It’s officially March, which for a lot of people means one thing: March Madness. For music lovers however, it signals the kickoff of the spring/summer music festival season. As the temperatures get warmer, millions of avid fans flock to cities all over the world for weekends of live musical entertainment. Here are a few of the highlights from festivals coming up:
South by Southwest, Austin TX (March 13-18)
Featuring 2,000 musical acts from 50 countries, SXSW is a staple for not only music appreciaters but industryfolk as well. The week-long festival features performances, speakers, and panels. Some anticipated acts include fun., Grace Potter, Magnetic Fields, BoB, Lana del Rey and the Black Lips. If you’re looking to discover some cool new music, I suggest checking out Outasight (you’ve probably heard his dance smash Tonight Is The Night) and Gary Clark Jr. (you can read the album review I wrote about him HERE).
Coachella Music Festival, Indio CA (April 13-15 and 20-22)
For the first time ever, Coachella is answering to growing demand and offering the festival 2 weekends in a row with identical lineups. Even with the doubling of available tickets, both weekends were sold out within hours of going on sale. This has a lot to do with the hype surrounding the artists announced to perform. Headliners for the weekend are Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Radiohead, and The Black Keys, and other big names scheduled to perform include Florence and the Machine, Bon Iver, and Frank Ocean. Some other acts to check out: Afrojack, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Gotye, Kendrick Lamar, and The Shins.
Bamboozle, Ashbury Park NJ (May 18-20)
The rock-centered festival features legends of the past few decades with a variety of on the verge newcomers. This years headliners are Skrillex, Blink-182 and Foo Fighters, and Bon Jovi. As if that wasn’t enough of a draw, there are a plethora of other must-see acts. Some highlights: Mac Miller, Mike Posner, Timeflies, Jimmy Eat World, All-American Rejects, The Maine, Motion City Soundtrack, Boys Like Girls, Outasight, He is We, and even DJ Pauly D (I’ll reserve judgement on whether that can be considered a “highlight”).
Warped Tour, 40+ stops nationwide (June 16-August 5)
This festival generally caters to adolescent hipsters, “scene” or “emo” kids, but every year there are a few gem bands that ensure a more diverse audience. This year, those include We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, and Mayday Parade. A leaked lineup list that is getting a lot of attention lists Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, All Time Low, New Found Glory and The Used as well. If that’s true, this could be one of the stronger lineups in recent years. As always, this is a great place to discover new bands in genres like punk-rock, metal, alternative, and even a little electronic.
Bonnaroo, Manchester TN (June 7-10)
This festival has become the largest in North America, featuring over 700 acts and a 100-acre entertainment village with art installations, vendors, arcade, cinema, comedy club and more. This year the festival will host the Beach Boys as part of their 2012 reunion tour, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Shins, Radiohead, Ludacris, Ben Folds Five, and Major Lazer, among hundreds of other acts.
*images are all official logos originally via official websites