneath the iconic Seattle space needle at the Seattle Center, the festival also includes an Indie Market with all the wares you can imagine for sale. Artists include Big Freedia, Panic! At the Disco, Wu Tang Clan, and dozens more. The fest gets underway every morning at 11, and children ten and under get in free with an adult! Don’t forget to bring your bumbershoot in case of rain.

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