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Best Festivals in New York

Synonymous with festivity and artistic talent, it comes as no surprise that New York hosts a number of annual cultural festivals that are unparalleled in magic and magnitude. Read on to update your New York bucket-list with the best festivals in town:

Panorama (Randall’s Island Park) – July

Picture this: Coachella unfolding in New York City’s beloved Randall’s Island Park with a hip-hop twist. Yes, as Coachella’s edgy cousin, Panorama is everything you could’ve ever hoped for: killer sets, party goers from all around the country to celebrate with, and a helluva star-studded line-up! From the Killers to The XX, Cardi B to the Weeknd, expect the who’s who of the music scene to put in an appearance. Besides, summer in California’s so cliché, come spend it in New York instead.

Afropunk (Brooklyn) – August

The love-child of rebellious goodness and the celebration of African heritage, Afropunk functions as an artistic safe space for every freak, geek and weirdo with mystique to explore the intersections of culture and music. Lose yourself in the unfiltered joy of discovering a new environment rich with artistic splendor and teeming with unconditional acceptance as you groove to tunes from black musical legends like Jill Scott, Santigold, and Leon Bridges.

SummerStage (Multiple locations) – Summer months

Set against the backdrop of dreamy summer days, SummerStage captures the very essence of music festivals so effortlessly with its come-one-come-all open-air format. Attracting over six million lovely humans from all around the globe since its birth back in the good old ’80s, this show-stopping performing arts festival has redefined the consumption of music and the celebration of artistic expression. With hundreds of spell-binding performances by the likes of diverse artists like Parquet Courts, The Concert, and Lisa Lisa, you’ll want to visit every one of the 18 locations SummerStage has decided to bless with its presence.

Electric Zoo (Randall’s Island Park) – March

From the depths of the Big Apple’s concrete jungle we bring you Electric Zoo – one of the East Coast’s most premier dance music festivals to ever exist! Set against the iconic backdrop of Manhattan, it serves up an exquisite offering of some of the finest artists specializing in dubstep, techno and house. Let the likes of Claptone, The Black Madonna, and Bassnectar blow your mind as you fall in love with this incredible city and the wacky sets on display. And ditch the chicken dance for some king-of-the-jungle worthy moves because it’s about to get wild up in here!

Chelsea Music Festival (Canoe Studios) –  June

Calling all music fans, art-enthusiasts and foodies alike, Chelsea Music Festival offers up a delicious taste of the finer things in life that you’ve been craving at your boring desk-job. In a perfectly sophisticated and innovative amalgamation of classical music, ravishing scents and hand-crafted menus customized to match the sights and sounds of each act, attendees are sure to experience a sensory feast like never before. Keep an eye out for renowned and talented musicians like Alex Shiozaki, Amy Galluzzo, and Michael Dahlberg. Think of Chelsea Music Festival as the artistic equivalent of an expensive spa-day, the kind that has you grinning goofily in delight for days.

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (Brooklyn) – July

Whether you’re seeking a summer to remember or one to forget, Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival certainly has your back. Branded NYC’s biggest Hip-Hop event of the year, fans await this music festival with bated breath. Stretching beyond musical performances to include interactive exhibitions, block parties and panel discussions, this festival really dedicates itself to raising awareness of the community it has its roots in. Fall head-over-heels for fantabulous artists like Skyzoo, Mister Cee, and Torae while basking in the beauty of New York’s age-old love affair with Hip-Hop.

Governors Ball ( Randall’s Island Park) – June

Ever imagined yourself as a princess at a ball? Well why settle for princess when you can transform into a rave queen this summer at Randall’s Island Park attending the Governors Ball Music Festival, dancing with the breathtaking New York skyline as your backdrop? Watch Randall’s Island come to life with an array of show-stopping performances by fan favorites like Galantis, Wolf Alice and Flume, while you make memories to treasure for a lifetime. With some of New York’s best food trucks and interactive art installations to indulge in as well, I bet you’ll have a ball at Gov-Ball! 

Summer Jam ( East Rutherford, New Jersey) – June

Sponsored by New York’s favorite radio station Hot 97FM, Summer Jam brings together Hip-Hop fans from all across the tri-state area for an explosive night of pure unadulterated fun. With a history of absolutely iconic headliners like Nicki Minaj, Migos, and Lil Wayne, you can count on Summer Jam to set itself apart as a truly elite music festival. If quality music is what your heart desires, you know where to head this June.

