Stacked summer: Midwest music festivals impress and implore

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The crowd watches R. Kelly perform at Day 3 of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, July 21, 2013 in Chicago.

Jason Bergman for Pitchfork

The crowd watches R. Kelly perform at Day 3 of the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, July 21, 2013 in Chicago.

In 2010 the Lollapalooza attendance hit an imposing 240,000, with big-name headliners such as Lady Gaga, The Black Keys, and Arcade Fire. However, since then, attendance has jumped more than 60,000, as last year more than 300,000 people arrived in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Music festivals, though they have been around for decades, have seen a very recent spike in popularity. Now, the Midwest is home to almost 10 festivals of all genres.

However, the biggest festivals of the summer begin right here in Chicago, with the Pitchfork and Lollapalooza music festivals.

Rather than listing out all of the headliners, here’s who’s worth seeing.

Lollapalooza’s headliners, whom will be making their appearances August 1-3, are pretty solid (notable acts include Eminem, OutKast, Arctic Monkeys, The Avett Brothers, not Kings of Leon).

However, strangely enough, the headliners are not the best part of this festival.

“This year, my favorite Lolla bands are a few rows down on the headliners list,” explains Mo Macsai-Goren, sophomore.

Artists like Chance The Rapper (whom will also be featured as the daytime headliner at Dillo Day 2014), Spoon, The Head and the Heart, Flume, Broken Bells, and Young the Giant are the ones who make the Lollapalooza lineup worth seeing.

Also on the lineup is a group called Kausea, a group which nobody has ever heard of, and yields no results when Googled.

This group, Kausea, is apparently, according to some speculations and fan theories, is rumored to be Daft Punk.”

— Mo Macsai-Goren, sophomore

“This group, Kausea, is apparently, according to some speculations and fan theories, is rumored to be Daft Punk,” explains Macsai-Goren, “Although I’ve also heard that it could be Kanye or Pearl Jam, so it’s pretty up in the air at this point.”

Pitchfork Music Festival (July 18-20), however, creates a smaller, lesser known scene in which one can still see some good music.

The festival’s lineup has drastically improved from last year’s (which handed the biggest headliner spot to M.I.A.) into something actually worth seeing.

The lineup features Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Real Estate, St. Vincent, and many other notable artists, all of whom create an environment in which you can see good music without getting trampled by 300,000 people from around the globe.

However, if you’d rather get trampled by 800,000 fans look no further than 80 miles to the north, where you will undoubtedly find Milwaukee’s Summerfest, which hits the stage June 25-July 6.

The festival is known for being commercial, this year featuring big-name artists Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Brad Paisley (for some reason).

However, they do have more relatable artists, such as Girl Talk, Jake Bugg, and The Head and the Heart, who will hopefully help out the balance between pop, country, and music.

Between these three festivals, nearly all music tastes can be satisfied, and never without a journey of more than two hours. The summer of 2014 has the potential to be one of the best summers in years for outdoor music festivals, and not one will be worth missing.

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