Popular Music Festival Celebrates 75 Years This Summer

music festival


Tanglewood
is an iconic music festival held in the Berkshires. Located in western Massachusetts and the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood has a variety of stars from the classical music world taking part in over 90 events between June 22-September 2 as the annual event celebrates 75 years this summer.

In addition to the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, will be performances by Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Peter Serkin, James Taylor, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and other special guests led by conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart and Andris Nelsons.music festivalTanglewood also features events ranging from dance performances, family and youth concerts, a relay run and open rehearsals of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

About a two and a half hour drive from New York City and Boston, the area is also home to cultural institutions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, Clark Art Institute and more.

New this year, the program will be made available to a worldwide audience through a series of international broadcasts – 75 free digital streams featuring many of the most memorable musical events from the orchestra’s rich archive of recorded Tanglewood performances since 1937. These streams will be available free for 24 hours on the day of the release, after which they will be available as a download for purchase.

Tickets to the 2012 Tanglewood season are priced from $9 to $117 and on sale now through tanglewood.org or by calling SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200. Tanglewood continues to offer free lawn tickets to young people age 17 and under and a 50 percent discount on lawn tickets to college and graduate students.

Want more on Summer Music Festivals? Check Gadling’s USA Summer Music Festivals 2012.




Photos Boston Symphony Orchestra

Sweetlife Festival to feature hot music and sustainable eats

sweetlife festivalIt isn’t often you get invited to a party with a purpose. But that’s exactly what the Sweetlife Food & Music Festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, will be: an all-day extravaganza celebrating the values of “sustainability, community and fun.” Scheduled for April 28, the festival will feature a stellar lineup of musicians, including: Avicii, Kid Cudi, The Shins, Explosions in the Sky, Fitz and the Tantrums, A$AP Rocky, and Fun. In addition, the event will offer healthy, sustainably sourced food options.

The third annual Sweetlife Festival is organized by the founders of Sweetgreen, a northeast chain of eco-friendly eateries known for dishing up fresh, local ingredients and changing the way the country thinks of fast food. This year’s festival will feature twice as many music acts as well as a second stage, called The Treehouse, which will host a roster of emerging artists. Festival-goers will be able to participate in environmentally-focused interactive activities between sets and nosh on munchies from the likes of Jose Andres’s Pepe Truck, Shake Shack, Roberta’s Pizza and Smucker Farms in the Food Forest, presented in cooperation with Serious Eats.

“Our vision is to extend Sweetgreen’s hip and eco-conscious ethos from the table to all facets of the Sweetlife – including the festival fare,” said the press release.

General admission tickets went on sale today and are available for $75 on ticketfly.com.

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011: recap

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 was dreamy. And I mean that. As one of Austin’s prized and annual music festivals, FFF has a lot riding on it. If I were to personify the festival, I might even find myself conjecturing about whether or not FFF feels like she’s living in the shadows of SXSW and ACL. And if she could talk, she might say ‘yes’, but after this year’s FFF, I reckon that ‘yes’ would be followed with quite a few reasons why she likes it that way. And so do I.

Which way do I like it? I like it, it being music festivals at large, precisely the way FFF 2011 happened. It happened like this.

%Gallery-139353%After having crowded Austin‘s downtown but Highway 35-hugging Waterloo Park since the festival’s inception, FFF needed a new home for 2011. I don’t know what sort of politics went on behind the scenes at the FFF headquarters. I don’t know if decision-making people at the FFF Town Hall meetings were enraged or not when Auditorium Shores was picked as the 2011 location spot. But I do know that it worked. It worked well.

As I walked over the pedestrian bridge at South 1st toward the festival’s entrance on the first night of FFF, I stopped mid-bridge and took in the sunset over the water for what felt like the first time since I’ve been spending my time in Austin. The colors, creamy and soft pastel as they nearly always tend to be, spilled over the horizon at the sun’s setting and bled into the white-blue sky like ink dropped in water. The gnats were hoovering over the water and in my face; their silhouettes darted in and out of my periphery as I stared at the calm waters of Lady Bird Lake beneath the perfect sky. And just to my left, there was the festival. All set up and fully in gear, its lights and white tent domes created a carnival-like cityscape at the place where the lapping water meets the packed Texan soil, Auditorium Shores.

Compared to Austin City Limits, FFF’s stature was much more approachable and intimate. Compared to SXSW, FFF’s personality was much less belligerent. And maybe it just means I’m getting old, but approachable, intimate, and less belligerent really works for me now and I think it really worked well for FFF 2011.

Entering FFF was easy–the lines that usually precede a good music festival weren’t there. Then again, we entered in the evening of the first day. The dust kicked up from Auditorium Shores, which is normally a waterfront dog-friendly park in Austin, let loose a haze all over the dimming festival. Festival-goers wore bandanas and other sorts of scarves over their noses and mouths; it was like a music festival shot on a wild west movie set. This may sound like a bad thing, and it certainly wasn’t a good thing, but the dust matched with the scarf-wearing presented a sort of mystique for the festival this year.

Relaxed and spacious, FFF’s crowd still warmly and eagerly embraced the main acts of the festival–Slayer, Public Enemy, Lykke Li, Passion Pit, and others. Public Enemy got into character before their set started and decided to sound check all the way through Four Tet’s set (it was kind of obnoxious). Lykke Li performed a stunning set, completely with billowing smoke, swaying black fabrics, and sporadic percussion, thanks to her affinity for carrying drumsticks in her hands while on stage, ready at any moment to pound away on the nearest drum.

