Photo: Aaron Glassman
Lightning in a Bottle 2018
Your 2019 Guide To The Best Summer/Spring Music Festivals
Having trouble keeping up with 2019's many music fests? We've got you covered with this comprehensive list of 20+ ones to check out across North America—plus a few abroad
Both weekends of Coachella 2019 have come and gone, which means that we are fully entrenched in music festival season in North America. Since late last year, the fest lineups keep coming, and, like many of you, we couldn't be more excited for the sunny, music-filled days around the corner.
To help you keep abreast on all the major fests you can explore this summer, we've compiled this handy list to highlight some of the ones across the country (plus a few abroad) you may want to check out.
Lightning in a Bottle | May 8–13 | Bakersfield, Calif.
Need to get away and lose yourself in the music ASAP? Well, Lightning in a Bottle is probably calling your name. Bring your pool floaties to cool off in Buena Vista Lake, home to the new location of the Southern California camping music fest. Run by the good time experts/electronic music connoisseurs at the DoLaB, which just made an appearance at Coachella; the environmentally and socially conscious event was one of the first major "transformational music festivals" that so many others have been modeled after.
This year's stacked musical lineup features seven stages and a variety of house, techno and bass artists, featuring GRAMMY-nominated British dance duo Disclosure, a 3D experience from Flying Lotus, Santigold, Toro y Moi, Gramatik, Channel Tres, DJ Koze and Damian Lazarus. There will also be yoga, sound healing, and engaging talks, like one with activist hip-hop duo Climbing PoeTree titled "Creativity is the Antidote to Destruction: Artistic Tools for Urgent Times."
Tickets are still available with options that range from two to five days; more info here.
Corona Capital Fest | May 11 | Guadalajara, Mex.
Taking place on Mexico's West Coast in the city of Guadalajara, Corona Capital will bring the country some of the biggest names in rock, electronica and pop. Featuring Phoenix, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers, Christine & the Queens and more, the fest will give people in Mexico the unique opportunity to see artists that tend only to stop by in Mexico City, which hosts its own Corona Capital fest.
Those visiting the country for the fest will find the one-day event a convenient factor, as they can explore the rich history and culinary vastness of the second-largest city in the country, which is known to be the area where tequila and mariachi originated. Sports fans will find excitement in listening to music at the festival site, which is also home to the city’s soccer team, Las Chivas. For more information, visit the festival's website.
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Electric Daisy Carnival | May 17–19 | Las Vegas
Rave lords Insomniac have been bringing the beats with their now-global Electric Daisy Carnival (and its many other EDM events) at the 23rd annual EDC. The flagship fest's ninth year in Las Vegas will take over Sin City from May 17–19 this year. The 2019 lineup is positively stacked with dance music greats, featuring GRAMMY winners Diplo, David Guetta and Tiësto, plus GRAMMY nominees TOKiMONSTA, Paul Oakenfold, Deadmau5, Above & Beyond and Kaskade.
Deadmau5 will be making his first return to the fest since 2010, bringing his new "Cube 3.0" stage setup, and Guetta will be back for his first time since 2012. Australian singer/songwriter DJ/producer extraordinaire Alison Wonderland, plus GRAMMY-nominated rave icons Steve Aoki and Armin van Buuren will bring fire to the three-day event.
If you want to get your dance on and check out the carnival rides, interactive art and plenty of lights and lasers with EDC in Vegas, you're in luck; tickets are still available. Check out EDC's website for more info.
Hangout Music Fest | May 17–19 | Gulf Shores, Ala.
If you're looking for something where you can chill in one spot, perhaps by a body of water, Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala. may be more along the lines of what you're craving. The 10th anniversary, which the organizers have coined a "music vacation," will take place on May 17–19 on the beach.
The stacked lineup of over 50 acts is pretty diverse among artists and genres, with big names in dance music such as GRAMMY winner Diplo, GRAMMY nominees Mura Masa and Sofi Tukker, along with Detroit hero GRiZ and dance festival favorite Alison Wonderland.
For more info and to see the complete list of artists, visit the Hangout Fest website.
BottleRock | May 24–26 | Napa, Calif.
If you want to experience the literal fruits of the world-renowned Napa Valley wine country while listening to some solid jams, BottleRock, which is located in wine-rich Napa, may be the fest for you. Its seventh-edition festival's top-tier headliners are GRAMMY winners Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons and Neil Young, who will be playing with Lukas Nelson's band Promise Of The Real. Other notable acts include Santana, Pharrell Williams, Gary Clark Jr., Sylvan Esso, Logic, Lord Huron, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Tash Sultana.
