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Editor's Picks: Top Ten Music Festivals of May 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!


May 2012 Picks


may 2012 music festivals

The view from stage during Above & Beyond's Melbourne performance. Photo by Paavo Siljamäki. Courtesy of

Creamfields Australia 2012

May 5, 2012 - Perth, WA, Australia

May 6, 2012 - Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

Liverpool's Cream nightclub has expanded beyond its own walls and has since become one of the biggest global festival brands, simply known as Creamfields. 2012 marks the third year running that Creamfields graces the sunburnt land with a national tour, touching down in April in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and in May in Perth and Gold Coast. Creamfields is also coming to Andalucía (Spain), Halton (England), and Buenos Aires (Argentina) later this year.

Included in the lineup are David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Vitalic, Excision and Congorock as well as homegrown heroes such as Dirty South and Shockone.


For more festival information: Creamfields Perth | Creamfields Gold Coast's act to see: Vitalic


-- T.A.



may 2012 music festivals

The Antlers. Photo by Shervin Lainez; Courtesy of

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012

May 3-5, 2012 - New York, NY, United States

Hosted by Brooklyn Academy of Music and curated by The National's Bryce and Aaron Dressner, the first ever 2012 Crossing Brooklyn Ferry is the Brooklynite / indie music lover's dream come true. Featuring a plethora of artists both famous in and out of the New York music scene, this music festival pays homage to one of the most influential American poets, Walt Whitman (It was named after his famous poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry"). The festival will span over the course of 3 days and covers the areas of both music and independent film. All events will take place in multiple venues in the Peter Jay Sharp Building in Brooklyn.

The impressive lineup includes The Walkmen, St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, The Antlers, Twin Shadow, Atlas Sound, Oneohtrix Point Never and many more.


For more festival information: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry's act to see: Atlas Sound


-- A.P.



may 2012 music festivals

Photo courtesy of

Sónar São Paulo 2012

May 11-12, 2012 - São Paulo, Brazil

Since 1994 Sónar has proven itself to be one of the most world renowned electronic music festival brands -- spanning across the globe and holding events in different cities each year. With the expansion of the electronic music scene in the past few years, Sónar São Paulo is expected to be a big hit among Brazilians and foreigners alike. The festival takes place over the weekend of May 11-12, 2012 at the Anhembi Parque in the richly diverse city of São Paulo.

Sónar São Paulo in 2012 boasts a name-drop worthy lineup including Kraftwerk, Flying Lotus, Cee Lo Green, Justice, Chromeo, Mogwai, James Blake and Gui Boratto.


For more festival information: Sónar São Paulo's act to see: Four Tet


-- A.P.



may 2012 music festivals

Photo courtesy of

Springfestival 2012

May 16-20, 2012 - Graz, Austria

What do you get when you combine music, art, and technology? Springfestival. Hosted in Graz, Austria, Springfestival is a five-day festival celebrating the world of all things artistic and tech-savvy through a collection of nightly music events featuring some of the best international DJs and discussion panels and more. Graz in the springtime is the perfect setting for this highly anticipated event, so there is much to do outside of the festival as well.

Among many appearing at the 2012 Heineken Springestival are Skream, Benga, Amon Tobin, Little Boots, Cassius, Gilles Peterson and Modeselektor.


For more festival information: Springfestival's act to see: Cassius


-- A.P.



may 2012 music festivals

Austra. Photo courtesy of

Pop Revo 2012

May 18-19, 2012 - Aarhus, Denmark

Pop Revo is about "providing pop revolutionary music for the people," and this year's program proves nothing less. In addition to many local and Scandinavian bands, Pop Revo will include artists from as far as the USA and Canada to Turkey and the UK. If experiencing great up-and-coming indie bands is your thing, Pop Revo is certainly one of the top music festivals to attend in May. The organizer's minimalistic approach to this year's festival means the event will be focused completely on the music and after all, isn't that what it is all about?

Pop Revo 2012 is host to some great bands including Lower Dens, Moonface, Austra, Grimes, Lower, Cloud Nothings, Swearing At Motorists, and Girlseeker.


