We help you decide which of the four major summer music festivals is best for you.
By Brent DiCrescenzo|
Festival Dave Matthews Band Caravan Lakeside, July 8–10 $85/day, three-day pass $195, VIP three-day $825 Headliners Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne Best reasons to go Make all the Stuff White People Like jokes you want: This surprisingly eclectic bill also brings Kid Cudi, the Flaming Lips, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Vieux Farka Touré. Demographic The lower deck of any given Cubs game Selling point Be the first to check out the new Lakeside outdoor concert space, right next to the water on the former grounds of the U.S. Steel plant, with the skyline on the horizon. Drug of choice Pot pizza, pot brownies, pot burritos
Festival Pitchfork Union Park, July 15–17 $45/day (three-day pass sold out) Headliners Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Animal Collective Best reasons to go Hip-hop. Rocking the turntable and mics: Das Racist, G-Side, DJ Shadow and Shabazz Palaces, a spacey new project from a former Digable Planet. Demographic NPR donators, ethnomusicology postgrads, American Apparel shoppers Selling point The poster gallery, plus the record bazaar—the best music shop in the Midwest Drug of choice Acid, kombucha
Festival Lollapalooza Grant Park, August 5–7 $90/day, three-day pass $215 (VIP pass sold out) Headliners Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Muse, Deadmau5 Best reasons to go The newcomers lurking low on the bill: Cults, Foster the People, Friendly Fires, the Naked & Famous. All should be playing bigger stages next time around. Plus, they’re dumb fun and belong in the sun. Demographic Suburban kids who can’t even remember what CDs are. And their spoiled parents fenced off in the VIP section. Selling point The food. Chef Graham Elliot is back to curate a smorgasbord that will include Kuma’s, Bonsoiree, Saigon Sisters and his own haute lowbrow dishes, namely a lobster corndog. Imagine, a Kuma’s burger with no line. (If you eat it at 10am.) Drug of choice A cup of anything you can toss a Ping-Pong ball into
Festival North Coast Music Festival Union Park, September 2–4 Three-day pass $95 Headliners David Guetta, Wiz Khalifa, Fatboy Slim, Common Best reasons to go After guest spots with Gorillaz and Raphael Saadiq, Yukimi Nagano is set to blow up with her sultry Swedish electro-pop troupe Little Dragon. The new album is a corker. Demographic People wearing bass-thumping Beats by Dr. Dre headphones Selling point The weather. Waiting until it’s no longer in the 90s to host a festival? Why haven’t more people thought of this? Drug of choice Can you drink the inside of a glowstick?