12 Free and Cheap Music Festivals This Summer

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IT'S SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL SEASON

Marquee music festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella might draw the biggest names in the industry, but a weekend wristband comes with a $300-plus price tag. If you're not looking to spend a small fortune on concessions, camping passes, and ATM fees, check out some of these cheap and free music festivals taking place across the country this summer.
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CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL

Chicago
June 9-11
Billed as the largest free blues festival in the world, the Chicago Blues Festival features three days of acts like
John Primer and the Real Deal, William Bell, Rhymefest, and Gary Clark Jr. Lounge in "Chicago's front yard" as this year's festival moves to the mainstage at Pritzker Pavilion.

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PROJECT PABST

Portland, Oregon
August 26-27
Much like the beer, Project Pabst is cheap and popular. This year's festival features big-name acts like Iggy Pop, Beck, and Nas -- all for a $100 weekend pass. Project Pabst is held in downtown Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park with music running until 10 p.m each night.

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GRAND POINT NORTH FESTIVAL

Burlington, Vermont
September 16-17
Singer-songwriter Grace Potter returns to Vermont again to host the Grand Point North Festival, equal parts music festival and homage to her home state. The 2017 festival along the waters of Lake Champlain features acts like Daws, the Trey Anastasio Band, and, of course, Grace Potter. A weekend pass to this low-key festival costs just $89.

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VANS WARPED TOUR

Multiple Cities
June 16-August 6
Stopping in about 40 cities, the Warped Tour has been bringing punk and alternative rock to cities across the country since 1995. The crowds at this festival tend to be on the younger side, as tickets are cheap -- usually about $40 -- and kids under 18 can bring a parent/guardian for free.

Photo credit: RiverCityRockfest/facebook.com

RIVER CITY ROCKFEST

San Antonio, Texas
May 27
This hard-rock music festival features more than a dozen bands playing throughout one day at San Antonio's AT&T Center. For a full day of riffs from the Offspring, Godsmack, and Def Leppard, the festival pass is a deal at $70.

Photo credit: rbfestival/facebook.com

RIVERBEND FESTIVAL

Chattanooga, Tennessee
June 9-17
Featuring artists like Toby Keith, the Flaming Lips, and Ludacris, the Riverbend Festival takes place in downtown Chattanooga right alongside the Tennessee River. A pass for all eight days costs just $42, and kids ages 10 and under get in free.

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COMFEST

Columbus, Ohio
June 23-25
Dubbed a "Party with a Purpose," ComFest is a free three-day festival in Columbus that celebrates all things local. Expect plenty of local bands, comedians, artists, artisans, and food trucks operating under a theme of acceptance and community.

Photo credit: americasriverfestival/facebook.com

AMERICA'S RIVER FESTIVAL

Dubuque, Iowa
June 8-10
This small city puts on a big show each year with America's River Festival, which features acts like the Little River Band, Styx, and the Guess Who. Weekend passes cost $35 and children 12 and under receive free admission.

Photo credit: Florence V./yelp.com

WESTWORD MUSIC SHOWCASE

Denver, Colorado
June 24
Put on by the free weekly alternative newspaper of the same name, Westword Music Showcase is headlined this year by the Revivalists, Shakey Graves, and Bob Moses. General admission passes cost $50 and the festival takes place in downtown's Golden Triangle neighborhood -- kids 2 and under get in free.

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AFROPUNK FESTIVAL

Brooklyn
Aug. 26-27
Described by The New York Times as "the most multicultural festival in the U.S.," this year's Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn features acts like Gary Clark Jr., Thundercat, and Kaytranada. This weekend festival takes place at Commodore Barry Park and tickets start at $80.

Photo credit: bluegrassfestival/facebook.com

FESTIVAL OF THE BLUEGRASS

Fayette County, Louisiana
June 8-11
Festival of the Bluegrass has been hosting some of the country's best folk and bluegrass musicians for more than 40 years. This festival family-friendly takes place in the wilderness where you can camp, take music lessons, jam with friends, or just see the bands. Four-day passes start at $100.

Photo credit: hinterlandiowa/facebook.com

HINDERLAND

Saint Charles, Iowa
August 4-5
Entering its third year, Hinderland offers top-notch bands for a relatively low price of $95 for a weekend pass. The 2017 lineup includes acts like Gary Clark Jr., Ryan Adams, and Alt-J. Camping isn't necessarily required, but given that the festival is located in a rural spot north of Des Moines, hotel accommodations might be limited.