Janine Davis

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 01: Lauryn Hill performs onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Louisiana Superdome on July 1, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The summer is just about here, so why not enjoy these six summer music festivals that make a great ‘girls trip.’

I have heard these phrases used by young people to express their love and zest for the summer. They are as follows: “hot-girl summer”, “we outside” and “festival szn” (slang for season), just to name a few. And quite frankly, these have become commonly-used phrases for the Generation X crowd, too. That would be me!

The younger generation isn’t the only ones looking to have fun in the sun. My girlfriends and I have already started mapping out our entertainment plans for the summer. They include a host of concerts and all sorts of festivals across the country. And typically, most will feature some of our favorite musical acts.

We have learned attending a festival is a great way to get more bang for your buck. Not only do we get to see some of our favorite musical artists, but many festivals include a variety of vendors who offer everything from self-care, inspiration, health, and wellness to fashion. And we can get all of this over a few days; it’s not just a one-day deal. It’s the perfect recipe for a great girls’ getaway.

From the legendary Essence Festival to newer festivals like Fool in Love Fest, here are some of this year’s best music festivals to check out with your girlfriends, family, or partner.

6 Summer Music Festivals for a Girls Trip

  • Essence Festival Of Culture - July 4-7, New Orleans

    This is one of the most epic music fests I’ve ever attended. And it’s celebrating 30 years this year. Formerly known as ‘Essence Fest’, it encompasses a wide array of A-list talent. The big names this year include Janet Jackson, Charlie Wilson ask “Uncle Charlie” with special guest Cash Money Millionaires. The 30-year tribute will be hosted by New Orleans’ own, rapper Birdman. The event continues to expand beyond just music. It also includes food & beverage installations, empowerment sessions and panels on protecting our mental health. Essence.com

  • Fool In Love Festival - August 31, Los Angeles

    This a new music festival that proclaims to be one of the most iconic multigenerational events of our time. Fool In Love festival will feature a lineup heavy hitters. They include legends like Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, and The Isley Brothers. It will be at the Hollywood Park Grounds at SoFi Stadium. A true event not to be missed if you’re into nostalgic sounds of what has been dubbed as ‘real music.’ foolinlove.com  

  • Newport Jazz Festival - August 2 - 4, Newport, RI

    Is anyone heading north? The Newport Jazz Festival is considered the granddaddy of music festivals with 70 years under its belt. This is all about jazz. This year enjoy the musical sounds of Niles Rodgers and Chic, Andre 3000 (from the Atlanta rap duo Outkast). Andre 3000 is now a flutist. There’s also the legendary Robert Glasper and the sultry Alex Isley (daughter of one of the Isley Brothers). This jazz rest wreaks of summer time chilling with a lawn chair and some champagne.  NewportJazz.org  

  • John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival - August 31 - Sept 1, High Point, NC

    Two-time Grammy Award-winner, Gregory Porter brings his vocal mastery to the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues...

    Posted by John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival on Friday, April 19, 2024

    This festival is a celebration of the legendary jazz artist John Coltrane and his legacy. It takes place in his childhood hometown of High Point NC and includes a mix of jazz genres from blues, Latin Jazz and more. Featured artists this year include Brian Culbertson, Gregory Porter, and Incognito. The festival is captivating as it’s set by a pristine lake and lush foliage in Oak Hollow Festival Park. It’s two days of great music, food, vendors, family, friends, fun and relaxation. John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues  

  • Capital Jazz Fest - June 7 - 9 - Columbia, MD

    Every June, you can find jazz lovers and music lovers in general flocking to the Washington, DC area to take part in one of the biggest ‘jazz festivals with soul’ — Capital Jazz Fest! It started in 1993 and continues to be a main attraction in outdoor festivals. And if you’ve ever attended, then you now it’s more than just a concert, it’s an event! It’s a three-day event and this year’s line-up includes some stellar talent like North Carolina’s own Anthony Hamilton, Babyface, Chrisette Michele, Gregory Porter, El Debarge and Lalah Hathaway to name a few. CapitalJazzFest

  • Hampton Jazz & Music Festival - June 28-30, Hampton, VA

    The Hampton Jazz Festival brings the best of jazz, pop, blues, soul, and R&B and has been doing for more than five decades. The three-day festival brings some of the best jazz acts to the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia. It is co-produced by Hampton University and the City of Hampton. And what a line-up this year. Everyone from Boney James, and Boyz II Men to Coco Jones to Kem will hit the stage. It is one of the most epic festivals of the summer.

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