I suspect Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Festival succeeded in teaching many Austinites and travelers alike that a music festival needn’t be overpopulated or over-hyped in order to be worth the ticket price, time, and energy to attend. In fact, I’d say, this one was better for the lack of those two things.

Introducing Austin Texas

Video of the day: Austin City Limits recap

If you have never been to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, chances are you probably don’t totally understand what all of the fuss is about. In fact, let’s take that a step further. If you have never been to a music festival, chances are you probably don’t totally understand what all of the fuss is about. Not only are music festivals an honest-to-god travel destination for tens of thousands of people per festival, but there’s something electric in the air when so many talented artists are playing so near each other in such a short time frame… and the electricity doesn’t just come from the amps. There’s a sort of unity perfect strangers regularly find themselves in arms with when taking time off to enjoy a music festival.

Provided you still don’t know what I mean, or that you know exactly what I mean and want to indulge yourself for a few minutes, check out this ACL recap video that the festival recently let loose. Enjoy.

How to Pack for a Music Festival

ACL: know before you go

The Austin City Limits Music Festival, usually referred to as ACL, is coming up soon. And really, Austin deserves some semblance of fun after this horrendous fire-infused, rain-free, 100+-degrees-for-way-too-many-days-in-a-row summer. After attending ACL last year just a few days after I’d arrived to Austin from New York City and successfully having a blast, I decided to get tickets for this year’s festival, as well. Acts taking the stage at ACL 2011 include Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Alison Krauss, Nas, Cee Lo, Bright Eyes, TV On The Radio, Death From Above 1979, and, of course, just like every other festival out there, many more.

So why does this festival matter to traveling folks? Well, because over 70,000 people attend the festival every day. And they’re not all Austinites. They travel from all over the globe to be a part of this festival. Indeed, ACL is a travel destination for many. And with that, I present you, your handy Know Before You Go list for ACL.

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  • Austin City Limits. Austin City Limits Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, September 16-18. The festival takes place annually in Zilker Park, Austin, Texas.
  • Tickets. All 3-day tickets are now sold out. And, unfortunately, day passes for Friday and Saturday are sold out. But wait! You can still attend. On Sunday. You can hurry and grab your Sunday pass and still catch acts like Arcade Fire, Social Distorion, Death From Above 1979, Broken Social Scene, The Walkmen, and more.
  • Food. The food at ACL is phenomenal, especially when you consider that this is a festival and festivals (until the recent warmly welcomed changing atmosphere of festivals) usually sell hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream. Austin has a diverse food scene and many of the restauranteurs make their mark in the ACL Food Court. Some of my favorites are Tiff’s Treats, P. Terry’s, Amy’s Ice Cream, and The Salt Lick, but check out this link for a full list of food vendors.
  • Art. ACL boasts a pretty decent Art Market within the festival grounds. Check out this link for the full list of artists.
  • Alcohol. You’re not allowed to bring in alcohol. If you want to drink, you’re going to have to drink what they’re selling inside.
  • Pets. I’m disappointed too, but no, you may not bring your pets to ACL.
  • Re-Entry. Here’s how it works: You exchange your 3-day ticket for a wristband. You need to wear your wristband to enter the festival. As long as you’re wearing your wristband, you can come and go as you please. Unfortunately, if you only have a single day ticket, you won’t receive a wristband and, therefore, you won’t be allowed re-entry.
  • Transportation. If you’re looking to not drive to and from ACL, there are, of course, other options. ACL (and Austin, in general) is bike friendly. There are not only bike racks at each entrance of the festival, but there is also a bike shop at each entrance of the festival. If you need parts or repair, you can stop by Mellow Johnny’s Bike Station. If you’re within walking distance, walk! It’s not the fasted mode of transportation, but it’s certainly good for the body and mind. You can also ride the free shuttle from Republic Square (4th & Guadalupe) to ACL. The shuttles begin at 10am and their last round is at 11pm. Taxis are another good option and they’ll be around for the flagging.
  • Parking. There is absolutely no parking available on the grounds of the festival. None. So here is what you do if you’re driving. Park at One Texas Center (here’s a map). The parking there is free after 5pm on Friday, September 16th and $10 on Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th. It’s a pretty easy walk over to the festival from the garage. You can also park in town. We found reliable spots on West 6th last year and walked from there.
  • Activities. Photo Booths, car giveaways, and filtered water fill-ups are a few of the few things non-music ACL has going on. That’s right. I said ‘a few of the few’ for a reason: there’s not much non-music stuff going on at ACL, especially not compared to festivals like Bonnaroo.

ADVICE: ACL is crowded, but it’s fun. But keep the crowded thing in mind. Plan accordingly. If you have anxiety and think you may need to bring your medication, I suggest you do. It’s also going to be hot. HOT. Very hot. Prepare for the heat and sun in every way you know how. I saw a girl passed out cold last year from what I bet was drug or alcohol related, but the heat certainly didn’t help. Don’t let that be you this year. Prepare.

THINGS TO BRING & NOT TO BRING: The powers that be behind the curtains of ACL have put together a helpful list of things you can bring and things you cannot bring right here.

THINGS PROVIDED: Most of the things you need are within ACL… food, drinks, water fill-ups, medics, etc. But check the ACL website to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the festival before you arrive.

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