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Levitate Music Festival: An Unforgettable Summer Experience

Photograph of the blog post author, Samuel Markham

Samuel Markham


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Summer is the perfect time to gather with friends, enjoy some live music, and soak up the sun. For music lovers, there are few better ways to do that than by attending the Levitate Music Festival.

The Levitate Music Festival is a yearly celebration of music, culture, and community that takes place on the scenic shores of Marshfield, Massachusetts. Each summer, thousands of music lovers from all over the country come together to enjoy a diverse lineup of artists, delicious food and drinks, and a vibrant atmosphere that truly embodies the spirit of New England. 

With its roots in the local surf and skate scene, Levitate began as a small-scale event in 2013 and has since grown into one of the most popular festivals in the region. From reggae and rock to hip-hop and folk, Levitate always delivers a diverse lineup that caters to music fans of all ages and tastes.

A Brief History of Levitate Music Festival

The Levitate Music Festival got its start in 2013 when a group of friends decided to organize a one-day event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Levitate surf and skate shop in Marshfield. The shop had become a beloved fixture of the local community, known for its commitment to promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. The festival was intended as a way to give back to that community and bring people together through music.

The first Levitate Music Festival was a huge success, drawing over 2,000 attendees to a lineup that featured local acts like the Aldous Collins Band and Spiritual Rez. The organizers quickly realized they were onto something special and decided to make the festival an annual event. Over the years, it has grown in size and popularity, attracting bigger names and larger crowds. Today, the Levitate Music Festival is a two-day event that draws upwards of 20,000 attendees. 

One of the things that sets Levitate apart from other festivals is its deep commitment to the community. From its early days, the festival has been focused on creating a positive and inclusive experience for everyone who attends. 

According to Jess Hassett, one of the festival’s founders and Levitate’s artistic director, this focus on community was a natural outgrowth of the founders’ own experiences in the local surf and music scenes. “We were just a bunch of friends who loved music and surfing and wanted to create an event that would bring people together,” she says. “We wanted to create a sense of community and connection, and we wanted to support local causes that were important to us.”

Over the years, Levitate has become a major force for good in the region, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities and organizations. And while the festival has certainly grown in size and scale, its commitment to the community has remained constant.

The festival has also become an important driver of economic growth in the region, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors each year and supporting local hotels, restaurants, and shops. This has been particularly important in recent years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on small businesses and entrepreneurs.

A Commitment to the Environment

Another important aspect of Levitate is its commitment to sustainability. The festival is a certified B Corp, which means that it meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. This commitment to sustainability is evident throughout the festival, from its use of renewable energy sources and compostable materials to its focus on reducing waste and promoting environmental awareness. The festival also works to educate attendees about the importance of sustainability and to encourage them to take action to reduce their own environmental impact.

One of the ways that Levitate has embraced sustainability is through its use of digital tools and platforms. The festival’s app provides attendees with real-time information about the festival, including the schedule of events, food and vendor options, and sustainability initiatives. The app also allows attendees to earn rewards for taking sustainable actions, such as using reusable cups or participating in recycling programs. According to Hassett, this focus on sustainability is not just about reducing the festival’s environmental impact, but also about creating a more meaningful and authentic experience for attendees. “We want people to feel like they’re part of something bigger than just a music festival,” she says. “We want them to feel like they’re part of a community that cares about the planet and is working to create a more sustainable future.”

What Makes Levitate Music Festival Unique

There are many music festivals out there, each with its own distinct vibe and flavour. So what sets the Levitate Music Festival apart? Here are just a few of the things that make it a truly unique experience:

The Location:

The Levitate Music Festival takes place at the Marshfield Fairgrounds, a sprawling, 60-acre property that provides a beautiful backdrop for the performances. Located just a few miles from the coast, the fairgrounds offer a mix of grassy fields and wooded areas, with plenty of shade and cool ocean breezes to keep attendees comfortable even on the hottest summer days. The location is easily accessible by car or public transportation, making it easy for music fans from across New England to attend.

The Performers:

One of the most impressive things about the Levitate Music Festival is the calibre of the performers it attracts. In recent years, the line-up has included big-name headliners like Jack Johnson, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Trey Anastasio. But Levitate isn’t just about big names and mainstream acts. The festival has a long history of supporting local talent, and every year features an impressive roster of New England-based artists. In fact, the festival’s commitment to community and grassroots music has earned it a reputation as one of the most artist-friendly festivals in the country. According to Hassett, this focus on local talent is not just about supporting the local music scene but also about creating a more diverse and inclusive experience for attendees. “We want the festival to reflect the diversity of the community we serve,” she says. “And we believe that by featuring a range of different artists and genres, we can create a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone.”

The Atmosphere:

The Levitate Music Festival has a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere that’s perfect for summer fun. The organizers strive to create a welcoming, inclusive environment where attendees can feel safe and comfortable. There are plenty of activities for kids and families, including a dedicated family area with face painting, games, and other entertainment. And because the festival is relatively small compared to some of the larger events, it’s easy to navigate and find your way around.

