Summer is coming…and it’s taking festivals with her. Time seems to stop, the real world disappears, a distant memory, as you enter in a new dimension made of happiness, new friends, sunshine, fields or sunny roadstead, new friends of your new friends, and the right amount of beer. But above all, festival’s dimension is made of music. Ladies and gentleman, The Italian Eye Magazine is proud to guide you through the top 10 festival for summer 2016.
COACHELLA (15 – 17.04 & 22 – 24.04) Indio, California
California is the native land of the beat generation and the hippy movement, the country in which counter-cultures of every kind were born, grown and got to spread their messages all over the world. Nowadays Coachella brings with itself the philosophy of alternative thinking, even if it has become a mainstream event. Some of the festivals we here mention were born to look like it and to become as popular as it is, but Coachella, in the USA, still remains the supreme leader of music festivals. The event takes place in two consecutive week end and it is surprising not only for the generous music offer, but also for the big and colorful artistic installations that cover its grounds (find everything you need to know on the festival here).
Plus: while you are listening to your favorite band, it is no big deal if you’re singing out loud side to side with Leonardo Di Caprio, or with one of the angels of Victoria’s Secret, or Rihanna, or Evan Peters …
PRIMAVERA SOUND (1.06 – 5.06) Barcellona, Spain
In Europe, two countries are the leaders of organizing unforgettable music events: the first one is the UK, that’s for sure, but Spain come right afterwards. Colors, sun, seaside: enjoying a festival while benefitting from an holiday made of sunbathing and relaxing on the beach has never been so easy. In 15 years, the Primavera Sound established itself in the international scene as an example for musical events; here the magic word is mixing: a little bit of pop, rock, indie rock and dance underground, there is nothing missing in this Spanish festival, and that’s the reason why every year it involves a huge number of participants.
Plus: two preparing days precede the real festival, a way to come in contact with the atmosphere you will love for a week.
GOVERNORS BALL (3.06 – 5.06) New York City, New York
The Randall’s Island Park is located in the centre of New York City, a particular and stunning habitat that covers the majority of Randall Island. Here landed the Governors Ball, after the first appearance in 2011 on Governors Island, a festival in pure USA style and that every year presents a full set of international artists. It is the festival in which Kanye West meets The Strokes and that celebrates indie and alternative music of every genre. For the slightly anxious, on the website of the festival you can find a list of advises on what to bring and what it is forbidden to take inside, together with suggestions about the attitude to maintain during the manifestation just to enjoy it as much as possible.
Plus: not only a music line up here … also a food one!
GLASTONBURY (22.06 – 26.06) Pilton, Somerset, UK
It is every music lover’s dream, the festival par excellence, where not even bad weather is able to scratch the enthusiasm of the participants. Glastonbury Festival was born in 1970, the golden age of psychedelic rock music, of hippy philosophy and of civil movements, following the idea of free festival. From 1980 Glastonbury has been celebrated every year, establishing itself in the international panorama and becoming the most important example for the music festivals of the future. And the dear old Glasto keeps on making the rules, in the indie rock world as much as in the pop one. It is a craved destination for every festivalgoer of the world: that’s why buying the tickets is not so easy, they get sold in only few hours, without even knowing the line up.
Plus: Glasto is Glasto, no matter what happens, it will always win.
ROSKILDE FESTIVAL (25.06 – 2.07) Roskilde, Denmark
If you’re thinking about northern people as detached and unfriendly, Roskilde Festival will change your mind. From 1971, it represents the wider festival of music and culture of the north of Europe and it can bring on stage a line up for every taste. This year it will mix the music of Red Hot Chili Peppers to the one of Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, featuring the psychedelic art of Tame Impala. The beauty of the festival lays also in the way in which profits are handled: everything is devolved in support of music or no profit cultural and humanitarian associations, while food leftovers are given to dormitories for homeless.
Plus: water is for free! And, as Festival gurus may know, that’s a real blessing.
LOLLAPALOOZA (28.07 – 31.07) Chicago, Illinois
Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana del Rey and the captivating rhythm of Major Lazer are just a part of the big names who will perform on the eight stages of the Lollapalooza 2016. With more than 170 artists, it is rightful to say that Lollapalooza is the place for people who made of music a big passion. The festival is hosted in Grant Park, which is located in the centre of Chicago and extends itself for 319 acres: if you get sick of music, there’s so much else going on! For little hipsters there is the Kidzapalooza, where they can enjoy this exciting experience in a safe and familiar atmosphere, while for people of every age there is an art market in which it is possible to find the weirdest thing you can imagine. At the end of the concerts, the party goes on with a relevant number of after parties in the coolest clubs of the city.
Plus: “Come for the music, stay for the swag.”
YPSIGROCK (4.08 – 7.08) Castelbuono, Sicily
In the heart of Sicily, near to Palermo, rises the little village of Castelbuono, a peaceful built up area of about 8.987 inhabitants. The Ypsigrock, every year, brings to Castelbuono young guys from all over Europe, becoming a landmark in the indie-rock scene. The top of the events is in Piazza Castello, where spectators mill around to see the performances of their favorite bands. This year, the Ypsig will host the music of the English bands The Vaccines and Daughter, a real smash in the UK, presenting also the unique music of Kiasmos, the duo from Iceland who experiments with techno music and creates dreamy atmospheres.
Plus: Ypsi once! The Ypsigrock brings on stage new artists who, after the show, can’t be proposed once again in the future years.
SZIGET (10.08 – 17.08) Budapest, Hungary
It is super easy to be charmed, to be infatuated, to deeply fall in love with Sziget, even if only watching its website or the Facebook page. Because Sziget is the “island of freedom”, a place in which everything seems to be possible and where, year by year, the line up becomes more and more irresistible (while tickets’ price rises higher and higher). The frame of the festival is the stunning Óbuda Island, a charming place itself for camping, covered by a lush greenery and in the heart of one of the most incredible cities in Europe. Sziget decorates Óbuda with psychedelic installations, it colors the island with unmissable events and, this year, it will party with the music of Muse, Sia, Manu Chao, Rihanna, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Years & Years, Skunk Anansie and many more.
Plus: if another incentive would be needed … the after movie 2015 is nearly touching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsUfKeepyPk
LOWLANDS (19.08 – 21.08) Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Holland is considered the happiest place of Europe and, as a matter of facts, it can show off a high quality life standard. Now, try to imagine a festival in Holland … more or less like heaven! The 2016 line up of Lowlands Festival is super attractive: Muse, Disclosure, The Last Shadow Puppets, Sigur Ros, Warpaint, aka the best of the alternative music scene in one hand. If music is the main protagonist, cultural themes shared with participants are a lot and very different one to another: literature, dance, theatre, science and cinema, within the usual and enviable sense for green subjects that distinguished countries of northern Europe.
Plus: the 10 stages are covered by tents, a little trick not to be obstructed by Holland’s weather.
BURNING MAN (28.08 – 5.09) Black Rock City, Nevada
From 1986, every year in the Black Rock desert, a real village is built up from nothing. This city, as it appeared, will disappear in a week: a unique place, a social experiment that wants to create a new community outside time and space, just at the end of summer. The name of the festival derives from the most symbolic moment of the entire manifestation, in which a big wooden man is burnt. The Burning Man is not only a music festival, it is an alternative world, it is a way of living, the time of the year in which everyone tries to express himself sharing his art.
Plus: the 10 principles of Burning Man. From the “radical inclusion” rule to gifting, going through a strong civic sense that invites the participants not to leave the place that warmly hosted them in the usual devastating conditions of after festivals.