(Courtesy of Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival)

Summer Music Guide: 20 Lesser Known but Totally Cool Festivals Across the Country

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Nothing says summertime like donning your cutoffs and boots for a weekend of sunshine, selfies, beer, and music.


With spring around the corner, it's time to start making plans for summer's music festivals. This year, why not skip the more obvious and played out (ahem, Coachella) and hit up a slightly more under-the-radar fest instead? Here's our list of the best of the season. Get your tickets soon—they're likely to sell out.

Essence Music Festival

(Courtesy of bellesabound.com)

What: Essence Music Festival began as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence Magazine back in 1994. Then the thing took off. Today, the festival is the largest celebration of African-American culture and music in the United States. Plus, it's a great excuse to get your Nola fix.

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

When: July 5-8, 2018

Headliners: Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, and Snoop Dogg

More info: essence.com

*This article has been updated since it was originally published on Apr 28, 2017.

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