The Sustainability Focus:

One of the core values of the Levitate Music Festival is a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The festival works hard to reduce its environmental impact by minimizing waste, promoting recycling, and encouraging sustainable transportation options like carpooling and biking. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and food containers, and there are water refill stations and composting facilities on site. The festival also partners with local organizations to promote environmental awareness and education.

The Community Involvement:

The Levitate Music Festival has become a beloved community event, and that’s due in large part to the organizers’ commitment to involving local businesses and organizations. The festival partners with a range of local vendors and food trucks, providing a platform for small businesses to showcase their products and reach new customers. There are also a number of local charities and nonprofits that have a presence at the festival, allowing attendees to learn more about the important work being done in their communities.

The 2023 Edition

The Trey Anastasio Band, Stick Figure, and Brandi Carlile will be the headliners of the three-day event, which will take place at the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Marshfield, Massachusetts, from Friday, July 7 through Sunday, July 9.

Rock, country, and Americana singer-songwriter Carlile will perform at Levitate for the first time. The nine-time Grammy Award winner Carlile who also won three at this year’s Grammys also appeared at Massachusetts’ Governor Maura Healey’s inauguration in January. Carlile made headlines when Joni Mitchell, a legend, joined her on stage for her first complete live concert since the early 2000s as the Newport Folk Festival’s closing act last summer. After headlining the 2018 event, Anastasio, co-founder and lead singer of the renowned jam band Phish, returns to Marshfield.

The South Shore-based reggae band Stick Figure, which was formed in 2006, performed at the first event in 2013 and has since continued to do so every year as their popularity has grown. Others scheduled to perform are Goose, Rebelution, Ziggy Marley, Ripe, and many more musicians and bands.

To see the full line-up, visit the festival’s website.

10 Year Anniversary

Levitate will celebrate a big year in 2023 as the Marshfield surf and skate shop celebrates 20 years in business, and the festival, which started as a one-day 10th-anniversary celebration, turns 10. Levitate co-founder Dan Hassett described both the festival’s 10-year milestone and the 20-year mark as “humbling.” “We’re grateful to the community and fans who have helped build the event to be what it is today, and we’re especially glad that the values around community, creativity, and connection to nature have only increased through the years.”

Tens of thousands of people now flock to Marshfield each July for the Levitate Music and Arts Festival, which features top performers, a laid-back summertime ambience, and a regional creative spirit.

With this milestone, Hassett remarked, “We’re delighted to go back to our origins and increase our arts and mural programming, collaborate with more local vendors than ever, double our kid’s programmes, and grow our greening efforts.”

The Levitate brand also comprises the Rexicana Surf Cantina, a restaurant and bar, and Levitate in addition to the annual event. In addition to the annual festival, the Levitate brand also encompasses a clothing line for men, women, and children, a touring fall festival called Flannel Jam, a restaurant and bar called Rexicana Surf Cantina, an outdoor music venue called Levitate Backyard, a seasonal pop-up on Nantucket, and summer camps for surfing, skating, and creative expression.

Levitate’s co-founder and artistic director, Jess Hassett, says, “I couldn’t be prouder of what Levitate has become.” “Amazing female acts like Brandi Carlile, Lucius, Celisse, and Melt are all on the lineup. Nora Vasconcellos, a professional skater, will demonstrate her amazing talents, and our arts and mural programme will present a larger and more varied roster of talented painters than ever before. Seeing how far Levitate has gone and how the community has supported it in creating what Levitate is today made designing the poster for this year exciting.

What to Expect at Levitate Music Festival

If you’re thinking about attending the Levitate Music Festival, there are a few things you should know to help you make the most of your experience. First and foremost, plan ahead. Tickets to the festival tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to purchase yours as soon as they become available. You’ll also want to do some research on the performers and schedule, so you can plan your day and make sure you don’t miss any of your favourite acts.

Be prepared for the weather. The festival takes place in the middle of summer, so it’s likely to be hot and sunny. Be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, comfortable clothing and shoes that can handle the heat. There are shaded areas and misting stations throughout the fairgrounds, but you’ll still want to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade when you can. Bring cash. While many vendors accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for food, drinks, and merchandise. There are also ATMs on site if you need to withdraw cash.

Finally, be respectful of your fellow attendees and the environment. The Levitate Music Festival is a place to come together and enjoy music, but it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t harm the people or the planet. As the festival approaches its 10th anniversary in 2023, there’s no doubt that it will continue to evolve and grow. But one thing is certain: the commitment to community, sustainability, and local talent that has defined Levitate from the beginning will continue to be at the heart of everything the festival does. So, if you’re looking for a festival that offers a truly unique and authentic experience, look no further than Levitate.

Tickets went on sale at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9th 2023. For more information, visit the festival website at


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