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Countdown to Summer: Your Guide to Summer Festivals
All of this damn snow has me trapped in my house dreaming of the warm summer months to come. The best part of summer? The music festivals (and Yankees baseball, of course.) South by Southwest kicks off the festival season in just a few short weeks, and from then on, your spring and summer is covered with great live music.
Here is what you have to look forward to in the coming months. Now you can put being snowed in to good use, and start making your plans for checking out as many of these awesome festivals as you possibly can.
South by Southwest (Covered live from Austin, TX by Harris)
Is one of the largest music festivals in the country and has helped the career of many independent bands and artists.
- When: March 17th-March 21st
- Where: Austin, TX
- Who You’ll See: Over 1400 performers in 80+ venues across Austin. Tickets: Prices vary. Check the website for schedule and performances.
- Website: http://www.sxsw.com
- Countdown: 19 days
Traditionally a punk and emo festival, this year’s lineup includes pop and hip-hop artists as well.
- When & Where: Anaheim, CA March 27th & 28th
- East Rutherford, NJ May 1st & 2nd
- Chicago, IL May 15th
- Who You’ll See: 50+ bands including Weezer, Paramore, Drake, Ke$ha, AFI, Something Corporate, Story of the Year, Angels & Airwaves, We the Kings, Mayday Parade, The Bouncing Souls, Hanson, and more…
- Tickets: CA: Single Day Pass: $45, 3-Day Pass: $82, VIP Package: $200
- NJ: Single Day: $57, 3-Day Pass: $116, VIP: $300
- IL: General Admission: $35
**The California and New Jersey shows are selling a limited amount of VIP Packages that include VIP entrance, access to special viewing areas and lounges, backstage tours, meet & greets with various artists, a complimentary ticket to Hoodwink Festival and more.
Countdown: 4 weeks & 1 day until California, 9 weeks until Jersey, and 11 weeks until Chicago
The Hoodwink Music Festival is a kick-off concert for the Bamboozle festival where bands cover music by other bands.
- When/Where: March 26th in Anaheim, CA; April 30th in East Rutherford, NJ
- Who You’ll See: Say Anything playing the music of The Misfits
- Circa Survive playing the music of Nirvana
- Motion City Soundtrack playing the music of Nine Inch Nails
- Eye Alaska playing the music of Kayne West
- The Summer Set playing the music of Taylor Swift
- and more!
- Tickets: $25 in CA, $27 in NJ
- Website: http://www.thebamboozle.com
Big Ears Music Festival
This festival started with a few bands last year and is back for round two and bigger than ever.
- When: March 26th-28th
- Where: Knoxville, Tennessee
- Who You’ll See: Over 40 bands including Andrew W.K., Joanna Newsom, and Vampire Weekend.
- Tickets: Single Show: $10-$32
- Inner Ear Pass: $249.50 and includes Access to all concerts, workshops, and other events
- Outer Ear Pass: $100 and includes access to some of the venues
- Travel Package: $899 for 2 people and includes 2 Inner Ear Passes, 2 nights in a hotel, posters and t-shirts
- Website: http://www.bigearsfestival.com
- Countdown: 27 days
Coachella is like the Woodstock of the millenium. They land all of the best bands and have the perfect mix of pop, rock and hip-hop; plus you can camp out right there!
- When: April 16th-18th
- Where: Indio, CA
- Who You’ll See: Over 100 bands/artists including Jay-Z, Grizzly Bear, Muse, MGMT, Thom Yorke, Ra Ra Riot, Coheed and Cambria, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tiesto, Grace Jones, MUTEMath, Gorillaz, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, and much, much more.
- Tickets: $272 for the entire festival and includes a $3 charity donation
- The website also offers various travel packages including on & off-site camping, hotels, house rentals, shuttles to the shows, and more.
- Website: http://www.coachella.com
- Countdown: 49 days
Movement: Detroit Electronic Music Festival
For all of you electronic music fans, this festival boasts newcomers and renowned artists alike.
- When: May 29th & 30th
- Where: Detroit, Michigan
- Who You’ll See: Lineup TBA
- Tickets: TBA
- Website: http://www.myspace.com/detroitmusicfest
- Countdown: 13 weeks, 1 day
Sasquatch! Music Festival
Screw the shore, Sasquatch! is the place to be for Memorial Day Weekend. They say the Gorge Amphitheatre is one of the sickest venues in the country, and they’re so excited about it that they added an exclaimation point at the end of Sasquatch.
- When: May 29th-31st
- Where: George, Washington
- Who You’ll See: 75+ bands including Pavement, Vampire Weekend, OK Go, My Morning Jacket, DeadMau5, Nada Surf, She & Him, and more.
- Tickets: $70 for a single day pass, $170 for all 3 days; and $99 for a weekend camping pass
- Website: http://www.sasquatchfestival.com
- Countdown: 13 weeks, 3 days
This festival is held on a 700 acre farm that is said to be “the home for all the cool kids and hippies.”
- When: June 11th-14th
- Where: Manchester, Tennessee
- Who You’ll See: Over 100 bands including everyone from Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Weezer and Norah Jones to Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Tenacious D and the Flaming Lips.
- Tickets: General Admission: $249.50 for all 4 days and includes camping accommodations.
- VIP: $1349.50 includes 2 tickets, preferred camping accommodations, VIP dinner and kick-off party, VIP viewing areas, and more.
- Website: http://www.bonnaroo.com
- Countdown: 15 weeks
Siren Music Festival
The Village Voice hosts this music festival for indie artists, bands, and DJs every year.
- When: July 10th
- Where: Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
- Who You’ll See: Lineup TBA
- Tickets: FREE!
- Website: http://www.villagevoice.com/siren
- Countdown: 4 months, 9 days
Pitchfork Music Festival
- When: July 16th-18th
- Where: Chicago, IL
- Who You’ll See: Modest Mouse, Pavement, LCD Soundsystem, Raekwon, and more bands to be announced.
- Tickets: $40 for single day, 90 for 3-day pass
- Website: http://www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com
- Countdown: 4 months, 15 days
Created by Jane’s Addiction frontman, Perry Farrell, this festival has always been one of my favorites until they stopped touring in 2004.
- When: August 6th-8th
- Where: Chicago, IL
- Who You’ll See: Over 50 bands in the hip hop, pop, alternative and rock genres including Jane’s Addiction, Tool, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snoop Dogg, Ben Folds, Ke$ha, Asher Roth, Kid Cudi, Rise Against, Silversun Pickups, Kevin Devine, The Decemberists, and many, many more.
- Tickets: $175 for a 3-day festival pass
- Website: http://www.lollapalooza.com
- Countdown: 23 weeks
Probably the most popular, touring festival, Vans Warped Tour, fans can enjoy a mix of famous and unknown punk rock bands at any of the dates all summer long.
- When: June 24th- August 16th
- Where: Various cities across the US
- Who You’ll See: Sum41, All American Rejects, The Cab, Reel Big Fish, The Summer Set, We the Kings, Mayday Parade, Motion City Soundtrack, Dropkick Murphys, Anti-Flag, Streetlight Manifesto, Rocket Summer, Anarbor, and much more…
- Tickets: TBA
- Website: http://www.vanswarpedtour.com
- Countdown: 16 weeks, 5 days until tour kicks off
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