Audiophile: Summer music festival preview

Stephen Veith
Stephen Veith


Despite the cold that envelops our region, there is still hope to be had––a light at the end of the tunnel. The lineups for some of the most anticipated summer music festivals have been released. Free your mind of sub-zero reports and imagine warmer times. Music festivals are some of the best entertainment available in the summer, but choosing from myriad lineups can be stressful. There is no perfect lineup and tickets do not run cheap, so making sure you get the most value out of a festival is key. To ease the anxiety of choosing, this mini guide previews a few of the best shows available this upcoming summer.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: April 10-12 & April 17- 19
Camping: Yes
3-Day GA Price: $375
Location: Indio, California
Headliners: AC/DC, Jack White, Drake

Coachella is one of the largest festivals in the world. Its size garners a lot of influence, and every year you’re likely to see a star-studded lineup. This quality does come at a price, which sadly does not include the travel costs to California. The weather is famously nice, which means excellent camping. Action Bronson, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, Azealia Banks, Tyler the Creator, Run the Jewels, Lil B and Belle and Sebastian give Coachella quite the alluring lineup for fans of modern hip hop, rap and twee music. Swans, Steely Dan, and Built To Spill are three major acts whose only festival appearance will be Coachella.

Other acts worth mentioning: Interpol, Mac Demarco, Todd Terje and the Olsens, Perfume Genius, Tycho, Joyce Manor and Jamie XX.

Pitchfork Music Festival: July 17-19
Camping: No
3-day GA Price: $150
Location: Chicago
Headliners: Wilco, Chance the Rapper, Sleater Kinney

Each July, music magazine Pitchfork puts on a festival in Chicago. Despite being on the smaller end of the spectrum of festivals, Pitchfork Fest delivers great lineups every year, and for a pretty manageable price. While you’re not going to see AC/DC or Drake, you will see a lot of critically acclaimed acts with passionate fans. Wilco and Chance the Rapper are both from Chicago, so you can expect great performances for the home crowd. Sadly, it is in the middle of Chicago, so camping is not an option.

Other acts worth mentioning: Future Islands, Kurt Vile, Iceage, Ought, Mr. Twin Sister, Parquet Courts, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs.

Firefly Music Festival: July 18-21
Camping: Yes
4-Day GA Pass: $299
Location: Dover, Delaware
Headliners: TBA, Kings of Leon, The Killers

Firefly is obviously a great option if you’re on campus this summer and not looking too roam too far from the nest, while still having a festival experience. Firefly is entering its fourth year and it marks another year of growth. This year’s lineup brings a slew of impressive headliners (Snoop Dogg and Morrissey), but lacks the depth of comparable festivals such as Bonnaroo and Coachella. Simply put, in a slot where Firefly has Sublime with Rome, Coachella has Tame Impala.

Other acts worth mentioning: Twin Peaks, Broncho, Generationals, Le1f.

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