There’s an ongoing mania spreading like wildfire across the globe that could effectively be termed “Festival Fever.”
A new festival seems to be popping up almost every weekend. As LA Weekly noted at the beginning of the summer, an ambitious Southern California resident could spend almost every single weekend from the Summer Solstice to Halloween at a different music festival.
For those who bristle at this trend, as it attracts crowds to what were once intimate events, there still exist a handful of small-town festivals, many of which cater to the action sports and outdoor enthusiast lifestyle.
These were our favorites this summer, and worth marking in your calendar for next year:
Burlington, Vermont: The Vermont Brewers Festival
Vermont happens to have one of the richest beer brewing cultures in the U.S., with nationally renowned breweries like The Alchemist calling the Green Mountain State home.
On the third weekend in July, Burlington holds the Vermont Brewers Festival, which offers visitors an amazing festival with small crowds and great beer.
With tons of mountain biking and hiking trails to choose from at local mountains like Smugglers’ Notch and Stowe, and Burlington’s acclaimed music scene (both Phish and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals emerged from Burlington), there will be no shortage of adventures in and out of the festival.
Vail, Colorado: The GoPro Mountain Games
As you might have noticed, we loved covering the 2016 GoPro Mountain Games, and with good reason.
Held every June in beautiful Vail, Colorado, the Mountain Games attract a sizable crowd (this year brought in over 60,000 fans), but due to the spacious layout of Vail, the town handles it with ease, and you never feel overcrowded.
The festival plays host a great variety of mountain sports (slacklining, anyone?) and allows anyone the opportunity to compete against top pros in everything from mountain biking to SUP.
If you’re not necessarily looking to compete in any of the sports, the Mountain Games also brings in top music acts like J Roddy Walston and the Business and Stephen Marley.
Taos, New Mexico: The Taos Ski Valley 10K Up & Over Trail Run/AMP concert series
This nominee is not technically one festival, but the combo makes it a shoe-in for this list.
A 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) trail run, the Up & Over is no walk in the park: The race starts and finishes at 9,200 feet, and has an elevation gain of 2,612 feet in the first 3 miles.
Though grueling, the course is a true scenic trek through wilderness, allowing you the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The Up & Over happens to coincide with the AMP concert series that brings national headliners to venues throughout New Mexico over the summer.
This year, AMP brought Dawes, Galactic and the Alabama Shakes to Taos during the Up & Over weekend.
Alta, Wyoming: Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival and Targhee Fest
Every summer, the Grand Targhee Resort stages two amazing music festivals 7,800 feet above sea level in the heart of beautiful Wyoming.
Every August for the past 29 years, the resort has hosted the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. The festival this year drew the likes of the Infamous Stringdusters and Lord Huron.
If bluegrass music isn’t quite your cup of tea, Every July the resort puts on Targhee Fest. This past year Targhee Fest brought in Drive-By Truckers and Grace Potter.
The best part of both festivals? They take place in a mountain biking mecca.
The Grand Targhee Bike Park made MTBparks.com’s list of America’s best bike parks in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and offers over 2,200 vertical feet of lift-serviced downhill and 47-plus miles of multi-use trails for cross country and downhill mountain biking.
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