Music Lover’s Guide to 2013 Music Festivals

Although it’s only March, summer vacation plans loom over the heads of nearly every college student. Whether you’re taking classes this summer or just taking it easy, you'll want to fit in some sort of getaway over the break. Being a Floridian, I’ve seen my fair share of beaches and amusement parks. But this summer, I want something a little more thrilling than a poolside piña colada.

What could be more exhilarating than being stage front to hundreds of your favorite music artists? Or dancing in a crowd of thousands of people to the song you had on repeat all semester? Can you imagine the adrenaline rush of nearly brushing the arm of your crowd-surfing idol?

This summer, I recommend all true music lovers look into booking a trip to one of the many premiere U.S. music festivals. Below, I’ve provided a music lovers guide to four of the most popular summer music festivals in America. Plan accordingly.

Since its debut in 1999, Coachella has been regarded as one of America’s greatest music festivals and has been growing in popularity ever since. Throughout the three-day festival, there are continuous live performances on each of the several stages. This provides a wide array of artists as well as the ideal California climate. 

Where: Indio, California 
When: April 12-14, April 19-21 
Price: General Admission, 3-day pass going for about $475
Who: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Modest Mouse, Vampire Weekend, Bassnectar, Two Door Cinema Club, Of Monsters and Men, The xx, and more.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
If you’re looking for the modern-day Woodstock, Bonnaroo’s the festival for you. Bonnaroo is known for its seemingly endless lineup and “peace and love” atmosphere. During the three days, the festival offers a full spectrum of music genres and also promotes sustainability efforts. As long as you don’t mind camping in a field with thousands of other people, Bonnaroo will be nothing less than an extraordinary experience. 

Where: Manchester, Tennessee 
When: June 13-16 
Price: About $270 
Who: Mumford & Sons, Paul McCartney, Bjork, Wilco, Tom Petty, The National, the Lumineers, Daniel Tosh, Pretty Lights, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, A$AP Rocky, The Tallest Man on Earth, and more.

Free Press Summer Festival 
This two-day annual music fest endorses not only national artists but local artists, too. The festival emphasizes local musical performers and visual arts/artists. The Free Press Summer Festival is known for its unforgettable firework shows and paint slide.

Where: Houston, Texas 
When: June 1-2 
Price: $95 
Who: The Postal Service, Passion Pit, TV on the Radio, Calvin Harris, Alabama Shakes, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Of Monsters and Men, Arctic Monkeys, 2 Chainz, Matt & Kim, and more.

Hangout Fest 
If you’re nervous about missing out on your summer vacation tan, Hangout Fest is definitely the festival you'll want to attend. This three-day festival is famous for its white sandy beaches surrounding the concert stages. How often can you see your favorite performers in nothing more than a bikini?

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama 
When: May 17-19 
Price: $230 
Who: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Kings of Leon, The Shins, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, Steve Aoki, Ellie Goulding, Bloc Party, Grouplove, and more.