Australians can be proud of hosting some of the best music festivals the world has to offer, but really, it’s tough to beat the monster festivals coming up this year in the US. Problem is – which one to choose? We've put the three giants head-to-head to help work out which one offers the most bang for the buck.
The just-announced Lollapalooza is the original US monster-fest, boasting an impressive lineup that not only has the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a reunited Black Sabbath, but closing slots from the Black Keys and Jack White. Last year, 270,000 fans attended over three days, a Lollapalooza record. With another stellar lineup on the cards and Perry Farrell still pulling the levers in the background, 2012 promises to be just as enormous.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Duration: Three days, August 3-5
Headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, Black Keys, Jack White, Avicii, Justice, Bassnectar, Santigold, At the Drive In, Afghan Whigs, Miike Snow, Bloc Party, Florence & The Machine, Sigur Ros, Passion Pit, SBTRKT, The Shins, Little Dragon, Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand
Aussie acts: Temper Trap, Tame Impala, Knife Party, The Jezabels
And the rest… Delta Spirit, Fun, M83, Metric, Dawes, Die Antwoord, Mona, The Growlers, The Gaslight Anthem, Hey Rosetta!, JEFF the Brotherhood, Band of Skulls, Anamanaguchi, First Aid Kit, Wax, The Walkmen, FIDLAR, JJ Grey & Mofro, LP, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Milo Greene, Neon Indian, Dum Dum Girls, Kopecky Family Band, Washed Out, Aloe Blacc, Trampled By Turtles, Yuna, Bear in Heaven, Walk Off the Earth, Blind Pilot, Animal Kingdom, Chairlift, Dev, J. Cole, The Black Angels, The Sheepdogs, Yellow Ostrich, The Dunwells, Givers, DJ Mel, Polica, Empires, Bombay Bicycle Club, Kevin Devine, Wale, Dry the River, White Rabbits, Helena, Haley Reinhart, Imaginary Cities, The Head & The Heart, The Devil Makes Three, Overdoz, The Big Pink, Oberhofer, Ambassadors, Twin Shadow, The War on Drugs, DJ Zebo, The Tallest Man on Earth, Chancellor Warhol, Toro Y Moi, O Rappa, Laura Warshauer, Dr. Dog, Bowerbirds, Red Oblivion, Of Monsters And Men, Orchard Lounge, Skream & Benga, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Kaskade, Star Slinger, Porter Robinson, Nadastrom, NERO, Sub Focus, DJ Nihal, Madeon, the White Panda, Zedd, SALVA, Zeds Dead, Paper Diamond, Kid Color, Big Gigantic.
80,000 happy campers experiencing an enormous music, arts and comedy festival over four days all in the name of free-spirited love – that’s Bonnaroo. Smaller than Lollapalooza and catering to everyone’s musical and comedic tastes, this festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary in style.
Location: Manchester, Tennessee
Duration: Four days, June 7-10
Headliners: Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, David Marks) Bon Iver, The Shins, Foster The People, Skrillex, Feist, Alice Cooper, Ludacris, Ben Folds Five, Flogging Molly, Santigold, Little Dragon, City & Colour, The Kooks, Laura Marling, Mogwai, The Black Lips, Bad Brains, SBTRKT, Rodrigo Y Gabriela & C.U.B.A.
