A Guide to the 2015 Music Festival Season

With the summer music festival season right around the corner, festivals around the country are beginning to release their highly-anticipated lineups. Whether you are new to the festival scene or are looking to try something new, read on to discover which of these musical events is perfect for you!  bonnaroo 4

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Where: Manchester, TN

When: June 11th-14th

To get the quintessential music festival experience, check out Bonnaroo, which has been a season staple since 2002. This four-day festival features a lineup packed with many big names, a good number of lesser-known artists, and a long list of events and activities taking place on the campgrounds to keep guests busy while they're not rocking out to the shows. One of Bonnaroo’s key attractions involves camping on the festival grounds, and while these accommodations may not be for everyone, they really create a fully immersive festival experience. The 2015 lineup features a number of well-known artists, such as Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar, and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant in his new project, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Aside from these headliners, there are also plenty of up-and-coming artists. Hozier has been getting a huge amount of attention since the release of his single, “Take Me to Church.” Combine this chart-topper with the rest of his self-titled album, which was released in the US last September, and you've got the recipe for a must-see show. Joining Hozier in the indie rock genre are Spoon, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and My Morning Jacket, while in the electronic music genre there is DeadMau5, Flume, Bassnectar, Tycho, Sylvan Esso, and Glass Animals, to name a few.

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Movement Music Festival

Where: Detroit, MI

When: May 23rd-25th

While a road trip can be a fun addition to the music festival experience, there are also plenty of great festivals happening right here in Michigan. Just a forty-five minute drive from Ann Arbor, Movement Music Festival takes place in Detroit, the birthplace of techno and electronic dance music. This three-day festival brings together some of the best current artists in the EDM world, and also prides itself on showcasing a number of local talents. Movement’s phase 1 lineup this year is extensive, highlighting some very big names. First up there is Skrillex, teaming up with German DJ and producer Boys Noize to perform a collaborative side project known as Dog Blood. Next there’s Disclosure, the British duo that released their hit song "Latch" (featuring Sam Smith) in 2013. Maybe the most surprising addition to the lineup is DJ Snoopadelic, although this artist is most commonly known by his other name, Snoop Dogg. This is Snoop’s DJ project in which he combines his signature hip-hop style with European techno influences to create a completely unique set. There are also many local artists on the list, such as Detroit native Danny Brown, who offers a change of pace from the majority EDM lineup with his alternative rap style. Overall, this festival is shaping up to be a must-see EDM experience!

Photo by Tobin Voggesser © Electric Forrest 2014

Electric Forest

Where: Rothbury, MI

When: June 25th-29th

Electric Forest is a local four-day festival, and while it focuses on electronic music, there is also a good mix of hip-hop and alternative artists. Tickets for this festival sold out in record time this year, but you may be able to snag a ticket through resale. If not, definitely keep it on your radar for future years, as the whole setup really is one of a kind. The festival this year features three shows from The String Cheese Incident, a bluegrass band whose music displays influences of progressive rock and psychedelic styles. Joining them as headliners are Bassnectar, Skrillex, Flume, Kaskade, and Big Gigantic, all of which are big names in the EDM genre. Along with these artists, there is also Carnage, G-Eazy, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Delta Spirit, among many others.

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Pitchfork Music Festival

Where: Chicago, IL

When: July 17th-19th

Pitchfork Music Festival is a three-day festival that’s been taking place in Chicago’s Union Park since 2006, and it features some of the best performers in alternative and indie music. The lineup was just recently released, and it’s shaping up to be a great mix of artists, so tickets are bound to sell out fast. The main headliner this year is Chance the Rapper, a Chicago native whose unique hip-hop style is infused with elements of jazz and funk. His new album, Surf, was produced with his collaborative group The Social Experiment, and is set to release early this year. It is likely that his set at Pitchfork will feature some of his new music, especially because fellow Social Experiment member Vic Mensa will also be making an appearance at the festival. Other bands to note are Future Islands, Chvrches, and Jamie xx, all of whom fit into the synthpop genre while still bringing their own signature styles and vocals into the mix. Alternatively, Wilco, Sleater Kinney, and Mac Demarco lead the list of indie rock artists set to perform.

Overall, the dynamics of these festivals are all unique and fun in their own ways, each bringing together an eclectic mix of the best performers that the entertainment industry has to offer in so many different genres. No matter what your musical tastes are, there's bound to be a festival that suits you!

Photos courtesy of bonnaroo.com, movement.us, electricforestfestival.com, and pitchforkmusicfestival.com