The first day of spring has come and gone, marking a change from a bleak and soggy winter into a bright and playful spring. In the same way, the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) festival has come and gone, marking a change from the stagnant and uneventful past six months into the sweatty, expensive, but overall-fun festival season.
There are dozens, if not a couple hundred, festivals lined up for the 2012 season. Some are smaller than others, and some are world-famous. Which festival you may want to check out should be dependent on three factors: location, price, and genre.
While there are so many festivals nation-wide, there are also many right in the east-coast area.
◆ This weekend, Killington V.t. is hosting Snowmount 2012, a combination of “the world’s best musicians with the world’s best snow conditions”. Tickets are $175 for a three-day pass and can be purchased at http://snowmontmusicfestival.com/.
◆ In New York City, the NYC Pop Fest will be held on May 17-20 in various locations throughout the city, including the Knitting Factory on the 18th. The lineup and ticket information can be found on their website, nycpopfest.org.
◆ A little further, in Asbury Park, NJ, is the Bamboozle Festival from May 18-20. The organizers are returning to the roots of Bamboozle, at their original location, and attempting to diversify their lineup including Bon Jovi, Boys Like Girls, Skrillex and Incubus.Tickets are $216 for a three-day pass and can be purchased through http://2012.thebamboozle.com/.
◆ Right in Western Mass. is the StrangeCreek Campout at Camp Keewanee in Greenfield. The festival is May 25-28, featuring Max Creek, Donna the Buffalo, and Strangefolk. Tickets are $95 until May 18 and can be purchased on their website, strangecreekcampout.com, the Northampton Boxoffice, and various Berkshire-area locations that are listed on their website.
◆ Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, is a music and environmental festival inspired by Pete Seger’s original desires to clean up the Hudson River over 40 years ago. The festival will take place June 16-17 and feature folk and bluegrass bands such as Ani DiFranco, Bela Fleck, Punch Brothers, Deer Tick, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Ticket prices are dependent of momber-status of Clearwater, and whether you want to purchase individual tickets or full-weekend tickets. Pricing and purchasing can be found through their website, clearwater.org.
◆ For fans of bluegrass, the Greyfox Bluegrass Festival will be in Oak Hill, N.Y. from July 19-22. It is one of the largest bluegrass festivals in the country, and one of the longest-running. The lineup is known as a who’s-who of bluegrass, featuring the Infamous Stringdusters, the Del McCoury Band, Punch Brothers, and Tony Trischka & Territory. Tickets are currently $165 per person, but they will be accepting applications to volunteer starting April 1. More information can be found at greyfoxbluegrass.com.
◆ On the other side of New England, the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. will be July 28 and 29. My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, Jackson Browne, Iron and Wine, and City and Color will be some of the headliners. Tickets, which can be purchased at newportfolkfest.net, are currently available for $135.
There are so many festivals coming up this summer that there are entire websites dedicated to simply listing them. For more information, head to musicfestivaljunkies.com for a list of every one of these festivals, even ones in other countries. Just remember to factor in traveling expenses, food allotment, and whether or not the festival price includes camping. The last thing you want to do is spend three days surrounded by cool people and great music without a tent.