1. Electric Daisy Carnival NYC 2014 at Metlife Stadium on May 24-25
Bring all of your peace, love, unity and respect to this giant, weekend-long rave featuring top DJs and producers like Bassnectar, Boys Noize and Tiësto. In addition to some seriously intense beats, there will be fireworks, costumed performers, “interactive environments” and, yes, actual carnival rides. Also: a dillion flower crowns. Rave responsibly.
DETAILS: 12pm-11pm; $142-$254; 1 MetLife Stadium Dr., East Rutherford, N.J.; electricdaisycarnival.com
2. The Governor’s Ball Music Festival at Randall’s Island Park on June 6-8
Due to the sheer amount of space they require, there are few music festivals of this scale mounted within NYC proper, but the Governor’s Ball is up to the challenge. With its hip mixture of indie rock, EDM and hip-hop and grassy, picturesque location, this year’s edition is shaping up to be an especially good one. Big bookings include Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes and everyone’s favorite Corey Feldman lookalike, Skrillex. Who knew the governor was so cool?
DETAILS: 11:45am-11pm; $100-$2, 000 (V.I.P. options abound); Randall’s Island Park; governorsballmusicfestival.com
3. Taste of Country at Hunter Mountain on June 13-15
If twangy songs about rural misfortune are your bag, put on your cowboy boots and your 10-gallon hat and head up to Hunter Mountain for this enormous country festival. The only multi-day country music festival in the northeast (i.e. Yankee territory), this year’s edition is being graced by stars like Brad Paisley, Jamie Lynn Spears (sister to Britney) and Hank Williams Jr.
DETAILS: 12pm-1am; $89-$549; 64 Klein Ave., Hunter, N.Y.; tasteofcountryfestival.com
4. Northside Festival on June 12-19
If you prefer spread out, SXSW-style music festivals to the “everyone sweats together in a big mud pit” kind, Northside Fest will be your jam. Featuring a mixture of established and “up-and-coming” acts across a healthy range of genres (punk, noise, hip-hop, guitar-pop, etc.), this festival is a pleasant way to check out a bunch of music at once within the comfortable confines of Williamsburg. There are film and entrepreneurship components as well. Highlights: Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes, Pharmakon, Talib Kweli, Eleanor Friedberger, Thee Oh Sees.
DETAILS: various times; $80-$315; various Williamsburg locations; northsidefestival.com
5. Make Music New York 2014 on June 21
For one day every summer, Make Music New York makes a glorious noise with 1, 000-plus free concerts in public spaces all over the five boroughs. Modeled after Fête de la Musique in Paris, this populist, participatory festival now occurs in 726 different cities around the world simultaneously. From informal street jams to large outdoor concerts, MMNY aims for total sensory overload. Anyone can sign up to play, although registration is closed for this year.
DETAILS: 10am-10pm; free; various locations; makemusicny.org
6. 4Knots Fest at South Street Seaport on July 12
Spend a day rocking out in the breezy, nautical environs of South Street seaport at this, the fourth edition of the Village Voice’s homegrown music fest. With an emphasis on noisy, guitar-driven sounds, the lineup includes garage rock weirdo Juan Wauters, intelligent sludge-punkers Speedy Ortiz, Nashville alt-country kids Those Darlins, and more. Alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. are the new headliner (Kathleen Hanna’s The Julie Ruin had to cancel due to health reasons.)
DETAILS: 1pm-8pm; free; South Street Seaport; microapp.villagevoice.com
7. Gathering of the Vibes at Seaside Park on July 31-Aug. 3
Do you still mourn the death of Jerry Garcia and do you think guitar solos should go on indefinitely? Then pack some tie-dyed T-shirts and take Metro North an hour outside the city to this sprawling, four day-long festival of rock, blues, reggae and more. This year’s eclectic lineup includes Ziggy Marley, John Fogerty, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra, and much, much, more. It’s great people-watching if you like colorfully attired hippies in psychedelic school buses.
DETAILS: various times; $235 for weekend camping pass (day passes will be available soon); 1 Barnum Dyke, Bridgeport, Conn.; gatheringofthevibes.com
8. Madison Square Kids Summer Concert Series at Madison Square Park on June 10-Aug. 7
When we said summer festival season has something for everyone, we weren’t forgetting New York’s littlest residents. For the 12th year in a row, the Madison Square Park Conservancy is putting on Mad. Sq. Kids, a free summer concert series for children and their families. With fun performers like Father Goose, Moona Luna, and even a jazz band with a mission to introduce kids to Duke Ellington, the park won’t be lacking in child-friendly tunes.