Summer heatwaves are poised to blast forth and scorch us all; so, too are the ’06 music festivals. If you like free love and overpriced drinking water, you’ve got decisions to make. Unfortunately, many festival lineups remain woefully unannounced or incomplete, and some sport nearly identical bills. (Beck’s headlining more than one; and festival floozies Death Cab for Cutie have clapped their hands and said yeah to apparently every offer, as have innumerable others.) Of course, these gatherings are only partly about the music. Other considerations in choosing a festival may include mode of travel, drug preference and tolerance to physical torture. To help you make a choice, we offer this festival flow chart as a guide. Just answer some simple lifestyle questions and watch your crippling indecision give way to contented resolve. But wherever you end up — bring sunscreen, my friend.
Coachella Valley Music Festival
Empire Polo Field, Indio
April 29-30; $165/2-day pass
Depeche Mode, Madonna, Tool, Franz Ferdinand, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, et al.
New Orleans Jazz & ?Heritage Festival
April 28-30, May 5-7; $30/day
Fats Domino, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Dave Matthews Band, Keith Urban, Yolanda Adams, Herbie Hancock
The Gorge, Washington state
May 26-28; $165/3-day pass
Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, Ben Harper, the Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, Queens of the Stone Age, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Decemberists
ArthurFest?TBA, Los Angeles
Breathy rumors suggest a sophomore ArthurFest will take shape for another summer love-in, but no confirmed details have been released. Last year a 2-day pass was $75.
Manchester, Tennessee?June 16-18; $185/3-day pass
Radiohead, Beck, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie, Cypress Hill, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Devendra Banhart Band, Dresden Dolls
Intonation Music Festival
Union Park, Chicago?June 24-25; $35/2-day pass
The Streets, the Stills, Lady Sovereign, Bloc Party, Dead Prez, Jon Brion
Hyundai Pavilion, ?San Bernardino ?July 8; $20-$150
System of a Down, Hatebreed, Disturbed, Atreyu, Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Lacuna Coil, Between the Buried and Me, Bleeding Through, Norma Jean
Vans Warped Tour
Dodger Stadium, July 12; $30
NOFX, Less Than Jake, Saves the Day, Helmet, Thursday, ?Bouncing Souls
Pitchfork Music Festival
Union Park, Chicago ?July 29-30; $30/2-day pass, $20/1-day pass
Spoon, Silver Jews, the Futureheads, Art Brut, Yo La Tengo, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Devendra Banhart Band, ?Tapes ‘n Tapes
San Diego Street Scene
Aug. 4-5; last year a 2-day pass was $65. Lineup to be announced in May
Grant Park, Chicago?Aug.4-6; $130/3-day pass
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Manu Chao, Wilco, the Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, the Raconteurs, Ween, Matisyahu
Reading/Leeds, U.K. ?Aug. 25-27; $260/3-day pass
Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Pearl Jam, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Streets, Belle and Sebastian, the Raconteurs, Wolfmother
Long Beach Blues Festival
Cal State Long Beach
Sept. 2-3; last year tickets cost $45/day
Bettye LaVette, Floyd Dixon, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, the Campbell Brothers
Xingolati 2, the Groove ?Cruise of the Pacific,?October; $600-$1,300
Dates and lineup not yet announced; if it’s any help, the Flaming Lips headlined last year.
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