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Summer music festival guide

By Liz Palisin
On April 8, 2013


Summer is swiftly approaching and that means a smorgasbord of fantastic music festivals to choose from. But how can a college student on a menial budget make the best of the pennies and dimes that have been amassed after hours upon hours working that part time job at Jimmy Johns? Well, let me be your magical musical spirit guide and walk you through the maze of wonderful choices you can make this season.

Overall the choice is up to you. What do you want to see most and what location is most convenient? The choice to spend the money for tickets and travel in order to attend these festivals is worth it to say the least. The people that you meet and the shows that you see will form an indescribably memorable experience that will tide you over until the next year of amazing summer music.



(Aug. 2-4): This festival is the closest to home, featuring three days filled with music and located smack dab in the middle of Grant Park. This year the lineup features The Cure, Mumford and Sons, Vampire Weekend, Kendrick Lamar and Nine Inch Nails, just to name a few. In addition to the location, another pro is there are always fantastic food and drink options from a variety of local vendors to nosh on. There are large grounds that over the course of the weekend can get quite messy. "Nothing is as good as a Sunday at Lolla in the mud," said Nolan Raynak from Thunder Bay, Ontario. Some cons are the music generally ends at 10 and there are scheduling conflicts with bands playing at the same time, so you might have to choose between two shows you want to see.


(June 13-16): Set in Manchester, Tenn., this festival has Wilco, Paul McCartney, and R. Kelly on its 2013 bill. The length of this fest (4 days) is longer than most. In addition to the stellar lineup, Bonnaroo also includes other sources of entertainment that include shopping, water slides and movie showing. One of the cons of this fest is the location of the camping area. Depending on where you camp, it can be miles from where the bands are actually performing. Bonnie Hardin, a sophomore at Michigan State University describes her experience at the festival. "I got the worst sunburn of my life, came very close to fainting in front of the comedy tent, didn't shower for days in 100 degree weather, and would definitely do it all over again."


(April 12-14 and April 19-21): This festival is set in Indio, Calif., and has featured acts like Bon Iver, The Arctic Monkeys and the holographic Tupac Shakur. Some perks of this fest include the fantastic setting, complete with palm trees and the Sierra Nevada mountain range and multiple surprise acts. The problem with Coachella can be the heat, soaring to 100+ degrees Fahrenheit and the over flooding parking lots. Food and drink costs at the festival also tend to be high. The lineup this year includes Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Camping here is all about togetherness and has a great vibe. Portable showers are also a definite plus.


(June 26-30): Although this festival isn't located in Chicago, the drive to attend Summerfest in Milwaukee is only a two-hour drive. This five-day fest seems more like individual days of separate music rather than a single cohesive event. Jake Reeder, 20, says that "the demographic of people there is huge, there are families, old, and young people. Besides that there are carnival rides and games as well." Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Fun., Jason Aldean and Pitbull are a few acts that have made the 2013 list.


(June 21-23): This huge electric music fest is set in Las Vegas. Need I say more about the environment? Light shows and ongoing parties keep the energy at a constant high. Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Afrojack and Porter Robinson are just a few of the artists that have performed at past EDC festivals. The lineup for 2013's festival still hasn't been announced, but 3-day passes are on sale. Prepare for gruesome traffic when attending EDC!


(May 24-27): Located in rural Quincy, Wash., the 2013 lineup includes The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Mackelmore and The Lumineers. This is a great big beautiful place to camp because it is located right by the Columbia Gorge. The campgrounds are cleaner than most music festivals. And since it's smaller than other bigger music festivals, you should be prepared for traffic.

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