A3C Festival makes The Grammys “Top 12 Must Attend” Music Festivals in 2014
12 Must-Attend U.S. Music Festivals:
Dates: April 11–13, April 18–20
Location: Indio, Calif.
Lineup Includes: Arcade Fire, Broken Bells, Foster The People, Lorde, Muse, Nas, OutKast, Queens Of The Stone Age, Skrillex, Pharrell Williams, and Zedd
The Scene: This multistage extravaganza, set to the backdrop of palm trees and desert mountains, offers nonstop live music. Known to draw celebrity attendees and hundreds of campers, 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 25–27
Location: Indio, Calif.
Lineup Includes: Jason Aldean, Asleep At The Wheel, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Sarah Jarosz, Brenda Lee, Shelby Lynne, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jennifer Nettles, and Nitty Gritty Dirty Band
The Scene: Less than a week after Coachella, Indio will play host to “California’s country music festival.” In addition to music, other attractions include Clydesdale horses, a barbecue contest, a record store, karaoke, and a supermarket shuttle in case you need some supplies.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Dates: April 25–May 4
Location: New Orleans
Lineup Includes: Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band, Chick Corea & The Vigil, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Public Enemy, Santana, Robin Thicke, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Vampire Weekend
The Scene: Celebrating its 45th anniversary, this 10-day event honors the birthplace of jazz with all that jazz and more. New Orleans highlights its rich cultural history with several craft showcases, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion and down-home Cajun food, including alligator pie.
Date: May 23–25
Location: Pryor, Okla.
Lineup Includes: Black Label Society, Deftones, Five Finger Death Punch, Kid Rock, Motörhead, Staind, and Twisted Sister
The Scene: Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, Rocklahoma is about three things: “life, liberty and the pursuit of rock.” Weekend camping is available, with features including a 24-hour convenience store for rockin’ necessities.
Electric Daisy Carnival
Date: May 24–25, June 20–22
Location: New York, Las Vegas
Lineup: The May New York lineup includes Afrojack, Cedric Gervais, Calvin Harris, Krewella, Francesca Lombardo, Mercer, and Tiësto. The June Las Vegas lineup is yet to be announced, as are dates for installments in London, Puerto Rico and Orlando, Fla.
The Scene: Now in its 18th year in Las Vegas, EDC features a fully immersive audiovisual adventure. Last year’s installment featured more than 150 artists, 500 theatrical performers and 12 large-scale interactive art installations, providing a nonstop dance party from “dusk ’til dawn.” As a result of its popularity, EDC expanded to New York in 2012.
Connect: @EDC_Las Vegas
Date: June 12–15
Location: Manchester, Tenn.
Lineup Includes: The Avett Brothers, James Blake, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lauryn Hill, Elton John, Kaskade, Janelle Monáe, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and Jack White
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 a complementary hair washing and styling station.
Firefly Music Festival
Date: June 19–22
Location: Dover, Del.
Lineup Includes: Band Of Horses, Beck, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, the Lumineers, Ziggy Marley, and Weezer
The Scene: Set in the lush wooded atmosphere of the Dover International Speedway, Firefly is considered the East Coast’s “premier music experience.” The lineup offers something for every fan, from alternative rock (Third Eye Blind) and dance/electronica (Pretty Lights) to folk/rock (Amos Lee) and rap (Childish Gambino). Plus, as its name suggests, Firefly features lighting and video displays throughout the forest that will “put your neighborhood Christmas-lighting enthusiast to shame.”
Date: July 3–6
Location: New Orleans
Lineup Includes: Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Robert Glasper, Ledisi, Prince, Lionel Richie, the Roots, Jill Scott, and Charlie Wilson
The Scene: Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014, the Essence Festival is putting the “big” in the Big Easy by hosting some of R&B’s biggest stars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome during Fourth of July weekend. The festival will also host a bevy of inspirational guest speakers, including Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Rev. Al Sharpton, among others.
Vans Warped Tour
Date: April 1–Aug. 3
Location: Across the United States
Lineup Includes: Air Dubai, Born Of Osiris, Bowling For Soup, DayShell, Echosmith, I The Mighty, Ice Nine Kills, MC Chris, Saves The Day, and Yellowcard
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. Under 18? You can bring a parent or guardian for free.
The Scene: The venerable Perry Farrell-curated festival, which has called Chicago’s Grant Park home since 2005, has become so popular that in 2011 it expanded its scope into South America, launching festivals in both Chile and Brazil. The Chicago festival now features multiple stages and more than 100 artists.
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Date: Oct. 3–5, Oct. 10–12
Location: Austin, Texas
Lineup: To be announced. The 2013 installment included Arctic Monkeys, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Eric Church, Depeche Mode, Fun., Kaskade, Muse, and Silversun Pickups
The Scene: One of the last festivals of the season takes place, appropriately, in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” As a result of its growing popularity, in 2013 ACL pulled a Coachella and expanded its festival to two weekends.
A3C Hip Hop Festival
Date: Oct. 8–12
Lineup: To be announced. The 2013 installment featured A$AP Ferg, Bun B, Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, Lecrae, Meek Mill, Questlove, and ScHoolboy Q
The Scene: Celebrating its 10th year, A3C has become the preeminent hip-hop festival in the United States. It’s grown from a regional showcase to an internationally renowned cultural experience that intersects music, education, art, film, fashion, and pro-audio.