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Summer music fest survival guide

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The warm weather and sunshine are bringing out the summer vibes in everyone. However, the warm weather and sunshine don’t just mark the beginning of the summer. They also mark the start of the music festival season. With Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Spring Awakening only a few short weeks away, there are some important things to consider before heading out. Whether you’re festival hopping locally in Chicago or making rounds to various cities around the country, there are certain tips and things you should know before you attend.

Overnight festivals

All Good

This year, the All Good music festival is a four-day musical adventure through Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Last year, the festi??val was held at Marvin’s Mountaintop, in Ma??sontown, W. Va. with appearances by Furthur, Primus, Pretty Lights and Moe. This new Ohio site has hosted performances by the Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers. With this is mind, the festival headliners include Phil Lesh and Friends/Bob Weir along with an appropriate revival of The Allman Brothers.

Camping is provided throughout sectors of Legend Valley, but because the venue has only hosted events catered to mainly residential fes??tivalgoers, fans are still uncertain as to which spots they are going to be most partial to. But in a letter posted on their website, it is mentioned that there is going to be shaded campground in the nearby woods.

Since the ticketing process began in early March, tickets were sold at the early bird price, but the last chance for early bird tickets was around March 9. Last week, tickets were a total of $209. As of 5 p.m. Monday, May 14, the four-day ticket price rose by $10, which, compared to most festivals ticketing brackets, is a relief. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket now, you will be paying a total of $220. However, unlike Summercamp Music Festival, these al??ready paid tickets include your late night tickets to see scheduled artists perform after hours.


Bonnaroo Music Festival started in 2002 with artists such as Widespread Panic, Old Crow Medicine Show and Umphrey’s McGee. The festival holds true to its mission to pro??vide people with musical entertainment as well as cinematic, comedic, artistic and alternative forms of entertainment to explore throughout the four-day experience.

The festival holds two main stages along with several different tents for performers and audiences alike. This year, performing on these stages are Radiohead, Phish and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with a very large group of well-known artists. To most, this festival is known for its large size. Woodstock music fes??tival was a one-time event known for its large??size, but surprisingly, Bonnaroo is only 70 acres smaller and in 2011.

The Bonnaroo general admission ticket in??cludes morning and wellness opportunities like yoga, demonstrations on how to grow your own garden, the “big ass waterslide” and access to the Bonnaroo salon hosted by Garnier Fructis along with so much more.

Like most festivals there are several differ??ent ticketing options to choose from. Bonna??roo takes that concept to a whole other level. Yes, there are general admission tickets and payment plans, but there are also hotel pack??ages, VIP packages, “roll like a rockstar” pack??ages, travel packages and group camping. The festival does a great deal to accommodate its diverse audience. But if you are interested in purchasing a g.a. ticket at this point, get ready to part with $300.

Electric Forest

Electric Forest, once known as Rothbury, is a festival highly concentrated with artists heav??ily involved in the electronic music scene. The festival first started in 2008 during Fourth of July weekend. The festival lasted for four days and included performances by Trey Anasta??sio of Phish, Greensky Bluegrass, Lotus, The Wailers, Widespread Panic, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Yonder, Bob Dylan, The Dead, Wil??lie Nelson, The Black Crowes, Frank Zappa, String Cheese and melodic old-school Bassnec??tar.

But as times changed, so did some of the music and festival going experiences. Many critics claim that the festival went from Shake??down Street to Fakedown Street. A letter was posted on the website announcing the 2010 hiatus, “Despite the 2010 postponement, we in??tend to move toward continuing ROTHBURY in 2011. This event is something very special, and we are unwilling to potentially tarnish what ROTHBURY is, and can become, by working under conditions that will produce anything less than a magical experience.” The mission failed because of political and financial obstacles and Electric Forest was born out of it and celebrates its second year in existence this June.

Nowadays, the festival headliners feature String Cheese, Bassnectar, STS9, Girl Talk, Steve Aoki and Major Lazer. If you make the choice to purchase a ticket today you’re looking at a weekend pass for $265.

Local festivals

North Coast

North Coast, also known as “Summer’s Last Stand” is a music festival with something for everybody. It is only two years old, but has become a super popular end of the summer fest. North Coast is perfect to attend if you’re looking for one last bang before the summer ends and the school year begins. Along with Pitchfork, this festival is held in Union Park this year Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Well-known artists including Pretty Lights, Atmosphere and Big Boi from Outkast all were announced in the first wave of artists. Addition??ally, smaller projects such as Felix Da House??cat, Rebirth Brass Band and Com Truise will all also be attending.


Pitchfork Music Festival is a perfect jam??boree for people with diverse music tastes. The annual Chicago summer music festival July 13, 14 and 15 at Union Park brings in artists of alternative rock, hip-hop, rap, electronica and dance music, with the occasional experi??mental/avant-garde rock, hardcore punk and jazz. Although Pitchfork 3-day passes are sold out, there is still time to buy single days. This year’s lineup consists of a wide variety of art??ists, including Hot Chip, Schoolboy Q, Vampire Weekend and Kendrick Lamar.

Pitchfork is ideal for underground music fans. With its decently small crowds compared to other fests, there is a happy medium between the intimacy and togetherness between the fan and artist. Single-day tickets are available for $45 each. This is the essential festival for independent music and beyond.

Spring Awakening

Calling all dub/electro heads: This is certainly the festival that is right up your alley and one that is around the corner. Spring Awakening consists of two days of all DJ’s, house, electro and dubstep included. Brand new to the Chicago day fest market, Spring Awakening is for the wild ones who enjoy get??ting down. This recently developed fest will be held June 16 and 17 at Soldier Field including electro prodigies like Afrojack, Diplo, Morgan Page, Skrillex and many more.

There are two-day and single-day passes available for $119.99 or $65 a piece for Satur??day and Sunday. Plus, there is a wide array of SAMF after parties at various venue locations around the city including House of Blues and Congress Theater. Just remember, to get into the Spring Awakening Afters you must have a festival ticket.

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Summer music fest survival guide