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Editor's Picks: Top Ten Music Festivals of August 2012

Every month we hand-select our top ten music festivals covering all genres and geographical locations. Please feel free to add your comments at the bottom of the page and share your top music festival picks for the month.


Scroll down to see our top picks!


August 2012 Picks

top Canadian music festivals summer 2012

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Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts 2012

August 3-5 2012 - Montreal, QB, Canada

Osheaga has been called the largest music festival in Canada and is a truly one-of-a-kind event. Because it is hosted in the beautiful French-Canadian city of Montreal, it feels more like a European music festival than a North American one. This year's lineup features a spectacular cast of both local and international bands and DJs, speading across many genres from electronic to folk music. In addition to the music part of the festival, many venues throughout the city will have art installments on display from early on in the week.

The Osheaga 2012 lineup includes The Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Sigur Ros, Florence + The Machine, Justice, and Metric.


For more festival information: Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts's act to see: Zombie Disco Squad


-- A.P.



Ric wallace Lollapalooza

Photo by Ric Wallace under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License

Lollapalooza 2012

August 3-5 2012 - Chicago, IL, United States

Originally started in 1991 by Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza has been on a wondrous ride throughout the last two decades. It reached heights of becoming the most famous music festival in the United States with a national tour of thirty cities to bowing out for several years with no shows. Lollapalooza has now restructured itself as a three day festival held solely in Chicago (plus franchises in Chile and Brazil) and has regained its once vaunted level of popularity. This more focused approach to the festival and the much more widely diverse acts sets the scene for Chicago's party of the summer.

Playing in the park are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, The Shins, Black Sabbath, The Black Keys.


For more festival info: Lollapalooza's act to see: Sigur Rós


-- T.A.



summer music festivals 2012

Woods. Photo courtesy of

Woodsist Festival 2012

August 4-5 2012 - Big Sur, CA, United States

Hosted by pysch-folk band Woods, the Woodsist Festival returns in 2012 to the Henry Miller Memorial Library, an iconic California venue made famous by many popular indie acts. This festival may be small in size but the lineup boasts some big names and since it takes place over the course of two days, you won't have to miss any of the acts by battling through crowds to get from stage to stage. Judging from the lineup this festival could be extremely chilled out, but with the likes of a band like Thee Oh Sees it seems the crowd might be in for a few rowdy surprises.

Playing at Woodsist Festival 2012 are Real Estate, Woods, Peaking Lights, Thee Oh Sees, Ducktails, and Michael Hurley.


For more festival information: Woodsist Festival's act to see: Mantles


-- A.P.



Sziget Magyar Dal

Photo by Gergely CsatariGregorik under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License

Sziget Festival 2012

August 6-13 2012 - Budapest, Hungary

It doesn't get any bigger than this, 7 days, 400,000 attendees, 60 stages, all set on the Island of Óbudai-sziget ("Old Buda Island") on the Danube which splits the historic city of Budapest into its counties of Pest and Buda. With a diverse range of music including world, metal and electronic, Sziget Fesztivál festival provides more than enough entertainment for any die-hard music fan but also has extra activities of interest available such as arts, theatre, sports, tattooing and cinema. The festival itself is close enough to the city that you can even explore it on day trips or even attend a traditional Hungarian spa as a method of regaining spent energy.

Playing on the island are The Killers, Placebo, Korn, Paolo Nutini, Lamb, The Stone Roses, The xx.


For more festival information: Sziget Festival's act to see: Crystal Fighters


-- T.A.



august 2012 european music festivals

Africa-HiTech. Photo courtesy of

Flow Festival 2012

August 8-12 2012 - Helsinki, Finland

Imagine listening to band after amazing band into the wee hours of the night but that it is still daylight and you're soaking up the sun with some of the hippest people in the European Capital of Design -- yeah, we thought we were daydreaming too. Flow Festival brings together art and music from both Scandinavia and around the world and all within the grounds of a former power plant in the center of Helsinki. The environmentally-friendly music festival encourages attendees to take public transportation or ride bicycles to the event and even has a guarded bicycle parking lot -- how cool is that? And just to top it off, Flow focuses on quality food and drink and promises to have some of the finest local eateries to serve the masses.

