Fans have received their first taste of the 2014 music festival season with the Ultra Music Fest and SXSW. The headline grabbing SXSW interactive event took place March 13-22 in Austin, Texas and was a strong opening act. The momentum was then picked up by the Ultra Music Fest in Miami, Florida held March 28-30. This weekend brought us the Coachella Music Festival and officially marks the launch of the summer music festival season.
Enthusiastic fans were treated to the long-awaited reunion of OutKast and the ever so seductive sounds of Beyoncé. Thus far touted as a great event, Coachella is only the start. Whatever genre appeals to you there is a music festival for you and your family. With the summer break quickly approaching, fans are starting to research and plan vacations around their favorite festivals coast to coast. With close to two hundred events to choose from, concert goers in every region of the country will have viable options available.
Coachella is one of the most popular west coast music festival parties with more to come this summer. For the family that includes teens and young adults, parents grapple with planning vacations where the kids will be engaged. Families on the east coast may want to check out the Skate and Surf Festival happening May 17 and 18 in Asbury Park, New Jersey at the Oceanfront. This festival is a youth lifestyle event that parents will enjoy and be happy to share with their kids. Slated to feature five concert stages, Skate and Surf will host acts such as New Found Glory, Midtown and Alkaline Trio. Two day passes are approximately $108.
In an effort to create an interactive experience at Skate and Surf, concert producers have introduced a platform called Game Change World which will allow attendees to download game apps. Event notables like T. Mills, Mayday Parade and others will be featured on the apps allowing fans to earn currency which they can redeem for merchandise. Attending a festival that combines gaming, music and sports into an interactive environment may be the way to launch your family’s summer.
For festival fans who don’t live near either cost you are in luck. Manchester, Tennessee hosts potentially the best festival of the season for die-hard music fans. Bonnaroo, also known as music on The Farm still indicates ticket levels 2-4 are still available. Available four day passes range in price from $250 to $285.
The ultimate in eclectic music offerings, Bonnaroo provides audiophiles with 12 stages and theatres including a comedy theatre and the solar stage. Next level positioning is the inclusion of what promoters call Super Jams. These are special event shows where two artists collaborate for crowd pleasing, jaw dropping and often surprise performances as collaboration lineups are typically not announced prior to the show.
By presenting a variety of acts like Wiz Khalifa, Jack White, Lauren Hill and Elton John, music on The Farm vastly expands on the concept of events like Coachella. Intentionally focusing on the music has made Bonnaroo a revelation for music lovers. Nevertheless for the party boy or girl who wants to have an authentic festival experience here, there’s plenty of activities to par take in. Festival participants can pick up a copy of the Bonnaroo Beacon and locate the comedy theatre, disco, hair salon or the on-site movie theatre to occupy time until their favorite band comes on stage.
The Essence Music Festival strives to bring participants an event that is about whole life wellness mind, body, and spirit. Usually planned for the July 4th weekend this year’s festival is scheduled to launch on the forth with Prince scheduled to be this seasons headliner.
Music lovers will have their pic of shows by some of R&B, Hip-Hop, jazz and gospel’s brightest stars during this three-day festival. Concert activities are not free with single event tickets prices starting at $58 and going up to VIP weekend passes going for $1100. Free entry can be gained to so-called breakout sessions held for attendees to meet special guest speakers and join discussions on health and wellness, business, finance, relationships and parenting in addition to many other subjects. Respected speakers T. D. Jakes and Iyandla Vanzant are scheduled to conduct sessions this year. Rounding out the week is the Sunday brunch gospel concert for those who seek a community spiritual connection.
Late in the summer is Lollapalooza. Scheduled for August 1-3 at Chicago’s Grant Park. Lollapalooza was the flagship festival event for the alternative music scene in the 90’s. After several years on hiatus, the music festival reboot was made in 2003 and catapulted into a spotlight not soon to dim. A high dollar event with tickets averaging $250 for weekend pass. Platinum level weekend passes are $3,600. You may be surprised to find this event has all but sold out with only platinum level tickets remaining for those with the budget to go big. Providing 130 acts to be featured on eight stages means this lifestyle event is sure to deliver. Lollapalooza fans are said to consider music the sideshow and favor the opportunity to mingle, dine and play the day away. OutKast and Eminem, this year’s headliners maybe less than pleased with that notion but socialization is the goal, in other words come ready to party.
Coachella may be over but, no matter what your summer season plans may be adding a music festival to the agenda is sure to make for an amazing summer.
By T. Lawson