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 Festival

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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