With the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival approaching, the music festival season is officially upon us. Major festivals attracting some of the biggest names in rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, and dance/electronica have been announced across Europe, including the Yoko Ono's Meltdown festival in the UK, the V Festival and the legendary Glastonbury Festival where the Rolling Stones will headline.
In the United States there are now more large-scale live music options than ever before, with festivals becoming a primary destination for music fans looking to see dozens of artists in one fell swoop. With artists ranging from veteran acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, to newcomers including Alabama Shakes, Grimes and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis set to take several stages across the States, on which grassy field will you end up this summer? To help you decide, below we present our brief roadmap to the 2013 music festival season.
Dates: April 12–14, April 19–21
Location: Indio, Calif.
Lineup Includes: Blur, How To Destroy Angels, Janelle Monáe, Modest Mouse, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Social Distortion, Stone Roses, Wu-Tang Clan, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Scene: This multistage extravaganza, set to the backdrop of palm trees and desert mountains, offers nonstop live music. Known to draw celebrity attendees, other highlights include a large ferris wheel and numerous art installations. For those unable to make it out to the desert, you can stream weekend one of the festival online.
Dates: April 26–28
Location: Indio, Calif.
Lineup Includes: Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Jana Kramer, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Thompson Square, Zac Brown Band
The Scene: "California's country music festival" takes place in the desert at the Empire Polo Club, the same venue that hosts Coachella. In addition to music, other attractions include Clydesdale horses, a barbeque contest, a record store to shop for music, karaoke, and a supermarket shuttle in case you need some supplies.
Date: May 9–12
Location: Napa Valley, Calif.
Lineup Includes: Alabama Shakes, the Avett Brothers, the Black Crowes, Black Keys, Jackson Browne, Jane's Addiction, Kings Of Leon, Violent Femmes, Dwight Yoakam, and Zac Brown Band
The Scene: Held in the heart of downtown Napa, this inaugural festival will feature a celebration of music, wine, food, and comedy, with more than 60 artists performing across three stages, and more than a dozen of some of today's funniest comedians.
Date: May 24–27
Location: George, Wash.
Lineup Includes: Bloc Party, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Grimes, the Lumineers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mumford & Sons, the Postal Service, Sigur Rós, Vampire Weekend, and the xx, among others
The Scene: Founded in 2002, Sasquatch! is a must-attend for music fans looking for a Pacific Northwest escape. The view overlooking the Columbia River Gorge while nestled among the basalt cliffs helps create a great camping vibe and sense of community.
Orion Music + More
Date: June 8–9
Location Includes: Detroit
Lineup Includes: Bassnectar, Dead Sara, Deftones, Dropkick Murphys, Infectious Grooves, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rise Against
The Scene: Curated by GRAMMY winners Metallica and now in its second year, Orion Music + More features two days of music, as well as a car show and Kirk's Crypt featuring a showcase of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett's passion for all things horror. Last year's festival was held in Atlantic City, N.J.
Date: June 13–16
Location: Manchester, Tenn.
Lineup Includes: Björk, R. Kelly, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar, Pretty Lights, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Wilco, ZZ Top, and a "superjam" featuring My Morning Jacket's Jim James with John Oates, Zigaboo Modeliste and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The Scene: With more than 10 stages spread across 700 acres of Tennessee nature, Bonnaroo maintains its own special feeling of camaraderie. Between sets, festivalgoers will enjoy comedy, film, shopping, water slides, and savory food choices such as spicy pie.
Vans Warped Tour
Date: June 15–Aug. 4
Location: Across the United States
Lineup Includes: The Aquabats, Bangups, the Cleopatra Complex, Driver Friendly, the Exposed, I See Stars, Memphis May Fire, Relient K, and Volumes
The Scene: A reasonably priced ducat for the punk rock disaffected, the Vans Warped Tour has always drawn a diverse crowd of rock, goth, metal, and punk fans, and has served as the breakout tour for many up-and-coming acts.
Firefly Music Festival
Date: June 21–23
Location: Dover, Del.
Lineup Includes: Capital Cities, Foster The People, Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris, Grizzly Bear, MGMT, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, and Youngblood Hawke
The Scene: Billed as the East Coast's premier music experience, this rustic-flavored festival features an eclectic lineup, including a healthy hip-hop presence with Action Bronson, Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar, and Public Enemy. Other highlights include Hammock Hangouts and lighting and video displays in the forest.
Electric Daisy Carnival
Date: June 21–23
Location: Las Vegas
Lineup: To be announced. The festival's 2012 lineup included Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Avicii, and Kaskade, among others
The Scene: Now in its 17th year, the Electric Daisy Carnival features a fully immersive audiovisual adventure with more than 150 artists, 500 theatrical performers and 12 large-scale interactive art installations. It's a nonstop dance party from sunrise to sunset.
Connect: @EDC_Las Vegas
Date: July 4–7
Location: New Orleans
Lineup Includes: Beyoncé, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, Maxwell, New Edition, Jill Scott, Solange, Trey Songz, and Charlie Wilson
The Scene: Independence Day weekend in the Big Easy doesn't get any better than this, with some of R&B's biggest stars rocking the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Speakers taking the stage to promote unity and empowerment will include Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell and Steve Harvey, among others.
Newport Folk Festival
Date: July 26–28
Location: Newport, R.I.
Lineup Includes: Beck, Justin Townes Earle, Feist, Old Crow Medicine Show, Beth Orton, Amanda Palmer, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Description: One of the truly original music festivals, the Newport Folk Festival was created in 1959, and some of the festival's inaugural performers still play today. Since moving back to Newport from New York, attendance has been capped at 10,000, which creates a nice break from the bigger festivals, and a new generation of folk singers has helped re-energize the event with a younger lineup and crowd.
Date: Aug. 2–4
Lineup Includes: Steve Aoki, Eric Church, the Cure, the Killers, Major Lazer, Mumford & Sons, the National, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, and Queens Of The Stone Age
The Scene: The venerable Perry Farrell-curated festival has taken up residence in sweet home Chicago and now features multiple stages and more than 100 artists. This year's highlights include the return of the Cure and Nine Inch Nails.
Date: Aug. 9–11
Location: San Francisco
Lineup Includes: Gary Clark Jr., D'Angelo, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Kaskade, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson & Family, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Young The Giant
The Scene: Set in the great wide open of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands offers music fans nonstop music, paired with wine tastings, art displays, eco-friendly forums and showcases, and a farmers' market.
Made In America
Date: Aug. 31–Sept. 1
Lineup Includes: 2 Chainz, Deadmau5 Beyoncé, Imagine Dragons, Wiz Khalifa, Miguel, Phoenix, and Queens Of The Stone Age
The Scene: Curated by GRAMMY winner Jay-Z, this marks the festival's second year. Last year's festival featured a headlining performance by Hova himself.
Date: Aug. 31–Sept. 2
Lineup: To be announced May 2. Highlights from the 2012 lineup include Tony Bennett, Gotye, Jane's Addiction, Keane, Passion Pit, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and Skrillex
The Scene: Seattle's venerable music festival not only offers great music, but also features the best in film, comedy, spoken word, dance, theater, performance, and visual arts. The festival is the largest of its kind in North America.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Date: Oct. 4–6, Oct. 11–13
Location: Austin, Texas
Lineup: To be announced. The 2012 installment featured the Black Keys, the Civil Wars, Florence & The Machine, Iggy & The Stooges, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse
The Scene: One of the last festivals of the season takes place, appropriately, in the "Live Music Capital of the World." As evidence of this distinction, this year Austin has expanded its festival to two weekends, which is great news for festivalgoers who didn't score tickets before the festival sold out in 2012. It also adds the potential for secret shows and unexpected collaborations during the weekdays in between.