No matter where music lovers live or how many hot summer tours come through their town, it seems many still want more live tunes -- and are willing to travel to get it.

It's become fairly commonplace for fans to journey hundreds, even thousands, of miles to attend the growing selection of top music festivals. It's a way to experience a new area and meet lots of new friends with similar musical tastes. Plus, they lineups can be downright sensational

Here are some of North America's top festivals -- all of which are definitely worth the road trip.

The annual Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., with its friendly, party-like vibe and A-List lineup (including acts like Michael Franti,
The annual Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., with its friendly, party-like vibe and A-List lineup (including acts like Michael Franti, pictured), has become one of the biggest music events in the country. June 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ( Mark Humphrey )

It's also worth noting that many of these events stream performances live -- often free of charge -- through YouTube or some other site. Yet details aren't usually announced until closer to the actual dates, most likely to maximize ticket sales. So keep checking the festival websites for information if you want to enjoy the music from the comfort of your own home.

THE GOVERNORS BALL

When: June 6-8

Where: New York City

Tickets: Single-day tickets start at $100; three-day passes at $230; http://governorsballmusicfestival.com/

Lineup: Outkast, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Skrillex, Jack White, Phoenix, Disclosure, more.

The skinny: Start spreading the news -- New York now boasts one of the nation's most enticing music festivals. It's set on Randall's Island, which means that folks can actually ferry out to the three-day affair. (They can also get there by other means -- but taking the ferry sounds like the most fun.) The Gov Ball, which debuted in 2011, delivers a fine mix of indie and alt rock as well as electronic dance music (EDM) and some hip-hop. Yet, its No. 1 selling point is that it's in New York City, which means that travelers can arrive early or stay late to get a taste of the Big Apple.

BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL

When: June 12-15

Where: Manchester, Tenn.

Tickets: Passes start at $284.50; www.bonnaroo.com

Lineup: Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa, more

The skinny: It started out in 2002 as primarily a jam-band fandango and has grown into one of the most diversely appealing music events in the world. Some 80,000 happy campers will turn out to a 700-acre farm in rural Tennessee to commune with nature, party with fellow music lovers and enjoy some 150 live performances held on 10-plus stages. It's like Woodstock for the 21st century. Over the years, Bonnaroo has hosted such greats as Phish, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, The Police and Bruce Springsteen. The 2014 lineup is a particularly nice mix of R&B, hip-hop, indie-rock, electronic dance music and other styles.

MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVALThe annual Montreal Jazz Festival features dozens of free and paid concerts around lovely downtown Montreal.
MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL The annual Montreal Jazz Festival features dozens of free and paid concerts around lovely downtown Montreal. ( Jean-F.Leblanc/Festival de Jazz )

CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL

When: June 13-15

Tickets: Free; www.cityofchicago.org

Lineup: Billy Boy Arnold, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Bettye LaVette, Willie Clayton, more

The skinny: This one belongs on the bucket lists of all big blues fans. It should be viewed as a necessary pilgrimage -- rather than a simple vacation plan -- by those who worship the music made by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and the Windy City's many other blues legends. The vibe is decidedly mellow yet joyful, as blues lovers from around the globe gather in Chicago's lovely Grant Park to enjoy food and drink, sun and shade, and terrific tunes. The lineup is always strong -- but the 2014 bill, highlighted by Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Billy Boy Arnold and Bettye LaVette, is the best one in years.

MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

When: June 26-July 6

Tickets: Prices vary per show. Many performances are free. www.montrealjazzfest.com

Lineup: Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Keith Jarrett, Michael Buble, Terence Blanchard, Rufus Wainwright, Trombone Shorty, Beck, more

The skinny: One of the truly great things about this world-class festival is that people can customize their own experience. Folks can attend the whole 11-day affair and never drop a dime on music, choosing instead to just catch the multitude of free outdoor shows. Or, folks can pick and choose from the many ticketed events, held at everything from rock clubs to upscale performing arts spaces. They can load up on pop or stick strictly to jazz. Plus, the event is held in the heart of the city -- as opposed to a park or fairground -- so it's easy to enjoy the divine dining options and many other charms of Montreal. For its 35th edition, Montreal Jazz boasts another tremendous lineup, highlighted by Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Beck, Brad Mehldau and so many others.

BUMBERSHOOT

When: Aug. 30-Sept. 1

Where: Seattle, WA.

Tickets: Three-day passes start at $112; http://bumbershoot.org/

Lineup: TBA

The skinny: It's one of the more family-friendly festivals, offering up comedy, theater, children's shows and other forms of entertainment to go with an amazing array of musical talent. It's set in the Seattle Center, which was originally built for the 1962 World's Fair. So that means that it's easy to combine a trip to Bumbershoot with stops at the center's many attractions, including the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. The musical lineup draws heavily from the Pacific Northwest, with such acts as Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, Hole and the Dandy Warhols having appeared over the years, although other top touring acts are also featured.

MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL

When: Sept. 19-21

Tickets: Weekend packages run $50-$335 and go on sale May 12. Single-day tickets are $20-$142 and go on sale June 26. www.montereyjazzfestival.org.

Lineup: Herbie Hancock, The Roots, Gary Clark Jr., Charles Lloyd Quartet, Booker T. Jones, the Robert Glasper Experiment, Marcus Miller, Michael Feinstein, more

The skinny: Much like Chicago Blues, this can be seen as a rite of passage for the music fan. It's something that all jazz lovers should try to get to at least once in their lives. Once you make it there, however, don't be surprised if you end up going again -- and again. It's a three-day jazz wonderland, offering up a mix of the genre's legends, up-and-coming artists and other treats. For the 57th edition, Monterey Jazz has booked a tremendous array of talent, extending from jazz icons Hancock and Lloyd to hip-hop crew The Roots to blues-rocker Clark.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FESTIVAL

When: Oct. 3-5, 10-12

Tickets: Three-day passes start at $225; www.aclfestival.com

Lineup: Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Lana Del Rey, Skrillex, Beck, Lorde (second weekend), The Replacements, more

The skinny: It's hard to think about the fall when we haven't even gotten to the summer yet. Still, this is one worth planning way ahead for. This terrific Texas gathering, which takes place at Austin's lovely Zilker Park, is always one of the year's top festivals. It's grown so popular that it now takes place -- a la Southern California's mighty Coachella festival -- on two consecutive weekends. The lineup is mostly the same for each weekend, at least in terms of the major headliners, but there are a few differences. Most notable, the immensely talented Lorde only performs on weekend two -- so that's definitely the one travelers should try to attend.

Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic and www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews.