Best Festival After-Parties

Your guide for where to sip when the lights come up.

After braving warm Bud Light at a summer music fest, reboot your palate at these nearby mixology meccas and wine bars. 

CMA Music Festival (Nashville) June 5–8

SEE: The biggest names in country music in its capital city.

TASTE: A small-production biodynamic wine from Husk Nashville’s short-but-sweet list, grouped by soil type (limestone, alluvial, etc.).


Governor's Ball (New York City) June 6–8

SEE: A wide swath of alternative and hip-hop, including Vampire Weekend and Outkast.

TASTE: Pitorro, a Puerto Rican 92-proof, rum-like spirit, at Port Morris Distillery in the South Bronx, a short hop across the East River from the festival grounds.


Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN) June 12–15

SEE: Superstars like Elton John and Kanye West at this former jam band fest.

TASTE: It’s BYOB, but no glass is allowed on the campgrounds, so embrace the new wave of quality boxed wine: Black Box Shiraz or La Petite Frog Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet.


Firefly Festival (Dover, DE) June 19–22

SEE: Foo Fighters, Jack Johnson and Beck perform in the woods.

TASTE: The Gypsy Lager at the nearby historic, colorful Fordham & Dominion craft brewery. 


Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas) June 20–22

SEE: The top names in electronic music—and 300,000 new friends—raving from dusk to dawn.

TASTE: A drink as over-the-top as the festival, like the 64-ounce Scorpion cocktail at the 24-hour Fireside Lounge at Peppermill Restaurant.


Summerfest (Milwaukee) June 25–29; July 1–6

SEE: More than 800 acts over 11 days at the world’s largest music festival.

TASTE: Chotard Sancerre Rosé from Balzac Wine Bar’s well-priced, ever-rotating list with something for everyone—much like Summerfest itself.

Essence Festival (New Orleans) July 3–6

SEE: Prince, Mary J. Blige and the largest celebration of African-American culture and music in the U.S.

TASTE: The 2007 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis at Patrick’s Bar Vin (and they make a mean sazerac, too).


Sasquatch Festival (George, WA) July 4–6

SEE: Soundgarden, Kraftwerk and Frank Ocean in one of the most stunning outdoor venues in the country.

TASTE: The wines of the stunning Cave B Estate Winery & Resort.


Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago) July 18–20

SEE: Indie-minded icons old and new, from Giorgio Moroder to Neutral Milk Hotel.

TASTE: A zippy frappato or one of Girl & The Goat’s house-blended wines, with innovative vegetable dishes from Stephanie Izard, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef (Season 4).


Newport Folk Festival (Newport, RI) July 25–27

SEE: The ever-expanding world of American folk, with acts like Nickel Creek, Mavis Staples and Band of Horses.

TASTE: A Dark ’n’ Stormy at the White Horse Tavern, one of the country’s oldest taverns (dating to 1673), before heading to one of its oldest music fests.

Outside Lands (San Francisco) Aug. 8–10

SEE: Diversity: Last year featured Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Chic and Nine Inch Nails.

TASTE: Mostly local wines on the grounds themselves at the concurrent Wine Lands Festival.


First City Festival (Monterey, CA) Aug. 23–24

SEE: A barrage of indie-hippie acts befitting the location, the site of 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival.

TASTE: Any of over 250 wines from 95 wineries in Monterey County’s seven AVAs at A Taste of Monterey, housed in an old sardine cannery overlooking the sea.


Bumbershoot (Seattle) Aug. 30–Sept. 1

SEE: Esoteric music from around the globe, from Ethiopian funk and Chinese flautists to local punk rockers.

TASTE: Little-known Washington State wines, like the potent Wilridge Nebbiolo, at The Tasting Room, a cooperative tasting cellar.

Music Midtown (Atlanta) Dates TBA

SEE: A two-day festival with a diverse lineup of hip-hop, electronica, rock and pop.

TASTE: A Slovenian Rebula, Macedonian Vranec-Kratosija or Pelaverga Piccolo from Piedmont from the adventurous list at The Spence. 

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