Summer Music Mayhem

How are you going to spend your summer? Are you planning a wild trip to Panama City Beach where you’ll party with a bunch of other predictable college kids who chose the same stock summer trip that they’ve taken for years? Of course you could spend your days on a beach that looks the same as any other beach and your nights at Pineapple Willy’s buying novelty t-shirts and commemorative mugs, but doesn’t this seem a little drab after so many summers? Solution: Stuff your friends, some road tunes, and some junk food into your Volvo or Subaru and attend a music festival.One of the first things that the average student considers before embarking on a summer romp is the cost. Gas, hotel rooms, food, and recreational costs can add up. Comparatively, three days at a music festival will most-likely cost less than a mundane trip to the beach. The Energy Information Administration predicts that the cost of gasoline will peak at approximately $2.30 for the months of April through Sept. This is much easier to handle compared to last summer’s average of almost $4. This gives young folks more options when choosing a summer party destination. So before get all psyched up about hitting up the “craziest bar in America” or something lame like that, consider these music festivals as an alternative.

1. Sasquatch Music Festival- May 23-25, Quincy, WA- Despite its distance, the Sasquatch Music Festival is sure to please. The festival is held in Quincy’s George Amphitheatre, which was voted “best outdoor music venue” by Pollstar Magazine.

Ticket Price: $154.50

Round-trip Gas: $500

Housing/ Food: Camping passes are available for $95, which is cheaper than staying in one of Quincy’s fine hotels. Food is Available inside. All outside food items must be kept in a clear plastic bag.

Artists to See: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Animal Collective, Decemberists, Bon Iver, Devotchka, M. Ward, Sun Kil Moon, Of Montreal, Avett Brothers, Calexico, M83, Viva Voce, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Explosions in the Sky, Blitzen Trapper

2. Wakarusa Music Festival- June 4-7, Ozark, AR- The Wakarusa Music Festival is hailed as one of the best festivals in the Midwest.

Ticket Price: $139

Round-Trip Gas: $100

Housing/Food: Basic camping passes are available for $29. Hotels are also available outside festival grounds.

Artists to See: Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Les Claypool, Yonder Mountain String Band, Matisyahu, G. Love and the Special Sauce.

3. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival- June 11-14, Manchester, TN- Bonnaroo would probably be the most accessible option considering its proximity to Tech. Just over seventy miles away, you can be in Manchester in just over an hour.

Ticket Price: Unless you’ve already purchased one, they’re running at just below $275.

Round-trip gas: $20-25

Housing/ Food: A camping space is included in your ticket purchase. RV accomodations are available at an additional fee. And I guess if you’re not one who enjoys being dirty for a little while, there are hotels in Manchester. Good luck obtaining a reservation, though. There is food available inside the gates, but be prepared to pay $10 or so for a meal. Bringing food along is advised.

Artists to See: Wilco, David Byrne, Snoop Dogg, The Mars Volta, Andrew Bird, Neko Case, Bon Iver, Animal Collective, Okkervil River, Of Montreal, Beastie Boys, Decemberists, Girl Talk

4. Pitch Fork Festival- July 17-19, Union Park Chicago, IL- The organizers of the Pitchfork Music Festival strived to reach one goal: To provide great independent music to attendees at a reasonable price. Their idea worked, and since 2006 in its beginning it has attracted more fans every year.

Ticket Price: $75

Round-trip Gas: $100

Housing/ Food: No camping at the Pitchfork. Hotels are available in the city raging from $100-$200 per night during the festival. Food can be purchased from vendors inside the gates or restaurants in the surrounding area.

Artists to See: Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill, The National, Tortoise, Wavves, The Flaming Lips, Grizzly Bear, M83, The Black Lips