With summer comes outdoor festivals to celebrate music, dance and the arts with Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, Make Music and Montreal and Newport jazz fests. The sports world brings the X-Games and E3 Expo's videogames, award shows feature the Tonys for best theater and MTV's favorite movies. Trade shows include New York's Book Expo and the Comic-Con extravaganza, and there's the comedy fests in Chicago and Montreal.
21st MTV Movie Awards
Universal City, California
MTV's Movie Awards recognize Best Film and best actors, as well as the cheeky salutes to Best Kiss and Best Fight. This year MTV adds Best Music, Best On-Screen Transformation, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance and Best Cast, voted on by fans. The event at the Gibson Amphitheater will air live at 9 pm ET with a strong showing of nominated stars, such as Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise.
18th E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo
Los Angeles, California
The largest US convention for the computer and video game industry gathers software developers, retailers and Hollywood representatives. Companies from Activision to Sega present upcoming games and showcase the latest in technology. After a record 70,000 attendees in 2005, it became an invite-only event for attendees from more than 80 countries at the L.A. Convention Center. A similar event is the International Conference on Computer Games Multimedia (CGAT) in Indonesia.
111th BookExpo America
Javits Center, New York, NY
BookExpo America is the premier book fair in North America and the world’s largest English-language book event. More than 1,500 exhibitors, 500 authors and 30,000 visitors are expected attend. In 1902, Mark Twain was the featured author and this year digital books will be in the spotlight. Other major North American book fairs occur in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, and Guadalajara, Mexico.
11th Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
June 7-10, 2012
The four-day Bonnaroo Festival, now in its second decade, brings nearly 90,000 people to Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. It is the top-grossing festival in North America, and Rolling Stone named it as one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll. The 2012 lineup features Radiohead, Bon Iver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Shins, Foster the People, Feist, Ludracris, and The Beach Boys.
66th Tony Awards
New York, NY
The Tony Awards ceremony recognizes outstanding Broadway theatrical productions with its annual ceremony presenting awards for categories divided into plays and musicals. Recognition for acting, direction, costumes, scenic design, choreography, and best revival plays are among the nominations. The equivalent to Britain's Laurence Olivier Award, the Tonys are telecast live from the Beacon Theater in New York City. Neil Patrick Harris (The Smurfs) hosts for the third year.
Just for Laffs Festival
An offshoot of the original and world's largest comedy festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which celebrates its 30th year, the Chicago shows feature headlining stand-up comics such as Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt at various venues. Several special nights are also scheduled including an evening with film director Kevin Smith and actor Vince Vaughn's Showcase of upcoming talent. Montreal's fest happens in July and Sydney's JFL's event is scheduled in October.
18th Los Angeles Film Festival
Los Angeles, California
The LA Film Fest, produced by Film Independent, screens over 200 feature films, shorts and music videos from more than 30 countries, primarily showcasing indie films as well as the high-profile, similar to the Gotham Awards in New York City. The program also includes ‘conversations' with actors James Franco (127 Hours) and director Julie Taymor, who launched the Spider-Man musical on Broadway.
80th Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival
June 16-August 26
America's longest-running dance festival celebrates its 80th anniversary with more than 160 debut and premiere performances from Australia, China, France, Finland, and Brazil, from modern dance to ballet. The event also features more than 300 talks over the six weeks, dance classes and exhibits. Jacobs Pillow received the National Medal of Arts from the US President in 2012.
34th Playboy Jazz Festival
Los Angeles, California
Hosted by comedian/actor Bill Cosby at the famed Hollywood Bowl, the Playboy Jazz Fest presents all-day concerts with emerging acts and legendary artists including Ramsey Lewis Electric Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, Keb' Mo' Sheila E., Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Ozomatli and pop singer Robin Thicke.
38th Saturn Awards
Often overlooked, genre films that score big at the box office are snubbed by critics and awards, but the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films honors these categories in film and television, as well as action/adventure with the Saturn Awards. With the fan popularity of films from Harry Potter to Mission: Impossible, the recognition also extends to independent films.
Make Music (Fête de la Musique)
New York City and other cities
This 12-hour free musical celebration on the first day of summer happens in several cities across the US, including New York, Chicago, Denver, Sante Fe, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Launched in Paris in 1982 as a musical holiday, Fête de la Musique, called Make Music in North America, features performances by bands, orchestras, hip hop acts and Latin artists across sidewalks, parks and plazas. Now celebrated in more than 460 cities in 110 countries, the event's New York edition is the biggest in the US with over 1,000 concerts from funk to punk, sing-ins and jazz parades.
33rd Montreal International Jazz Festival
June 28-July 7
Also known simply as ‘Jazz Fest,' this vies with Montreux as the largest jazz festival in the world, attracting more than two million attendees over 10 days. Artists include performances by jazz veterans and up-and-comers on the summer circuit as well a healthy line-up of world music acts, folk, blues and R&B/Funk, a strong showing of Canadian acts as well as tributes to jazz greats.
18th Summer X-Games
June 28-July 1
Los Angeles, California
Athletes from around the world compete in extreme sports at the biggest X-Games event featuring BMX, skateboarding, motocross, and rally car racing on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by sports broadcaster ESPN, the events will attract more than 141,500 spectators. Telecast live from the Staples Center and surrounding venues and seen on ESPN.com/action, XGames.com and YouTube. Also delivered to 232 million homes in 192 countries.
30th Just for Laffs Festival
Celebrating its 30th year, North American's first comedy festival is also the world's biggest with two million people attending the performances, conference and comedy film festival each summer. This year in honor of its anniversary, The Muppets present a gala and top-notch stand-up comics such as SNL's Bill Hader and Lewis Black from Comedy Central Daily Show fill venues. The Chicago JFL's event is in June and Sydney's is in October.
43rd Comic-Con International
San Diego, California
The Comic-Con conference of comic books, science fiction and fantasy is one of the world's largest comic events, attracting 130,000 attendees. Sessions feature well-known artists and writers from Marvel, DC Comics and graphic novelists, and stars of film and television with directors previewing superhero and fantasy movies and shows. Highlights of this otherworldly event includ exclusive collectibles on the exhibit floor and the masquerade. New York hosts a fall Comic-Con event and WonderCon happens in April.
Pitchfork Music Festival
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Now in its seventh year, this festival is a leading annual event for indie music lovers, and is set to take place again in Chicago's Union Park. The lineup includes Feist, A$AP Rocky, Hot Chip, Beach House, Wild Flag, Real Estate, and many others. A three-day pass is USD $110/single day is USD $45.
58th Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, Rhode Island
The first-ever jazz festival in the US from impresario and pianist George Wein features three stages at Fort Adams Park with the Maria Schneider Orchestra Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dianne Reeves, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Kurt Elling, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Bill Frisell performing the John Lennon Songbook.