Festivals: Top East Coast music festivals of summer
Photo by Nicole Maselli ‘14
Music festivals have quickly become one of the most trendy summer events to attend in your best flower crown. Many of them are only a few hours drive from the Lehigh Valley, and with new festivals popping up every year, there’s one for everyone! This list will highlight some of the best and closest music festivals that are happening this summer.
Firefly Festival. Only its third year, Firefly is already one of the biggest festivals on the East Coast. Also, because it is in Dover, Delaware, it is much easier for people in the northeast to get to than the likes of Coachella or even Bonnaroo. This year it will span four days and seven stages. The headliners are Jack Johnson, Outkast and the Foo Fighters, and some notable undercard artists include Arctic Monkeys, Beck, and Imagine Dragons. But also with artists like Girl Talk, Childish Gambino, and Pretty Lights, there’s something for everyone. Bring plenty of sunscreen, because this festival takes place June 19th-22nd, which means it’s likely to get quite hot. Camping is optional, although many festival-goers do choose to rough it in a tent for the weekend.
Governor’s Ball. This festival should appeal to the large percentage of Lafayette students who hail from New York City and Long Island, because it takes place on Randall’s Island – which is just a short ride away from either of those locations. Outkast, Jack White, and Vampire Weekend are set to headline, although there are also other incredible artists performing, such as The Strokes, Phoenix, and Foster the People. The lineup errs more towards indie and electronic music, but performers like Tyler, the Creator and Neko Case will also be present. All of this is going down June 6-8. Because of the limited space, there is no camping.
Electric Zoo. Last year, several deaths (due to drug overdoses) caused the organizers of this event to cancel the last day of the festival. Regardless, this beloved electronic festival is back for its fifth year during Labor Day weekend, also taking place on Randall’s Island. Although the lineup has not been announced, festival goers have high hopes after huge names such as Avicii, Tiesto, and Steve Aoki played last year. Similar to Governor’s Ball, there will be no camping.
Mysteryland USA. For the first time ever, Mysteryland, which usually occurs in Europe, will be taking place in the states during Memorial Day weekend. It will take place at possibly the most appropriate venue, Bethel Woods, which is where the original Woodstock was held. Steve Aoki and Kaskade were announced as headliners, with supporting acts such as Moby, Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus. However, Mysteryland calls itself a ‘electronic music, culture and arts festival’. This means there will be art installations, yoga sessions and other attractions. Mysteryland offers on- and off-site camping options.
Hudson Music Project. This is a promising, first-year festival that will take place July 11th-13th in Saugerties, New York (which is about a two hour drive north of NYC). It seems to be temporarily replacing Camp Bisco, which is a well-loved, mostly electronic festival that has been going on for twelve years, but is not returning until 2015. The Hudson Music Project boasts many different kinds of camping, art installations, workshops, and an impressive lineup for its inaugural year, with the likes of Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips, and Flying Lotus in attendance.
Artists: Who to watch out for this summer
Bleachers. The lead guitarist from Fun is heading this new group, which was only announced at the beginning of the year. So far, they’ve only released one incredibly catchy song, ‘I Wanna Get Better’. With an infectious anthem-esque chorus, after a few listens you’ll be shouting ‘Better! Better! Better!’ at your friends for the rest of the day.
Drowners. Although they formed in 2011, they didn’t release a full album until February of this year. But the wait was worth it, because their self-titled debut is full of high-energy, toe-tapping indie rock beats. ‘Luv, Hold Me Down’ is especially accessible with its pop undertones.
SKATERS. Moving away from the pop-influenced sounds of the previous two bands, SKATERS sends out pure rock vibes in their album Manhattan – particularly ‘Deadbolt’ and ‘I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)’. However, they do allow themselves to get a little funkier in ‘Fear of the Knife’, which helps to create a more complex album. Fans of the Strokes should check these guys out, as they have a similar sound.