By Kristi Kates
Summertime has returned, and with it 2010s gleaming lineup of
polished-up music festival events, both near and far. Whether youre
looking to road trip or stay a little closer to home, theres an event
for every genre of music fan, and most of them are great deals, too,
with dozens of bands performing live on one ticket for extra fun under
the summer sun.
So pack up your sunscreen, gas up the car, make note of our
suggestions as to what you might need at each event and whats better
left behind - and lets check out the six top tix for this year in
Bonnaroo Festival, June 10-13, Manchester TN (www.bonnaroo.com)
Perennial jam favorite, the Dave Matthews Band head up the list at
this years Bonnaroo, which will also shake a bell-bottomed leg to
live sets from Jay-Z, The Flaming Lips, Jimmy Cliff, The Black Keys,
Tenacious D, and more. Be prepared, though, for high traffic going
into the fest, coupled with humidity and stubbornly sticky dust and
dirt in shadeless cow-grazing fields.
Bring: Handi-Wipes, tie-dyed tees, patience. Dont Bring: high-heeled
shoes, netbooks, allergies.
NXNE (North by Northeast), June 14-20, Toronto ONT (www.nxne.com)
A rather overwhelming 650 bands in seven days mark this week-long
Canadian event thats well worth the road trip if youre a fan of
indie-pop/rock of all shapes and sizes. Iggy Pop, The Raveonettes, De
La Soul, Man or Astro-Man, and 646 others will take over 40 stages
across Toronto, and the live music sets will be coupled with
informative music-biz panel discussions plus the NXNE film fest, which
screens a hand-selected roster of music films both old and new.
Bring: caffeine, city maps, your bands latest demo. Dont Bring:
patchouli, expectations that youre going to catch every band on your
Summerfest, June 24-July 4, Milwaukee WI (www.summerfest.com)
As if NXNE didnt push the envelope on sheer band numbers, Summerfest
offers up 800 bands on 11 stages - but, hey, at least they give you 11
days to attempt to see em all. The lineup is heavy on album-rock,
radio hitmakers, tribute bands and 90s retreads (Santana, Usher,
Think Floyd, The Offspring), and the newest performer on the roster is
probably Justin Bieber - but this is Milwaukees Big Deal, so
everything is at least fairly well organized and theres plenty of
food, even if the lineup isnt the hippest.
Bring: warm sweatshirts, antacids, vomit radar. Dont Bring: dressy
clothes, your car (use one of Summerfests buses or the Park N Ride
Pitchfork Music Festival, July 16-18, Chicago IL
Chicagos Union Park is the setting for Lollapalooza-Lite, aka
Pitchfork, the fest that caters more to the hipsters than the
mainstream music fans (and does quite well for it.) This years
Pitchfork spears sets from the likes of Modest Mouse, Liars, The
Tallest Man on Earth, Broken Social Scene, Wolf Parade, LCD
Soundsystem, Big Boi, and Pavement, among others, rockin the park
from afternoon to 10 p.m. each festival day.
Bring: Your bicycle (bike parking is free), Green Line subway
schedule, vintage jeans. Dont Bring: video or audio recorders (trust
us, theyll be confiscated), bongo drums, your requests for Free
Common Ground Fest, July 12-18, Lansing MI (www.commongroundfest.com)
A multi-day admission pass lets you into Lansings big music fest
for one price, so you can take in all of the events alongside
downtowns Grand River Adado Riverfront Park. Food vendors supply the
fuel for seven days worth of musical performances, which this year
are heavy on the heavy-metal and hard rock genres; performers include
Tesla, Drowning Pool, Sammy Hagar, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Bret
Michaels, Ludacris, and American Idols Adam Lambert and Alison
Bring: low-back lawn chairs, deodorant (this is one crrrrowded event),
your newly-purchased Common Card. Dont Bring: U of M t-shirts,
novelty bandanas (Michaels has those covered, thanks.)
Lollapalooza, August 6-8, Chicago IL (www.lollapalooza.com)
With Perry Farrell serving as its long-time king, Lollapalooza is the
royal pinnacle of Midwestern summer music fests, with its (usually
oversold) location in Grant Park, its proximity to the breezes of Lake
Michigan, its environmental awareness, and its always-varied lineup,
ranging from huge headliners to intriguing second-stagers. 2010 is no
exception to the lineup expectations - Lolla fans will be offered
performances from big timers Green Day, a reunited Soundgarden, and
The Strokes, plus indie faves like Jamie Lidell, Chromeo, The
National, Minus the Bear, and Hockey.
Bring: rain ponchos, battery-powered mini-fans, stamina. Dont Bring:
leather jackets, non-recyclable items, claustrophobia.
Planning to spend part of your summer overseas? Then (after youve
remembered your passport, of course) these are the half-dozen fests
youll want to include in your travel itinerary:
Glastonbury, June 23-27, Worthy Farm, Pilton UK (www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk)
Glasto, as the locals call it, began in 1970 and offered free
farm-fresh milk with each ticket; the farmland remains, but now the
draw includes sets from Gorillaz, Muse, Stevie Wonder, Mos Def, Fatboy
Slim, Shakira, The Dead Weather, Florence and the Machine, Faithless,
and Jack Johnson.
Roskilde, July 1-4, Roskilde, Denmark (www.roskilde-festival.dk/uk)
Another fest with a long history, this Scandinavian event began in
the late 70s with U2 and Talking Heads; today it presents sets from
Muse, Kasabian, The National, NOFX, Lindstrom, Them Crooked Vultures,
Moderat, Local Natives, Pavement, and Van Dyke Parks.
Benicassim, July 15-18, Benicassim, Spain (www.fiberfib.com)
Gigantically popular seaside Spanish music fest set next to
well-groomed camping grounds offers up well-produced and
legendarily-lit sets from Vampire Weekend, Kasabian, Ray Davies,
Julian Casablancas, Gorillaz, DJ Shadow, Goldfrapp, Ash, Ray Davies,
Fuji Rock Festival, July 30-August 1, Niigata Japan (www.smash-uk.com/frf10)
The mountainous backdrops of the Naeba Ski resort play host to
cable-car rides, quirky color-coded stages, and sets from Muse, Roxy
Music, Massive Attack, Jamie Cullum, Ocean Colour Scene, Mgmt, Broken
Bells, Air, Belle and Sebastian, and Ian Brown.
Pukkelpop, August 19-21, Nasselt Belgium (www.pukkelpop.be/en/)
Held in a wooded parklike area next to a Belgian village, this years
Pukkelpop welcomes over 180,000 music fans to listen to sets from Snow
Patrol, Deadmau5, Minus the Bear, Sound of Stereo, Miike Snow, Ash,
Eels, Queens of the Stone Age, The Cribs, and The Kooks.
Reading/Leeds Festivals, August 27-29, Reading and Leeds UK
(www.readingfestival.com and www.leedsfestival.com)
The rosters for this pair of uber-cool festivals are doubled up as
bands and fans trek from one site to the other; this years lineup
includes sets from Arcade Fire, The Libertines, The Gaslight Anthem,
The Maccabees, Weezer, Phoenix, Crystal Castles, Lost Prophets, QOTSA,
and Billy Talent.
Rock by the Bay:
The National Cherry Festival line-up
Some old favorites as well as some new faces are in store for the
National Cherry Festival Bay Side stage this year, with eight nights
of music offered at Traverse Citys Open Space from July 3-10.
This year, a $15 V-Pass offers entry into the concert area for all
eight nights of music. For $25, you can purchase a Gold V-Pass that
includes access for one evening at the Festivals Global Wine
The lineup this year includes:
Los Lonely Boys, Saturday, July 3: offering Latin rhythms and their
own spin on classic rock tunes.
Gregg Rolie Band, July 4: the original lead singer/keyboardist for
Santana has been a real crowd-pleaser on his two prior appearances at
the Festival, playing top hits from the legendary Latin rock band.
NMC Community Band, July 5: offering a Heroes Salute to Americas best.
The digeridoo meets the harmonica when Australian transplant Harper
brings his blues rock to the stage on July 6. Warming up the show
will be blues sensation Tommy Castro.
1964 The Tribute will have you singing yeah, yeah, yeah for their
umpteenth appearance in TC on July 7.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy revives the era of Cab Calloway and go-daddy-go
with their swing dance-friendly show on July 8.
Country star Randy Houser is sure to be a rouser on July 9.
Breathe, breathe in the air at the Festivals finale concert on
Saturday, July 10 with the return of Think Floyd, a tribute band that
plays all of Dark Side of the Moon and many obscure Floyd gems to
the accompaniment of fireworks.