Musing on Music Festivals

Music festivals cater to most college students, many of whom put their enthusiasm for music over their need for sleep and personal space. Some cram in acts from all over the music spectrum. Others adhere to a specific genre or subculture. All aim to maximize entertainment potential.

Musical festivals all over the country offer their own twist on what amounts to a giant music-themed party. From multi-day mega fests to local one-night shows, The Oracle runs down the lineups, dates and pricing for a number of upcoming festivals.

Gasparilla Music Festival

March 10

On the one end of the fiscal spectrum is this smaller local fest, which only costs $15 in advance. For the inaugural Gasparilla Music Festival, groups like the alt-country Deer Tick and Grammy-winning artist Alvin Youngblood Hart will play live in downtown Tampa.

Kaleigh Baker, a jazz-pop singer recently featured in Scene & Heard’s Artist in the Office segment, and the Bradenton-based Have Gun, Will Travel will also perform at the fest.

Ultra Music Festival

March 23 – 25

The biggest dance music festival in America boasts an impressive lineup of today’s hottest electronic/techno artists. Big names such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Skrillex, Avicii and Armin Van Buuren fill out the lineup for the three-day Miami music fest.

Unfortunately, tickets are sold out. However, there are dozens available on for hefty prices between $427.99 and $575.00.

Hangout Music Festival

May 18 – 20

Imagine you could combine a mega-fest filled with popular artists with a beach vacation. That’s the basic concept for Hangout Festival, located in Gulf Shores, Ala. While this fest does not offer the option to camp like most others, it does have its perks, such as the waterfront view.

Those choosing to hang out at Hangout will enjoy acts such as Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Wilco and the Flaming Lips from the white sands of the Alabama coast. Advanced tickets are sold out, leaving only the regular price of $209.

Wakarusa Music Festival

May 31 – June 3

Those looking for a festival site that isn’t a farm or beach can head to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Ark., for the Wakarusa Music Festival. Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Primus, Slightly Stoopid, Girl Talk and Matisyahu headline the mountain music fest.

Unlike other fests, Wakarusa offers a variety of ticket options, including two-day passes for $99 and three-day passes for $139. The full four-day pass goes for $164 with additions for VIP packages and different camping options.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

June 7 – 10

Once a year, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., transforms into the temporary home of 100,000 people for Bonnaroo. The mid-summer festival is known for not only an eclectic lineup of musical acts, but also comedy shows.

This year the lineup includes headliners such as Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Iver and the Beach Boys. As with most fests, the ticket price goes up as the date draws closer. Currently, prospective festival-goers can purchase Bonnaroo tickets for as low as $244.50.

Lollapalooza Music Festival

Aug. 3 – 5

Though the official lineup for this popular Chicago fest has not been finalized, it’s been the

subject of controversy. An anonymous twitter account @lollaleaks tweeted reportedly false lineup artists that included Metallica, Beyonce, The Killers, Beck and Sonic Youth.

According to the Huffington Post, festival organizer Perry Farrell tweeted that these reports were false, calling out the anonymous tweeter. Yet the Huffington Post article goes on to cite a similar scenario with last year’s lineup that turned out to be mostly accurate. Tickets for this fest are not yet available.