Summer Music Festival Preview



For the last few years, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has hauled in the biggest names in music for its four-day romp in the middle of Tennessee farm country. The latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine called Bonnaroo the best music festival in America. The only drawback for Northern students is that the festival’s 700-acre home in Manchester, Tenn., is a 15-hour drive from Marquette. Still, the ticket price of $229.50 (plus those service charges and add-ons) covers not only access to some of music’s biggest performances of the year, but also four nights of camping. Known previously as a jam-band festival, this year’s lineup, which will take the stage from June 12-16, is more diverse than ever before. Headlining acts range from Pearl Jam and Metallica to Kanye West and Jack Johnson. And in case those names don’t stretch across enough genres, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Mastodon, Teisto, comedian Chris Rock and a hundred other acts are involved.
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For a weekend of campsite partying and big name acts similar to Bonnaroo, but much closer to home, Rothbury Music Festival in Rothbury, Mich., could be the answer. Only a seven-hour drive from Marquette, the inaugural four-day bash features Dave Mathews Band (DMB), John Mayer, Widespread Panic, 311, Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse and Phil Lesh. Rothbury is one of several other European-style festivals to pop up in America over the past few years.

Patrick McBride, an undeclared sophomore, plans on driving downstate for the July 3-6 festival. One of the main attractions that led to McBride buying his ticket was headliner DMB, who he had planned on seeing last year in Wisconsin, but his trip fell through. This time around, he was quick to grab his ticket. Aside from DMB, McBride’s anticipating other Rothbury big-name acts. “I just can’t wait to see and hang with Snoop Dogg,” he said.

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Downtown Chicago’s Grant Park will play host to a modern rock dream lineup August 1-3, as Lollapalooza hosts Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails and Jack White’s Raconteurs. And if that’s not the desired cup of tea, Kanye West and Gnarls Barkley are on the undercard. Wilco, Bloc Party, Cat Power, Brand New and Lupe Fiasco are booked, as well as over 80 other acts. Tickets run roughly $200, though, unlike Bonnaroo and other camping festivals, lodging isn’t included.

Junior health and fitness management major Tim Moutrie, who has been to Lollapalooza each of the last four years, said he can’t believe this year he’s getting to see the likes of Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine for under $200.

“The ticket price is always worth all of the bands you get to see,” Moutrie said.

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…and elsewhere

This year, more than any other, has loads of large scale events spread across the map, from California to Texas to New York, and seemingly everywhere in between. Wakarusa in Lawrence, Kan., offers up The Flaming Lips, Cake and Buckethead ( Columbus, Ohio’s two-day Rock on the Range is headlined by Stone Temple Pilots, Kid Rock, Disturbed and Serj Tankian ( Sasquatch! in George, Wash., plays host to R.E.M., The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie and the comedian folk duo Flight of the Conchords ( For Radiohead fans unable to swing Lollapalooza, New Jersey’s All Points West festival might be the next best thing. Also on the bill are Jack Johnson and Kings of Leon ( And speaking of Radiohead and Johnson, they’re both playing Outside Lands in San Francisco with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ( Johnson’s also heading up the Virgin Mobile festival in Baltimore, alongside Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Wilco and Foo Fighters