The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and there’s an intense desire in your heart to take a remember-for-all-your-life road trip. It must be summer. If hearing incredible music in the great outdoors is one of your must-dos for the summer, as it should be, check out some of the summer music festivals happening during the best three months of 2008.
Cornerstone Festival – June 30-July 5 – Bushnell, Ill.
It’s impossible highlight all of the amazing artists coming out to the festival this year, but Flyleaf, Leeland, Afterimage, Confide, Anberlin, The Fold and mewithoutyou should be enough to get you off your couch and into your car. Along with the music, Cornerstone is bringing out some of the country’s best speakers to challenge and inspire. Topics include the “Jesus For President” tour, postmodernism, monasticism and reconciliation. Prepare to have your mind blown in countless ways.
Going along with the Body of Christ united theme, camping on Cornerstone grounds is highly encouraged. Plus, it’s already included in the ticket price, so why not smell bad for a week? Everyone else is going to. Tickets for the event cost $125 for four days, $133 for five days and $141 for the whole shebang if you purchase them on Cornerstone’s website by June 20.
Bring a bike if you’re able to since the 15 stages are a fair distance from the campsites. If your friends are being lame but you still want to go, or if you have a major capacity van you’re willing to share, check out The Tollbooth’s Ride Board. Finally, sleep as much as possible before going to Cornerstone because with so much to do, you’re probably not going to want to stop, and no one wants to drop from exhaustion in the pit.
Lollapalooza–Aug. 1-3–Grant Park, Chicago, Ill.
Radiohead, Kanye West and Rage Against the Machine are headlining this massive event, with tons of great acts such as Iron & Wine, Flogging Molly and The Kills playing on one of seven stages.
$80 will buy you a single-day pass while $205 will get you in the door all three days. You’ll have to buy most of your food and drinks on the ground, but you do get to carry in two sealed bottles of water.
With so many stages, a festival-goer could get frustrated with shows going on at the same time. To help ease that pain, Lollapalooza puts on official after shows with some of the festival’s bigger names. Those shows do cost extra, though, and those tickets go on sale June 21. Also, make sure to sign up for Minefield, a huge interactive game that goes on between all attendees. Who’s up for a scavenger hunt?
All Points West Music and Arts Festival–Aug. 8-10–Liberty State Park, Jersey City, N.J.
All Points West is boasting a stellar lineup for its first year of existence, including RELEVANT favorites like Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and The Roots, newcomers like Duffy, and some unconventional festivals acts like Rodrigo y Gabriela and Trey Anastasio and the Classic Tab. Jack Johnson and Radiohead are headlining the festival, and a total of 41 acts are playing on three stages.
Tickets are going for $89 a day or $258 for a three-day pass. You can buy them online at Ticketmaster.com. By attending All Points West, you’ll be supporting Friends of Liberty State Park and All At Once, a social action network.
An environment-friendly festival, All Points West is encouraging attendees to stay in hotels around the park and use mass transit like ferry, light rail, train and carpool to get to the concert. Be forewarned, in order to stay eco-friendly, there is a pretty detailed list of things not to bring to the festival (leave your collection of styrofoam bits and leaky mercury containers at home). A picky list, though, is completely worth watching great music in the company of the Statue of Liberty.
Purple Door Festival–Aug. 15-16–Ski Roundtop, Lewisberry, Pa.
A great mix of established artists plus a bunch of newcomers, including you if you’re good enough, highlight Purple Door this year. Group acts like August Burns Red, InhaleExhale and Seabird join solo artists, including Derek Webb, Hiram King and Denison Witmer for the two-day music extravaganza. Speakers this year are John Staffieri, Brian Kemper, Kurt Weaver and Bob Lenz.
If the other festivals are a little out of your budget, Purple Door is a great festival to check out. Tickets are $39.50 per day or $37.50 if you can get a group of 15 or more people until Aug. 10 and $45.00 at the door. Chunk in an extra $2.00 for parking, and you’re good to go.
If you’re a budding musician or artist yourself, make sure to check out Purple Door’s MySpace page for some great information about their New Artist Showcase and Art Gallery. Art entries are due by July 18, while entries for the music portion are due by July 25.
With all of the great music and fun to be had, this is not the summer to spend watching YouTube videos all day. So, for the love of youth, grab your friends, pack a car, and GO!