As we reach the depressing apex of winter, many of our minds drift past the frost and frigidity and into dreams of months that don't end in "-uary". And no summer fantasy of mine is complete without the imaginative leaps to my annual trip to Bonnaroo music and arts festival in Tennessee. Music festivals are becoming more and more prevalent in recent years and the summer of '08 is no different. If you can handle the heat, humidity and in some cases, absolute body filth, one (or all!) of these could be the highlight of your summer….
Bonnaroo: Manchester, Tn. Headliners this year include: Pearl Jam, Metallica, Kanye West, Rilo Kiley and Robert Plant and Allison Kraus. Though this hippie fest. has been criticized lately for straying somewhat from its "jam band" vibe, there's still enough diversity to please music lovers of any genre. Prepare to be a hot, sweaty ball of dirt for almost 5 days at Bonnaroo, which is creole for "good time." bonnaroo.com
Rothbury: Rothbury, Mi. The first annual occurs 4th of July weekend on the beautiful green land of our very own North-Western Michigan. Headliners include Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Phil Lesh, 311 and Snoop Dogg. This "green" festival is intent on creating zero waste while entertaining thousands. If you've got the cash, you can choose a VIP ticket which lets you stay in a log cabin "with two outdoor pools and a hot-tub, a cowboy town complete with a bar and general store, and more." Makes me proud to be a Michigander. rothburyfestival.com
Coachella: Though this fest takes place in late April, its Indio, California location promises nothing but a sunny, summer-time atmosphere. The line up includes Roger Waters performing The Dark Side of the Moon, the Raconteurs, The Verve and Jack Johnson. Here you've got the option of roughing it in a tent or putting up some extra cash to shower and shave in a hotel. coachella.com
Pictured: Just a little popular — a mass of humanity swarms at Coachella '07. This year should be even bigger. (courtesy of MTV)
Lollapalooza: This Chicago fest, in existence since its creation in the early 90s by Jane's Addiction lead singer, Perry Farrell, doesn't yet have its line up announced, but I'm fairly certain we won't be disappointed. Lolla is unlike many of the other fests in that when the music stops at dark, you leave the concert grounds and you've got all night (and early morning since most bars are open until 4 or 5 a.m on weekends) left to party in downtown Chicago. As long as you can stumble your way back to Grant Park by noon, you won't miss a thing. lollapalooza.com
If any of these strike your fancy, check out their websites for ticket prices and ordering and complete line ups. These are just a few of the spectacular summer musical events; for more festivals simply Google summer music festivals!