Nothing like live music: Local music festivals to catch this summer

Nicki Minaj headlines Summer Jam next weekend.

Jam’n 94.5 Summer Jam
June 2
Comcast Center
The hip-hop/R&B station-curated fest brings out the hottest names on the radio and beyond. Catch early sets by up-and-coming rappers with big buzz, like Diggy Simmons, Kirko Bangz and Kid Ink. And stick around for tried-and-true headliners like Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj. Also filling out the bill are acts who could be headliners, like B.o.B., Big Sean and Wale.

Cambridge River Festival
June 2
Northern bank of the Charles
This free fest is a chance to learn about and get engaged with the local arts community. That doesn’t sound exciting enough? How about this: The fest includes five stages featuring local acts like Kingsley Flood. A dance stage teaches salsa, swing and more.

The Seaport 6
June 14
Bank of America Pavilion
Ah, what a bittersweet event this will be, as it’s probably the last event sponsored by the radio station WFNX, which will soon leave the FM frequency at 101.7 to make way for some Clear Channel something or other. So yeah, that’s the bitter part. The sweet part, though, is acts like Delta Spirit, Grouplove, Cake and Reptar are set to perform.
Vans Warped Tour
July 19
Comcast Center
Relive your teenage years and check out what the kids are listening to at this mainstay in the festival scene. Maybe even join in the moshing. The Warped Tour continues to showcase the best in pop punk, ska and alt rock, including a handful of bands from the ’90s who will make you feel like you’re still up on current music, like Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail and Yellowcard.

Lowell Folk Festival
July 27-29
This is one of the few places you can hear Chicago blues, Dominican Bachata and traditional music from Zimbabwe, and watch Hawaiian dancers, without leaving Massachusetts. Plus, it’s all free.

Newport Folk Festival
July 28-29
Fort Adams State Park,
Newport, RI
Ever since Dylan plugged in an electric guitar, this fest has become a more and more eclectic affair, stretching the limits of what the genre of folk can mean. This year continues that fine tradition, with acts like My Morning Jacket, Deer Tick, Alabama Shakes, City and Colour, Jackson Browne, the Berklee City Music Choir and Tallest Man on Earth. Oh, and on that Friday night, Wilco plays with Blitzen Trapper and Megafaun.
Rockstar Energy
Mayhem Festival
August 3
Comcast Center
Tired of all the stringy kids playing indie rock these days? Spice up your live music experience with some of the loudest in the business — it’ll be a rough and tumble one, that’s for sure. The Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival gives a snapshot of the heavy metal superstars — with Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead and Anthrax, it’ll be sure to bust some eardrums.


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