Looking ahead to summer festival season

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

As the weather gets warmer, music fans begin to scan the Internet looking for the ultimate summer concert experience. Some of the world’s best and most popular musicians have already been confirmed to music festivals for summer 2009. It’s hard to pick one festival so bands like TV on the Radio, Girl Talk and Animal Collective are all playing at more than one. With bigger stages and more bands, this year’s festivals offer something for everybody.

April 17-19 Indio, California

Music history will be made in April at Coachella 2009, as Paul McCartney will share a stage with Leonard Cohen and Morrissey on the opening night. The remaining acts on day one get lost in the wake of three music legends but they will certainly please fans. Day one also features performances by Black Keys, Girl Talk and Bright Eyes’ frontman, Connor Oberst.

The big question on day two will be how good Amy Winehouse will sound after spending the bulk of this year in rehab. Joining Winehouse are The Killers, Fleet Foxes and Billy Talent. Also on the second night will be a spoken word performance by former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins. Public Enemy is the highest profile band scheduled to perform on day three, to be joined by The Gaslight Anthem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Lupe Fiasco.

May 23 -25 Quincy, Washington

This Memorial Day weekend “the gorge” is the place to be. Perhaps the best Sasquatch lineup ever features performances by Kings of Leon, Animal Collective, Ra Ra Riot and Bon Iver as well as a comedy show from Tim and Eric.

Day two is headlined by Nine Inch Nails, TV on the Radio, Jane’s Addiction and Of Montreal. The second day will feature a performance by Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head and comedy by actor/comedien Aziz Ansari.

The final day is packed with comedians, most notably Demetri Martin and The Whitest Kids U’Know. Music of the night will come courtesy of Grizzly Bear, Silver Sun Pickups and Explosions in the Sky.

June 11 -14 Manchester, Tennessee

This year’s Bonnaroo lineup boasts two of the biggest festival draws of the summer. First, there are two scheduled performances from newly reunited jam legends, Phish, and one from the real Super Bowl MVPs, Bruce Spingsteen and The E Street Band.

Bonnaroo has the reputation of being a hippie jam band festival but this year’s lineup is especially diverse. Besides the two headliners, “The Roo” will also feature alternative acts such as Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta and TV on the Radio. Classic rock fans will appreciate the inclusion of Elvis Costello and David Bryne while The Beastie Boys, Snoop Dog, and Erykah Badu are the major acts representing hip-hop.

For those looking for a mellower sound, this year’s Bonnaroo also offers folk music from Jenny Lewis and The Decemberists. Anyone who makes Bonnaroo an annual event will be pleased to know, festival veterans Ben Harper, Bela Fleck and Government Mule will all be playing this year as well as soul legend Al Greene.

Obviously, it’s impossible to list all the bands playing at every festival this summer. For complete lineup info, visit the festivals’ websites " in some cases new acts are still being added.

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