An Idiot’s Guide to Music Festivals

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When it comes to live music, it’s hard to find a better time than summer to check out your favorite bands’ concert act than at a music festival. From the established to the up-and-coming, here are some of this summer’s best lineups.


Since starting out as an avenue for jam and folk rock bands to come together for four days of artistic expression, those behind the Bonnaroo Muisc and Arts Festival has diversified which bands it invites to Manchester, Tennessee. As classic acts like Elton John share the stage with the likes of Kanye West and Vampire Weekend, music fans of all styles are sure to see something they like over the fest’s June 12-15 run.


One of the biggest story lines of the 2014 fest season has been the unexpected formulation of an Outkast reunion tour, which is set to span 40 festivals over the course of the summer. Although the rap duo weren’t able to generate much buzz with the tour’s kick-off show at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the crowd at The Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky should be a little more embracing July 18-20; Outkast’s Big Boi has made a splash at the festival in the last couple years as a solo act. Other acts featured at Forecastle include Spoon, Beck, The Replacements, and Jack White.


Nelsonville Music Festival

Athenians looking for a taste of the summer’s fest season won’t have to look much further than in their own backyards to see critically-acclaimed acts like alt. rockers of Dinosaur Jr. and folk group The Avett Brothers. Brian Koscho, marketing director for Stuart’s Opera House, which puts on the Nelsonville Music Festival, said the fest’s organizers are looking to bring more excitement with this year’s performances.“We never want it to be stale,” Koscho said. “We want to always get people in that are exciting and represent a wide variety of people.” Look out for other high-profile artists like The Head and the Heart and Kurt Vile & The Violators when the fest is underway from May 29 to June 1.

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