FestPop’s Top 10 Labor Day Weekend Music Festivals

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#1 Campfire Music Festival 2014 Lakewood, PA August 29- 31, 2014

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If you loved the nostalgia of Moonrise Kingdom, this festival is definitely for you. This three-day weekend campfire outdoor experience creates an intimate and comfortable atmosphere to help you discover your inner child. You can jam to Langhorne Slim & The Law or Delta Spirit or even do some yoga or visit the postcard sending station. There’s even a cabin decor contest, rock climbing wall, and canoes! Bring your best friends and your new friends, because this festival will definitely help you create new memories.

FestPop Tip: The ticket is all inclusive, so put a little extra space in your budget for snacks and drinks at the general store.

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#2 North Coast Music Festival 2014 Chicago, IL August 29-31, 2014

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From Snoop Dog to Dr. Dog, this festival offers premiere headliners as well as comprehensive guidelines for their festival. With its twenty local vendors, this festival does provide gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. They really stress that all bags will be searched, as well as strict adherence to government ids for drinks. Their website does recommend a few hotels they’ve partnered with, but they’re all pretty expensive. I’d check out some local Air B&Bs or a cheaper option! Also reserving a locker in advance will definitely enhance your festival experience. They provide phone chargers with the lockers as well as unlimited access throughout the day.

FestPop Tip: Parking will be limited, so stay tuned to their extra parking arrangements.

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#3 Electric Picnic 2014 Stradbally Estate, Co. Laois, Ireland August 29-31, 2014

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The first Fairtrade music festival in the world, Electric Picnic is set in the beautiful country of Ireland. Most public sites do not allow smoking of any kind on their premise, so I’d leave the cigarettes or even electronic cigarettes at home. They have showers to use as well as advanced opportunities for disabled festival-goers. The train from Dublin goes to the city where the site is held hourly. If you are an avid biker, Electric Picnic offers a Tour de Picnic, where cyclists help raise money for various children’s charity groups. Not too many festivals are family friendly or convenient for those with young ones, but Electric Picnic provides a wonderful child care service called “Soul Kids.” This enables parents to have a relaxing and fun experience while resting assured that their babies and toddlers are doing some kiddie yoga and creative workshops. They have over 100 food stalls to choose from, so come with high expectations for your eating experience as well as musical experience.

FestPop Tip: Be sure to recycle your can with Every Can Counts, a recycling group in Ireland that gives you an opportunity to win prizes through your recycled cans!

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#4 Dimensions Festival 2014 Pula, Croatia August 27-31, 2014

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An electronic music festival, Dimensions Festival features house, deep dubstep, techno, drum and bass sounds as festival-goers enjoy the beach setting. To buy anything at this festival, you need to transfer your kuna (Croatian currency) into “dimension tokens,” which allow the service to be much quicker. Picking a stage to visit is like choosing a level in a videogame–there are exotic choices, from boats to caves. Close to the water, you can even book a boat party where DJ’s jam as you drift into the sunset. If you need more mainland partying, check out the beach parties where you’re encouraged to “think BBQ’s and bars.” Not too shabby. Or if you’re craving something more exotic, go to Noah’s Ballroom, a circular pit with a killer soundsystem. With stone walls from the 18th century, this place looks like it’s been taken out of a scene from The Gladiator. With your other options being The Fort, The Moat, and The Void, prepare to indulge your sense of adventure and EDM.    

FestPop Tip: Keep an eye out for the Sunshine bus, which will pick you up from certain locations and transport you to the Dimensions Festival.

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#5 Made in America Los Angeles & Philadelphia August 30-31, 2014

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With big names like Kings of Leon, The National, and Kanye West heading up this year’s festival, one can only wonder how this Budweiser hosted festival can top their lineup next year. Not only does this festival have these headliners, but they also have incredible artists like Pharrell Williams, Spoon, Cherub, Girl Talk…The list goes on and on. Set in Philadelphia, this festival allows all ages to enter the festival, but only lets festival-goers 21 and up enter the beer gardens. How did this festival get all these amazing artists to come out? How most things in America get cooler–Jay-Z. Not only did Jay-Z found Made in America, but he also sees it as a way to bring culture and music together. Genres that may exist separately in specific festivals or events come together to form an eclectic festival where you can satisfy your EDM and your R&B needs in one spot.

