Bonnaroo Music Festival- June 11th-14th- Manchester, TN
One of the biggest festivals in the United States is held annually on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, drawing thousands upon thousands to experience what Rolling Stone Magazine describes as “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival.” This year, headliners include Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band and a special two-night appearance from everybody’s favorite recently reunited jam band, Phish (cue ex-hippie stampede.)Also playing: Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, Snoop Dogg, TV on the Radio, Girl Talk, Bon Iver…the list goes on and on. Tickets are almost sold out (I should know...). If you go, look for me. It shouldn’t be that hard to spot me in the crowd: I’ll be the one who’s clearly dehydrated, sporting a sweaty bandana. Or maybe I'll be completely covered in (what I hope to be) mud.
Coachella Music Festival- April 17-19- Indio, California
It’s really too bad that California always manages to score the best lineups, as I live in god-damn Massachusetts. Whereas Bonnaroo is traditionally more geared towards jam-bands, Coachella is an indie-kids wet dream. Big names this year include Paul McCartney, The Killers, and The Cure. If you happen to be in California around that time, check it out.
Chicago hosts two huge festivals annually.
The Pitchfork Music Festival takes place July 17th-19th. This is the only second year this festival has existed, yet the folks at Pitchfork are known for their creativity. Last year, the Friday bands played entire albums through (for instance, Public Enemy played all of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back). On Friday of this year, Yo La Tengo and Built To Spill (among others) will play setlists by request; when you buy a ticket, you vote for the tunes you want to hear. Pretty neat.
The next is Lollapalooza between August 7th-9th. The line up is scheduled to be released in April. They usually score huge bands (Radiohead headlined last year), and will surely do the same this year.
The closest festival worth mentioning to Boston is All Points West in Jersey City. It began only last year, and will hopefully announce this year’s lineup soon.