It’s summer, y’all! As we all know, summer is indisputably the best season for many reasons including but not exclusive to: Barbeques, fireworks, summer fragrances, and having a go-to excuse for anything stupid. “I quit my job, dyed my hair blonde and am going on a hang gliding tour of Europe. What? It’s summer!” But the best thing about this season, by far, is that it’s the season of music festivals! Days upon days of live music, friends, and sun. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
Your favorite music festival says a lot about you, and I’m here to break it down for you.
Bonnaroo is for hardcore music lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Held in Manchester, Tennessee, it is the mother of all festivals. Bonnaroo has the biggest lineup out of all festivals by far, so there’s no shortage of bands to see. It’s hugely diverse so you’re not tied down to one genre, which is great if you’re terribly indecisive like me. From rock to rap and even comedy acts, Bonnaroo has it all. You can hit up Radiohead, Foster The People, Ludacris, Aziz Ansari and Kenny Rogers (not that you’d want to) all in one place! And if camping is your thing, then you’re in luck, because every year, Manchester turns into a veritable tent city for a week. If you go to Bonnaroo, then you have no problem with roughing it for a few days without a shower or a stove, it’s all for the music baby! Not me though. I love music but I also love bathing so I’ll let you guys have your fun. Text me about it.
Wisconsin didn’t want to be left out of the music festival game, so we have Summerfest. And thank goodness! Right in the heart of Milwaukee, you can catch acts from Aerosmith to Kelly Clarkson. If this festival is your thing, you’re most likely a Midwest native that has to work the next morning but wouldn’t miss the chance to see your favorite classic rock band. And who could blame you? Brave the traffic, grab dinner in Milwaukee, work your way through the crowds and see a great show. All the perks of a music festival without a week off of work.
If you go to Pitchfork, chances are you’re pretentious and generally “over it” because no one at Pitchfork likes anything. God, reading reviews on Pitchfork is like getting a passive aggressive note from your college professor about how your paper just “could have been better.” Cheer up people! But no, they choose to congregate in Chicago and revel in their pretension while judging some of the biggest acts of the year (that they’ve no doubt grown tired of), alongside the hottest up-and-comers. Spare me. If I’m dropping the kind of cash they want for a three-day pass anywhere in Chicago, it’s going to be at Barney’s. Decent lineup though, I mean Vampire Weekend and Feist? The music is great, the crowd is not.
Now we’re talking! When it comes to Chicago music festivals, there’s no way we can leave out Lollapalooza. If you go to Lolla, that means you like to shower. And for that, I thank you. Lollapalooza is like Summerfest’s sexy big brother. Bigger, better, and right in the heart of the city. It’s all the fun of a music festival, but at the end of the night, instead of going back to a gross tent, you get to back to a hotel! And you’re surrounded by restaurants and bars, so when the music gets to be too exhausting, you can bop across the street for a sandwich and a cold one. Lolla-goers are my favorite. Music fans of all ages, and all walks of life, and best of all, they’re all clean!
If you’re into Electric Forest, then that means you’re probably a fan of dance music and hallucinogens. Taking place in Rothbury, Michigan, Electric Forest is held in, you guessed it, a forest! Now, I’m not a huge fan of dance/trance/house music and I don’t do nearly enough drugs to attend and enjoy it, but I love the name! I just want to say it over and over again. I imagine Skrillex riding a unicorn around between his sets and the crowd being packed full of club kids, Oompa Loompas, Smurfs, and Macaulay Culkin. If any of you go, get me a t-shirt.
Oh, Coachella. The socialite of music festivals. If you got to Coachella, you more than likely don’t know a thing about music and are just going to be seen and rub shoulders with celebrities like Chloe Sevigney and Rihanna. Don’t me wrong, I love Coachella, and so does everyone else. Problem is, no Coachella-goers actually love music. They spend more time planning their outfits than which sets they will be hitting throughout the day. Taking a page from Andy Warhol’s book, everyone is doing their best to “think rich, look poor” with their flowy Alexander Wang tops, cut off denim shorts, quilted Chanel bag (body strap necessary for music festivals, as issue of Vogue will tell you) and no doubt some stupid hippie headband. There’s a uniform and everyone knows it. Remember last year when Kanye wore that women’s Celine top and it became the biggest headline from the festival? See? Even he was more concerned with his outfit that his own set. For one weekend, now two weekends actually, the deserts of Indio, California becomes a hotspot for celebrities. If you want the chance to be photographed in hopes of showing up on TMZ alongside Lindsay Lohan or Morrissey, then Coachella’s your spot. I hear they play music there too.
Related Content: A Tag Along Concert Review: Lollapalooza 2010