Pinknic (Randall’s Island Park) –  July

Much like the Mean Girls, Pinknic attendees uphold their pink-and-white dress code with great pride. If live performances, pool parties, and gourmet food hailing from the Big Apple’s favorite restaurants strike your fancy, you’re sure to want to sell your soul to the Pinknic gods. Soak your toes in the ‘fairytale pool’ as you sway to the tunes of Moon Boots, Naations, and Mark Ronson. With an array of wines to choose from, head over to watch the stunning firework display with your new favorite drink in hand as you make a mental note to book tickets for next year as soon as you get home.

So for a much-needed musical (and dopamine) fix, plan your trip to New York right here, right now!

The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles

So what’s the perfect venue to enjoy Los Angeles weather, take in chill vibes and imbibe potent potables all in one locale?

A rooftop bar, of course!

To that end we made it my mission to scout 10 of the coolest rooftop bars in Los Angeles just for you and yes they all come with incredible views, lush scenery, and delicious cocktails.

But whether or not you choose to enjoy them? Well, that’s totally optional.

List starts after the jump (in no particular order).

1. The Andaz Sundeck

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Having the highest rooftop swimming pool in Los Angeles is a nice title to have in this town. The Andaz in West Hollywood offers panoramic views of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip on the Sun deck year round. Lay out on a day bed or cozy up and watch the sunset across Los Angeles while enjoying hand crafted cocktails and snacks from the pool menu.

2. High Rooftop Lounge

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In Venice beach the Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar appropriately named High is the prime spot to catch a beach sunset. This place has a laid back atmosphere, awesome munchies and nightly drink specials year round. On chilly nights they even pass out blankets and turn on the heat lamps, how thoughtful right?

3. Perch Los Angeles

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Unobstructed views of downtown and very clear view of the neighboring Central Library Perch has been claimed one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in Los Angeles. A talented team of mixologists, tasty food and a beautiful french inspired ambiance has caused this place to form lines every weekend. The vibe is upscale which also means it can get pricey. To avoid the line make a reservation. Looking to try Perch on a budget? They have a happy hour!

4. Upstairs At The Ace Hotel

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Upstairs at the Ace is a buzzing hot spot perfect for kicking back and watching all the cool kids socialize. The moroccan themed roof deck host events nightly with special DJ guests paired with a nicely curated drink menu and YES there is a pool. Do yourself a favor and check out their events calendar it’s filled with fun and free events seven days a week.

5. The Fonda

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Catching a show at the Fonda is fun but the added bonus is pretty cool as well… walk up to the second floor and take the mini stairs up into the rooftop. Astroturf, delicate strung up lights, tables, couches and even a open air hall sits right above the building. Guest take their smoke breaks, order drinks and take in the views. Don’t worry about missing the show, they have it projected on a screen with the sound on. Nice touch Fonda I approve!

6. The Standard Rooftop Bar

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A view like none other The Standard offers a 360 degree view right in the heart of DTLA. Engulfed by surrounding skyscrapers the hotel opens its rooftop to the public with free admission during the week and a nominal entrance fee (usually $20) during the weekends. Owned by the same hotelier as the Chateau Marmont this mod themed bar has water bed pods, a pool and a projector screening classic flicks. The addition of the Biergarten on the west end of the open air deck is a nice touch for those who want to kick back away from the crowd and dance floor.

7. The Redbury

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The SBE group is synonymous with Hollywoods most popular hotspots so it is no surprise when The Redbury opened it became a favorite for people looking for low key nights. The bar is set like a private library with two awesome and free pool tables! Sit outside and lounge on the comfy sofas, the streams of lights and candles create an intimate vibe tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard.

8. Suite 700

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Perched atop the iconic Hotel Shangri-La is Santa Monica’s famous indoor/outdoor rooftop bar & lounge Suite 700. Once a penthouse suite in the landmark hotel, Suite 700 and it’s deco inspired digs captures an elusive sense of Hollywood glamour at the ocean. The rooftop bar provides beautiful views of the ocean and the Santa Monica Promenade making it a perfect place to catch the sunset.

9. The London Rooftop

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Perched on the 10th floor of the hotel, the rooftop offers guests a beautiful panoramic view of West Hollywood. Inspired by a traditional English garden this place has an intimate feel to it but things can get crazy over the summer here. Just an FYI the roof top is open to guests for those who want to visit a reservation must be made.

