I’ve done some nice things in my life, but what you’re about to see is easily top 3.
Yes, this task was 50% selfish, because I have been trying to figure out how to salvage my summer after forgetting about SXSW and selling my tickets to Coachella. The issue at hand isn’t finding a music festival to attend, the issue is figuring out which one (or two) will give you the most bang for your (250ish) buck.
The other 50% is me not wanting my friends and others to make uneducated decisions when it comes to splurging on a music festival. Are all of these festivals worth it? Yes. Are some better than others? Absolutely.
As you will see once you make it to the graphics portion of this TED talk, most artists don’t just go to one music festival. Some squeeze as many as they can into their schedule, some try to hit up the beginning and end of the summer, and others pick based on where they have the best chance of headlining.
Festivals pride themselves on diverse acts, in order to have “something for everybody”, but as you will see in the graphics portion of this hymn, there’s one show this year that easily takes the cake. Last year that show was Coachella, which is why it seemingly sold out in 37 seconds this year.
This year, we have:
Jazzfest — New Orleans: Apr. 29-May 8
Bonnaroo — Manchester, TN: June 9-12
Electric Forest — Rothbury, MI: June 30-July 3
Camp Bisco — Mariaville, NY: July 7-9
Pitchfork — Chicago: July 15-17
Outside Lands — San Fran: Aug 15-17
Electric Zoo — NYC: Sept. 2-4
No Lollapalooza is listed, because their lineup hasn’t been released yet.
No Essence festival is listed, because I forgot it existed until I had already clicked “Save As…” on my highly classified graphic.
Tired of this build up? Me too. Feast your eyes on this bad boy.
Over the course of 3 hours, this graphic went from an essay to a Top 10 list to a excel chart to a bracket, back down to an excel chart and finally to it’s rightful home as a Venn Diagram.
These aren’t all of the acts playing, just the ones I think are the best and the ones I would pay a considerable amount of money for to see.
In case you skipped the hooked-on-phonics section on Venn Diagrams, the artists in blue overlap with 3 festivals, purple with 2 festivals, and green in one festival.
As you can see, the eye of the summer music festival storm this year is Bonaroo. Not only does it have a large lineup, but it also has overlapping artists with 4 other festivals. For example, about half of Outside Lands’ big acts are playing Bonaroo. In case the Venn is just too much for you, take a closer look at Bonaroo:
At the end of this day, however, this isn’t about me. This is about you understanding your options for the summer. Oh, you didn’t know Mystikal was out of jail for doing that horrible thing and you’ve always wanted to see him? Go to Jazzfest. You really want to see Tiesto, but want to get out of NYC? Go to the inaugural Electric Forest. You want to follow Arcade Fire around all summer? Lucky you, because they’ll be in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Tennessee in less than 60 days.
With festivals, I want the most sensory overloaded 3-day weekend of my life, so Bonaroo is my choice. I’ve never seen Weezy, I need to see Big Boi again, Florence Welch is my spirit animal, Mumford live is on my newly updated bucket list, and I’m sort of a Donald Glover fan boy right now. And then there’s about 30 other acts I really want to see.
I’m also going to try to make a push to Electric Zoo or the Electric Forest, because after seeing Tiesto last summer at Coachella, it became very obvious to me that you can’t just see Tiesto once.
I hope this diagram actually helps you make an informed decision about your summer. This is something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I saw The Greatest Venn Diagram Ever Made, and I’m glad I finally got to contribute my own in a (hopefully) meaningful way.
Party. Party. Party.
(This will be updated and re-posted Electric Zoo releases the rest of their lineup, once Lolla releases anything substantial. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll throw in Essence too.)