The Rolling Stone Guide to Summer

This spring, they detonated the most explosive hip-hop beef in ages with their two joint LPs. Now, they’re taking a victory lap with their 27-date We Trust You Tour (July 30-Sept. 9).

Yes, the Ohana Festival is not till the end of September (27-29), but for the Pearl Jam frontman, who personally curated the three-day jam in Dana Point, California, we’ll expand our definition of “summer.” The rare fest not aimed at college kids, this year it features Alanis Morissette, Jenny Lewis, the Breeders, Kim Gordon, two nights of Pearl Jam, and more. Not enough Nineties #content for you? Green Day, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Third Eye Blind, Hootie, and Bikini Kill are also hitting the road. It’s a Gen X flex.

One trip to charming Bar Harbor, Maine, lets you hike Acadia National Park, where the mountains meet the Atlantic, enjoy a genuine Maine lobster roll (mayo, tarragon), and hoist a pointed sign outside the home of the conservative activist who was instrumental in overturning Roe v. Wade. Patriotic duty calls!

In 2021, Brooklyn-based rapper MIKE had an idea: a music festival for regular folks. That is, a free show, in the park, during the day, featuring talented up-and-coming acts. This year, Young World IV (July 13) has Earl Sweatshirt, Myaap, Sideshow, Stahhr, and Stacy Epps rocking Bed-Stuy’s Herbert Von King Park.

Barbenheimer was great, but this year, we’re craving summer movies that don’t ask us to think so much. Thankfully, Hollywood has obliged with Twisters (a follow-up to the 1996 tornado-disaster movie; out Juy 19), Bad Boys: Ride or Die (the fourth installment of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s buddy-cop franchise; out now), and Deadpool & Wolverine (what it sounds like; out July 26).

RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (July 20-27), is a rolling festival that starts at the Missouri River and ends at the Mississippi, where every day is a grueling test of endurance, and every night is a keg party. This year, the peloton of 20,000 will traverse a 434-mile route across the southern part of the state, with pit stops in Winterset, the birthplace of John Wayne, and Knoxville, home to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum.

This year’s Broccoli City Festival, July 27-28 in Washington, D.C., boasts its strongest lineup in nearly a decade. A hyper-curated mix of mainstream and emerging acts, from Veeze to Kaytranada, Party Next Door, Gunna, Jordan Ward, and more, will take to Audi Field, plus a slew of other live experiences. Think: comedy with Issa Rae, Desi Banks, and Funny Marco, a “Hoe Down” with Tanner Addell, and TrapSoul Karaoke hosted by Bryson Tiller.

The masked and fabulous country star is on the road all summer for his all-star-duets LP, Stampede — plus a stop in Nashville for his annual Rodeo festival, where Tanya Tucker will also perform (Aug. 23-25).

Inspired by photojournalist Danny Lyon’s 1968 book of the same name, The Bikeriders (in theaters now) follows the crimes and misdemeanors of the Vandals, a Chicago motorcycle gang played by a collection of pretty tough guys (read that however you wish) including Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Mike Faist, and Norman Reedus.

Illustration by Jim Stoten

Upon the spring release of their collab “Wanna Be,” Megan Thee Stallion and GloRilla urged people everywhere to submit twerking videos for them to repost on social media. Now, you can show ’em your moves in person: The rappers take their talents to the stage through July 27, with Glo serving as Meg’s tour guest and official Hot Girl Summer torchbearer.

As baseball season kicked off, clips of blown calls ricocheted around the internet, with outraged fans and players calling for change. Why not let players challenge balls and strikes, like they do in the minors? How about demoting the worst offenders? The hubbub got so intense that one long-maligned ump, Ángel Hernández, suddenly retired in May. The most popular suggestion is to fix the problem with a computerized system of “robo-umps.” But the league is reluctant, apparently because awful human umpires are an integral part of our national pastime. And as long as that’s their take, merciless heckling of those umps should be, too. Head to a stadium and do your part.

Smoke a doob, dad-style, with the Doobies, who co-headline a tour with Steve Winwood that stretches through late August — the longest train runnin’.

Old-school roller skating is back. And the best place to do it is Xanadu, a new rink-slash-music venue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where you can take a few turns on eight wheels while a world-class DJ brings down the house. Come for the nostalgia, stay for the cheffy snacks — like tuna tartare Frito pie and grape-soda cocktails — and the bathroom dance party (complete with its own DJ booth), Club Flush.

During the Perseid meteor shower (Aug. 12-13), a shooting star will be visible every minute, on average, after midnight. The best spots to view: International Dark Sky Places (there are 139 certified across the U.S.) — parks, nature reserves, and cities that have implemented policies to limit light pollution.

To mark the 20th anniversary of their debut LP, the Killers are doing a mini residency at Caesars Palace in Vegas, where they’re going to play it straight through. More reason to cheer: It’ll be the first time in nearly 10 years that all four band members will be onstage together (Aug. 14-Sept. 1).

