Summerfest – Milwaukee, Wis.
June 26-July 6
Tickets: $15 on weekends and evenings after 4 p.m.
Music, beer and brats are the three most common things you can enjoy from June 26 through July 6 at Summerfest. “The World’s Largest Music Festival” has been located on the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee for 40 years, so it’s safe to say that Summerfest knows how to do these things and do them right. Eleven total stages feature everything from music to comedy shows from noon until midnight for 11 straight days.
Only the headliners for the Marcus Amphitheatre have been released, but some big names are among them. Stevie Wonder kicks off the festival on June 26 and is followed by Rush and The Steve Miller Band on the 27th and the 29th, respectively. The Stone Temple Pilots also make a stop in Milwaukee on the 4th of July as part of their reunion run. The best acts at the Marcus are by far geared toward an aging rock crowd, but John Mayer stands out as the most intriguing of those names aimed at the more youthful crowd. Perhaps the biggest shock among this group of performers, though, is the closing act, The Jonas Brothers. The teeny-bopper pop trio will undoubtedly play to a crowd full of 11- to 13-year-old girls and the fathers they drag along.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival — Manchester, Tenn.
Tickets: $209.50, $229.50, $244.50 (plus service charges)
Manchester, Tenn., will be overrun with music fans this summer from June 12-15 as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place. The festival, which began in 2002 as a jam band central, has diversified its musical acts considerably since then. The bill now sports some major names and genres like Metallica, Pearl Jam, Kanye West, Widespread Panic and Jack Johnson. However, Bonnaroo really gets its appeal from some of the smaller acts. Newly appointed “guitar god” Derek Trucks will bring his slide guitar to one stage, while The Raconteurs, Les Claypool and Willie Nelson are sure to be big draws on others.
Attendants at Bonnaroo are not only in it for the music, though. The festival features some big comedy acts with David Cross, Zach Galifianakis and Janeane Garofalo. Centeroo, a 24-hour gathering place, is also a big draw in between acts. Live music can usually be heard in the numerous tents while attendants browse the Bonnaroo market, the arcade, the cinema and the comedy tents.
Rothbury Festival – Rothbury, Mich.
$244.75 to $475, including camping
What other way would you want to spend your Fourth of July weekend other than at the first-ever Rothbury Music Festival? This next generation of music festivals will feature over 70 bands on eight stages, including Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, John Mayer, Phil Lesh and Friends, 311, not to mention Sound Tribe Sector 9 and The Disco Biscuits.
But there’s more than just music at Rothbury. This festival is committed to heightening the musical experience of festival-goers while producing minimal pollution. Rothbury will try to seize the energy of the festival and put it towards a social movement of climate change and clean energy alternatives. Contributing to these motives of a cleaner earth, Rothbury has set up a one-of-a-kind Think Tank.
The Think Tank will tackle issues about the climate change and clean energy solutions. During the event, leading scholars, professors and writers will share ideas about how to reduce our environmental and carbon stain on the world.
Therefore, if you are looking to listen to some sick tunes while trying to save the earth at the same time, then Rothbury Music Festival provides a source for the environmentally conscious music lover in all of us.
10,000 Lakes Festival – Detroit Lakes, Minn.
$130 for general admission and a campground reservation
10,000 Lakes Festival is unlike any other, providing concertgoers a choice to explore their love of music and also be at one with nature.
This year, over 50 bands will be playing on four stages. Some of which include The Flaming Lips, Michael Franti & Spearhead and Leftover Salmon.
Notoriously known for its bluegrass and jam bands, 10,000 Lakes Festival keeps the tradition alive this year with bands such as Phil Lesh and Friends, Lotus and Family Groove Company.
Still not convinced to go to this festival? Well, did I mention that Dark Star Orchestra would be playing there alongside the Mickey Hart Band? This festival is any Grateful Dead lover’s dream.
With its relatively cheap ticket price, anyone can take a drive to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and enjoy the beautiful scenery alongside the steady tunes from some acclaimed favorite artists.
— Andy Groher
Lollapalooza — Chicago, Ill.
Lollapalooza means “remarkable or wonderful person or thing,” and this year’s festival promises to live up to its reputation.
Headliners include Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco and The Raconteurs. As one of the summer’s more diverse festivals, performances range from hip-hop and country to blues and punk.
Created in 1991, Lollapalooza is the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell. After a decade of rocky ticket sales, the tour is now established as one of the summer’s hottest concert destinations.
This massive show has a substantial impact on the environment. As such, festival coordinators are working to create an “eco-palooza” of sorts; they hope to use biodiesel in every generator and light tower on festival grounds, and to recycle and reuse materials after the festival is over.
Proceeds from this year’s Lollapalooza will benefit the Parkways Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preserving and improving Chicago’s public space.
Lollapalooza is a show definitive of youth culture, and this year’s groundbreaking performers should satisfy young people hungry for a summer festival. As a musical, cultural and community experience, Lollapalooza will provide festivalgoers from all over the country with a concert to remember.
All Points West — Jersey City, N.J.
For Radiohead and Jack Johnson’s only New York-area summer appearances, head to All Points West Music and Arts Festival. The festival will also feature approximately 40 other acts, including the New Pornographers, Girl Talk, CSS, Andrew Bird, Chromeo, The Roots, Sia, Cat Power and The Secret Machines. With this diverse lineup, festival coordinators hope to project a worldly feel without focusing on any one genre.
Radiohead will headline Friday and Saturday as a two-part set, while Jack Johnson is set to close the festival Sunday evening. Both headliners will play two-hour sets. Forty bands in three days on three stages will allow for longer sets and more time for festivalgoers to enjoy each act.
In an effort to make the festival more ecologically friendly, festival coordinators are encouraging attendees to use mass transit to and from the show, as well as implementing a recycling program where attendees can turn in empty water bottles for full ones. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from each ticket will benefit Friends of Liberty State Park, a non-profit organization that works to preserve and protect the site.
Each summer festival has its own unique vibe and personality, and with acts like these, the first annual All Points West is sure to develop a vibrant personality of it.
— Carolyn Vidmar