(NEW ORLEANS) – Many St. Paul’s students love a good music festival, and the campus has been buzzing this week after the official lineup announcements for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Since these festivals have massive lineups that may be hard to digest, let’s look at each one individually.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
The New Orleans Jazz Fest pulled out all the stops with this year’s lineup, offering a diverse mixture of giant headliners and a deep undercard filled with hard-hitting jazz, blues, and gospel. An annual showcase for local talent, the twelve-stage festival always does a tremendous job of balancing the local acts with a few international icons to draw in people from around the world. This year certainly doesn’t disappoint, as headliners include Sir Elton John, The Who, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Jimmy Buffett, No Doubt, Chicago, Wilco, and Keith Urban. The main act on the final day of the festival is yet to be announced, leading to widespread speculation, including bands and artists like U2, Steely Dan, Garth Brooks, and AC/DC.
“I think The Black Keys or Jack White would fit the trend of the last few Second Sunday headliners,” Jazz Fest enthusiast and SPS senior Philip James said. “It may seem soon for the Keys to return, but other acts like Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett have returned soon after making appearances.”
Last year’s headliner was Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue closed the festival.
While we have yet to learn potentially the biggest name coming, the festival appears to be a great experience anyway.
“The lineup this year is much stronger than it was last year and much more in keeping with the lineup from two years ago (which featured Fleetwood Mac, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Ocean, The Black Keys, and Billy Joel),” said musician, annual Jazz Fest attendee, and Journalism Teacher Christi Simoneaux. “It’s really difficult to pick only one or two days.”
The festival will take place at the Fairgrounds in Mid-City, with the first weekend from April 24-26 followed by the second weekend from April 30 – May 3. Tickets can be found on Ticketmaster for $58 (plus fees) for a single day advance ticket, or $70 at the gate. For the best price, buy tickets in person at the Smoothie King Center box office. More information to come later.
Hangout Music Festival
Known for being one of the only music festivals on a beach, “Hangout Fest” has become one of the most unique and anticipated festivals in the country. This year’s lineup includes names like Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, and Beck. Skrillex, Foster the People, Paramore, and Lupe Fiasco will also be on hand for the three-day music festival.
Unfortunately, “Hangout Fest” may have to lean on that uniqueness a little more this year. The lineup isn’t as strong as it has been, leaving Hangout Fest enthusiast Turner St. Romain slightly uneasy.
“There are good artists this year, but compared to last year, the lineup is not nearly as impressive,” St. Romain said. “Last year had lots of good, recognizable names (like OutKast and The Killers). This year is undoubtedly weaker, but I think it will still be an enjoyable experience.”
Regardless, this is a marquee festival that will churn out a massive turnout. The festival will take place from May 15-17. Tickets are on sale now and start at $249 (plus fees) for a 3-day pass.
Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival
What began in the small town of Manchester, Tenn., is now revered by festival enthusiasts as arguably the most anticipated festival of the year. This year’s lineup certainly doesn’t disappoint, with flashy headliners like Kendrick Lamar and Billy Joel to match an extremely deep undercard including musicians like Gary Clark, Jr., Mac DeMarco, Dej Loaf, and Woods. This lineup is typical of Bonnaroo; the festival’s lineup is consistently stacked every year. Last year’s ‘Roo, for example, included Elton John, Kanye West, and Jack White.
Senior Connor Lu had an interesting take on the festival.
“I find it not only plenipotentiary, but magnificent in nature,” Lu said. “I would probably most want to see Against Me! because I agree with their message and direction.”
Bonnaroo will take place from June 11-14 and is unique in that it allows, and can even provide, onsite camping throughout the festival. Tickets went on sale January 17 and are limited in quantity. Price level 1 tickets are already sold out. Price level 2 is $324.50 (plus fees) for general admission for four days, including camping and parking.
Other Major Festivals
Two other major festivals, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Indio, Calif.) and the Governors Ball Music Festival (New York City) also announced lineups recently. Those lineups are attached below.