It’s summer festival time

It’s summer festival time

Grab your Free Peoples. It’s summer festival time. Summer festivals tend to be like trade shows with worthwhile acts wedged in among a whole lot of variety and muck. With so many festivals sprouting up everywhere it seems, there’s bound to be something you’ll love wedged in with something you don’t love in the line-up.

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FE is excited about the yoga-centric Wanderlust series of festivals occurring in Stratton Mountain, Vermont (6/20-6/23), Copper Mountain, Colorado (7/4-7/7), Squaw Valley, California (7/18-7/21) and Whistler, British Columbia (8/1-8/4). In our mind’s eye, we are posed in a back-bending tree with Shiva Rea, long curly hair whipping in the Copper Mountain wind as the sun goes down with drums rhythmically pounding in time to our breath, while in reality we are stuck at a desk breathing unhealthy office air and swatting away fruit flies. For those also “stuck in the city when (their heart) belongs in a field,” Wanderlust is hosting mini-fests in Chicago (6/2), NYC (6/9) and LA (6/30). Naturally, yoga pants are de rigor.

Summer is a non-stop foodie festival frenzy, with a gluttony of choices every weekend from May through late September. Wear elastic waist pants and set your itinerary for Oyster Fest (San Francisco 6/1) with musical entertainment from Devo; Outside Lands (San Francisco, 8/9-11), featuring the best of Northern Cali wines, beers and food, along with terrific music; Music City’s Hot Chicken Festival (Nashville 7/4); Gilroy Garlic Festival (Monterey, Ca. 7/26-28); Vermont Brewers Festival (Burlington, Vermont 7/20) and the real deal Lobster Fest (Rockland, Maine 7/31-8/4). Hot Miami just turns all of August into Spice Fest.

Be warned: Lobster Fest clashes with the International Surf Festival at Hermosa Beach, Ca. (7/31-8/4), but you could always catch the Doheny Surf Festival at beautiful Dana Point, Ca. (6/29-30) and still make Maine. I’m thinking DVF loves Roxy, surf shorts and amazing abs.

Besides yoga and food, music festivals play big in summertime. Line-ups usually depend on who has a new release out they want to promote. Festival fashion is closely watched, with some designers test driving styles or even celebrity-promoting their lines. Spring’s famous SXSW and Coachella have already passed with no stand-outs except for Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O.’s flashy suits and platinum  crop cut. It seems if in doubt, throw on cut-offs or a maxi- disaster, a bandana and something with a flag or tie-dye. This is a mistake and cliché. Paris Hilton does this every year. Instead, channel Solange, the mix master magician of prints. Solange is booked to appear at FYF (LA 8/24-25), Sweetlife (Columbia, Maryland 5/11-Damn, we missed her!), and Glastonbury (6/26-30). It was just about 10 years ago when Kate Moss’s appearance in Wellies at Glastonbury re-launched the brand and set the iconic festival look. Solange’s sister will be headlining Sound of Change (Twickenham 6/1) and V Festivals (Staffordshire 8/17-18). Or, go gothic Americana a la Lana Del Ray who is playing Chicago’s Lollapalooza (8/2-4) with the Cure, New Order, Queens of the Stone Age, Azealia Banks and so many more.

Equally fashionable will be T In The Park (North Lanarkshire, Scotland 7/11-14) featuring chanteuses Rihanna, Paloma Faith and Rita Ora. Since Scotland is always cold, they’ll have to wear more clothes than less. Expect Cara Delevingne to make an appearance, faces and possibly show off another tattoo. Rita Ora will also be at Isle of MTV (Malta 6/26), Sound of Change, Parklife Weekender (Manchester, UK 6/8-9) Wireless (Stratford, UK 7/12-14) and Glastonbury. She was so cute at Coachella, we can’t wait to see her stage attire at these shows.

Ravers, DJ-junkies and electro-pop fans take over Randall’s Island for Electric Zoo Festival (8/30).

Combine music with art and coffee at Seattle’s Bumbershoot (8/131-9/2), which has you covered whether you’re into rock, hip hop, soul or global sounds. Kendrick Lamar !!! , Deerhunter, Maceo Parker and Gary Numan are some of this year’s acts. While in the UK Latitude (7/18-21) mixes bands with art, comedy, dance and literature. There, German electronic avant garde group, Kraftwerk share the stage with Bobby Womack and Bloc Party. Kraftwerk always dresses smartly, so we expect menswear inspiration and solid arrangements.


Anti-fashion nostalgia rats can catch Neil Young and Crazy Horse and the Black Crows at Interlocken (Arrington, Va. 9/5-8). Throwback dress code: Neil Young t-shirts, denim and flannel.

Teens get their festival fill at Skate and Surf Festival (Great Adventure, NJ 5/18-5/19) , Staten Island Punk Island (6/22) and Vans’ Warped tour, appearing across the country. Wear knackered Converse, though. It’s about skate boarding, loud fast music, and no responsibility. In other words: Summer time.

Pre-teens have a place, too, with the Jonas Brothers and Hanson at the Mixtape Festival (Hershey, Pa 7/26-27). Sneakers, jeans and polo shirts from Uniqlo or the nearby outlet mall.

Jazz lovers can get their summer fill at the Montreal Jazz Festival (6/21-23), without Areatha Franklin but with Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Feist and Molly Ringwald (?) There’s also Newport Jazz Fest (R.I. 8/2) with so many greats swinging the night away. Jazz fashion is cool and dapper.

Or feel the heat at the Chicago Blues Festival (6/6-9) with this year’s theme “Rollin’ Up the River” with a musical journey from New Orleans, Mississippi, Memphis and Chicago. Sounds too hot to care about clothes. Added bonus: It’s free.

Finally, Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, Nevada 8/26-9/2) ignites the end of summer in a fire of dust covered Mad Max vehicles and art. Dress like you are Lawrence of Arabia, or if your body is ripped, in nothing but mud and dust.

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