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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Music festivals provide summer release

    With Paul McCartney, The Killers and The Cure headlining sets, California’s Coachella Valley Music Festival kicked off the summer concert season with a bang three weeks ago. Now the time has come for music lovers, neo-hippies and general delinquents to look to the future and decide which big-name festival will earn their time and money this summer – will it be Washington’s indie-infused Sasquatch Festival, Tennessee’s muggy Bonnaroo love-in or Chicago’s well-oiled Lollapalooza music machine?

    For the musically-minded, each festival will undoubtedly provide an experience worth the ticket price (at least until Live Nation and Ticketmaster merge, dooming the free world as we know it). However, the right festival to fill your summer lag time will ultimately be determined by personal taste in music (despite the large number of artist overlaps between festivals this year – see the diagram below for more on that), weather and how highly you value personal hygiene. The pros and cons of Sasquatch, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are available below, as well as a guide to festival lineups and overlaps. Rock on.

    Sasquatch Festival

    May 23 – May 25

    Venue: “”The Gorge,”” George, Wash.

    Cost: $66.50 per day ($76.50 beginning May 18)

    On-site camping: Yes, weekend passes cost $95

    Lineup: Of the three big festivals, Sasquatch caters most to the indie crowd, headlined this year by Kings of Leon, Jane’s Addiction, and Ben Harper and Relentless7. Also attached exclusively to the lineup are such indie superstars as John Vanderslice, DeVotchKa, Tucson natives Calexico and the unstoppable gypsy punks of Gogol Bordello. On the comedy side of things, hipster genius Demetri Martin will regale the crowd with inconsequential wordplay while Tim and Eric of Adult Swim’s “”Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”” will mesmerize drug-induced masses with parodic public TV song and dance sketches.

    Pros: Ample representation of indie acts intertwined with big names like Jane’s Addiction and Nine Inch Nails; beautiful Washington state weather and geography; predominantly young audience

    Cons: Only one main stage; expensive camping; immediately after finals week


    June 11 – June 14

    Venue: 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.

    Cost: $249.50 for 4 days, payment plan available

    On-site camping: Yes, Free!

    Lineup: This year Bonnaroo hearkens back to the spirit of Woodstock with dual headlining shows by the newly reunited Phish, a set from Bruce “”The Boss”” Springsteen and the E Street Band, and the Beastie Boys. A plethora of old- and new-school bands will be playing all weekend, including Talking Heads’s front man David Byrne and the slow, sweet, love-makin’ music of the Rev. Al Green; for younger audiences, The Mars Volta, Snoop Dogg, and Wilco are also ready to rock. Bonnaroo’s diversity, ranging from Merle Haggard to Public Enemy to The Decemberists, may make it the biggest hit this summer.

    Pros: Massive, diverse lineup; free camping; free water; payment plan; countless diversions including arts and crafts booths, a DJ academy, a silent auction, an air-conditioned theater and much more.

    Cons: Miserable Tennessee weather; four-day event instead of three (one more day to waste money on outrageously priced concert food); underwhelming headliners


    Aug. 7 – Aug. 9

    Venue: Grant Park, Chicago, Ill.

    Cost: $190 for three days

    On-site camping: No, Hotels/room rental only

    Lineup: Bound to be the loudest festival, headlined by Depeche Mode, Tool and The Killers.

    Lollapalooza has many overlaps with the other two festivals, but includes exclusive acts by rock legend Lou Reed, rising hip-hopper Asher Roth, and British badasses Arctic Monkeys. In all, a very rock- and pop-oriented lineup.

    Pros: Located in the heart of Chicago; most rocking headliners; held in a beautiful, well-maintained park

    Cons: No camping; very late in summer; Chicago, though fascinating and entertaining, is expensive

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