The plethora of acts at this year's Flow Festival include Björk, Feist, The Black Keys, Yann Tiersen, St. Vincent, and Ane Brun.


For more festival information: Flow Festival's act to see: The War On Drugs


-- A.P.



top music festivals summer 2012

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Grape Festival 2012

August 10-11 2012 - Piešťany, Slovakia

This festival may not have anything to do with wine, but it's first-rate, albeit small, lineup makes Grape a must attend European festival this summer. Grape Festival is an open-air camping festival tucked away in the quiet spa resort town of Piešťany in the western half of Slovakia. The festival is quite new as it only started in 2010 with The Subways headlining -- who will be returning this year as well.

Grape Festival 2012 will include The Subways, Morcheeba, Example, The Bloody Beetroots, Modestep, and Skyline.


For more festival information: Grape Festival's act to see: Morcheeba


-- A.P.




Photo by evenko under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License

Heavy MTL/TO 2012

August 11-12, 2012 - Montreal, QB, Canada

August 11-12, 2012 - Toronto, OT, Canada

Starting originally as the puntastic Heavy MTL, the festival has expanded south to the city of Toronto. This year it is a simultaneous two day festival with a large number of the bands playing both cities on alternating days. Spread over three stages with nothing but heavy metal, Heavy MTL/TO is now an annual centrepiece for canadian metal fans. Also don't miss Heavy MTL's "Heavy in the City" celebration on Friday 10th on the Île Saint-Hélène.

Blasting out at the festival are System of a Down, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Deftones, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Trivium.


For more festival information: Heavy MTL, Heavy TO's act to see: Suicidal Tendencies


-- T.A.



summer music festivals 2012

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Super!Sonic Korea 2012

August 14-15 2012 - Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hosted in the acclaimed Olympic Park in Seoul, Super!Sonic Korea has something for everyone -- from newly famous bands like Foster The People to classic 80's icons such as Tears For Fears. Though this festival is happening mid-week, it shouldn't deter festival-goers from having a rocking good time -- that's what H2O is for. When else will you get to see all of these great bands appearing on the same stage?

Rocking the Olympic Park will be Smashing Pumpkins, New Order, Tears For Fears, Gotye, Gym Class Heroes, and Soulwax.


For more festival information: Super!Sonic Korea's act to see: Tears For Fears


-- A.P.



Laser show at Reading

Photo by Christopher Friese under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License

Reading Festival & Leeds Festival 2012

August 24-26, 2012 - Reading, England, United Kingdom

August 24-26, 2012 - Leeds, England, United Kingdom

Reading and Leeds, two english cities steeped in history and culture, also each home to one of the largest music festivals on the English calendar. A two-city, three day bill sharing pair of music festivals held on the August bank weekend, with an immense line-up of rock, pop, electronic and hip-hop. Reading Festival boasts the title of the longest running popular music festival operating, beginning in 1961 as the National Jazz Festival, and going through countless changes of names and styles of music presented.

At the festivals will be Foo Fighters, Florence + the Machine, The Cure, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, The Shins, Paramore.


For more festival information: Reading Festival, Leeds Festival's act to see: Django, Django


-- T.A.



Electric Zoo Festival 2011 - Hilltop Arena

Photo by Roman Fuchs under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License

Electric Zoo 2012

August 31-September 2, 2012 - New York, NY, United States

Held on Randall's Island in NYC is the biggest party of the Labor Day long weekend in the nation. Now stretching over three massive days is a killer electronic dance music line-up, featuring just shy of a hundred DJ's, live acts and performers from America and abroad. The music festival is so highly regarded amongst the industry due to the organisation and atmosphere of the party that it is consistently nominated for "Best Music Event" in the International Dance Music Awards. With an even further expanded program this year, it will surely be picking up another nomination.

Joining the rave are David Guetta, Benny Benassi, ATB, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Tiesto, Above & Beyond.


For more festival information: Electric Zoo's act to see: Apparat (Live)


-- T.A.




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