The Ultimate Festival Travel Guide

By Vanessa Butler

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<p>Visiting a few music festivals this year? Here's where to stay to ensure your ultimate getaway. <br></p>


There’s more to the American festival scene than just Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, but finding which festival to put your money into can be daunting, so we’ve done the work for you: we’ve broken down which cities, musicians, hotels and festivals are worthy of your presence.

Recently featured in Playboy Magazine for his impeccable style and his larger-than-life deejay career, Diplo is one act you just can’t miss this summer. While he’ll be touring all around the world for the better part of the season, our festival pick is Electric Zoo New York that takes place from August 20th to September 1st. While you’re there, take a page out of Diplo’s book and indulge your senses by checking into one of the hippest hotels in New York, the Paramount. Preserving its French Renaissance–inspired elements originally designed by a theater architect in 1928, the Paramount has melded the beauty of longstanding architecture with over-the-top lush modern-day amenities and design in their two-story living room lobby, famous Paramount Bar & Grill and, of course, rooms.

A festival favorite in every city, father of modern psychedelic rock Wayne Coyne and company will be making their way to Louisville, Kentucky for the Forecastle Fest on Saturday July 13th. Founded in 2002, Forecastle is quickly becoming one of the most talked about festivals in America by melding megagroups, local artists and awareness of important environmental issues. Don’t let your creativity fade once you step off the festival grounds; check into one of the most stimulating boutique hotels around, the 21c Museum Hotel. “Born out of a desire to integrate contemporary art into everyday life, 21c launched in downtown Louisville, Kentucky in 2006” and has opened two more locations in Cincinnati and Bentonville. 21c mixes culture and couture in their beautifully curated rooms, in-house art museum and award-winning restaurant.

Canadian sweetheart Leslie Feist doesn’t have many dates lined up for the summer (let’s hope she’s working on a new album), which means her show at the infamous Newport Folk Fest shouldn’t be missed. Make it a romantic getaway by shacking up with a girl at the Attwater, a gorgeous boutique hotel known for its colorful “Newport Unconventional” designs. Pulling inspiration from the town’s historical roots and seaside location, the Attwater makes for the perfect location for a trendy “coastal-chic” retreat from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Originally formed under the guise of a “trashy, punky, grimy” band Karen O had seen in Oberlin, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have become one of the most important alt-rock bands of our time. With their soon-to-be-released album Mosquito on the horizon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs will be performing at one of our favorite festivals in L.A., FYF Fest, on Saturday August 24th. While hotels are a dime a dozen in L.A., we suggest leaving your party days behind you and checking in at the contemporary Palihotel. The quaint 32-room hotel is nestled in the heart of the Melrose shopping district and is home to the acclaimed Hart and the Hunter restaurant as well as Thai Thai Massage. Each room is curated beautifully to fit the individuality of the artistic guests that frequent the location and will quickly become one of your favorite places to stay when you’re in the Creative Capital of the World.

Marching to the beat of her own drum since 1977, Iceland’s Bjork is still going strong. Since catching her as a solo act can cost you an arm and a leg, seeing her at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago is probably the best way to go. Partying all day at Pitchfork is kind of a daunting task, so shacking up at Acme Hotel is the best way to go for many reasons: their hotel rooms are trendy but also incredibly affordable, they’ve got all the latest gadgets, nine-dollar breakfasts that come to your room and a $25 “Hair of the Dog” add-on that includes two bottles of Powerade, aspirin and a $10 gift certificate to Chicago’s MBurger. You’re going to need it!

If your mood mimics the music you listen to, you’re going to need a pick-me-up after catching The National at San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Enter the cheery, vibrant Hotel Triton. With design help from the iconic Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia and even a room intended for those with a sweet tooth for ice cream, each room is splashed with bold accents of color, kitsch and comfort.

One of our favorite musicians to rise to fame this year has been Charli XCX, who you can catch in Seattle at Bumbershoot on Sunday September 1st. While you’re there, be sure to check in and throw your own Charli-inspired room party at Hotel Max, a place that’s all about music, comfort and art. Currently Hotel Max has turned an entire floor into an homage to Seattle’s own Sub Pop records. Each room is adorned with photographer Charles Peterson’s shots of the iconic Seattle music scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s, Sub Pop records, a Crosley record player and a TV channel that plays nonstop Sub Pop music videos.

While you’re probably going to Portland for other reasons, you should catch the post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor at this year’s MFNW between trips to the food trucks and pints of Rogue Ale. Don’t let the party stop once you check in; rest your feet at Ace Hotel located in downtown Portland. Did we mention it’s next door to the infamous Stumptown? Because it is.

Queens of the Stone Age just released their sixth studio album, …Like Clockwork, to rave reviews and are set to play live at Made in America in Philadelphia this Labor Day weekend alongside the likes of Beyoncé, Deadmau5 and Nine Inch Nails. Don’t leave your rock star attitude at the fest; keep the good times coming at the luxurious Hotel Monaco located in the Historic District. Whether you’re grabbing a bite at the Red Owl Tavern, lazing at the rooftop lounge Stratus or catching up on some much-needed relaxation in their beautifully curated boutique rooms, you’ll be feeling like the star you are.


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