Plan ahead for summer music festivals


A weekend with tens of thousands of people, only a handful of whom have paid the $7 for a shower, music from sun up to sundown and greasy food vendors. What does this all add up to? A music festival.

From Tennessee to Washington to nearby Kansas City, many college students are swapping beaches for crowded farms and parks to enjoy some of their favorite musical artists. March is a good month to start planning summer music trips.






Electric Forest

“Everyone acts like they know everyone, and they are all kind and friendly,” sophomore Morgan Banning said. “You walk past people you have never seen before and they offer up a high five. You’re surrounded by these people that just want to enhance others’ experiences along with their own, and it’s a great feeling.”

On the national level, one major music event that draws over 80,000 people a year is the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This extravaganza, held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., isn’t only for music, though; there are activities, vendors, comedy lineups (this year, comedian Daniel Tosh will be performing) and much more.

Rolling Stone<em>Rolling Stone</em> has called Bonnaroo “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival.” has called Bonnaroo “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival.” Rolling Stone has called Bonnaroo “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival.”

This year’s festival, which pumps plenty of revenue to the quaint 10,000 person city of Manchester, has some big name headliners set for July 13-16, including Paul McCartney, Mumford and Sons and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The festival has over 600 acres of camping, where everyone packs in, tent to tent, with only unique flags to distinguish their spot. Next-door neighbors become instant friends over sharing hot dogs and drinks, and sleep and personal hygiene are only myths.

Many other festivals have sprouted up around the nation. Kansas Speedway will be hosting its third annual “Kanrocksas” festival this year June 28-29. The headliners for the $150, two-day event are DJ Tiesto, Kendrick Lamar and the Avett Brothers.

There are multiple stages constructed inside the speedway, with a few venders placed around for food, drinks and memorabilia. This can be an opportunity for the uninitiated to ease into the world of music festivals. Kanrocksas features great music without the hippie vibe of some more established festivals.

Banning believes that the atmosphere at any musical festival can’t be beat.

“Festivals are the only time I’m having fun being dirty and smelly and tired,” Banning said. “They are full of people all inspired by the same thing and loving what they’re hearing. It’s an amazing experience.”

Banning especially has enjoyed Lollapalooza. This year’s Lollapalooza will be held Aug. 2-4 in Chicago, Ill. in Grant Park. A couple of other noteworthy festivals for college students are Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., and Electric Forest in Rothbury, Mich.

Although they can be expensive, festivals provide patrons with a weekend get-away full of unforgettable people and musical performances. In the words of Banning, “Just go once and you will be hooked.”