Other festival highlights include the Culinary Stage, which features both music from the likes of Big Boi and Juanes, as well as more culinary-focused guests, including Antoni Potowski, the resident foodie of "Queer Eye." No matter your fuel of choice, attendees can expect an amazing selection of Northern California wine, beer and even craft cocktails, as well as food prepared by your neighborhood Michelin-starred Napa faves. The Silent Disco offers even more music, with GRAMMY-nominated dance greats The Crystal Method and Paul Oakenfold taking the decks.
Tickets, including one-day and three-day options, are still available on the fest's website.
Primavera Sound | May 30–June 1 | Barcelona
If you've been itching to take a trip abroad in a scenic European city and have eclectic music tastes, you'll have a blast at Barcelona's Primavera Sound. The 19th edition of the music festival offers what organizers coined "The New Normal," a 50/50 gender split among performers. Of the 226 billed artists, over half are women.
The beautifully dense lineup includes both big names and hidden gems across genres, yet the headliners alone show that they are walking their talk. Erykah Badu, Future, Interpol, Tame Impala, Janelle Monáe, Solange, J Balvin, Rosalía, Nas, James Blake and Robyn all take the top spots.
The rest of the lineup is also filled with gems, including Kali Uchis, Liz Phair, Carly Rae Jepsen, Clairo, Cuco, Mura Masa, Empress Of, FKA Twigs, Pusha T and Big Red Machine (the National's Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon collab project).
The festival has also highlighted Primavera's commitment to urban music, with a focus on reggaeton and hip-hop. From the Latin side, in addition to unofficial second-wave reggaeton leader J Balvin, old-school genre legends Ivy Queen (one of the first and few women in the emerging scene in the '90s) and DJ Playero will be throwing down. From the U.S. side, Primavera 2019 will feature an exciting selection of female rappers, including Tierra Whack, Princess Nokia, CupcakKe and Rico Nasty.
Tickets, including single-day options, are still avaible on Primavera Sound's website.
Governors Ball | May 31–June 2 | New York City
Governors Ball Music Festival is returning for their ninth year on Randall's Island Park in New York City on May 31–June 2. 2019 will bring performances by headliners The Strokes and GRAMMY nominees Tyler, the Creator and Florence & the Machine.
The three-day music, art and music event certainly brings an N.Y.C.-inspired melting pot approach to their lineup, and this year does not disappoint. Other highlights include GRAMMY winners Lil Wayne and Kacey Musgraves, GRAMMY nominees SZA, Nas, The Internet, Jorja Smith, Bob Moses, Charli XCX, ZHU, plus Vince Staples, BROCKHAMPTON, Blood Orange, Clairo, Bazzi, MØ, Major Lazer (DJs Jillionaire, Walshy Fire and GRAMMY winner Diplo), Noname, Kaytranada, Gesaffelstein and King Princess.
More info on tickets, as well as the complete lineup and event details, can be found on the Governors Ball site.
Roots Picnic | June 1 | Philadelphia
The Roots Picnic is back for its 12th year on June 1 and will feature a special headline performance from GRAMMY-winning band The Roots in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their 1999 album Things Fall Apart.
H.E.R., 21 Savage and Lil Baby are among other artists on the music festival's bill. Raphael Saadiq,Tank & The Bangas and City Girls will also perform at the one-day event, taking place at its new location at The Mann At Fairmount Park in Philly.
"We finally have a Roots Picnic in the Park," The Roots' manager Shawn Gee and President of Live Nation Urban said. "The vision 12 years ago was always to provide an all-day musical and cultural experience in Fairmount Park. Black Thought, Questlove and I grew up spending our Sunday afternoons at the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park watching Philly DJs spin, and enjoying the vibe and the culture. It's a great feeling to be able to come full circle."
For more information on tickets, visit the Ticketmaster website.
Splash House | Jun 7–9 | Palm Springs, Calif.
Splash House has been bringing the beats to the pastel-colored desert of Palm Springs for several years now, and will return June 7–9 (as well as in August). GRAMMY-winning French electro heavyweights Justice, GRAMMY-nominated U.S. house music stalwart Armand van Helden, New York-based house producer Jai Wolf and U.K. bass/trap champ TroyBoi will headline. The three-day fest takes place poolside at three beautiful desert aesthetic hotels: The Renaissance, The Riviera and The Saguaro.
The rest of the lineup offers an equally impressive and diverse group of electronic artists, including GRAMMY nominees Jax Jones and Dirty South, along with Pete Tong, A-Track, CRAY and more. Shiba San, Dusky, Kidnap and a few others will keep the vibes going into the nighttime, with official after-hours shows at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
Daytime tickets for the June edition of Splash House went quickly, but they can be requested via a ticket exchange program. More info on all options can be found on Splash House's website.
Bonnaroo | June 13–16 | Manchester, Tenn.
