The Beat Goes On
The crush of the crowd, the blistering guitar solos, the stage diving—each summer, thousands of revelers pack auditoriums, parks, and stadiums across the country for music festivals that feature these and other thrills. Whether you’re a teenage rebel looking to bust out or an aging hippie who just can’t let go of your Woodstock-era tie-dye clothing, there’s a music festival somewhere near you.
Lollapalooza (www.lollapalooza.com) has proved its staying power since Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction started the party in 1991. Held in Chicago’s Grant Park, the event has featured old-school rockers like Depeche Mode and new indie acts. Chicago is also the home of the Pitchfork Music Festival (www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com). Founded by the music site Pitchfork.com, this party distinguishes itself by letting attendees suggest set lists for the bands performing at the concert.
All Tomorrow’s Parties (www.atpfestival.com), a renowned British institution, has found a stateside home in the farmlands near Monticello, New York. Another small town hosts a big event when Bonnaroo (www.bonnaroo.com) comes to Manchester, Tennessee. The 3-day party and camp-out has hosted renowned bands like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Elvis Costello. Like many of these events, the All Points West Music and Arts Festival (www.apwfestival.com) prides itself on being a green party: This 3-day concert is accessible by numerous forms of mass transit from New York City and New Jersey, and enforces a park-wide recycling program. On the other side of the continent, Outside Lands (www.sfoutsidelands.com) rocks the San Francisco Bay area from the leafy glades of Golden Gate Park.
Music lovers who are looking for something other than rock and roll also have plenty to choose from. The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans (www.essencemusicfestival.com) presents a variety of soul, R&B, and hip-hop acts. The legendary Newport Jazz Festival (www.jazzfestival55.com), now over 55 years old, still brings top jazz and blues talent to its stage. And folkies still flock to Rhode Island to take in the sounds at the venerable Newport Folk Festival (www.folkfestival50.com). —ML