Small and/or Inexpensive Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz Festivals for Summer 2016 (U.S. Only)

Other than the warm weather, longer days and opportunities to get outdoors, I love the late spring and summer because of the festivals!  

There are countless festivals and events, big and small, that occur here in the U.S. during this time, especially for music. I decided to share a few of them for you all to make plans to attend this summer…because what use is the warm weather and longer days if you don’t get to travel, enjoy the outdoors and have fun? 

Included in this list are events varying in size and are hip-hop, R&B, and jazz centered that aren’t as huge as Essence Festival, but they’re still really fun, interesting, full of talent, inspiring, and, aren’t super expensive (and in some cases are free!). So, check out the list below, then check your calendars, your bank accounts, and make some memorable summer plans! 

May 2016 

Art Of Cool FestMay 6-8 at various locations in Durham, NC [Website | Twitter Instagram]

Atlanta Jazz Festival – May 27-29 in Atlanta, GA at Piedmont Park [Website | Twitter]

June 2016 

Blue Note Jazz Festival – All of June in NYC at various locations. [Website | Twitter]

Capital Jazz Fest June 3-5 in Columbia, MD at the Merriweather Post Pavilion [Website]

Roots Picnic – June 4 in Philadelphia, PA at the Festival Pier (at Penn’s Landing) [Website | Twitter]

DC Jazz Festival – June 10-19 in Washington, DC at various locations [Website | Twitter | Instagram]

July 2016

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival – July 13-16, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY at various locations [Website | Twitter | Instagram]

Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival – July 15-17 in New York City at various locations [Website | Twitter]

We Love Music Conference – July 16-17 in Indianapolis, IN at the Indiana Convention Center [Website]

Cincinnati Music Festival – July 22-23 in Cincinnati, OH at Paul Brown Stadium [Website | Twitter | Instagram]

If you want to hear some old school R&B and soul, this two-day festival is for you.

Acts: Babyface, Fantasia, Ledisi, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, New Edition, and more.

Prices: Range from $55-125. Available via website.

August 2016

Summer Spirit Festival – August 6-7 in Columbia, MD at Merriweather Post Pavilion [Website | Twitter]

Hosted by Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Summer Spirit Festival is for the soul and R&B lovers.

Acts: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, The Roots, Avery*Sunshine, and more.

Price: Ranges from $94-450 via website.

We Are Hip Hop Youth Festival – August 6 in Chicago, IL at Dvorak Park [Website | Twitter | Instagram]

Organized by Chicago youth, We Are Hip Hop aims to celebrate hip-hop and promote peace in Chicago with music, breakdancing, and graffiti.

Price: FREE

Afropunk Festival – August 27-28  in Brooklyn, NY at Commodore Barry Park [Website | Twitter | Instagram]

Afropunk is for the alternative urban men and women who have eclectic tastes. The Brooklyn festival is the oldest one from Afropunk, but Afropunk hosts events in other cities, like Atlanta and Paris, throughout the year. This year’s theme is “Power to the Party,” which has a very interesting breakdown explained here.

Acts: Janelle Monáe, Ice Cube, Tyler the Creator, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, The Internet, George Clinton, Sángo, and more.

Price: Ranging from $50 to $250 to purchase via Afropunk’s website.

This list is saturated with events on the East Coast, so if you know of anything going on out west, comment below or tweet me at @amirahrashidah.
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