While Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo music festivals might have already come and gone this year, the summer music festival season (the greatest of seasons IMHO) is just beginning. It’s okay to stop playing Sporcle for a weekend to attend one of these – or, while you’re wishing you’re there, playing quizzes about the bands. I’m lucky to be in the Pacific Northwest, because it’s chock full of so many opportunities (excuses) to party, sweat, and dance with thousands of new friends. There are so many great music festivals internationally that I wish I could attend, and at least two that I’m lucky enough to be able to attend this summer.
Roskilde Festival 2011 – June 30th-July 3rd
Roskilde is a huge music festival that pulls international acts every year, a dream of any festival lover. The long list of headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden, Kings of Leon, Mastodon, M.I.A., PJ Harvey, Portishead and The Strokes. I want to cry beautiful tears with how many “must sees” are on my list, and am planning a fantasy trip to this magical place for next year’s festival in my head as I write this.
Pitchfork Music Festival – July 15-July 17
Pitchfork is probably the most well known independent music blog, known for pretentious albums reviews and rating systems, as well as being ahead of the curve with the best new music coming out – it’s no wonder that they put on one of the greatest music festivals on the smaller side featuring almost exclusively lesser known (“indie”)(“hipster”) bands. Headliners are Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and TV on the Radio, but other great bands such as James Blake, Twin Shadow, Shabazz Palaces, and Cut Copy are not to be missed.
Capitol Hill Block Party – July 21-July 23
Featuring many local Pacific Northwest bands, I can’t wait for this party that happens in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood every year. With Explosions in the Sky, TV on the Radio, and Ghostland Observatory headlining, this festival completely takes over a neighborhood for a weekend and replaces it with great music. For less well known bands, check out Beat Connection, Painted Palms, Battles, Baths, and TheeSatisfaction. While it gets pretty packed on the streets in Seattle, this festival showcases many great local bands, while being one of the best parties of the summer.
Lollapalooza – August 5-August 7
If you want a festival that is family friendly, and has something for everyone, check out Lollapalooza, August 5th-7th in Chicago’s Grant Park, with the headliners Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, and Muse. Even if those bands aren’t your style, almost every genre is featured at this festival. If, while you’re there, you want to check out some great bands probably playing earlier in the day, don’t miss Phantogram, Local Natives, Best Coast, Cults, and Mayer Hawthorne. Unfortunately, the band “Chicago”, will not be there, even though I think that should be a requirement for every music festival in the Windy City.
Outside Lands – August 12-August 14
San Francisco, California
Set in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, this all star lineup features not only an incredible venue but a handsome lineup, featuring Phish (2 sets!), Muse, and The Arcade Fire, but it also includes a lot of bands I’ve been a fan of for a long time, and have never gotten the opportunity to see live, such as Beirut, and The Shins. From the road trip down to SF, getting to explore the city AND listen to great music, this is a vacation I’m looking forward to.
Headliners are Foo Fighters, Eminem, and The Offspring, and the lineup itself is very much like the last festivals I’ve talked about so instead, I’ll do a “bands I would skip” list for this one – there’s a band called Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat playing on Saturday, definitely would not go to that, sounds terrifying. I’m also surprised to see acts like Yellowcard, Good Charlotte and Panic! at the Disco on the list, maybe if this was 2003 I would see them. Sass aside, I would absolutely love to go to this festival and see all of the acts that I love, like Mount Kimbie, Yelle, SebastiAn, and Calvin Harris.
Austin City Limits – September 16- September 18
Austin is a music haven, with ACL being one of their biggest festivals of the year, featuring old favorites as well as upcoming musicians. Headliners are Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire (who just won album of the year), Coldplay, and Kanye West. Some other recommendations for this one includes The Antlers, James Blake, and Smith Westerns, but looking at this lineup, I’d be happy to see most on this great list, as this is a great way to finish up the summer.
Finally, if all this music talk has you excited to play some Sporcle trivia, check out some quizzes below: