It’s summer and that means it’s prime music festival season. From Bonnaroo to Governors Ball to Firefly, they all seem to blend together. One of the best alternatives out there is the independently run Northside Festival in Brooklyn. It’s a week-long festival, beyond music, featuring content and innovation programming as well. The festival gets its name from where it is held, the north side of Williamsburg, although it has expanded to the south side and Bushwick.

Like any festival, there are conflicts, and when you have an incredible lineup featuring Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst, Wolf Parade, Grandmaster Flash, Hinds, and many other amazing and varied artists, there are many tough choices to be made. Today, we look at what we consider the can’t miss shows of Northside 2016, to help make those tough choices a little easier. However, you can check out the full music lineup here to make your own choices.

You can buy tickets to the specific shows by clicking on their respective links, or grab a Northside badge here.

Diarrhea Planet, Sweet Crude, Acid Dad – Brooklyn Bowl, Thursday, June 9, Doors 6PM $18

Not just a great (or awful) name, garage-punkers Diarrhea Planet truly are one of the finest live bands in music. A huge sound thanks to a multi-guitar attack as well as tons of energy and an unpredictability that results in band members crowd surfing or scaling scaffolding. They also have a new record Turn To Gold out on June 10th, so you can expect to hear some brand new tracks from the Nashville band. Not to mention the excellent support from Acid Dad and Sweet Crude, this show easily makes our list.


Wolf Parade, Land of Talk – McCarren Park, Thursday June 9, 6PM FREE with RSVP

This may conflict with another show on this list, but Wolf Parade’s recent New York City shows were a triumphant comeback for the band. If you missed the epic five-night run at the Bowery Ballroom last month, you have another chance to see them at Northside. After six years off, they’re as good as ever, and released the amazing EP4 last month. Wolf Parade are well on their way to reclaiming their status as one of the top indie rock bands, so don’t miss their FREE set at Northside.


Colleen Green, Childbirth, Diet Cig – Baby’s All Right, Friday, June 10, 11:30PM $12 (SOLD OUT)

You really couldn’t put together a more fitting bill. All three bands/artists share a very DIY/punk attitude and all three are beginning to get more and more attention. Colleen Green released the awesome I Want To Grow Up last year, and Diet Cig caught fire with their EP Over Easy and made our artists to watch in 2016 list. And if you have not heard about Childbirth, they are a supergroup of sorts, featuring members of Chastity Belt, Tacocat, and Pony Time.

Live, Green’s personality shines through while Diet Cig’s Alex Luciano is full of uncontainable energy and bounces around the stage effortlessly. Childbirth, meanwhile, will barrage you with non-stop energy. Any of these three could headline this show so it’s easy to see why this one sold out quickly, but you might be able to get in if you grab a pass.

Frankie Cosmos, Ava Luna, Deradoorian – Rough Trade NYC, Saturday, June 11, 8PM $20

This show has the potential to be the best show of the whole festival. Since releasing their latest record Next Thing, Frankie Cosmos has been gaining a huge following. Ava Luna released the awesome Infinite House in April of last year. Deradoorian has made a name for herself after she left the Dirty Projectors. But, possibly, none of that will matter for this show as it will be an all-night tribute show featuring these bands covering other peoples’ albums. And that is always fun! Frankie Cosmos will cover Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville; Ava Luna will perform Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson; and Deradoorian will tackle Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality. A very varied mix of artists performing a varied mix of records.

Brian Wilson, Rostam, Hinds – McCarren Park, Sunday June 12, 5PM $35

Pet Sounds turned 50 years old earlier this year. To celebrate, Beach Boys founding member Brian Wilson has taken the record on the road, and one of his stops is Northside. This is a great opportunity to catch a truly legendary artist performing what is perhaps the most influential album of its time. Wilson may not have the energy of some of the other artists at the festival, but his band does the album incredible justice. The other acts on the bill are also some of the best artists of the entire fest. ROSTAM is a super talented performer, formerly of Vampire Weekend. Hinds are one of the fastest rising bands in the indie scene, releasing the stellar Leave Me Alone last year. A great lineup and a fantastic way to spend a Sunday evening.

Northside Lineup

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