Founded in 2002, this down-south outdoor fest once specialized in all things folk and jam. Nowadays, the lineup's diversified a bit, welcoming artists of nearly every popular genre. This year's Bonnaroo will take place June 13–16 at Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm and event space in Manchester, Tenn., 60 miles southeast of Nashville.
The diverse group of artists on Friday alone include Phish, Childish Gambino, Solange, The Avett Brothers, Brockhampton, Courtney Barnett, Gojira, K.Flay and more. Post Malone, Odesza, Kacey Musgraves, The National, ZHU, John Prine, Maren Morris, The Lumineers, Cardi B and more will also get the farm grooving.
New for 2019, Bonnaroo will feature a "Sanctuary of Self-Love" campground experience curated by Paramore's Hayley Williams. There will also be circus acts, immersive cinema shows, theme parties, and the fest's first-ever Pride parade.
Tickets can be found on the festival's website.
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Ruido Fest | Jun 21–23 | Chicago
For three days, Ruido Fest takes over Union Park, also home to Pitchfork Fest, and turns Chicago into a Latin alternative music mecca. This year, the music festival happening June 21– 23 celebrates its 5th edition and will gather iconic music groups like El Tri, Los Tigres Del Norte, Hombres G and Enanitos Verdes on the same stages as rising stars like Latin urban artist Tomasa Del Real, Helado Negro, Monsieur Perine and many more. From rock, to pop and electro, this festival boasts some of the best in established and up-and coming music artists in the Latin genre For more information on Ruido fest, visit their website.
Firefly | June 21–23 | Dover, Del.
Firefly Music Festival, which touts itself as "the East Coast's largest music and camping festival," returns for its eighth year in The Woodlands of Dover, Del. The June fest will feature GRAMMY-nominated headliners Panic! At The Disco, Post Malone and Travis Scott.
GRAMMY winners TLC, Vampire Weekend and Zedd, as well as GRAMMY nominees Courtney Barnett, Death Cab For Cutie, DJ Snake and Tyler, The Creator will also perform at the woodsy fest. Alison Wonderland, Brockhampton, Dashboard Confessional, GRiZ, Kygo, Gucci Mane, Jessie Reyez, Snail Mail, Walk The Moon, and Young The Giant are also on this year's bill.
Tickets, along with "glamping" options, can be purchased on Firefly's website.
Essence Festival | July 4–7 | New Orleans
Essence Festival returns for its 25th year of celebrating black culture in New Orleans. The music portion of the event will take place from July 4–7 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, with billed performers like Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Brandy, Jermaine Dupri, H.E.R., Big Freedia, Ledisi, Mary J. Blige and many more. Former First Lady Michelle Obama will also bring extra inspiration to the main stage on Saturday.
Several different music fest ticket options are available, more info here.
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Mad Cool | July 11–13 | Madrid
Mad Cool Festival's diverse musical lineups have brought out a global fan base to its home in Madrid every year since 2016. Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds top the lineup on Thursday, which also features Canada's Kaytranada, La Dispute and The Hives. Friday will bring out The National and the Smashing Pumpkins as headliners, plus Madrid's own Vetusta Morla, Wolfmother and Germany's Sophie Hunger, among other exciting acts. Saturday closes off the musical celebration with The Cure, The 1975 and Greta Van Fleet.
If this lineup hasn't inspired you to experience the fest, maybe visiting the beautifully historic city of Madrid will. Single-day and three-day tickets can be found on Mad Cool's website.
Pitchfork Music Festival | July 19–21 | Chicago
The 14th annual Pitchfork Music Festival, held at Union Park in Chicago, offers an eclectic lineup perfectly embodied by its headliners: GRAMMY-nominated dancefloor-pop innovator Robyn, GRAMMY-winning godfathers of funk The Isley Brothers and GRAMMY-nominated sister trio HAIM.
The Isley Brothers, consisting of remaining members Ronald and Ernie Isley, will be celebrating 60 years as a group at the fest, bringing the funk with "special guests," Pitchfork reports. GRAMMY-winning blues and gospel icon Mavis Staples will also bring her longtime musical excellence to the three-day event.
GRAMMY-nominated hip-hop powerhouses Earl Sweatshirt, Jeremih and Pusha T, along with fellow GRAMMY nominee and electro-pop stalwart Charli XCX, are also slated to play. Several innovative '90s acts will also be performing: London-based avant-garde dream-pop group Stereolab, Scottish folk-pop band Belle & Sebastian (who will be playing their 1996 album If You're Feeling Sinister in full) and Swedish GRAMMY-nominated MC Neneh Cherry, who earned a nod for Best New Artist at the 32nd GRAMMY Awards in 1999.
The festival prides itself on highlighting emerging talent; some of the up-and-comers on the lineup are 20-year-old dream-pop artist Clairo, L.A.-based social activist/rapper JPEGMAFIA, French-Cuban electro-soul sister duo Ibeyi and 21-year-old N.Y.C. rapper Rico Nasty.