10. SkyBar At The Mondrian

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A Hollywood favorite from the time it opened, Sky Bar is situated in the heart of Sunset Boulevard. Pretty young things like to lounge by the pool with a drink and listen to guest DJs spin the latest top tunes. A bit pricey but like any prime hot spot they tend to factor the view in with the bill. Remember to get on the guest list for the weekends for no hassle entry.

Originally reported on We Like LA.

What are the best LA Pool Parties in 2015?

Whether you’re the avid partier or just looking to have a little fun in the sun, LA’s endless summer provides for some of the hottest people at the trendiest rooftop pools. Pool season sets off with a myriad of parties at party-friendly hotels around town. Whether you’re looking to lounge, dance, or just have a drink and listen to music by the pool, make sure to plan in advance by either arriving early, getting a room at the hotel, or reserving a daybed or cabana with bottle service.

Here’s a curated list of the best pool parties in LA 2015…

Andaz West Hollywood

Vibe: Lounge, drink and people watch

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Shed your inhibitions at this stunning rooftop pool, overlooking West Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills on one side and downtown LA to the beaches on the other. Andaz’s stunning rooftop pool – one of the few rooftop pools in Los Angeles, is a sexy, sky-lit sanctuary for relaxing in the sunshine or enjoying the hip West Hollywood scene. Dive in for a refreshing swim or laze on a lounge chair and sip a delicious cocktail as you take in the panoramic views of Los Angeles. Cool down and enjoy some privacy in a cabana with umbrellas for your pleasure. Join the beautiful people by the poolside bar for light fare and refreshing cocktails at The Sundeck. Enjoy delights eats right from the RH kitchen.

SkyBar at The Mondrian

Vibe: Dance, party, see and be seen

Boasting some of the finest views of Los Angeles, Skybar is an open air, ivy-covered pavilion perched above the Pool at Mondrian Los Angeles. Having been the spot for the hottest nightlife and bar scenes from the day it opened, Skybar’s newly re-imagined design brings a fresh approach to this iconic space. A chic poolside lounge by day, Skybar provides an idyllic oasis to take in the sun and enjoy impeccably fresh cocktails. When the sun sets, the pulse of Skybar beats even louder, stirring a seductive energy, aroused by world-class DJ’s and Hollywood glamour. To book daybed or table packages for your group, visit here.

The Standard Downtown LA

Vibe: City views, “chill” crowd and Biergarten

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The Rooftop at The Standard, Downtown LA offers stunning, panoramic views of Downtown Los Angeles and the mountains beyond. The Rooftop features a heated swimming pool, red AstroTurf deck, dance floor, nightly DJs, bar, outdoor fireplace, waterbed pods, sculptured topiary and a Biergarten.

The Standard Hollywood

Vibe: Retro, fun, and “hot”

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It doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this: blue astroturf, ping pong, power lunches, sun bathers, and the best people watching this side of the 101. The Standard Pool is a bona fide icon. Pool access is reserved for hotel guests. Day passes are available for purchase based upon availability.

Tropicana Pool at The Roosevelt Hollywood

Vibe: Day party, night swim, actual swimming, vintage

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Although the Roosevelt’s day parties are legendary, it’s night swims are historic. Located at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Tropicana offers pool toys and a pleasant atmosphere, featuring scattered ottomans among fire pits and palm trees. (Partygoers tend to actually go swimming, in droves.) Plan to arrive after midnight, enjoy a cocktail from one of the two full bars and listen to resident DJs like Chris Holmes or Will Crimes. They usually can be found behind turntables spinning funky indie tunes, though you’ll often see guest DJs such as Elijah Wood. Oh and also, when your friends ask you what you did last weekend, you can just say: “Uhh I was at The Roosevelt” (*drops the mic and walks away*). To book daybed or table packages for your group, visit here.

The Montage Beverly Hills

Vibe: Posh, cool and relaxing

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As a guest of Montage Beverly Hills, you can enjoy access to this rooftop oasis, complete with a saline swimming pool and whirlpool. Private poolside cabanas, The Rooftop Grill and lush landscaping are set against the backdrop of panoramic views of the Beverly Hills cityscape and the Hollywood hills. If you’re not a guest, Rooftop Cabanas are available for rent. Cabanas are serviced from 9:00 a.m. until Sunset and can accommodate up to 6 guests. All cabanas include an LCD Flat Screen TV, National & Local Newspapers & Magazines, Complimentary WiFi, Evian Misters, Coola Suncare, Montage Bathrobes (upon request), Fresh Fruit Bowl and Bottled Water.