For more festival information: Pop Revo's act to see: Cloud Nothings


-- A.P.



may 2012 music festivals

Big Gigantic. Photo courtesy of

Hangout Music Fest 2012

May 18-20, 2012 - Gulf Shores, AL, United States

The third appearance of this ever expanding three day festival is held on the white sandy beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. With a mix of music including rock, indie, jam, funk, folk and electronic, the vibe remains the same for all as festival-goers soak up that sun, sand and music. Last year pulled in a weekend crowd of 120,000 people and this year is sure to build on that with the strength of its lineup. So whether you choose to stay in a beach-side condo or simply "slum it" it's bound to be an experience to remember.

Appearing on the beach side stages will be Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Dave Mathews Band, The String Cheese Incident, Flaming Lips, Wilco and Skrillex.


For more festival information: Hangout Music Fest's act to see: Flaming Lips as they perform their version of Dark Side of the Moon


-- T.A.



may 2012 music festivals

Lagwagon. Photo courtesy of

Pouzza Fest 2012

May 18-20, 2012 - Montreal, QB, Canada

Happening in downtown Montreal is a massive punk fest in five neighbouring venues; l'Absynthe, Foufounes Electriques, Underworld, Katacombes and Theatre Ste-Catherine. 3 Day Passes allow you access to all venues over the weekend assuming they aren't already at full capacity, or individual ticket sales guarantee you access to one predetermined venue of your choice and low-priority entry to any other venue on the same night. With a total of 168 bands from classic punk and ska bands to up and coming artists there's sure to be a riot in the beautiful streets of Montreal.

Tearing up the stage will be Less Than Jake, Lagwagon, The Bouncing Souls, Danger, The Suicide Machines, Hot Water Music, Voodoo Glow Skulls.


For more festival information: Pouzza Fest's act to see: The Mezingers


-- T.A.



may 2012 music festivals

Photo courtesy of findwell Seattle

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2012

May 25-28, 2012 - Gorge Amphitheatre, WA, United States

Sasquatch remains as the eclectic brother in the family of massive regional U.S. festivals such as Coachella and Bonnaroo. With a focus on indie rock, indie folk, indie pop and indie electronic music and a pristine setting with panoramic views from within the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington it's no wonder Sasquatch! Music Festival has become the stalwart festival of the North-West. Occuring during the Memorial Day Weekend over four days and four stages (Sasquatch, Yeti, Bigfoot and Rumpus Room), Sasquatch! is set for its biggest year yet.

Stomping the grounds will be Jack White, Bon Iver, Beck, The Shins, The Roots, Feist, Tenacious D and Pretty Lights.


For more festival information: Sasquatch! Music Festival's act to see: The War on Drugs


-- T.A.



may 2012 music festivals

MF Doom. Photo courtesy of

Villette Sonique 2012

May 25-30, 2012 - Paris, France

There is something about Paris in the Spring. There is something even more about a music festival in Paris in the Spring. Throw together a wide range of independent artists, comprised of sub-genres such as "black metal" and "psychedelic rock," add one of the largest parks in Paris, and you have yourself six nights of great music -- otherwise known as Villette Sonique. Taking place in multiple venues throughout the Parc de la Villette, this easily accessible music festival has something for everyone. The best part: Some of the shows are free!

This year's Villette Sonique features Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, Ariel Pink & R. Stevie Moore, Death Grips, MF Doom, The Field, Liturgy, The Melvins, Dirty Three and Julia Holter.


For more festival information: Villette Sonique's act to see: Girls


-- A.P.



may 2012 music festivals

Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival 2012

May 26-28, 2012 - Detroit, MI, United States

The party simply known as DEMF to those that know it has over a decade of successful showcases to its pedigree. The festival focuses on electronic dance music culture, but instead of resting on the huge amount of electronic music history to come out of Detroit, the festival looks forward and focuses on the progressive nature of the EDM industry. Movement is spread over three days and five stages and also includes pre and after parties plus other official clubbing events.

Playing the main event will be Public Enemy, Busy P, Major Lazer, Roni Size, SBTRK, Carl Craig and DJ Sneak.


For more festival information: Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival's act to see: Ian Pooley


-- T.A.


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