2012 Music Festivals Preview
Where to go and who to see this summer.
The arrival of Coachella just marks the beginning of music festival season. That means there will be plenty more of sweat-soaked crowds, dancing gifs, overpriced beers and amazing music. Now that the rapping Tupac hologram has already made an appearance, consider the bar set for this summer.
May 25- 28, George, Washington
Headliners: Beck, Jack White, Bon Iver, Feist, The Roots, M.Ward, St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Blitzen Trapper, The Walkmen, Spiritualized, Dum Dum Girls, Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Cass McCombs and Zola Jesus.
Famously parodied on Portlandia, this Sasquatch Festival is a magnet for any music lover in the Pacific Northwest radius. There's an overall laid-back vibe with camping abound, considering the venue is a giant gorge hours away from civilization. It's more of a travel destination then merely a music festival. And speaking of Portlandia, the twee-skewering ensemble of the show has joined the line-up, as well as Carrie Brownstein's band Wild Flag.
June 7-10, Manchester, Tennessee
Headliners: Radiohead, Beach Boys, Santigold, Skrillex, Phish, Black Lips, Das Racist, Battles, Bad Brains, Flying Lotus, The War on Drugs, Mogwai, Alabama Shakes, Marc Maron and Aziz Ansari.
A sprawling festival on a 700 acre farm, Bonnaroo combines music performances with, art, film and comedy. Under the official definition, the festival can be described as: "Bonnaroovian Dancing, hugging a stranger by accident, and dressing up as Teen Wolf." Due to its size, the festival draws not only a diverse mix of musical acts, but a mix of attendees as well. Where high college kids bump elbows with 30-somethings who bring their kids, Bonnaroo offers something for everyone.
Pitchfork Music Festival
July 13-15, Union Park, Chicago
Headliners: Grimes, Hot Chip, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, Danny Brown, Atlas Sound, King Krule, Purity Ring, Beach House, Real Estate, Cloud Nothings and Sleigh Bells.
The Pitchfork Festival is essentially an extension of the Pitchfork brand, so the line-up is a mix of tightly curated acts that have already been championed by the site or given the opportunity to prove themselves at the festival. It's not the sprawling party that the other festivals offer, but a showcase for fans who really come just for the music.
August 3-5, Grant Park, Chicago
Headliners: Black Keys, Black Sabbath, The Shins, Florence + the Machine, M83, Dr. Dog, Sharon Van Etten, Bear in Heaven, Franz Ferdinand, Delta Spirit, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Miike Snow, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chairlift
The oldest of all the music festivals, Lollapalooza has come a long way since Perry Farell and his "alternative nation" took the stage over 20 years ago. After a bumpy ride of flagging ticket sales and corporate takeovers, it has reclaimed its cred as a music destination. It's only fitting that Red Hot Chili Peppers return as a headliner to mark the anniversary.
August 10-12, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Headliners: Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Sigur Rós, Justice, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird, Zola Jesus, Passion Pit, Norah Jones, Of Monsters and Men, Tanlines, Grandaddy, Die Antwoord and Foo Fighters.
While the Outside Lands may have grown since its inception, there's still an emphasis on local, giving attendees a true taste of the bay area with wine tastings, regional food and art. Finally coming into its own as a newer festival, the acts are bigger and better this year all taking place in the iconic Golden Gate Park.