Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Get in the groove

Summerfest: June 24-July 4

If we’re talking music, you have to start with the festival that is known and loved throughout every inch of Wisconsin — Summerfest. Yes, as spring draws to a close, finals wind down and the temperature begins to climb, Wisconsinites far and wide get that craving for the notorious 11 days of music at the “World’s Largest Music Festival.”

And as usual, there’s something for everyone. Summerfest veterans Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are making a return to Milwaukee, and they’re bringing ZZ Top along for the ride. For alternative fans, O.A.R is set for a two-night run, and indie fans are sure to flock to Modest Mouse on July 3.


Oh, and did I mention most of the shows are free? Just pay admission (and be on the lookout, as Summerfest usually has a deal to get in at a discount) and spend the day taking in the sights of Lake Michigan before taking in a concert at night.

Verge Musical Festival: June 4-5

As Summerfest’s little — though decidedly alternative-oriented — brother whose name sounds like an energy drink, Verge has quite the legacy to live up to. But with a two-day stint on the Summerfest grounds, Verge just might have what it takes to stand its own in a city known for its summer festivals.

And as some insurance, Verge pulled all the stops to get some serious talent. For those of you who like your music in adorable cotton dresses, She & Him will drop by June 4. And for listeners who like their music with a little more bite, AFI, Three Days Grace and Weezer are also headlining. And that’s just the preliminary schedule.

Verge sweetens the deal even more with the ticket packages. They’re discounted online (an advance single day pass is $25 and advance two-day pass is $40), and with each single pass you get ahead of time, you get a free ticket to Summerfest. With the two-day pass, you get two tickets to Summerfest. Just goes to show that in Milwaukee, we like to keep things in the family.

Lollapalooza: Aug 6-8

Three days, eight stages, and a hell of a lot going on in-between. Let’s put it this way: if you like your music festival to be a near-religious experience that you never forget, this is the place for you.

Although the tickets are steep, once you take a look at their lineup, you’ll see it’s money well spent. Headliners include Soundgarden, Green Day and Lady Gaga — and since they commissioned a special set for Lady Gaga to the tune of $150,000, it’s sure to be an epic performance.

And the rest of the lineup is stellar as well. MGMT will be there on the heels of their latest release Congratulations, as will The New Pornographers with their new album, Together. Other great picks include Erykah Badu, Wolfmother, The Black Keys and Yeasayer. In other words — awesome.

Ravinia Festival: June 6- Sept 7

Ravinia may have begun as a small amusement park in 1904, but fast-forward a little more than 100 years, and you have yourself a festival that boasts its title as the oldest outdoor music festival in North America. And with a lineup that spans from June to September, it’s quite a feat that they managed to get a hold of such a diverse assortment of acts that attracts about 600,000 music lovers annually.

Notable acts include the sold-out Sheryl Crow with Colbie Caillat show on June 13, the B-52’s on July 21 and Garrison Keillor’s live national broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” on July 3.

If you can make it back in late August and early September, though, that’s when the stage really gets going. With performances from Train, Nelly Furtado, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Carrie Underwood, Ravinia once again proves that there’s a show for every taste.

Pitchfork: July 16-18

If you’re looking for a festival with some guaranteed great music, then go for the one with street cred — Pitchfork. As a well-respected source of criticism on everything that is the wonderful world of indie music (a statement which can either mean a lot to you or nothing at all), Pitchfork puts that knowledge to work by bringing the best bands straight to you in their three-day festival.

If you didn’t make it to see them at Summerfest, Modest Mouse will be in their indie element at Pitchfork this year, as will Liars, Pavement, Broken Social Scene and Titus Andronicus. And, of course, there are a slew of other bands you may or may not have heard of (and either way, you’ll tell your friends you love their music). But regardless, with Pitchfork at the helm, at least you’ll know you’ll be hearing some decent material.

Bonnaroo: June 10-13

Now if you feel like making your music excursion a journey of epic proportions, look no farther than Manchester, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo. Although it’s still pretty young (the first festival was in 2002), in just eight years, Bonnaroo has firmly established itself as a part of the national festival scene — Rolling Stone put it on its list of one of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll history — and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s a lot of hype, but the 4-day festival lives up to the promise with over 150 musical acts including Regina Spektor, Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, Thievery Corporation and, obviously, a ton of others great groups.

And Bonnaroo has a lighter side as well, as they are also bringing in a slew of comedians including Conan O’Brien, Margaret Cho and Aziz Ansari. And really, you can’t do better than a weekend of music and laughs.

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