Music Festivals 2010: The Season Starts Now!


Followers of this site know that music festivals – particularly those that occur in the fruitful period between May and September – are a favorite topic of ours. With tickets on sale and performers being speculated on or announced for our favorite events like Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza, we couldn’t wait to start our coverage of the 2010 festival season.

One of the most interesting festival  stories of the young year has to be the look of the lineup for Miami’s fiercely electronic Ultra Music Festival. With a touch of booking sensibility from the minds behind the now-defunct Langerado Music Festival, which took place in south Florida for just a handful of years, Ultra has taken a turn for the eclectic. When Langerado met its untimely demise last winter, plans were hatched to incorporate some of that festival’s live-band aesthetic into Ultra’s hardcore electronic fabric. Now, this lineup for Ultra 2010 has leaked, and while there’s still no official announcement from the festival site, it looks real enough and the “phase 1″ lineup is quite eye-popping. The inclusion of live bands like The Disco Biscuits, Lotus, and Ghostland Observatory brings a pronounced air of change to the proceedings. It looks like Ultra may be trying to reach beyond its core audience of staunch electronic music devotees, though these bands aren’t too much of a stretch. Let’s see what happens when the full lineup is unveiled.

Coachella tends to rule the online nation’s musical consciousness in the spring, and this year’s edition will be here before you know it. No official announcement has been made, but there are some confirmations for the April 16-18 event: Muse, Phoenix, Devo, Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, and about a dozen more acts have spilled the beans so far.

We always look for the announcement of the Joshua Tree Music Festival as a true indicator that it’s festival time. The event is scheduled for May 14-16, 2010 in Joshua Tree, CA, and we anticipate an initial lineup announcement from an official source any day now. As for preemptive info, Los Angeles band Orgone are scheduled for the event, according to JamBase.

Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD will see another edition of DelFest on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30. This festival is rapidly making a name for itself as a premier east coast acoustic music and bluegrass event, due in no small part to namesake Del McCoury. The guaranteed draw and consistently impressive performances of Del McCoury Band will anchor a weekend that includes headliners galore. So far, the lineup boasts Yonder Mountain String Band, The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams and Friends, David Grisman, Railroad Earth, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, and Greensky Bluegrass, among others. Pollstar also lists Trampled by Turtles, though the DelFest site does not.

Chillicothe, Illinois’ Summer Camp Music Festival will return to Three Sisters Park for Memorial Day weekend )May 28-30) with the usual blend of national jambands, local favorites, and late-night madness. Summer Camp devotees love the consistency of the event, which has become a showcase for veteran rockers moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Both bands will perform multiple sets as usual, and they’ll lead the expected cavalcade of free-thinking artists – already announced are Yonder Mountain String Band, The Avett Brothers, Keller Williams, Bassnectar, EOTO, Cornmeal, Backyard Tire Fire, The Ragbirds, and more.

The exceptionally chilly winter in progress can’t dull the excitement of another Bonnaroo, and it’s hard to believe that we’ll be back in Tennessee in just about 150 days. As always, rumors abound concerning the festival’s lineup, which will unfold from June 10-13, 2010. The always-cunning band of internet sleuths over at Inforoo have unearthed some pretty telling details concerning bands that are likely to appear at the event. You can get in on the madness here, but based on what I have seen and heard so far it looks like Pavement, Alberta Cross, Kings of Leon, and some incarnation of Dave Matthews are solid bets.

Make sure you visit us frequently for updates on all of these events and many more! We’ll also be keeping our eye on these events, which we couldn’t find any lineup information about as of this writing:

Smilefest – Pinnacle, NC, May 21-23, 2010 (it will be interesting to see how this maligned event comes back)
Mountain Jam – Hunter, NY, June 4-6, 2010 (sure to be a slew of Warren Haynes-approved blues, rock, funk, and jam)
High Sierra – Quincy, CA, July 1-4, 2010 (one of the old guard of family music festivals)
All Good – Masontown, WV, July 8-11, 2010 (sure to be another classic throwdown from Walther Productions)
Gathering of the Vibes – Bridgeport, CT, July 29 – August 1 (always interesting to see what goes down here)
Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL, August 6-8, 2010 (one of the big four to keep an eye on every year)
Music on the Mountaintop – Boone, NC, August 27-28, 2010 (our new favorite event, now for two days!)

There’s sure to be much to discuss as the year rolls by! Welcome to 2010 people!

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3 thoughts on “Music Festivals 2010: The Season Starts Now!

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