Your 2014 summer festival line-up

Summer’s long days and mild evenings are perfect for relaxing with friends and family, including attending one of the state’s many festivals. From hot air balloons to live music to the legendary harvest fairs, there are plenty of ways to enjoy summer in Vermont. Tape this list of not-to-miss festivals to your fridge and don’t forget your cooler and camp chair.


Middlebury Festival on the Green

Jul. 6-12

Middlebury Recreation Park

The Middlebury Festival on the Green will actually be off the town Green this summer, as a result of work being done on railroad tracks in the town. Instead, the festival will take place on the Town Recreation Field, a short walk away. Come enjoy downtown Middlebury and music by the likes of Anais Mitchell and Josh Panda in a relaxed, family-friendly environment. Events for kids are at noon each day, with two shows nightly at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and run all week.


Vermont Brewers Festival

July 18-19

Lake Champlain Waterfront

Technically, tickets to Vermont’s biggest beer festival sold-out in 12 minutes – a record time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find plenty to enjoy during the week leading up to the beer-soaked weekend. Check out the homebrewers festival at Arts Riot in downtown Burlington and a free concert in Battery Park. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to score a pair of tickets.


The Precipice

August 1-2

Burlington College, Burlington

For it’s sophomore year, “The Precipice” will take place at a new location located in the beautiful and enormous field behind Burlington College and will feature over 60 different musical acts over the course of 3 days and across 4 different stages. There will be lots of localvore food all around the grounds and Switchback beer will be flowing from the taps. This Precipice is primarily a Vermont music scene festival, plus a few out of town favorites thrown into the mix. Topping this year’s bill, on the local front, are Barika, Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band, Ryan Power, Rough Francis, Eames Brothers Band, Waylon Speed, Michael Chorney & Hollar General, The Lynguistic Civilians, Swale, Blue Button, Paper Castles, Maryse Smith and The Dupont Brothers. On the national front, up and coming indie powerhouse, Superhuman Happiness, featuring members of Antibalis, TV on The Radio, and Iron & Wine, will be joining us from Brooklyn for what promises to be a magical set, and Rusty Belle will make the trek up from Amherst, Mass.


Midd Summer Fest

August 2,

Marble Works Business District, Middlebury

Midd Fest is a celebration of some of Vermont’s finest beer, wine, cheese and other products with live music to match. Held in Riverfront Park, right next to Middlebury’s iconic waterfall, the annual event attracts residents and visitors alike.


Hops in the Hills

Aug. 1, 2, 3

Okemo Mountain Resort

Enjoy music, craft, and food, in addition to a wide selection of local beer and wine. Highlights include a performance by Phish tribute band Uncle Ebenezer.


10th Annual August West & Town of Jay Festival

Aug. 9,

Town Green, Jay

The August West Festival celebrates the music of the Grateful Dead and the community in and around the Jay Peak area. This groovy festival features free Ben & Jerry’s, a full beer tent, grills, vendors and tie-dye as far as they eye can see. Kids and well-behaved dogs are welcome.


Lake Champlain Maritime Festival

Aug. 7 – 10,

Lake Champlain Waterfront, Burlington

One of Burlington’s signature events is a festival of all things maritime on Lake Champlain with classic boats, long boats, canoes, kayak and Dragon boat demonstration. Experience boat building, enjoy local-fare, music, and plenty of hands on exhibits.


Vermont Music Fest

Aug. 23,

Lareau Farm, Waitsfield

The Vermont Music Festival is a free, all-day, volunteer-run music festival featuring music (electric and unplugged) on two stages, local food, artists and fun for the family. This year features a wiffle ball contest and pints from Long Trail Brewing.


New World Festival

Aug. 31,

Chandler Music Hall, Randolph

If folk music is more to your liking, be sure to visit the New World Festival in Randolph. Selected as a Top 10 Summer Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the lineup of bands includes folk-inspired music from Jon Gailmore, Adina Gordon, De Temps Atan, performance by the No Strings Marionette Company and a delicious array of food.


Fourth Annual Cambridge Music Festival

Sept. 6,

Porter Farm, Cambridge

The Cambridge Music Festival is an all-day event showcasing New England-based musicians, singers and songwriters that benefits local nonprofit, Cambridge 360. This year’s lineup of performers is still growing, spanning genres of folk, rock and electronic music. 


Tunbridge World’s Fair

Sept. 11-14

Tunbridge Fairgrounds

The Tunbridge Fair, which has run continuously since 1867 (except in 1918), will take place in September. Highlights include sheep dog trials, harness racing and a tractor pull. If you haven’t been, put it on your bucket list.


Grand Point North

Sept. 13 & 14

Waterfront Park, Burlington

The fourth incarnation of Grace Potter’s annual music festival will take place this September on the shores of Lake Champlain. Potter, a Vermont native, will perform with her band, the Nocturnals, along with a bevy of other big-name acts. If you love Grace (and who doesn’t), Waterfront Park is the place to be the second weekend in September.


Evan Johnson

Evan Johnson is the staff writer for Vermont Sports Magazine. The native Vermonter enjoys steep and deep skiing and wandering all over the state by Subaru. Find him on Twitter at @evanisathome.

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