Summer Music Festivals: Carolina's guide to all the best fests of 2013!
We did it guys. We made it through what seemed like a never-ending slew of sleepless nights, papers, and final exams. Now, no matter where we call home, every day feels like a Super Saturday. There’s finally time to do absolutely nothing, go on adventures, see friends and family you’ve missed, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably doing a lot of catching up with the music scene outside of the Bubble. Lucky for us, summer is also the time of the year when we can experience the magic of our favorite artists coming together at music festivals all around the country. Listening to new summer music through your laptop, headphones, or even fancy speakers is nothing compared to the thrill of being in a crowd of people and watching your favorite bands perform live. No matter what you’re into, there’s a festival out there with a vibe and line-up that you’d kill to see, along with a field full of people who would do the same. With hundreds of options all across the country, how are you supposed to decide which are worth your time? I decided to do some of the dirty work and bring you a preview of some of the best shows going on across the U.S. and make that decision process a little easier.
Location: Quincy, Washington
Dates: May 24-27
2013 Headliners: Mumford & Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Vampire Weekend
Price Range: $200-$400
Sasquatch! is one of the most widely known music festivals on the West Coast, and located 2 and a half hours away from Seattle in the middle of absolute nowhere, Washington, the average Bucknellian will feel like they’re right at home (except surrounded by significantly more tents, music, and Canadians). The grounds can get extremely crowded, but what else do you expect with a line-up like this? Another highlight- Sasquatch! is notorious for their clean and regularly-stocked Port-a-Potties, a rarity in the world of music festivals.
Name: Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas)
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Dates: June 21-23
2013 Headliners: Adam F, Afrojack, La Roux, Calvin Harris, R3hab, Zeds Dead, Foreign Beggars, Empire of the Sun
Price Range: $300-400
If you haven’t heard of EDC, you've been missing out big time. This festival brings together lovers of electronic dance music from all over the country for a show unlike any other. With amazing lighting, staging, fireworks, and even free carnival rides, EDC is the ultimate sensory overload. The festival is held in major cities across the country at different times of the year, but where better to get weird than Sin City itself? Things to note are that Vegas gets boiling hot in mid-June and with music from dawn to dusk in the heat, it’s important not to forget to listen to what your body needs. But you knew this. We sprint marathons.
Name: FYF Fest
Location: Los Angeles, California
Dates: August 24-25
2013 Headliners: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine, MGMT, Yo La Tengo, TV on the Radio, Solange, Beach House
Price Range: $99 Weekend Pass
Located in the dusty and crowded Los Angeles Historic State Park in the middle of Chinatown, FYF Fest is where the weirdo hipsters of L.A. come together and vibe to the consistently stunning lineup under the California sun. Vendors selling food that accommodates vegans, vegetarians, and even those who follow a gluten-free diet are stationed throughout the grounds, as well as free hydration stations to prevent heat-related health issues for guests throughout the weekend. At an affordable price and featuring some great artists, FYF Fest is a weekend not to miss for anyone in SoCal. (I know I’ll be there!)
Location: Ozark, Arkansas
Dates: May 30- June 2
2013 Headliners: Widepsread Panic, Dispatch, STS9, The Black Crowes, Amon Tobin, Snoop Lion, Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, Gogol Bordello, Zeds Dead
Price Range: $200 Weekend Pass
The Wakarusa music festival, more widely known as “Waka” by diehard Waka-goers, is definitely one of the more eclectic music festivals on this list. Featuring hip-hop artists such as Snoop Dogg (Lion? Cheetah? Is he a canine or feline now? I don’t even know man), indie/folk artists, and even electronic music , this festival is perfect for people with diverse musical interests. Those who have attended Waka before rave about the location, the Ozark mountains of Arkansas on the border of Kansas with an overlook of Clinton State Park. Nature is a huge part of the experience, and the sense of community felt throughout the weekend is unmatched.
Dates: June 13- June 16
2013 Headliners: Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bjork, Wilco
Price Range: $200- $300
Bonnaroo is held on an enormous 400-acre farm in Tennessee and for four days, is home to over 80,000 music-loving campers. With big names (Paul McCartney!!!) on the lineup, Bonnaroo is definitely one of the biggest and baddest festivals of the summer. The sense of community among those who attend this festival is also one of the strongest in the nation. The website even describes the “Bonnaroovian Code,” (which they call unwritten but I mean it’s written out on the page so I don’t know what that’s about) a vibe that pervades throughout the weekend. It is the unspoken understanding the Bonnaroovians abide by, including “being prepared” (Bonnaroo is in the middle of nowhere so appropriate supplies are essential), “savoring the moment,” “playing as a team,” not being “that guy/gal” (we all know what that means), “radiating positivity,” and “spreading the word.” Bonnaroovians don’t mess around. This festival is sacred ground to many and if this summer isn’t a possiblilty, Bonnaroo should definitely be on your Bucket List.
Name: Gathering of the Vibes
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Dates: July 25-28
2013 Headliners: Phil Lesh & Friends, The Black Crowes, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, The Roots, Funky Meters, John Butler Trio, Galactic, Dark Star Orchestra, Tribal Seeds
Price Range: $225 Weekend Pass
Gathering of the Vibes is located in Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is celebrating 18 years in 2013. The festival has featured hundreds of world-class talents throughout the years and has become a staple in the music festival scene of the Northeast. The history of Gathering of the Vibes is also a meaningful one. It was founded by a diehard “Deadhead,” or huge fan of the 30-year running band Grateful Dead. This Deadhead had the dream of bringing together fans to commemorate the death of its beloved lead singer. Originally called the “Gathering of the Tribe,” this small concert evolved into a yearly tradition for Deadheads everywhere, eventually featuring a huge mix of different bands and attracting a diverse audience. Gathering of the Vibes is an excellent festival option for the predominately East-Coast Bucknellian population.
Name: Made in America
Dates: August 31- September 1
2013 Headliners: Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Kendrick Lamar, Queens of the Stone Age, Deadmau5, Phoenix, Calvin Harris, Miguel
Price Range: $100-$500
This festival is curated by none other than Jay-Z himself, featuring his Queen B and tons of other huge artists. Ranging from rock, hip-hop, Latin, and electronic music, this festival has been called the “veritable music lover’s paradise.” Held in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, PA, this festival is in the middle of a bustling city which only adds to the excitement. Contrary to most summer festivals and their traditional “camp-out” style, its urban setting makes for a completely different vibe. Although this is festival is fairly new, it is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
So, there you have it. These fests are only a teeny tiny taste of what’s in store for music enthusiasts this summer, and hopefully have sparked your excitement for what’s to come. Save up, stock up on supplies, and go have the weekend of a lifetime at one of these!