Summer music festivals remain high on some students’ agendas

Fans crowd the Budweiser Stage at Lollapalooza 2011 in Chicago. Lollapalooza is one of the many summer music festivals offered and has featured headlining acts such as The Killers, Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Lady Gaga.

As summer slowly approaches, some music fans anticipate taking a road trip or two to their favorite music festivals.

Two events getting plenty of attention are the Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores and Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.

Both festivals feature a long list of alternative rock and indie bands. Some headliners at the Hangout include Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, the String Cheese Incident and Wilco. Bonnaroo’s lineup lists Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, the Beach Boys and Bon Iver.

“Bonnaroo’s line up this year is definitely something I’m interested in,” said Luke Hunter, a junior at UNA. “I’m not entirely sure yet. The Hangout just seems a little lackluster in comparison.”

The two festivals have their pros and cons for the audiophile with a choice to make. Bonnaroo is a four-day festival with remaining tickets going for $259, while the Hangout is currently sold out.

“There are some amazing bands at both, and the Hangout is definitely the better value, but Bonnaroo just has so much more to offer,” Hunter said. “Plus, Bonnaroo is more of an experience that is kind of like something to mark off my checklist in life.”

For some fans, the experience, not the music, makes all the difference.

“Atmosphere,” said Robert Champion, a freshman at UNA. “Atmosphere makes everything.”

Champion said if he attends any music festivals this summer, he might work as a volunteer just to be a part of the event.

“Well, I love people, and at places like that there are always awesome people to meet,” Champion said. “It’s a great place to hang out with friends or take a girl.”

On the other hand, the large-scale production and carnival air can be a negative factor for some concert-goers. On top of that, the frustration of trying to prioritize which bands to see can be a hassle.

“I would like to go to festivals, but I’d feel overwhelmed by the amount of artists, honestly,” said DeForrest Brown, a senior at UNA. “I prefer to experience one artist solely. I suppose the romance of making a trip to see a single band is attractive to me.”

Cash is the top factor that impacts whether senior Chelsea Carroll will attend a summer music festival.

“I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to shell out that kind of money,” she said.