Aussie acts: Temper Trap
And the rest… Phish, The Avett Brothers, Dispatch, The Roots, Superjam, Black Star Danzig Legacy, The Word, Spectrum Road, Puscifer, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, Major Lazer, Tune-Yards, Afrocubism, Flying Lotus, Umphrey’s McGee, Blind Pilot, St. Vincent, The Civil Wars, Young The Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, Punch Brothers, Needtobreathe, Fitz & The Tantrums, Colin Hay, Yelawolf, Dawes, Battles, Phantogram, Big Gigantic, Garfunkel & Oates, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, The Joy Formidable, The Antlers, Sam Bush Band, Mimosa, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Alabama Shakes, Soja, Das Racist, Delta Spirit, Gary Clark Jr., Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Trampled By Turtles, The War On Drugs, Ben Howard, Grouplove, ALO, The Devil Makes Three, White Denim, EMA, Here We Go Magic, Fruit Bats, The Cave Singers, K-Flay, The Lonely Forest, Maricahi El Bronx, Big Freedia, Dale Earnhardt Jr., The Soul Rebels, Kendrick Lamar, Steven Bernstein’s MTO Plays Sly, Sarah Jarosz, Orgone, Darondo, Moon Taxi, Black Box Revelation
Comedians: Aziz Ansari, Steven Wright, Marc Maron, Brian Posehn, Reggie Watts, World Champion Judah Friedlander, Rhys Darby, Danny Brown, Kathleen Edwards, Amy Schumer, Pete Holmes, Rory Scovel, Mike O’Connell, Ali Wong, Kyle Kinane
Already one of the most famous music festivals of all time, and on many a music lover’s bucket list. This lineup is enough to blow your socks off.
Location: Coachella Valley, California
Duration: April 13-15, April 20-22
Headliners: The Black Keys, Swedish House Mafia, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Rapture, Radiohead, Bon Iver, The Shins, David Guetta, Miike Snow, Feist, SBTRKT, Kasabian, Laura Marling, The Black Lips, The Buzzcocks, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, At The Drive In, Justice, Florence & The Machine, La Roux, The Hives, DJ Shadow, Modeselektor, Santigold, Calvin Harris, Cat Power, Explosions In The Sky
Aussie acts: Gotye
And the rest… Refused, Mazzy Star, M83, Amon Tobin, Madness, Jimmy Cliff & Tim Armstrong, Girls, Madeon, M. Ward, The Horrors, Band of Skulls, Flux Pavilion, Avicii, Beirut, The Big Pink, Childish Gambino, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Kaskade, Jeff Mangum, Sebastian Ingrosso, Andrew Bird, fIREHOSE, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, St. Vincent, Martin Solveig, Subfocus, Flying Lotus, Manchester Orchestra, AWOL Nation, Azealia Banks, Abe Vigoda, Squeeze, A$AP Rocky, Kaiser Chiefs, Destroyer, The Head & The Heart, Tune-yards, Frank Ocean, James, Alesso, SebastiAn, Yuck, Neon Indian, Dawes, Black Angels, Death Grips, Alf Alpha, Wu Lyf, Breakbot, Atari Teenage Riot, Feed Me, Givers, Other Lives, R3hab, Wolf Gang, Midnight Beast, EMA, Ximena Sarinana, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Kendrick Lamar, The Dear Hunter, Honeyhoney, Hello Seahorse!, Datsik, Sheepdogs, LA Riots, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, The Vaccines, Zed's Dead, Grouplove, Mea, Jacques Lu Cont, We Were Promised, Jetpacks, Gary Clark Jr, Borgore, Dragonette, We Are Augustines, Mt. Eden, Destructo, Suedehead, Keep Shelley in Athens, Pure Filth Sound, The Weeknd, Girl Talk, Nero, Wild Flag, Dada Life, Porter Robinson, Dr. P, Seun Keti, Egypt 80, Beats Antique, Fitz & The Tantrums, Araabmuzik, Company Flow, Real Estate, Zed, Le Bucherettes, Greg Ginn, The Growlers, Noisia, Morgan Page, Gaslamp Killer, First Aid Kit, Oberhofer, Lissie, Thundercat, Metronomy, Wild Beasts, Housse de Racket, Fanfarlo, Spector, Gardens & Villa, Airplane Boys, Sleeper Agent
So, the question remains – which one would you choose? The ever-growing Lollapalooza giving the little guys a chance to play with the big kids, the hydra-headed music-art-comedy fest of Bonaroo, or cult classic musical desert oasis Coachella?
WORDS: Alexandra Goodwin