Which Summer Festival Is Right for You?
by Rob Harvilla | May 8, 2012
So this year you're looking to go to one of these long-weekend, crazy-lineup summer music fetes you've been reading so much about: your Lollapaloozas, your Bonnaroos, your Sasquatches. But these suckers are expensive, and time-intensive, and requiring of profound physical/emotional investment. There can be only one, probably, unless you're 22 years old and crazy loaded. So let's break down nine of the biggest names -- listed here in calendar order -- to try and find your perfect fit. Good luck, and as Kurt Vonnegut did not actually advise, "wear sunscreen."
Dates: May 25-28
Location: The Gorge in Washington state, which is probably farther from Seattle than you think.
General Vibe: Woodsy cordiality, like a Cracker Barrel for iPad-toting young professionals.
Clientele: Look, dudes, if you don't have a beard then you're probably gonna be super-uncomfortable.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Given the camping-heavy vibe, probably extremely, unless you're toting along one badass yurt.
Dates: June 7-10
Location: Manchester, Tenn.
General Vibe: The loudest, scuzziest, raddest camping trip ever.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? So muddy you will be rendered unrecognizable, even to your parents.
Name: CMA Music Festival
Dates: June 7-10
General Vibe: Reverent awesomeness, whether the dude onstage is Kenny Rogers or Eric Church.
Clientele: Country radio fanatics with absolutely no interest in going to any of these other festivals. How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Given the high volume of pickup truck owners, look out for parking-lot peel-outs.
Name: Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
Dates: June 8-10
Location: Sin City, dogg.
General Vibe: Like a living, breathing alarmist 60 Minutes story on Kids Today.
Clientele: Younger than you, cooler than you, higher than you in several senses.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? This will be the least of your delights/concerns.
Location: Milwaukee, Wis.
Clientele: Classic rock fanatics and modern country fanatics, abruptly realizing how much they have in common.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? If you replace "muddy" with "drunk," then, well, uh, obliteratingly.
Dates: July 13-15
General Vibe: Elaborately crafted nonchalance.
Clientele: Reformed indie rock snobs who will show up for Feist/ Hot Chip/Godspeed etc., but will be willing to grudgingly admit it when Kendrick Lamar/( [AraabMUZIK]http://www.rhapsody.com/goto?rcid=art.38581762)/ Danny Brown etc. turn out to be way better.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Mud is not permitted at the Pitchfork Festival under any circumstances.
Dates: August 3-5
General Vibe: Hot, crowded and nonetheless euphoric.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Not terribly unless there's a reprise of last year's apparently biblical rainstorm that turned Deadmau5's set into the Second Coming.
Name: Gathering of the Juggalos
Lineup Highlights: Insane Clown Posse and a supporting cast of total weirdos.
Dates: August 8-12
Location: Cave-in-Rock, Ill.
General Vibe: Not as hedonistic/violent/uncouth as you're picturing, but still.
Clientele: All the kids you ignored/ridiculed in high school who actually turn out to be pretty cool, face paint notwithstanding.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Depends on how skilled you are at dodging projectiles.
Name: Outside Lands
Dates: August 10-12
Location: San Francisco
Clientele: Tall, gawky dudes who work for digital music services who are very, very excited to see Grandaddy.
How Muddy Am I Going to Get? Not very, but look up that old Mark Twain quote about summers in San Francisco.