This article appears in the Summer 2013 issue of Eidé Magazine. Read it here, or click to read it in the issue below.
Libations, good vibrations and even sun salutations take over the party scene as spring and summer usher in the outdoor music festival season. Music festivals have long been part of American music history dating back to the early 1930s. In 1969 the world watched as three days of peace and music converged in New York to create Woodstock and the 70s saw New Orleans give birth to the Jazz and Heritage Festival bringing about a long standing tradition of music and cultural celebration. The festival scene has since gained extreme popularity over the years. The demand for high quality music from a vast line-up of musicians, locally inspired food offerings and overall experience has encouraged organizers to incorporate unique locations and innovative themes to entice audiences. Today, there are countless music festivals all over the world focus- ing on virtually all genres of music, some of the most renowned take place right here in the USA.
If you are looking for the perfect weekend getaway or fun filled vacation all crafted around music, there is no better way to explore a new city and discover new musicians than an outdoor party, enjoying great music while dining on local cuisine in a carefree festive atmosphere. As broad and diverse as music is today, there is an equal number of festival options on the calendar all the way through to October. There is a correlation between the popularity of the festival, the headliners scheduled to play and the prices for individual festival tickets which range anywhere from $30 to more than $800 for VIP tickets. Some festivals put tickets on sale before the official lineup is made public, but others wait to announce the headliners at the same time tickets are released.
Considering attending a festival? Sign up to receive e-mails and follow the Facebook page to be in-the-know for on sale dates and early bird ticket specials. Social media is also a great way to research festivals. Today's technology makes it easy for people to post their thoughts and reviews on anything and everything and music festivals are no exception. Some valuable information can be found from experienced festival goers. It is also important to research the helpful hints and FAQ’s on the festival's website in the planning process. It is never fun to trek back to the car and drop off that lawn chair or cooler that was not allowed inside the gates. (Some allow chairs and coolers and others have much stricter policies.) No matter what the rules are or the price of a ticket, there is something for everyone. People looking to dance in their bikini under the hot summer sun flock to Hangout Fest, celebrity types and those wanting to-be-on-the-scene flaunt their inner hippie motif at Coachella and if inner peace and harmony are more your tune, discover your inner yogi at Wanderlust.
Eidé's Picks for great US music festivals:
BONNAROO — MANCHESTER, TENNESSEE Ready to spend the weekend camping on a rural farm in Tennessee, this music/comedy festival is for you. Bring your best camping gear; you won’t want to be driving back from this event.
COACHELLA — INDIO, CALIFORNIA This see-and-be-seen event in the Coachella Valley of southeast LA is a as much a party LA style as a red carpet affair complete with celebrities. Half of the festival is dedicated to music and the many artists who take the stages, the other half is dedicated to the visual arts; don’t forget to take a spin on the Ferris wheel after all those adult beverages.
JAZZFEST — NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA Major acts from the jazz, gospel and blues genres as well as many of the biggest names in music have graced the stages in NOLA. The daily festivities end around 8 p.m. leaving plenty of time to experience the big easy.
LOLLAPALOOZA — CHICAGO, ILLINOIS A once traveling festival, Lollapalooza has now found a permanent home in Chicago featuring indie, rock, punk and electronica acts.
SUMMERFEST — MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN Milwaukee is no stranger to showcasing live music with more than 700 bands and hundreds of thousands of spectators visiting downtown Milwaukee over the course of the two week event.
SXSW — AUSTIN, TEXAS One of the more unique and totally Indie experiences is South by Southwest known for indie musical acts, film screenings, tech panels and various conferences.
WANDERLUST — OAHU, HAWAII Music, self discovery and yoga set with a back drop of Hawaii beauty is simply paradise found.
This list includes a very small sampling of music festivals that happen across the United States every year. Just about all metropolitan cities host some type of music festival, so whatever your preference there is a good time somewhere in the states waiting for you. "Stay calm and fest on," as they say in NOLA. See you at the next one!
In a departure from the Belgium location, internationally renowned music festival TomorrowWorld has landed in the United States at Bouckaert Farm, just south of Atlanta, Ga. Boasting unparalleled production with a line-up of the big- gest electronic acts in the world such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, Axwell, Steve
Aoki, Afrojack, and A-Track, just to name a few, this event will gather hundreds of thousands of fans from hundreds of countries for a unified and unbelievable experience. One of the festival's many attractions includes city-sized structures built especially for the three-day extravaganza. September 27 - 29. TomorrowWorld.com.