Festival Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend 2014

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on May 01, 2014

By Deborah Kolb

There are many reasons to celebrate Memorial Day, from the intended to the secondary. The holiday marks a long weekend, unofficially starts summer, and usually brings weather that perfectly borders spring and summer temperatures. However, our favorite thing about the holiday weekend is what the combination of the three mean. The weekend is perfect for music festivals, which is why so many are set to take place this May 23-26.

The Northeast is finally warm enough to kick off its festival season, the south isn't too scorching yet, and cities everywhere make use of a Monday off, whether the festival takes place that day or not (a day to recover before work? Score!). 

Scroll down to see the best of the best Memorial Day Weekend music festivals this year, and see which one is right for you. 


Via Mysteryland Netherlands 

When: May 23-26
Where: Bethel Woods, New York
Who: Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Dubfire, Seth Troxler, Carl Craig & Dimitri b2b, Chase & Status, Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and more

Mysteryland has been an electronic festival mainstay in the Netherlands since 1993. If you're into large-scale production, festivals within festivals, and inaugural events, check out their US debut.


By Laura Baker-Finch

When: May 23-25
Where: George, Washington
Who: Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., HAIM, Neko Case, Foals, Major Lazer, and more

Sasquatch! is for festivalgoers as much in love with the great outdoors as they are with music. For more reasons to attend, check out our top 5

Summer Camp

Via Summer Camp

When: May 23-25
Where: Chillicothe, Illinois
Who: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Zac Brown Band, Bassnectar, Trey Anastasio Band, Primus, Slightly Stoopid, and more

Summer Camp is hosted each year by everyone's favorite jam band, moe. Join the quintet over the holiday weekend for an experience that's "like coming home."

Boston Calling

Via Boston Calling

When: May 23-25
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
Who: Death Cab For Cutie, Jack Johnson, The Decemberists, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Brand New, The Head and the Heart, and more

Boston Calling finally gave its namesake city a festival to call its own. Last Memorial Day marked its first edition, but the festival already has two installations under its belt and aims for two more this year.


By Oliver Correa

When: May 24-26
Where: Detroit, Michigan
Who: Claude VonStroke, Boys Noize, Maceo Plex, Carl Craig, Carl Cox, Damian Lazarus, Justin martin, Richie Hawtin, and more

Join this annual celebration of dance music culture in the heart of a city that has become so synonymous with the movement.

Lightning in a Bottle

Via Lightning in a Bottle

When: 22-26
Where: Bradley, California
Who: Moby (DJ set), Little Dragon, Phantogram, Beats Antique, Gramatik, Amon Tobin (DJ set), Baauer, Gold Panda, Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set), and more

Lightning in a Bottle was created to be a "heart and mind expanding oasis," so, while you're there, participate in workshops, group yoga, and interactive art installations in-between musical sets. Remember, leave no trace! 

EDC New York

Via Insomniac

When: May 24-25
Where: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Who: Afrojack, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Bassnectar, Claude Vonstroke, Art Department, Tommy Trash, and more

Experience a bit of Las Vegas in New Jersey at the festival that wants you to be the headliner! Bring your costume and body paint A-game to the festival but remember, what happens at EDC probably won't stay at EDC.

Punk Rock Bowling 

Via Punk Rock Bowling

When: May 23-26
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
Who: Descendents, NOFX, Cock Sparrer, Against Me!, Off!, Face to Face, Anti-Nowhere League, The Slackers, The Adicts, and more

For fans of punk rock and bowling, duh. 

California Roots

Via California Roots

When: May 23-25
Where: Monterey, California
Who: Soja, Rebelution, Ziggy marley, Papafish, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, 311, White Glove Service, Bumpin' Uglies, Steel Pulse, and more

A grassroots festival that has grown into a large-scale event with art, music, and environmental consciousness. 


Via Rocklahoma

When: May 23-25
Where: Pryor, Oklahoma
Who: Five Finger Death Punch, Deftones, Staind, Twisted Sister, Kid Rock, Theory of a Dead Man, Seether, and more

For festivalgoers that follow the motto "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Rock!" and do so with a can of Bud Light (the festival's main sponsor) in hand.

Maryland Deathfest

By Tim Bugbee

When: May 22-25
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
Who: Candlemass, Dark Angel, My Dying Bride, Immolation, Cancer, Gorguts, Crowbar, and more

America's biggest annual metal party is for those who want to head bang their way through the long holiday weekend. \m/

Sunset Music Festival

Via Sunset Music Festival

When: May 24-25
Where: Tampa, Florida
Who: Zedd, Hardwell, Benny Benassi, Krewella, not sure who's important after that, and more

After a successful one-day event last year, Tampa's local festival is super-sizing its 2014 installment to two days. That's more than 20 hours of EDM madness. 

Neon Desert

Via Neon Desert

When: May 24-25
Where: El Paso, Texas
Who: Zedd, Wiz Khalifa, MGMT, Calle 13, Method Man & Redman, The Bloody Beetroots (live), Capital Cities, and more

A local music festival "for El Paso by El Pasoans" with a list of headliners that reach far beyond its town borders. 

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See Also:

5 Reasons to Attend Sasquatch! 2014
Mini-Fest Spotlight: Sunday School at Mysteryland 
A Look Ahead: May 2014 Music Festivals