With a subtle turn of the leaves, the air warms up once again and delivers music-lovers their favorite season: festival season. The sun sets and like nomads, crowds of people clad in dirt and sweet sweat climb out of tents and meander to the stages. Melodies echo in the sticky summer air as thousands of people dance and lose themselves like nothing exists beyond the music.
The hip music scene in Charleston fosters a community of equivocally hip, music-loving people at the CofC. For those of us with an unexplainable, intense passion for music, who feel like we owe it something in which we will never come close to repaying – a festival is in order. Given the recent surge of lineup releases for the upcoming season, students make haste to buy tickets to see dozens of their favorite performers in one single, magical place. Whether that place be in the fields of Delaware, the forests of Michigan or the grasses of Tennessee, attendees of either festival leave with beautiful memories worth every penny spent and second traveled.
Firefly takes place in Dover, De. and offers more of an alternative scene as far as performances go. The 2015 lineup, to put it lightly, is magnificent. The variations in style and genre satisfy fans with an eclectic taste. Commencing on June 18 and spanning four days, Firefly hosts over 70 bands and musicians. Performers this year include, but are not remotely limited to: Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, The Killers. Morrissey, Snoop Dogg, Citizen Cope, Modest Mouse, Hozier, Empire of the Sun, Kid Cudi, The Cooks, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and Dirty Heads. Clearly, this lineup does all of its own bragging. Just take a moment to picture yourself surrounded by hundreds of unfamiliar faces in a place that suddenly feels like home when The Killers take the stage and play the first notes of Mr. Brightside. Yeah.
Electric Forest, in Rothbury Mich., appeals more to the EDM crazed, electro-junkies. The energetic performances in line for this year will emit nothing but the most electric of electric vibes. I mean, that is the name of the festival. Attendees this year will have the privilege of seeing the following groups make history in the forest: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Kaskade, Flume, Big Gigantic, Phantogram, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, G-Eazy, Flux Pavilion and Lindsey Stirling. Electric Forest begins on June 25 and like Firefly, lasts four days.
Last, but certainly not least: Bonnaroo. This festival began significantly earlier than the former two. Taking place in Manchester, Tenn. since 2002 – it has its roots in jam bands and folk rock and although it has diversified throughout the years, Bonnaroo still continues to pay tribute to its roots. Some big names this year include Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, Deadmau5, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, My Morning Jacket, Childish Gambino, Alabama Shakes, and D’Angelo and the Vanguard. Bonnaroo was named one of the “50 Moments That Changed Rock & Roll” by Rolling Stone magazine. If that isn’t reason enough to go, the legendary lineup certainly should be. This year the festival will begin on June 11 and last four days.
These are just three of the biggest festivals that take place in the eastern U.S. every year. There’s music for anyone and everyone. Be careful – your parents might even want to join. Music offers one of the most perfect escapes from the monotony of life. It has an incredible power to transport us to places unknown and teach us things about ourselves, teach us what it means to be alive and to love. It fosters a strong sense of community and festivals are the pinnacle of this community as societal constraints slip away in the midst of only nature, companionship and good music.