Festival Round-Up 2016 #1: Boston Calling, Mountain Jam, Hang Out & More

Written by Laura Curry


It’s time to start gearing up for all the festivals that 2016 offers. Here are five different options for you to plan a festival adventure this year.



Date: April 15-24, 2016

Location: Empire Polo Club, Indio, CA

Official Site: https://www.coachella.com/

Breakdown: This year’s lineup for the iconic two-weekend festival features the headliners LCD Soundsystem, Guns N’ Roses and Calvin Harris. Additional artists include: Ice Cube, Sia, Ellie Goulding, James Bay, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Disclosure, Beach House and The Front Bottoms. What other festival offers the classic rock of Guns N’ Roses, the hip hop anthems of Ice Cube and Zedd’s bass drops all-in-one? The wide range of genres is not the only thing to get excited about—remarkable art installations and sculptures, a huge selection of food and selfies with celebrities are all within reach at Coachella.

Check out our features: Guns N’ Roses Reunite for Coachella,plus live coverage of Foals and James Bay and a The Front Bottoms 2015 album review.


New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Date: April 22- May 1, 2016

Location: Fair Grounds Race Course, New Orleans, LA

Official Site: http://www.nojazzfest.com/home/

Breakdown: The 47th annual jazz and heritage festival offers another multi-genre lineup featuring: Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Van Morrison, My Morning Jacket, J. Cole, Gary Clark Jr. and Beck. And of course, there will be plenty of jazz music. If you feel like taking a break from the music, you can indulge in traditional New Orleans cuisine, or wander through the marketplace perusing the crafts of artisans, or even immerse yourself in cultural exhibits. But be warned: all the crawfish and jambalaya in New Orleans won’t make up for the regret you’ll feel if you miss Stevie Wonder or Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Check out our features: My Morning Jacket & J. ColeBeck album reviews and a feature on Gary Clark Jr. from the Afropunk Fest.

Hangout Festival

Date: May 20-22, 2016

Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Official Site: http://www.hangoutmusicfest.com/

Breakdown: This sandy three-day festival is back for its seventh year with The Weeknd, Florence and the Machine and Calvin Harris as headliners. Other artists include: Alabama Shakes, Ellie Goulding, Lenny Kravitz, Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Haim and Walk the Moon. Art, hammocks, craft beer and carnival rides add to the overall atmosphere of a relaxed beach getaway with a trip to the boardwalk to end the day. This festival seems to cater to a younger crowd, as most of the artists have recently released chart-topping songs.

Check out: Interview with Cage the Elephant, coverage of Alabama Shakes, and a review of Walk the Moon’s latest album.


Boston Calling

Date: May 27- 29, 2016

Location: City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA

Official Site: http://bostoncalling.com/

Breakdown: This three-day festival is an all-ages event and features some the best acts in live music. As one of the more intimate festivals on this list, Boston Calling leaves less room for conflicts between the set times of your favorite artists. There is a clear emphasis on electronic and pop music for the headliners of this year’s festival, which include Sia, Disclosure, Robyn and Odesza. Miike Snow, City and Colour, Elle King, The Front Bottoms and Janelle Monáe round out the lineup. Prepare for a tightly packed party with people who share the same passion for music as you do.

Check out: last year’s overview of Boston Calling, an interview with The Front Bottoms (2014), and an album review of Röyksopp & Robyn.


Mountain Jam Festival

Date: June 2-5, 2016

Location: Hunter Mountain, NY

Official Site: http://mountainjam.com/

Breakdown: The Mountain Jam festival returns to Hunter Mountain ski resort in upstate New York for its 12th year. This sounds like the most laidback option of the list—I can just imagine the good vibes flowing through the crowd from all the jam bands as well as from the more mainstream artists. They include Beck, Wilco, The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule and Umphrey’s McGhee. Joining them are artists such as Gary Clark Jr., Thievery Corporation, Jason Isbell, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Courtney Barnett and Brandi Carlile. Enjoy a different view of the music from a sky ride that overlooks the festival, or take a ride on the highest zipline in North America to enhance your festival experience.

Check out: our Photo Review of Mountain Jam 2015, an interview with the founder of Mountain Jam, Gary Chetkof and an interview with Umphrey’s McGhee.



Laura Curry is a Rutgers University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Interviewing bands and writing about music is her passion. She is a frequent concert-goer, whether they’re happening in New Brunswick basements, Asbury Park venues, concert halls in NYC and anywhere in between. Alternative rock is her go-to genre (i.e. Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Foals, The Maine and lots more). When she isn’t writing for The Pop Break, she works at the North Brunswick Public Library, which offers plenty of Fantasy/Adventure novels to quench her love of reading. Additionally, she takes on creative projects from dream catchers and scrapbooks to paintings and jewelry making. She’s always happy to talk about her furry Maine Coon cat Austen and his knack for playing fetch and hide and seek. Just try not to ask about her next career move, because trust me, she’s working on it.