The summer of 1967 heralded a great change in national consciousness. It started in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. And as Sheila Weller wrote in Vanity Fair, “a free-loving, hallucinogenic-friendly, countercultural craze took over.  Almost 100,000 people flocked to the streets of San Francisco to celebrate this new egalitarian community and the California bliss was infectious – the nation soon followed suit, with likeminded individuals converging in liberal centers in Greenwich Village, Chicago and elsewhere. This shift towards un-judged utopia was billed as the Summer of Love, and it defined the era in a way that was at once intoxicating and magical.”
Forty-some years later, we could argue that every summer is the summer of love. As temperatures rise, there’s a three-month long parade of festivals – Coachella, Burning Man, and others all around the world– geared towards the sort of carefree, blissfully unrestrained mentality that takes us back to that first free summer of the late 60’s. We migrate to Palm Springs, just around the corner from Joshua Tree, to take in Grimes and Tame Impala, venture off to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest for beautiful crowds and Sigur Ros, and touch down in the Nevada dessert for an outdoor experience unlike any other.
Summer festivals are a way to experience nature (or at least the outdoors) in style. To get away, and travel to some of the best shows of the season, all the while giving way to a kind of decadent living. Here are a few of our favorites:
When: April 12 - 14 and April 19 – 21, 2013

Where: Indio, CA
The pre-eminent chic summer music festival. Dancing to Wild Nothing and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs all day. Parties by the fire with fellow free spirits.  Hiking Joshua Tree and soaking in the open freedom of Mojave dense desolation. Sleeeping underneath-  sometimes adjacent to- the stars in Palm Springs. Now that it's over, look through style highlights, and forward to next year's festival. 
When: May 11, 2013
Where: Columbia, MD
Solange and Kendrick Lamar are highlights from this sustainable, eco-conscious Maryland festival. Get your radical on. Sleep in nearby Washington DC, and shop for random funk in Georgetown before the music.
The Governors Ball
When: June 7-9, 2013
Where: Randall’s Island, NYC
Yeasayer and Animal Collective, Kanye West and Erykah Badu rock this Gotham outpost- replete with the Manhattan skyline and the frenetic multicultural energy that is New York. Take the Subway to ride with neo-hipsters or the ferry, making sure to get a gander at Madame Liberty on the way. Keep your high going at The Standard. No need for slumber in the city that never sleeps.
When: June 13-16, 2013

Where: Manchester, TN
Travel to the deep south to hear Grizzly Bear, Cat Power and A $AP Rocky at this year’s Bannaroo. The festival is one of the biggest- you’ll find yourself with almost a hundred thousand other revelers,  and the energy that goes with the amazing line-up. It’s located on a hundred acre farm, so camping is a must. Take to the restorative mountains after, for a mint julip on the porch of a quiet, pastoral estate- then drive Tennessee, stopping at local-sourced eateries and swap meets before finishing the state tour in Memphis .
Burning Man
When: August 26, 2013 – September 2, 2013

Where: Black Rock Desert, NV
There’s nothing like Burning Man, the commerce-less, art-filled festival in Nevada’s stunning, sprawling desert. The music may be performed by cyborgs in the hazy sprawl of psychedelic oasis’ to a genderless audience of costumed inhabitants. Art Basel meets Utopia. The New York Times written by Lewis Carroll and Joseph Campbell. Woodstock on Carl Jung. Mad Max as reimagined by Salvador Dali. A truly trippy way to conclude a Summer of Love yourself.

April 2013