Stuck in a routine when it comes to your vacations? Everyone has to take into consideration their budget (or lack thereof), how many days off from work they have, and of course, what they like to do. For the majority, visions of beaches dance in their heads. A cabin in the mountains comes to mind for many others. But why follow the norm when there is so much more out there. Why not dare to be different?
The road less traveled is too often overlooked. There are some pretty cool happenings going on at places you may not be aware of unless you happen to be “in the know.” These major events have a tendency to direct their advertising only toward their targeted audiences, and it nicely does the job. While they may not be the Woodstock of yesterday, only because it was… Woodstock…, spending your time off at a music festival, if you like live music that is, is the way to go. Hands down.
Not always, but many times music festivals are held in rather off-the-beaten-path locations. This is done for a very valid reason. Some of them are so well attended they could apply for a zip code. The festivals listed below are rock music-oriented, but there are folk, songwriter, jazz, and other genre-oriented festivals as well.
Bonnaroo – Manchester, Tennessee
Bonnaroo has become immensely popular since its first festival in 2002 on the 700-acre farm where it is still held today, and for a very good reason. Bonnaroo hosts a wide variety of genres on multiple stages so there is something for everyone. And they don’t book just any old acts. This festival gets the best.
The entire 700-acres has been blasted with tunes from the likes of The Police, Paul McCartney, My Morning Jacket, Billy Joel, The Allman Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Pearl Jam, Mumford and Sons, Bob Dylan, Nine Inch Nails, Jay Z, ZZ Top, Black Crowes, Kings of Leon, and the seemingly endless list continues…
The lineup for 2018 has not yet been released, but if it’s anything like the previous years, and it will be, you can signup to be the first to know through their website. Altogether though, there will be 130 performers spread out between 10 stages. In fact, some people who have been before are buying tickets now without even knowing who they are going to see and hear. Yes. It’s that good. This year’s festival is from June 7th, through the 10th.
Camping and RV sites are available but if festival goers prefer to stay in nearby Nashville there are several shuttles. Once onsite, the grounds and facilities are handicapped accessible.
Hangout Music Festival – Gulf Shores, Alabama
This three-day festival is held dead-center on the beaten path on the public beaches of Gulf Shores, and it’s a non-stop party. Genres include rock, hip-hop, indie, electronic, and whatever the directors feel like throwing on any one of three stages.
To give you a better idea, previous acts have included Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Dave Matthew’s Band, Twenty One Pilots, Paramore, Widespread Panic, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Chance the Rapper, Flaming Lips, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many, many, more.
The lineup for 2018 includes The Chainsmokers, The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Pussy Riot, Foster The People, Logic, Portugal, Cold War Kids, Halsey, Galantis, Noname, Skip Marley, Manchester Orchestra, Awolnation, and this only scratches the surface.
Even with an abundance of rental condos, beach houses, and hotels in the Gulf Shores area, reservations should be made as far in advance as possible, especially if you want to get as close to the action as you can.
Between tax revenue and one percent of gross ticket sales, the city takes in close to a million smackers so they have no problem with an invasion of a 40,000 or so extra guests once a year.
Tickets are on sale and you can even pay in four monthly installments. This years event will be held in May, from the 18th through the 20th.
Sasquatch! – George, Washington
In its 17th year, this festival takes place at the Gorge Amphitheater, the main stage of which is perched precariously on a cliff. The location is three-hours from both Spokane and Seattle and it’s more on the remote side of things. The setting is a spectacular salute to nature with the Columbia River looming as a backdrop to the stage.
The festival always takes place over Memorial Day weekend, and just like the other music festivals, buy your tickets early before they are gone. If you get them early enough, complimentary camping will be included in the ticket cost. There are onsite amenities including a variety of culinary offerings, a craft-beer village, and of course, hot showers.
The emphasis is placed more on indie bands of varying genres and singer-songwriters, but alternative rock, hip-hop, rap, and artists of all types, even including some comedy acts, will grace the stage before it’s all over.
Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots, Trailer Park Boys, Beck, Jamey Johnson, Alabama Shakes, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Sean Nelson, Elvis Costello, Violent Femmes, Outkast, Ryan Adams, Robert Plant, and Modest Mouse are some of the previous performers.
The lineup for 2018 is as of yet a secret, but every year gets better and better so go ahead and make plans now.
Nothing is a better stress reliever than spending a few days immersed in music while watching your favorite acts perform. How can anyone even possibly think about work when a band like “The Chainsmokers” is giving it all they’ve got right before their eyes? As a reminder, attending a music festival of any type, regardless the genre, cannot be a spur of the moment decision. They sell out fast so it’s best to plan in advance. The further in advance the better.
A word of warning. Once you attend your first music festival you will be hooked for life. Plan on spending every vacation the same way. Thank goodness there are so many good ones to pick from.