Festival Frolicking: Examining the 2013 Lineups for Bonnaroo, Firefly, Hangout, & Sasquatch


It’s only mid-February, the weather is still sometimes frigid and spring doesn’t commence for another month, but a warmer, more welcome season is nearly upon us: Festival Season.

A few weeks back we looked at the initial lineups of three big festivalsCoachella, Ultra, and Governor’s Ball. Today, we’ll breakdown the nuances of four new lineups including Bonnaroo, Firefly, Hangout, and Sasquatch, that all promise amazing concert experiences. The good news is that none of these four skimp on quality. Problems arise when deciding which festivals to hit (if one isn’t enough and by God it never is.)

Bonnaroo (June 13th -16th):

rooCelebrating their 11th go round, Bonnaroo seems to get bigger each summer, registering over 100,000 attendees the last few years in what can only be described as a medium sized tent city. Today, in a live megathon hosted by Weird Al Yankovic, Bonnaroo dramatically (and weirdly) announced their much anticipated lineup. Much like it’s festival brethren Coachella (in terms of sheer size) the headliners leave something to be desired. Bjork, Mumford and Sons and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are cool, but they lack a certain “wow” factor. Truly, that honor goes to the announcement of Sir Paul McCartney, the other major headliner. However, as is usually the case for most major festivals, the quality comes with the bands listed in smaller print and at least there, Bonnaroo has done an excellent job. We’re most excited about some of the British artists crossing the pond to tickle our ears – David Byrne (with St. Vincent of course), Glen Hansard, Frank Turner, Alt-J, The Vaccines, and Foals (who just released a stellar new record.) Overall the lineup is eclectic, and although it isn’t better than any other year, it definitely matches the quality of the past few roos.

Firefly (June 21st – 23rd):

fireflyThe other big lineup announcement of the day was somewhat overshadowed by the behemoth that is Bonnaroo, but is nonetheless quite sexy. The inaugural Firefly Music Festival in 2012 boasted a surprisingly robust lineup for such a young festival, which did nothing but create high expectations for year two – and the organizers haven’t disappointed. Firefly’s 2013 lineup is a tantalizing mix of older acts and relative babies. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers once again pop up as a headliner partnered with alt rock hall of famers, Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their appearances are bookended by comparative newcomers such as Imagine Dragons, HAIM, Twenty One Pilots, St. Lucia, and Azealia Banks. Speaking of hip-hop, the one qualm one could have with Firefly is that it’s a bit light in this department. That being said, Ms. Banks, Kendrick Lamar and rap pioneers Public Enemy fill that niche quite well. Firefly could quietly be one of the better festivals of the season.

Hangout (May 17th -19th):

HOMF-Poster-4-WebsiteWill Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers headline every American festival in 2013? These hard rock veterans are making a comeback with vengeance. Anyhow, as for the remainder of Hangout’s lineup this year, well, it lives up to the festivals name. It’s very much a jam band, relaxed type of vibe with the likes of Trey Anastasio, The Roots, The Shins, Slightly Stoopid, and The Black Crowes. There are some interesting picks to break up the funk/reggae/blues groove that Hangour has going on. Bright and shiny party crashers like Bassnectar, Ellie Goulding, and Passion Pit should great changes of pace for this laid back festival. Also, there’s no word yet on Pensacola’s DeLuna Fest this year so, for the moment, it seems that Hangout will be one true Gulf Coast beach party in 2013.

Sasquatch (May 24th -27th):

sasquatch-festival-2013-lineup-poster-435x580The 2013 edition of Sasquatch is a who’s who of indie rock and hip-hop talent. Its audience falls somewhere between Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, flirting with both the ultra hipster and the mainstream and all the skinny jean wearing kids in the great Northwest should love this year’s Sasquatch lineup. Ultimate indie super artist from nearby Seattle, Macklemore, and his partner Ryan Lewis, will be joining major acts Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons (they’re everywhere too apparently) Arctic Monkeys, The xx, Sigur Ros, and Washington State prodigal son, Ben Gibbard, and his reunited Postal Service. Empire of the Sun, Grimes, and Alt-J should bring the strangeness. And, rounding a wicked lineup is the hip-hop contingency featuring El-P and Killer Mike (who both had very well received albums in 2012) along with P.O.S., Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, Shad, and once again, Yung Rapunxel herself, Azealia Banks. In terms of smaller festivals (crowd size that is) Sasquatch seems to be the west coast better half of Firefly.