June 9, 2003
By David Krell
The year is 1993, and the summer is imminent. The smell of charcoal and cheap beer forces everyone outside, while the allure of outdoor festivals is certainly the "icing on the cake for a perfect summer.
Should we attend Lollapalooza, which at that time was the only yearly rock festival in America? Or should we wait for our local radio station to host a decent (at best) and overly expensive mock rock festival?
The answer, whether we liked it or not, was to of course go to Lollapalooza and make the best out of the average lineup that usually showcased such a festival.
Those sacrificial days of financial regret and musical dismay are long gone, and there are now countless summer festivals one can choose from.
For those of you located on the west coast, the summer festival season starts a little early (the end of April to be exact).
Artists such as the Beastie Boys, the White Stripes, Underworld, the Black-Eyed Peas, and Queens of the Stone Age headlined this years Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, CA. Not only did it set the standard for other festivals of its kind, but it remains triumphant in its ability to attract new bands, new sponsors, and last, but certainly not least, new fans.
This summer, those expectations set by Coachella will most certainly be met.
If you're into visual temptation and experimentation with a hippie following, then the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN (June 13-15, 2003) is right up your alley. Artists such as The Dead, Widespread Panic, Jack Johnson, and the Flaming Lips provide much of the music (not to mention over 50 other bands). Better bring some extra Ritalin for your friends because bands play into the wee hours of the morning.
Are you a mainstream punk, who can't admit that his or her band is now making music videos for MTV? If so, it would be advantageous for you to check out the Vans Warped Tour. Skateboarding displays and a mini-flea market are enough reason to attend the traveling punk fest. Not to mention artists such as The Used, Less than Jake, the Dropkick Murphy's, and the All-American Rejects headlining. If you get caught by one of your "too-cool for school underground punk friends" then just tell them you're there to see Pennywise.
Field Day Fest, which took place on June 7th, was been labeled as the "Coachella of the East." Fewer bands are represented, but the idea behind the festival is very much the same. Mainstream headliners such as Radiohead and the Beastie Boys are complemented by up and coming bands like My Morning Jacket and Bright Eyes. A possible financial disaster may make this festival worth seeing (due to its unfortunate time slot of a week before Bonnaroo), for one can never be sure whether a festival will make it to its second year; no matter how spectacular it may be. Just ask the promoters of Coachella how much it cost for them to pay off their first year's debt. See review by David.
Then there's Bonnaroo NE, which is taking place on August 8th through the 10th, 2003. Similar bands, with the addition of Tom Petty, Dave Matthews, and Bob Dylan (amongst others), and tighter security, fill the Northeast void for their own Bonnaroo Music Festival.
The Summer Sanitarium Tour, which is in competition with Ozzfest for the heaviest rock festival, is for anyone who likes heavy metal, but who also enjoys the music of Pearl Jam.
Let's face it, Ozzy's too old, Marilyn Manson's too decorative, and Chevelle are presently opening for the Foo Fighters. Skip Ozzfest and go watch Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and the Deftones rock your local arena. Then there's the resurrection of Lollapalooza. This year's lineup includes, Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, and of course, Jane's Addiction.
Whether you're a hippie, a Satanist, a frat boy, or just a fan of music, there is a festival for everyone this summer. Just make sure to remember where you parked your car.
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