The third chapter of a decades-spanning trilogy from filmmaker Ti West and actor/model/next-gen scream queen Mia Goth, Maxxxine (in theaters July 5) takes its slasher thrills to 1980s L.A., where a serial killer is on the trail of Goth’s aspiring actress/porn star. There will be blood, more blood, so much blood.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard may be young, but in their 13 years of existence they’ve managed to release 25 studio albums that master genres from jazz to metal to psych rock, all while fostering bands in their native Melbourne, Australia, and helping turn it into one of the hottest scenes on the planet. Catch one of their three-hour stateside gigs starting in August.

Hunting for your song of summer? Search these releases.

Peso Pluma
Éxodo (out now)
The newly-minted global superstar is back with a 24-track epic divided between a música mexicana disc and an urbano disc. Collaborators like Natanael Cano, Junior H, Cardi B, and Quavo help him come through with another genre-busting tour de force.

Ice Spice
Y2K (July 26)
After lacing huge hip-hop hits as well as iconic collabs with the likes of Taylor Swift and PinkPantheress, her debut full-length is one of the year’s most-anticipated records. She delivers with track after track of five-alarm Bronx fire.

Fontaines D.C.
Romance (Aug. 23)
This Irish post-punk band gets better with each album, and its fourth is a game-changer. If you’ve ever wondered what Joy Division would sound like if they were big Outkast fans, here’s your window-rattling, heart-knocking answer.

This Is How Tomorrow Moves (Aug. 16)
Superproducer Rick Rubin was behind the board for the new one from this U.K. indie-rock hero. The result is her most ambitious music yet, giving her vividly introspective guitar poetry a stunning sense of low-key grandeur.

Josh Hartnett has rejoined society. Last summer, the early-aughts heartthrob popped up in a supporting role in Oppenheimer. (We think it was Hot Scientist No. 1, or maybe nuclear physicist Ernest Lawrence.) This summer, we’ve seen him cameo in Season Three of The Bear, and next month, he takes the lead on the big screen, starring as a possibly homicidal dad in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, Trap (out Aug. 2). Plus, he has three more movies currently in production, so get ready, wine moms.

Big fests are great if you don’t mind sweaty crowds, long lines, high prices, and rampant phone thieves. But if you’re looking for something more chill, try the Nelsonville Music Festival in rural southern Ohio (July 26-28). Packed with three or four generations of indie-rock, folk, and roots acts — plus Killer Mike! — in a pastoral setting, it’s an easygoing experience that won’t leave you drained.

Simone Biles returns to the mat (and the vault, and the beam, and the bars), Sha’Carri Richardson hits the track. Breakdancing makes its debut. NBC has Leslie Jones doing commentary, and Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson on highlights. Oh, and the network is giving heart-rate monitors to athletes’ parents, so we can track live on air just how much they freak out while their kids are going for gold. What better reasons to park yourself in front of a TV July 26-Aug. 11?

A mystery!
Death in the Air (HarperCollins)
If Agatha Christie took a White Lotus trip to an Ayurvedic spa in the Indian Himalayas, she could do no better than Ram Murali’s debut novel — a murder mystery that pays loving homage to the genre while crackling with wicked humor and subversive social satire.

A memoir!
Desperately Seeking Something (St. Martins Press)
Trailblazing director Susan Seidelman reminisces on her early hits (Smithereens, the first American indie to compete for the Palme D’Or prize at Cannes; Desperately Seeking Susan, the film that made Madonna a movie star), directing the Sex and the City pilot, and the music, art, and people that guided her.

An expose!
Hot Dog Money (Amazon Publishing)
Investigative journalist Guy Lawson (War Dogs) examines the large-scale corruption in college sports — egregious bribing of coaches, and officials looking the other way — that could take down the NCAA.

An epic!
The Singer Sisters (Flatiron)
Sarah Seltzer’s debut novel tracks a rock & roll saga of a folk-rock family through two drama-filled generations, the Sixties and the Nineties.

If tilling soil and harvesting sweet summer fruits sounds relaxing, but you have no soil to till and manage to kill every plant you touch, download Stardew Valley. A virtual farming game with a retro feel, it’s soothed the tech-addled souls of more than 30 million players since launching in 2016. With a recent PC update adding tons of new content, soon to arrive on consoles, it’s the perfect way to live the simple life (on a screen).

First, writer-director Matt Reeves offered a fresh take on the Dark Knight by casting Robert Pattinson in The Batman. Now, he’s teaming up with J.J. Abrams and all-star animator Bruce Timm (who created the iconic Batman: The Animated Series in the Nineties) for Batman: Caped Crusader. Set in the 1940s and inspired by film noir, it drops Aug. 1 on Prime.

If you like Seventies rock, internecine band drama, and seeing cool musicals before they become Oscar-bait movies and culture-dominating soundtracks, get tickets to the Tony-winning Stereophonic now. The thinly-veiled story of Fleetwood Mac, set to original songs by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, will make future superstars of the cast — keep an eye on Juliana Canfield and Sarah Pidgeon — and plant earworms in your head long after the curtain drops.

After 30 years of icon-hood, Missy Elliott is somehow only just getting her first tour as a headliner. Go pay your respects, starting July 4 in Vancouver.