Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 Summer Adventure: Road Tripping to the Great Music Festivals

Music Festivals
The summer's been a wash so far, with heat waves, frequent storms and humidity rolling across much of the country. Time to get out of Dodge with your friends, turning free time into an unforgettable time with a classic road trip.

Your friends are packing up that 1996 Geo Metro LSi or that 2000 Ford Focus SE and heading off to one of the great summer music festivals. Your friends pick those cars because so many Consumer Reports tell them to — for the fuel consumption, safety, and price. Your friends probably aren't even looking for something 'easy' to handle or 'responsive' to their needs. What needs, right? When you see those "Cars for Sale" signs along the highway you're thinking that you only need a car to get you from point A to point B, and that's that! If there's interior noise, just turn up the radio. Anyway, here's how to road trip in style.

Trip Essentials

Road trips are what you make of them. You can head straight to the final destination for maximum party time, then come back. Or you can turn the journey into its own destination and make a point of visiting old friends, stopping at roadside attractions and having fun with your pals. You can stop in major cities along the way or meander small towns. This choice is up to you. When planning your trip, determine where you'd like to stay and how you'll travel. Save money by camping in national and state parks, or staying with folks you know.

Summer Festivals

Gathering of the Vibes

The roving Deadhead-inspired Gathering of the Vibes turns 18 this year and will be taking place in Bridgeport, Connecticut from July 25-28. Highlights of this year's lineup include Phil Lesh & Friends, The Roots, John Butler Trio, the original Strangefolk lineup, Blues Traveler, Kind Buds and Wavy Gravy as master of ceremonies. One-day tickets are $85 for Friday and Saturday; weekend passes that include camping are $225 and VIP passes are $475.


Aug 2-4, Chicago celebrates Lollapalooza. The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend, Nine Inch Nails and New Order are just some of the bands headlining this indie festival. Single-day passes are $95 with three-days passes for $235. Online tickets are sold out, so scoring advance Lollapalooza tickets might be tricky. This festival doesn't include camping options, so you'll need to pay for Chicago accommodations, as well.

Electric Zoo

Held on Randalls Island, New York City over Labor Day, Electric Zoo offers two main stages and three smaller stages for electronic artists including Flux Pavilion, Knife Party, Benny Benassi, Ferry Corsten, David Guetta, Bassnectar, John Digweed and Steve Aoki. No camping on this island between Brooklyn and Manhattan — but you'll have all of NYC at your fingertips. Single-day passes start at $139 with three-days tickets for $359. While the other festivals are all ages, this one is 18-plus.

Just Have Fun!

Rally the troops and break out the maps to begin planning your road trip now. While the tickets can be pricey, the experience is unforgettable, and you can keep costs down by camping and preparing simple meals.

Image by Tony Nungaray pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.