Both weekend and single-day tickets are available; visit the fest's site for more info.
Float Fest | July 20–21 | Gonzales, Texas
Billed as the "only festival in the world to combine the Texas tradition of floating the river and live music," Float Fest 2019 will feature Gucci Mane, Major Lazer, Ice Cube, Kaskade, Portugal. The Man, The Flaming Lips, Big Gigantic, Zeds Dead, Grouplove, Big Boi, Jungle and more at its new home at a private ranch on the Guadalupe River in Gonzalez, Texas.
"We're thrilled to be moving to a new city and keep the tradition of our fest going. Gonzales is known as the birthplace of Texas independence and we can't think of a better place to celebrate a festival rich in Texas traditions such as live music, floating the river, and camping," Float Fest founder Marcus Federman said.
Additional performers include G. Love & Special Sauce, Missio, St. Lucia, Houndmouth, The Floozies and more. The fest will also be partnering once again this year with local business to organize a river cleanup project.
Tickets, including weekend and day passes, can be found on Float Fest's website.
Lovebox | July 12–13 | London
Chance the Rapper, Solange, Cypress Hill and 2 Chainz are among the headliners that make the U.K.'s Lovebox an international music festival with one of the most exciting lineups. Taking place in London's Gunnersbury Park, the two-day fest will also have Lizzo, Brockhampton, Action Bronson, and Kaytranada hit the stage.
The fest will also feature plenty of U.K.-based artists, including J Hus and Slowthai. For more information, visit the festival's website.
Newport Folk Festival | July 26–28 | Newport, R.I.
Newport Folk Festival returns for its 60th year to Newport, R.I., for a three-day fest. Taking place at Fort Adams State Park, Newport offers rolling lineup announcements, meaning some artists are still yet to be announced.
The genre-diverse bill is absolutely stacked: Audiences can expect sets from Maggie Rogers, Noname, Sheryl Crow, Hozier, Kacey Musgraves, Portugal. The Man, Stephen Marley and The HighWomen. The latter is a new country supergroup consisting of Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby, who have yet perform together publically.
Even without the complete lineup, tickets to Newport have sold out. That said, tickets can be still requested via Newport's fan-to-fan exchange; more info here.
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Lollapalooza | Aug. 1–4 | Chicago
Lollapalooza, the iconic Chicago fest held annually in the Windy City's Grant Park, always gets a long lineup of some of the biggest names in music, along with plenty of artists steadily rising to household-name status. For example, prior to dropping their major-label debut LPs this year, both Billie Eilish and Lizzo performed at the 2018 fest.
This year's flagship (organizers have launched Lollas globally now, too) event offers a diverse lineup, including GRAMMY winners Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves, Flume, Lil Wayne and H.E.R.. Janelle Monáe, The Strokes, J Balvin, Rosalía, Tame Impala and RÜFÜS DU SOL will also bring heat to the four-day fest.
For ticket information, visit Lollapalooza's website.
Outside Lands | Aug. 9–11 | San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco's biggest music festival returns for its 11th year in the city's gorgeous Golden Gate Park. Outside Lands' 2019 lineup features 2019 GRAMMY winners Childish Gambino, Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Lauren Daigle, Ella Mai, PJ Morton and Anderson .Paak.
This year's stellar lineup also includes earlier GRAMMY winners Twenty One Pilots, Edie Brickell, Flume, Lil Wayne, Paul Simon and Mavis Staples. GRAMMY nominees Bebe Rexha, Tierra Whack, Blink-182, Counting Crows, Hozier, the Lumineers and Bob Moses will also perform among the trees of Golden Gate Park.
Three-day tickets are currently available for the fest, while Outside Lands typically offers one-day options closer to the event.
Made In America | Aug. 31–Sept. 1 | Philadelphia
Made In America Festival, started by GRAMMY-winning rap legend JAY-Z in 2012, boasts GRAMMY nominee Travis Scott and GRAMMY winner Cardi B as this year's headliners. The two-day event will also include performances from GRAMMY winners Anderson .Paak, with The Free Nationals, James Blake and Kaskade.
61st GRAMMY Awards first-time nominees Jorja Smith and Tierra Whack are also on the bill, along with rising rappers Juice WRLD and Blueface, among others. The eighth annual festival will take place outdoors at Philly's Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and is a great way to close out a busy festival season.
Tickets and more info are available on the fest's site.
No matter your musical and venue taste, there are plenty of festivals to keep you dancing all summer long. Stay tuned to grammy.com for updates on new lineup releases, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes artist interviews from the biggest events as we approach festival season.
Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More
The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'
In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.
"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.
Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.
"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."
Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American.
"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."