5 Smaller Music Festivals to Check Out This Summer and Fall 2022

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Videos by American Songwriter

As the summer music festivals begin to kick off, Coachella has already taken over Indio Valley for two weekends, while nearly 400,000 are expected to show up at Grant Park in Chicago for Lollapalooza during the four-day fest.

Throughout the country are smaller, regional festivals, which cater to less than 10,000 or even fewer attendees—from the iconic Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals in Rhode Island to the three-day Day In Day Out Fest in Seattle, and the newest Wonderfront in San Diego, making its debut in 2022.

Here’s a look at five smaller music festivals to consider attending during the summer through fall of 2022.

1. Newport Folk Festival (Rhode Island)

Dates: July 22 – 24

Info: Now in its 60th year, the Newport Folk Festival—the counterpart to the Newport Jazz Festival—is held at the Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, pulls in nearly 10,000 attendees each year for a diverse lineup of musicians all within the folk genre as well as surprise guests and collaborations.

Lineup:

July 22

  • Courtney Barnett
  • The A’s
  • Cassandra Jenkins
  • Lee Fields
  • Leith Ross
  • CARM
  • Dinosaur Jr.
  • The Felice Brothers
  • John Craigie
  • The Dead Tongues
  • The National
  • Goose
  • Arooj Aftab
  • John Moreland
  • Phoenix Rising: Silkroad Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens
  • Taj Mahal

July 23

  • Psychic Hotline
  • Bonnie Light Horseman with Natalie Merchant and Friends
  • Black Opry Revue
  • Midlake
  • The Backseat Lovers
  • Bleachers
  • Lucy Dacus
  • The Ballroom Thieves
  • Lucius
  • Madi Diaz
  • Adia Victoria
  • Hannah Georgas
  • Durand Jones & The Indications
  • beabadoobee
  • Neal Francis
  • Skullcrusher
  • Clairo

July 24

  • Arny Margret
  • Sylvan Esso
  • The Roots
  • Bendigo Fletcher
  • Blake Mills
  • Anais Mitchell
  • The Linda Lindas
  • Buffalo Nichols
  • Maren Morris
  • dakhabrakha
  • ‘Love Will Go All The Way: A Spiritual Helpline Gospel Revue’
  • Trampled By Turtles
  • Sierra Ferrell
  • Mandy Moore
  • Joy Oladokun
  • Valerie June
  • Hermanos Gutiérrez

Extras:  In 2019, Newport Folk Festival began making donations on behalf of each artist to a charity or nonprofit of their choice. The Newport Jazz Festival runs one week later, July 29-31.

Purchase Newport Folk passes here.

2. Newport Jazz Festival (Rhode Island)

Dates: July 29 – 31

Info: Held at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island, this year, the Newport Jazz Festival welcomes headliners Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Ron Carter, Maria Schneider, and Terence Blanchard. 

Lineup: Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding, The Fearless Flyers, Angelique Kidjo’s Remain In Light, Terence Blanchard, PJ Morton, The Ron Carter Quartet, BADBADNOTGOOD, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Lettuce, Cory Wong, Sons of Kemet, Nubya Garcia, Jazzmeia Horn, Nate Smith + KINFOLK, Jason Moran & The Bandwagon, Benevento/Russo Duo Acoustic, Nicholas Payton Trio, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Makaya McCraven, Yussef Dayes, Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre, MonoNeon, Shabaka Hutchings, Vijay Iyer Trio, The Baylor Project, The Soul Rebels, Sampa The Great, Celisse, Emmet Cohen Trio, The Nth Power, Theon Cross, Thana Alexa: Ona, Lady Blackbird, Tuba Skinny, Samara Joy, Melanie Charles, Giveton Gelin, Holly Bowling, Laufey, and more.

Extra: Festival artistic director Christian McBride will reprise the annual Jawn Jam with guests Makaya McCraven, Chris Potter, Vijay Iyer, Brandee Younger, and Mike Stern.

Purchase Newport Jazz Fest tickets here.

3. Day In Day Out (Washington State)

Dates: Aug. 12 -14

Info: Returning for a second year in Seattle, the Day In Day Out at Fisher Green Pavilion will feature a collection of artists over the three-day fest, including headliners The National, Mitski, and Mac DeMarco, along with performers Turnstile, Japanese Breakfast, Animal Collective, and more.

Lineup:

August 12

Mitski
Soccer Mommy
Soccer Mommy
Sampa the Great
Hollis

+DJ Sets

August 13

Mac DeMarco
Turnstile
JPEGMafia
Cherry Glazerr
Shabazz Palaces
Julie

+DJ Sets

August 14

The National
Japanese Breakfast
Animal Collective
Jamila Woods
Hurray for the Riff Raff
La Luz

+DJ Sets

Extra: Members from several Seattle bands, including Tacocat, Naked Giants, and Tres Leches, will spin DJ sets between acts.

Purchase Day In Day Out fest tickets here

4. Outlandia Festival (Nebraska)

Dates: August 12-13

Info: The inaugural Outlandia Music Festival will take place over two days at Falconwood Park in Bellevue, Nebraska, and feature Wilco, The National, Band of Horses, Local Natives, Silversun Pickups, Margo Price, The Breeders, Real Estate, Kat Hasty, Caroline Spence, Mesonjixx, and Clarence Tilton.

Lineup:

August 12

The National
Band Of Horses
Real Estate 
Caroline Spence
Clarence Tilton

August 13

Wilco 
Local Natives
Silversun Pickups
Margo Price
The Breeders 
Kat Hasty 
Mesonjixx

Purchase passes to Outlandia here.

5. Wonderfront (San Diego, CA)

Dates: November 18-20

Info: The three-day festival will feature more than 80 artists performing across seven stages in sand Diego, including the Embarcadero Marina Park North, Seaport Village, Ruocco Park, and Broadway Port Pier in San Diego. Scheduled performers include headliners Gwen Stefani, Kings of Leon, and Zac Brown Band, along with more performances by Cage the Elephant, Noah Cyrus, Big Boi, Trevor Hall, and more.

Lineup: Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, Gwen Stefani, G‐Eazy, Cage the ElephantYoung the Giant, Lauren Daigle, Swae Lee, Quinn XCII, EARTHGANG, Fitz and the Tantrums, Big Boi, Thundercat, SOJA, Noah Cyrus, Trevor Hall, Cam, Judah & the Lion, Hippie Sabotage, Two Feet, Cheat Codes, Bakar, Skip Marley, Mod Sun, Niko Moon, Max, Goldfish, Bakermat, Immerxion, Joey Purp, HIRIE, almost monday, Wilderado, Myron Elkins, Saint Cecilia, Carlie Hanson, Liily, Niko Rubio, Kossisko, Arkit)(t, DesureParty, Shirt, Daring Greatly, and more to be announced.

Extra: The festival re-entry pass allows guests to explore Downtown San Diego and the waterfront, while taking in the fest featuring a diverse line of rock, hip-hop, and EDM.

Purchase passes to Wonderfront here.

Photo: Courtesy of Newport Jazz Festival

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