Five Summer Festivals Out of Chi-Town

Courtesy of PxHereBelgium's Dour Festival will take place July 10-14.

On a college budget, saving up the money to get away is an arduous task. But these fests boast the lineups, art hubs and invigorating locations to prove they might just be worth it.

Governors Ball, New York City — 799 miles from Chicago

Returning for the eighth annual year, Governors Ball takes on Randall’s Island Park — just east of Manhattan — for three days of indie rock and hip-hop concerts May 31 through June 2. This year’s staple New York festival will host headliners including Tyler, the Creator, Lil Wayne, Florence and the Machine, Major Lazer, The 1975 and The Strokes.

Many might argue the beauty of music festivals isn’t in seeing the well-known, widely popular artists but in discovering the niche artists. House artist Zhu, indie rock artist Still Woozy, Berlin-based electro pop group Parcels and pop singer King Princess are a handful of more than 65 artists performing. With four stages and dozens of artists set to perform each day, there are shows to suit all music tastes.

Governors Ball might be the ideal festival for someone craving to intertwine exploring New York City and its plethora of unique experiences with three days of non-stop concerts. One-day, general admission (GA) passes cost $115 and three-day GA passes are $305. Tickets are available to purchase at

Bonnaroo, Tennessee — 535 miles from Chicago

On a 650-acre farm in Manchester, TN, over 10 stages will host Grand Ole Opry and special guests, Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Odesza, The Lumineers and two sets from Phish for the 18th annual fest.

With all attendees camping on the festival grounds, Bonnaroo creates an immersive experience with a parade, 5k across the campgrounds and yoga sessions.

Various plazas throughout the campgrounds serve as a gathering place to create and socialize. The Sanctuary of Self Love will be a plaza curated by Hayley Williams of Paramore. Other plazas such as Bayou Libre and House of Yes & Little Cinema boast late night dance parties and secret sets so the party doesn’t end after the last headliner.

4-day GA passes are currently $339 before fees. A single-day ticket runs $190 before fees for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while Thursday tickets cost $125. All ticket options are available at

Dour Festival, Belgium — 4,131 miles from Chicago

Students studying abroad might want to take a breather and check out Dour Festival, a five-day music festival in Dour, Belgium. Taking place July 10-14, the festival will feature artists from a conglomerate of genres including rap, house, techno and pop.

More than 200 artists will take on Dour Festival’s seven stages over the span of the five days. A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Disclosure, Rae Sremmurd and Vince Staples are among the artists gracing the top of the bill.

Regular five-day pass costs €170 (about $190), and regular single-day passes cost €75 (about $85). Tickets can be purchased at

Sziget Festival, Budapest — 4,809 miles from Chicago

Sziget Festival, one of Europe’s largest music and culture festivals, will return for its 26th year August 7-13 in Budapest, Hungary. Hundreds of artists from across Europe and the U.S. are set to perform. This year’s festival will be headlined by nine artists including the Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, Florence and the Machine, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, The National and Macklemore.

While music remains at the center of Sziget Festival, art and cultural aspects are embodied through venues including a circus, theater and museum. Camping on the Island of Freedom — the festival’s location — is a possibility, but lodging off-site provides festival-goers the opportunity to explore the city divided in two by the Danube River.

One-day tickets begin at €75 (about $85), and prices for three to seven-day passes range from €209 to €329 (about $235 to $369). On-site camping prices start at  €75. Tickets are available to purchase at

Life Is Beautiful, Downtown Las Vegas — 1,749 miles from Chicago

Those able to make it out west can hit the slots then head over to the three-day art and music festival. The seventh annual fest will host Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend and Zedd.

Taking the stage before the headliners, Toto is likely to bless the rains in Africa, Walk the Moon will probably tell you to shut up and dance and Carly Rae Jepsen might ask you to call her, maybe.

Celebrating life beyond the music, the festival’s “Comedy and Ideas” portion includes Jonathan Van Ness of “Queer Eye,” the hosts of “Pod Save America” and hosts of comedy podcast “Bodega Boys,” Desus Nice & The Kid Mero.

Three-day GA tickets start at $315 and are available

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