Summer music festivals

William deLannoy

The school year is winding down, and that means summer is right around the corner.

With the warm weather come annual music festivals that include some of the hottest bands around.

We’ve narrowed the list down to five festivals across the country that you would be remiss in missing.


(April 25-27, Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.)

Coachella is an annual festival known for frustrating East Coast audiophiles without the means to make the trek to California.

A large portion of concertgoers take advantage of onsite camping offered at a field adjacent to the stages (think a modern Woodstock atmosphere).

Though this year’s lineup is a fall from last year’s ridiculous bill, it still features heavyweights Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket, and the Raconteurs, in addition to over 100 more bands.

If you’ll be in the area and have the money to drop $270 on a three-day pass, it’s definitely worth looking into.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

(June 12-15, Manchester, Tenn.)

This year’s Bonnaroo lineup again features its signature blend of diverse musical styles.

Pearl Jam, Metallica and Kanye West are the undisputed headliners, but the supporting cast includes O.A.R., Broken Social Scene, Rilo Kiley and Vampire Weekend. Bonnaroo has quite a few of Coachella’s bands in the lineup, as the Raconteurs, Death Cab and My Morning Jacket are also on the ticket.

Siren Music Festival

(July 19, Coney Island, N.Y.)

Amid speculation that it would not return due to shakeups in Astroland management, The Village Voice will host the eighth annual Siren Music Festival this summer.

The news is completely brand new, and no bands have been announced yet. The festival is completely free, so if you’re an audiophile from the metropolitan area, there is no excuse for not attending.

The festival consists of two stages on separate streets, mere feet from the famous Coney Island Boardwalk.

Despite the stifling heat, the 2007 festival drew over 100,000 people.

Past artists have included The Shins, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse and Stars.


(Aug. 1-3, Grant Park, Chicago)

A few years ago Lollapalooza was a traveling festival with dozens of stops on its tour.

After a one-year hiatus due to poor ticket sales, the concert settled down in one location, Chicago, where it has remained for the past two years. Radiohead, Bloc Party and Wilco have confirmed that they will be performing.

All Points West Music and Arts Festival

(August 8-10, Liberty State Park, N.J.)

Produced by the makers of Coachella, All Points West is, along with Siren, one of the few music festivals in the tri-state area.

The festival is brand new, but its debut lineup is nothing to be laughed at. Johnson is a headliner in New Jersey, and why not? He seems to be popping up at all the other festivals this summer.

But All Points West’s real heavyweight is Radiohead, which will play both of the first two days.

The rest of the lineup, although small, rounds out nicely with The Roots, The New Pornographers and Kings of Leon.

A three-day pass costs $258, but it might be worth it to buy two single-day passes for $89 each and catch the first two days as day three’s lineup is the weakest.