2012 Music Festival Guide

As many Americans are preparing for a late and long winter this year, music maniacs such as myself are gearing up for festival season. Yes, this is the time of year when millions of die hard fans scrape up their last pennies from Christmas to buy passes and plane tickets to see their favorite artists. I have already begun coordinating my schedule for a long Spring & Summer festival lineup. From the massive festivals to the smaller indie showcases, there is something for every type of music head. Here are the top festivals across the country that I recommend for this year.

March

Ultra Music Festival

Miami,FL

3/23-25

Dubbed “The World’s Premiere Electronic Music Festival”, Ultra is for fans that love to dance all day AND all night. Fans get to listen to the best DJs and artists from electronica, dance, alternative, and dubstep all on one beach. When ravers get to hot, they can dive into the ocean to cool off, doesn’t get much better. Ultra is the big finale to the annual Miami Music Week. Unfortunately, tickets for this beach rave blowout have sold out in record time this year. Bummer, but there will be smaller shows happening all week around the city.

My Favorite 2012 Headliners Include: Tiesto, Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Justice, AVICII, Katy B, Afro Jack, Borgore, 12th Planet, Blood Beet Roots, and David Guetta (not one of my favorites, but I had to mention him).

Passes: Sold Out!

April

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Indio, CA

4/13-15 & 4/20-22

Coachella has grown so large and popular that the promoters added an additional weekend this year. Fans are able to select which weekend works best for them and not have to worry about different headliners or acts. This year’s theme: “Same lineup…same art…same place…different people. Coachella is one of the few large overnight festivals, where the party continues 24 hours a day.  And it has to be a coincidence that headliners, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg both perform on 4/20! Passes for this event go on sale on Friday, January 13 at 10am. The 2012 lineup was announced this week and it has created a massive freakout among fans that has kept “Coachella” trending worldwide on Twitter for 3 days and has caused the website’s server to shut down several times due to an unexpected high volume of traffic.

My Favorite 2012 Headliners Include: The Black Keys, AWOLNATION,FrankOcean,Florence + the Machine, LaRoux, GirlTalk, Lissie, Swedish House Mafia, Feist, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.

Passes: $385 (GA)

May

Hangout Festival

Gulf Shores,AL

5/18-20

Ultra is all about raving into the early morning hours, Hangout, is just the opposite. This festival takes a laid back approach to the festival scene. Hangout is all about sun, fun, sand, and 3 days worth of good musical vibes. If the line up is good, I will be making the 3 hour drive toAlabamato attend this festival.

Passes: $194 (GA)

Performers: The 2012 line-up for this festival has not been announced. Stay Tuned.

Bonnaroo Crowd Shot

June

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

6/7-10

Manchester,TN

Bonnaroo holds a dear place in my heart, as it was my first music festival experience. It is a four-day, multi-stage camping festival on a 700-acre farm. For four daysManchesteris transformed into a mini-town. This festival is one of the largest in theUSdrawing crowds close to 100,000 and is also known for some of the biggest talent taking their stages. Bonnaroo has one of the most eclectic line ups of any festival. There is something from every genre and something for everyone of any age group. Bonnaroo is also one of the cheapest festival tickets, although it is longer than the average 3-day festival. To those that have not been, Bonnaroo is not a festival it is an experience!

Performers: The 2012 line up for this festival has not been announced. Stay Tuned. 2011 headliners I saw were Lil Wayne, Emimen, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Neon Trees, Sleigh Bells, Florence + the Machine, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and many more.

Passes: $269

July

Pitctfork Music Festival

7/15-17

Chicago,IL (UnionPark)

Pitchfork is a showcase of independent artists. The festival began in 2006 and is organized by parent company Pitchfork Media. It is one the smaller festivals and caters to an alternative and underground crowd. Pitchfork is very laid back and just goes with the flow.

Performers: The 2012 line up for this festival has not been announced. Stay Tuned.

August

Lollapalooza

Chicago,IL(Grant Park)

Lollapalooza isChicago’s mainstream and massive music festival drawing crowds of 100,000 each day to Grant Park. The festival began in 1991, spearheaded by Jane’s Addiction front man, Perry Farrell. Lollapalooza was my second festival experience and the main difference between its rivals Bonnaroo and Coachella is that it is more family-friendly being a day festival. Lollapalooza has its own mini area for children called Kidzpalooza. I will once again be attending this festival.

Performers: The 2012 line-up for this festival has not been announced. Stay Tuned. 2011 headliners I saw were My Morning Jacket, Coldplay, Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, Tinie Tempah, Friendly Fires, Young the Giant, Ryan Leslie, Ellie Goulding and many more.

Lollapalooza-Foster the People

2012 is going to be a great year for music and a great time to experience a weekend full of it. I encourage you to check out one or more of the festivals above.

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