“Found another five miles!”

That was a phrase uttered many times by my girlfriend while enjoying 1994’s Lollapalooza at Quonset State Airport in Kingstown, Rhode Island. The miles she was referring to, of course, were those fantastic Marlboro Miles. Smokers were encouraged to collect these “miles” (UPC codes from the side of a cigarette pack) and redeem them for cool prizes.

She didn’t like to smoke, but she also didn’t care much for the bands on the lineup that day. So while she scoured the hot blacktop for discarded, empty packs of tobacco sticks, I had my face facing forward to witness performances by The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, George Clinton, The Breeders and others (all artists I program on my 90’s Alternative Core program!). Nirvana was supposed to be on that tour, but it never happened.

Music Festival

It would be nice to say I remember all the sets, but I don’t. What I do know, is that – 22 years later – the festival circuit continues to thrive.

In fact, the summer of 2016 promises to play host to some of the best live concert tours in a long time. Just check out the list, and the bands!

You’ve got NY’s Governors Ball with headliner Kanye West. When Kanye appears on stage, anything can happen. Revolutionary or overrated? You get to decide. It’ll be a performance you won’t forget in any event, for any number of reasons. (Just like his recent appearance on Ellen.) Beck and Death Cab For Cutie are among the other acts.

Then there’s Bonnaroo, truly one the greatest camping experiences of any festival anywhere. Manchester, Tennessee has been hosting this shindig since 2002, and the lineup this year is amazing (Tame Impala, Leon Bridges, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, etc.). Also among the highlights will be Pearl Jam. This year marks their 25th anniversary as a band and they are celebrating by hitting the road. Bassist Jeff Ament says that their shows now feel like celebrations, and they promise something big to mark a quarter century making music. I wouldn’t want to miss out.

Here are a few other recommendations if you’re looking to breathe in some fresh air – and music through summer and fall. The Firefly Music Festival with Mumford & Sons, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar at Austin City Limits, the Warped Tour featuring Good Charlotte, another Lollapalooza (held in Chicago since 2005) with Red Hot Chili Peppers and LCD Soundsystem headlining, and Ray Lamontagne this July at the Newport Folk Festival as we come full circle back to where this blog began…Rhode Island.

You might not recall all the songs you heard or performances you saw someways away in the future, but I can promise, you’ll remember you were there. Don’t not be there.

– Submitted by Brian Chamberlain, Music Design