FestPop Tip: From 2014 onward, this festival will be held in LA, so book your flights early to avoid the costly plane ticket to California.

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#6 Imagine Festival 2014 Atlanta, GA August 30-31, 2014

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Founded by IRIS Presents, Imagine Festival is a two-day dance music festival that hosts not only electronic dance music but also cirque-style artists. Unlike many festivals that are located in more natural settings, this festival is set in Atlanta, which gives festival-goers more convenient travel options. Featuring art installations throughout the venue, this festival is conveniently located in downtown Atlanta at the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park & Masquerade Music Park. They also offer a work exchange volunteer program that can help you balance the expensive hotels of Atlanta. Parking at this festival is pretty wretched, so we’d recommend taking that Uber ride you’ve been saving up for.

FestPop Tip: Look out for the two official after-parties Imagine Festival offers if you’re looking for more fun after the shows.

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#7 Gulf Coast Jam 2014 Panama City Beach, FL August 29-31,

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If you’re looking for a vacation and a festival, Gulf Coast Jam has got exactly what you need. Sponsored by Pepsi, Gulf Coast Jam offers a lovely beach setting with its country music sounds during Labor Day Weekend. This year the festival offers Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley as they perform at their beautiful beach location. It’s only about ten miles from the airport, and once you’re there you’ll never want to leave. They even offer a payment plan for festival-goers, just in case you can’t afford all that cash up front. If you’re a food vendor, check out the application–it’s definitely a good way for you to bring your treats to the hungry people to the waves. If you’ve got children under six, then they get in for free! Listen to some great songs on the beach with your favorite people, and remember why you love country music.

FestPop Tip: They offer a bunch of ticket options, so make sure you check out all of them before making a decision.

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#8 Bumbershoot 2014 Seattle, WA August 30- September 1, 2014

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The Head and the Heart, Panic! At the Disco, and Foster the People all invite you to hear them croon at Bumbershoot in Seattle this Labor Day weekend. Rain or shine, which is a fair observation in Seattle, this festival will continue in their beautiful location. A colloquial term for umbrella, the word bumbershoot shows festival-goers just how determined they are to keep performing despite the weather. With a large history of hosting artistic celebrities like Etta James and James Brown, Bumbershoot consistently attracts fantastic performers through its ability to showcase regional talent. One of the first festivals to incorporate poetry slam and parody rock artists, Bumbershoot encourages originality in its various offered art forms. Also providing some nice comedy shows, Bumbershoot wants you to laugh to some stellar stand-up comedy and listen to various genres with your friends.

FestPop Tip: If you ride your bike, there’s free bike parking within the festival grounds.

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#9 Electric Zoo 2014 Randall’s Island Park, NYCAugust 29-31, 2014

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This is New York’s premiere electronic dance music festival. In an area of about twenty-seven acres, this festival offers a multi-genre experience at the East River between Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. There will be food vendors to match your dietary needs, as well as passes that help guide you to the location of the festival. They offer a round-trip transportation via the ferry or the shuttle bus, so use this advantage to your utmost convenience. As a dance festival, make sure you’re staying well hydrated throughout your music experience.

FestPop Tip: Because parking on Randall’s Island is so limited, the festival recommends that you make other arrangements to get to the island without the inconvenience of fighting for a parking spot.

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#10 Jazz Festival Snowmass   Aspen, CO August 29-31, 2014

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With names like Nickel Creek, Earth Wind & Fire, FUN., and Moon Taxi, this three-day festival offers free parking and re-entry, a rare combination in the festival world. In the middle of beautiful scenic mountains, you have the opportunity to hear powerful music echoing throughout nature as you spread out your blanket in Colorado. Every six hours that you volunteer means a free ticket to the festival! All different kinds of genres play at this festival, so get ready for an eclectic sound.

FestPop Tip: This festival has multiple free lawn parties, so make sure to check the schedule to find a time to visit this welcoming site.

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By  Lauren Rogers, FestPop Sr. Editor

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