By Erin Wade–
Well children, it’s getting to be that time of year. Spring is upon us and festival season is almost here. Lineups are being released, tickets are being purchased and hotels are being booked.
The most well known festival of the region, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. is one of the only occasions it is socially acceptable to not bath for four straight days. Headliners this year include Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Avett Brothers and The Beach Boys.
The Beale Street Music Festival, part of the Memphis in May International Festival, released their lineup last week along with Louisville’s own Forecastle Festival. It’s been no secret that My Morning Jacket will be headlining Forecastle, but the band also plans to make an appearance on Beale Street. Other big names coming to Louisville July 13-15 are Bassnectar, Girl Talk (who will also be at Beale), Wilco, Ben Sollee and Neko Case.
The Beale Street Music Festival has a considerably tempting lineup for music lovers of all genres. Along with My Morning Jacket and Girl Talk, other artists to grace the stages include Florence + The Machine, Al Green, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Three 6 Mafia, Coheed and Cambria, Herbie Hancock, Primus, Buddy Guy and Jerry Lee Lewis (yes, he’s still alive). It’s severely impressive for a three day festival.
If your tastes are a little more exclusive to one genre, or you feel like combining a festival and sandy shores, there are options for you as well. Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH is sporting a pretty heavy lineup with Incubus, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Shinedown as headliners. For you beach bums, The Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala. matches Bonnaroo’s slots for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Skrillex, as well as brings you the lovely music of the Flaming Lips, Jack White and Dave Matthews Band.
Unfortunately, even the most apt festival hopper has to prioritize. With most of these tickets selling at over $100, us thrifty college kids certainly have to pick and choose. Though Bonnaroo is the most expensive at around $250, you get the most bands and an opportunity to be absolutely filthy for four magical days. Last year, you would know exactly where your money went with acts like Buffalo Springfield, The Black Keys, Robert Plant, Lil Wayne and Loretta Lynn. However, this year’s lineup in comparison is significantly lacking. The supporting bands are for the most part unheard of and the only band to traverse oceans of time to remain relevant is The Beach Boys. In all honesty, I haven’t met a hipster bold enough to say “Pet Sounds was just brilliant, man; it was so ahead of its time.”
When it comes to seeing a more eclectic group of bands that people have actually heard of for a reasonable price, the Beale Street Music Festival with its plethora of diverse artists and $75 for a three-day pass triumphs over Bonnaroo. For those of you looking for a new pilgrimage, Memphis surely will not disappoint.
Photo courtesy Forecastle Festival