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Planning the Festival Trail

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SOLO WHITE: Jack White released his debut solo work, Blunderbuss (cover art), last week. He’ll be hitting the road with a stop at Hangout Music Festival, in support of it. Courtesy Photo.

Though Coachella may have passed (along with a Tupac hologram appearance, courtesy of Snoop and Dre’s highly talked-about desert showdown), it doesn’t mean music festivals near and far aren’t happening with as much gangsterly appeal—OK, well maybe hipsterly is better equated. From indie-rock to grunge, country to hip-hop, Americana to psychedelic, planning a summer road trip to one of the following destinations will promise a nice escape into music’s majestic rhapsody.

Don’t believe us? Well, see (and hear) for yourself…

Hangout Music Festival
May 18-20
Tickets: GA sold out!  VIP available: $849
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Put Jack White between the Dave Matthews Band and String Cheese Incident, and he’ll blow fans out of the Gulf with his ferocious rock power. They’ll all be hanging out on the shores of Alabama along with Wilco and Flogging Molly. Unique in that it takes place directly on the beach, where festival-goers can catch a break from the heat in the cool Gulf waters, the third annual Hangout Music Festival holds morning yoga sessions and has the Shaka Island Kids Zone designated for tiny music fans.

Free Press Summer Fest
June 2-3
Tickets: GA $65. VIP: $100+
Houston, Texas
Free Press boasts one of the most diverse line-ups of this year’s festival circuit with acts like Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Flaming Lips, Afrojack, Primus and Major Lazer. The event happens over Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park with a huge emphasis on art. In fact, this year’s event features a variety of installations and interactive pieces on display, which organizers are calling “a non-stop buffet of sensorial candy.”

June 7-10
Tickets: $259. VIP/2: $1399.50
Manchester, Tennesee
Bonnaroo guarantees to be the best four days of live music with 80,000 of your closest friends—hippies, hipsters, regular old Joes, even some Canadians. A hundred-and-fifty epic performances will take place across 10 stages on 700-acre farm. Cleverly named “Which, What, Where, This, There and That,” dialogue involving the tents is endless fun. And they’ll be hosting big names like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys, Bon Iver, The Avett Brothers, The Shins, Skrillex, and Foster the People.

As in previous years, Bonnaroo is upping the ante on their carbon footprint. They already recycle and use green energy. This year, though, the festival is donating one dollar from every ticket toward permanent sustainable site improvements, like solar panels and tree planting projects.

June 14-16
Tickets: $119-$189
Enterprise, Alabama
Country fans are in for a rollicking good time. They’ll transpose themselves to a honky tonk outdoors as superstars like Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Alan Jackson and Eric Church hit the stage. There will be arts and crafts from local and regional artisans to peruse as well. Military discount offered with ID at gate.

Orion Music Festival
June 23-24
Tickets: Single-day, $90; two-day, $150
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Rock lovers, throw your two fingers in the air and prepare to swing your long locks in sheer ecstasy. Jersey is the place to be to hear Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Modest Mouse and Cage the Elephant all in one setting. Metallica will headline both nights and celebrate the 20th anniversary of their self-titled, fifth studio album—known as the “Black Album”— by playing through its entirety on the first night.

On the second night, the rockers will play all of “Ride the Lightning” for the first time. Die-hard fans unite!

June 27-1, July 3-8
Tickets: Single day, $14; three-day, $36
plus tickets for headliners’ shows
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Henry Maier Festival Park will be filled with today’s hottest artists for 11 days this summer at the 45th annual Summerfest. Yes, that’s a week and four days of tons of music! Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Trampled by Turtles, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Hives and Hanson are just a few topping the bill. The 23,000-capacity Marcus Amphitheater will be packed among the festival’s 10 additional stages. And, might we add: This might be the most affordable music festival of the summer with one-day general admission tickets for only $14!

August 3-5
Tickets: One-day passes only, $95
Chicago, Illinois
The grandfather of long-lasting music festivals—thanks to its soaring ‘90s popularity—Perry Ferrell’s famed Lollapalooza returns to its newer homebase, Chicago. The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Florence + The Machine, Calvin Harris and Childish Gambino will rock out Grant Park, featuring sounds for all tastes and flavors.

Some of Chicago’s most famed eateries, like Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and the Goose Island Brewpub, will be lining up to dish out delicious meals to attendees. All little rockers 10 and under are admitted for free with an adult ticket-holder. Three-day passes are sold out, but one-day passes remain available.

Hopscotch Music Festival
September 6-8
Tickets: One day, $34-$77; three-day, $119
Raleigh, North Carolina
Over 175 bands will take the stage in Independent Weekly’s very own third-annual music festival. They’re throwing it back to the ‘90s, too, with performances from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Built to Spill and Yo La Tengo. Joining the ranks are Jimmy Fallon’s very own house band, The Roots, along with Liars, Sun O)), Deerhoff and more!

This is the perfect opportunity to discover burgeoning local talent as 35 percent of the bands playing at this year’s festival hail from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. The concerts take place at venues across the city, and all shows at City Plaza are $34.

Music Midtown
September 21-22
Tickets: $100; VIP, $500-$1,000
Atlanta, Georgia
If we’ve seen any theme to 2012 festivals it’s the homage to the ‘90s. Music Midtown is no exception, as Atlanta’s hottest music festival welcomes Pearl Jam as its headliner. Joining the ranks are Foo Fighters, Girl Talk, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Ludacris.
This year part of the proceeds will go toward funding recreation centers and after-school activities in the city as a part of Mayor Reed’s Centers of Hope Initiative. Many of those centers were closed in recent years because of budget shortfalls, and the goal is to have them all back up and running. Early Bird Special general admission tickets are $100 ($120 regularly).

Austin City Limits
October 12-14
Tickets: Three days, $200
Austin, Texas
One of music’s greatest cities continues its mission to improve its community. Austin City Limits directly benefits the Austin Parks Foundation, which improves parks and recreation areas. The official line-up for this year’s festival hasn’t been released but rumor mills are already churning in anticipation. Previous years have seen Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Coldplay and Kanye West. So whatever this year’s line-up, it’ll surely impress.

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  1. Kayla

    May 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I have two GA passes for the Hangout Festival that I’m selling because I’m no longer able to attend. If someone is interested please email me at

  2. Anita

    February 25, 2014 at 7:30 am


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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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