Vermont’s 5 Best Music Festivals

These five music festivals that are worth planning your summer around. 

The days are longer, the nights are starrier, the beers are cooling

Sugarbush kicks off festival season with two things you gotta love: bluegrass and beer.
Sugarbush kicks off festival season with two things you gotta love: bluegrass and beer.

and the music scene around Vermont is heating up. This summer, five festivals bring both the best of up and coming Vermont bands (ranging from  Dojo to Madaila to Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Bands) to major national acts such as Michael Franti, Twiddle,  Bruce Hornsby and Vermont’s biggest rock star, Grace Potter.

Pack your tent, picnic blanket or cooler, book your ticket (many of these festivals sell out) and plan your summer weekends.

June 11: Sugarbush Brew Grass Festival is the place to taste more than 20 Vermont brews while you listen to bluegrass acts such as Dojo, Pizza Tapes and Mad Mountain Scramblers. Stick around for a 9-hole golf scramble, Sunday.

June 16-19: Wanderlust at Stratton is yes, a yoga festival but it also brings in Michael Franti, Daft Punk and a slew of other bands. Later in the season Stratton will host Strangefolk, Donovan Frankenreiter and The Wailers. www.stratton.comFestival social

June 23-25: Frendly Gathering at Timber Ridge with Twiddle, Turkuaz, Trevor Hill, Madalia and more. It’s the grooviest music festival in the Northeast since Woodstock. Camp, play, dance, repeat.


July 22-23 Jay Peak Jeezum Crow Festival. For its third annual festival Jay Peak hosts nine bands in three days, including Dark Star Orchestra, Alejandro Escavedo, Sleepy Man and Aquaeous at its Stateside Amphitheater. On Aug. 12-13 Strangefolk plays and on Sept. 10 Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers come to Jay.

Sept. 17-18 Grand Point North. Grammy-nominated rocker (and Vermonter) Grace Potter headlines both nights of the music fest she started on the Burlington waterfront. The weekend includes performances by more than a dozen other bands including, Guster, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band and Blind Pilot.

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports.