Summer music festivals announce lineups

Megan Brown

The snow and freezing temperatures has us wanting summer more than ever — more specifically, summer music festivals. Take a look at Woodstock circa August 1969. Close to half a million people, 600 acres, three days, set after set, in both rain and sunshine. It brought people together, and that’s truly what music festivals are all about.

January is the month that brings the anticipation of festival lineups to an end.

Starting with spring festivals, there’s the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, which provides seven days of music set for April 24 to May 3 this year. A variety of sounds including Elton John, The Who, Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Hozier and many more will perform.

Most festivals, like Bonnaroo, Coachella, Firefly, Lollapalooza and Mountain Jam, prefer to wait for the freedom of summer.

Bonnaroo is known for bringing a tasteful combination of big names and jam bands to its spread of 700 acres in Manchester, Tennessee. From June 11 to 15, Bonnaroo will host musicians ranging from Billy Joel and Mumford & Sons to Robert Plant and Kendrick Lamar, as well as smaller, less-known bands. Second tier general admission for all four days start at $324.50.

“Since it is one of the major music festivals in the world, the artists would bring out their best work and put on the best show they possibly could for the fans,” said senior finance major Matthew Bogard, who attended Bonnaroo 2014.

In Chicago, Lollapalooza brings huge headliners to the windy city. Last year’s acts included Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, Iggy Azalea and Cage the Elephant, to name a few. Lolla’s 2015 lineup will be posted soon, but based on its track record, this year is bound to be good.

“Organizing such a large music festival in a large city makes the atmosphere indescribable,” said Maryellen Gorman, a senior marketing major. “There was such a variety of music available all in one main location.”

If you’re looking to attend a festival full of rock ‘n roll and jam bands, try Lockn’ Festival, held in Arrington, Virginia, or Mountain Jam, set in Hunter Mountain, New York.

Lockn’s 2015 lineup includes Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Doobie Brothers, The String Cheese Incident and more. The festival is Sept. 10 to 13, and general admission for a four-day pass starts at $259.

Junior crafts major Nicole Pancari said the music and the people shaped her experience in Arrington when she attended in 2013.

“I was in pure bliss,” Pancari said. “The crowd was awesome, everyone was there to enjoy themselves, the music and each other.”

Mountain Jam Festival, located at a ski resort just 25 miles north of the town of Woodstock, brings four days of rock ‘n roll. Some headliners for its 11th annual festival include the Black Keys, Robert Plant, Gov’t Mule and Alabama Shakes. The festival will be June 4 to 7, and four-day passes with camping start at $239 and one-day passes around $80.

As for the Grateful Dead fans out there, the four living original members will reunite for the band’s 50th anniversary at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio will join the members for their three final “Fare Thee Well” shows.

Going to a music festival is about the experience. Take in what’s around you — listen to the music, meet new people and buy overpriced, tie-dyed souvenirs. Be sure to follow the festivals on social media for chances to win a pair of tickets, or get involved by volunteering at the festivals.

Contact Megan Brown at [email protected].