For many, there will always be that certain sound, that certain feeling or smell that will forever remind them of summer.
It could be the feeling of wet grass beneath your bare feet as you first arrive at the beach, seconds before that cool changes to the comfortable warmth of the sand ahead.
Or, it could be the soft and familiar tinkling melody of an oncoming ice cream man.
For me, and for many others, the summer was only truly here when some two to three thousand young bodies mashed up against each other in harmony against music so loud that it could literally be heard from a neighboring city.
That's right, folks, with the warm weather almost upon us here on the east coast, that means so are those multitude of music festivals. Music festivals, as the faithful in attendance will tell you, are not just collections of music, people and merchandise: they are a way of life. From the tye-dye army of Phish fans to the long haired, hardened Crue-festers, festivals have always attracted the most devout and loyal of music listeners, many of whom have given up on long standing jobs, just to be able to catch all the many shows on a circuit for their favorite band. And yet the power of the music festival is not only to draw forth the most fervent of that band's fan base, but to also provide a safe and fun way to expose new and casual listeners to a band they haven't heard yet.
Yet, with so many festivals coming up right around the corner, how can any one pick just one or two to attend? With today's economic climate, we can all agree that saving money when we can is never a bad
decision. So, if you can't go to them all, then which one do you choose? Well, step right up friends, and take a look at the up and coming music jamboree's headed your way, and ask yourself, what does your fest say about you?
All Tomorrow's Parties. Monticello, New York. September 3rd through the 5th
This is the big one for the bespectacled legion of indie rockers and the girls they try to impress. Yet, being dominated by the likes of J. Mascis, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Breeders and The Flaming Lips who can blame them? Titled for the Velvet Underground song by the same name, the idea was that a "curator" would be chosen for the event, and then they would invite their favorite bands to play, making each one a unique experience and view into the tastes of famous musicians and artists. All Tomorrow's Parties first began in England, but with a show like this, it's easy to see why they quickly spread to events now in Australia and in our very own New York.
The curator this year for the NY show will be famed director Jim Jarmusch, and the line up will include Sonic Youth, The Scientists, Iggy Pop and the Stooges and more.
The Bamboozle Festival. East Rutherford, New Jersey. May 1st and 2nd.
Now here's a festival for the more emo-tional out there and the nouveau punker-otti. Drawing in normally a younger crowd, the Bamboozle festival is a two-day, rain or shine event that grew originally out of the Skate and Surf Festival and is widely known for showcasing newer bands.
Beyond even the screamo and alt bands that rock the many stages for the show, one big draw is the variety of distinctly non-rock acts that can bee seen between sets, or in the case of Snoop Dogg for the 2008 show, as a highlight and rain soaked night cap. This year, comedians Arj Barker from the widely popular HBO series Flight of the Conchords will make an appearance, as well as vocal talent for the Adult Swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force, MC Chris.
All Points West. Jersey City, New Jersey. July 30th and August 1st
If ever there was a multi-day music event for the everyman, All Points West would be it. Showcasing in previous years as ranged a variety of acts from Coldplay to Vampire Weekend and Jay-Z, All Points would seem to have something for everyone.
The summer heat has been reported in past years to be like a stage act itself, as record highs have gone as far as 99 degrees or more for the festival. Yet with such big name acts, the event is known to be hugely successful, and with the gorgeous backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline as the bands rock onwards, the All Points West festival is almost always a sure fire recipe for awesome.
A line up for this year's event has yet to be announced.
Bonnaroo. Manchester, Tennessee. June 10th through the 13th.
For the hip and hipster, the folk and folkie, Bonnaroo has grown from a small psychedelic enclave to a huge spectacle of art and music that continues to get bigger almost every year. In previous years the festival has showcased the Flaming Lips brightly colored stage set, the blistering guitar assault of Metallica, the old west of Willie Nelson and the long-haired classic rock of Robert Plant.
For those looking for a show to end all shows in the east side of the US, few show's get bigger than Bonnaroo. For 2010, check out appearances by Dead Weather, the Kings of Leon, Tenacious D, Tori Amos and more.