Music festivals usually consist of three to four days of sweat, body odor, drugs, sun burns, non-perishable survival food, drugs, overpriced water bottles, overflowing porta-johns, unbearable heat, STDs, and, oh and did we mention, drugs? For many festival-goers, these weekenders end up turning into the best party they've been to. Which may or may not have something to do with the drugs. Of course, as anybody knows, the bigger music festivals are not for the poorest of the poor schmucks — that is unless you got a little something-something to trade.
There are only a few music festivals in the Southeast this year, and one of the most interesting ones we found is happening July 13-15 in Louisville, Ky., at the Forecastle Festival 2012. Forecastle features a diverse group of artists, including Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, Galactic, and Rebelution. Also making appearances are Girl Talk, Andrew Bird, Sleigh Bells, Clutch, Dr. Dog, Zion I, New Orleans-based Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and many others. Tickets for the three-day festival are $159.50, and hotel/camping accommodations are available. (forecastlefest.com)
But let's say you're busy the weekend of Forecastle, or none of those bands really interest you. No worries. There's always the next weekend, July 19-22. The All Good Music Festival in Thornville, Ohio, has become a popular festival among jam banders because of its incredibly talented lineup of newbies and whirling, twirling, hippie-shag legends. Your four-day pass for $199 includes performances by The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh, The Flaming Lips, and Bob Weir and Michael Hornsby. Also on the menu is Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, Dark Star Orchestra, G. Love & Special Sauce, Galactic, SOJA, Railroad Earth, Tea Leaf Green, Passafire, and many more. Smelly hippies. (allgoodfestival.com)
For those of you rich bastards looking to turn your music festival experience into a nice little getaway to a beautiful city, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Ill., always has a good lineup. Located in the heart of the Windy City on Aug. 3-5, this three-day fest costs $230, but the talent they put on the stage is priceless. This year, newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be headlining, alongside The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White, Bassnectar, The Shins, Fun., Childish Gambino, and others. Camping options are not available. (lollapalooza.com)
Another promising faraway festival for you rich bastards comes Aug. 10-12 at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, Calif. And at $225, it'll certainly set you back. Headlined by Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Skrillex, and Dispatch, Outside Lands has a little something for everyone — but more so perhaps for your uncle who still sings "Everlong" every time it comes on the radio (The Foo Fighters will also be there.) Also featured throughout the weekend are Jack White, Beck, Norah Jones, Portugal. The Man, Big Boi, MSTRKRFT, Franz Ferdinand, Santigold, Rebelution, Explosions in the Sky, and many others. Camping options are not available. (sfoutsidelands.com)
OK, maybe you're one of those hipsters and the artists you've heard about thus far are too "mainstream" for you. If that's the case, the Festival of Gnarnia in Beech Mountain, N.C., is cooking something up specifically for you and yours. This four-day festival happening Aug. 9-12 only costs $80, so bring your poor schmuck friend, because this may be something he can afford. The talent on the lineup includes a diverse group of underground artists, such as Beats Antique, 7 Walkers, Gramatik, Paper Diamond, ESKMO, Afroman, Eliot Lipp, Heyoka, Emancipator, Easy Star All Stars, Zoogma, and Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band. Camping options are not available. (gnarniathefestival.com)
The final festival on our list is for all you, freaks and weirdos — or People of Walmart lovers and schadenfreude aficionados who like nothing more than to laugh at the awful mass of humanity. Once again, Cave-In-Rock, Ill., will be the site of the Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos Festival Aug. 8-12. While ICP's Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope will be on hand, so will Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Anybody Killa, Dark Lotus, Boondox, DJ Clay, and the Psychopathic Rydas. (No word on whether or not Tila Tequila will be there for a return sacrificial pelting.) A four-day pass is $175 and camping options are available. Oh, and don't forget to bring an ample supply of clown makeup and a case of Faygo, plus two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers. The jokers at the Gathering of Juggalos will swallow anything. (juggalogathering.com)