BY COLLIN WARD, Staff Writer

The snow has melted, the rain is falling, and the sun is staying out a little later each night. Summer is coming. Festival season is approaching. Every summer, throughout the country, herds of people from all over the world gather in celebration of music. But how do you chose which one(s) to attend?

Let’s break down the major festivals that are happening this summer.

Photo courtesy of thebanginbeats.com
Photo courtesy of thebanginbeats.com

COACHELLA

When: April 10-12 and April 17-19

Where: Indio, CA

Who’s Playing: AC/DC, Drake, Alabama Shakes, Florence + the Machine, Jack White, The Weekend, Interpol, Ryan Adams, Hozier, Ratatat, St. Vincent, and more.

Set in the middle of the desert in California, Coachella is the first major festival each year (this weekend in fact) and it consistently delivers every year. A great eclectic mix of hip-hop, classic rock, and electronic it has something for everyone, including a hot desert sun. It is also the best festival for a celebrity sighting, where you can be laughing with a friend one minute and find yourself dancing next to Leonardo DiCaprio during OutKast the next. And if one weekend wasn’t enough, Coachella does it all over again the following weekend.

GA Tickets and VIP Tickets are all sold out.

Photo courtesy of bellabeachproperties.com
Photo courtesy of bellabeachproperties.com

HANGOUT FEST

When: May 15-17

Where: Gulf Shores, AL

Who’s Playing: Foo Fighters, Sam Smith, Paramore, Zac Brown Band, Beck, Foster the People, Skrillex, Vance Joy, Spoon, Damien Marley, and more.

Few festivals give off the chill vibes like Hangout Fest. It literally takes place on a beach in Alabama and has a great mix of progressive rock and pop this year. Not the most well known festival, but it consistently draws passionate crowds and bands.

GA Tickets are currently on sale for $280.50 for three days of music.

missinfo.tvGOVERNORS BALL

When: June 5-7

Where: Randall’s Island Park in New York City

Who’s Playing: Drake, Florence + the Machine, The Black Keys, Lana Del Rey, BJÖRK, Deadmau5, Twin Shadow, Weird Al Yankovic, Chromeo, Charlie XCX, St. Vincent, and more.

New York City’s only major festival has given three straight years of great lineups and this year’s is no different. Set on Randall’s Island Park in between Manhattan and Brooklyn it is small in size but packs a huge punch with music going all day and night as you look over to the New York skyline. Since Gov. Ball is not a camping festival, you have to get on and off the island each day and night, which can be a little bit of a hassle if you are unfamiliar with the city, but BJÖRK at a festival might just be worth it.

GA Tickets are currently on sale for $300.00. But don’t forget to buy your transportation pass too.

Photo courtesy of okayplayer.com
Photo courtesy of okayplayer.com

BONNAROO

When: June 11-14

Where: Manchester, TN

Who’s Playing: Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, Robert Plant, My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, Flume, Childish Gambino, Alabama Shakes, and more.

The quintessential U.S. music festival. Bonnaroo is a four day camping and music extravaganza smack right in the middle of summer. It is hot. But the collective sweating and sun burns is what makes this festival a must. The new people you meet, the pains of trying to wash yourself clean, and the music that literally goes until dawn are all apart of this festival.

GA Tickets are on sale now for $324.50.

familyoffestivalsFIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL

When: June 18-21

Where: Dover, DE

Who’s Playing: Paul McCartney, The Killers, Kings of Leon, Morrissey, Zedd, Snoop Dogg, Hozier, Modest Mouse, Kid Cudi, Sublime, Matt and Kim, Empire of the Sun, Bastille, and more.

Set in the woodlands park in Dover, Delaware this four day camping festival is still a new dog on the festival circuit, only starting back in 2012? But every year they deliver a great setlist and this year, it’s Paul McCartney man! With local beers, farmer markets, and yoga every morning in the campsites Firefly stresses the camping bond. And the singalong to McCartney’s “Hey Jude” will definitely make these campers bond.

GA Tickets are still on sale for $299.00. Campsite rental is $149 and fits six people.

Photo courtesy of thatdrop.com
Photo courtesy of thatdrop.com

ELECTRIC FOREST

When: June 25-28

Where: Rothbury, MI

Who’s Playing: Bassnectar, Skrillex, Kaskade, Flume, Big Gigantic, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Phantogram, and more.

Michigan’s premiere camping music festival. Electric Forest is geared towards electronic music artists. This year the most noted and awarded artist Skrillex comes to the forest, so get your dancing shoes on and get ready to boogie. Walking through the forest at night is a magical experience.

GA Tickets are all sold out.

lollapalooza_LogoLOLLAPALOOZA

When: July 31-Aug. 2

Where: Chicago, IL

Who’s Playing: Paul McCartney, Sam Smith, Metalica, Florence + the Machine, The Weekend, Alesso, Alabama Shakes, Of Monsters and Men, Tv on the Radio, alt-J, Kid Cudi, Dillon Francis, Brand New, and more.

Lollapalooza is a huge festival. We’re talking 300,000 people a weekend and it’s already sold out. Lolla has definitely changed over the past four years turning more and more to electronic and pop music, while its great to see rare classic rock bands like Metalical headlining, the crowd at Lolla has changed. That being said, the organizers continue to deliver incredible features every year, local food carts, beer by Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, and introducing Lolla Cashless was inspired. If you were lucky enough to grab a ticket this year, you will no doubt witness a well organized festival, but beware of Perry’s stage!

GA Tickets are all sold out but VIP Tickets are on sale for $1,850.00.

blg.sfgate
Photo courtesy of blog.safegate

OUTSIDE LANDS FESTIVAL

When: Aug. 7-9

Where: San Francisco, CA

Who’s Playing: Elton John, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Billy Idol, Sam Smith, Slightly Stoopid, Axwell & Ingrosso, D’Angelo, and more.

Set in Golden Gate Park this year’s lineup is full of heavy hitters. Not only does this festival provide great music but is also a celebration of food, beer, and wine. It’s a great epicurean adventure all located in beautiful San Francisco.

Tickets are all sold out.

Lineups for Riot Festival in Chicago, Austin City Limits, and Voodoo Festival in New Orleans should all be coming in the next few months.