It does seem, a little bit, like the same bands are popping up at alot of these festivals. I mean, could the Flaming Lips please take one off? They have played, among others, Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Langerado, The Virgin Festival, Coachella, the Monolith Festival, the Sasquatch Festival, all in the last few years … I mean how many times does Wayne Coyne need to walk in a giant bubble over a festival crowd?
We all enjoy a good political rant but even Michael Franti has to be running out of things to say at this point.
And this year, it seems like Snoop Dogg, who was just announced as part of the Camp Bisco line-up, is the newest festival darling having been booked to played Rothbury in July, and several other festivals worldwide over the last few years.
Very few bands go the route of Phish, which held its own festival in the summers of 1996 (The Clifford Ball), 1997 (The Great Went), 1998 (The Lemonwheel), 1999 (Oswego) and 2003 (IT) and of course the giant
Millenium celebration at Big Cypress to end 1999. All those festivals drew huge crowds with one musical act – Phish. Moe. (moe.down) and the Disco Biscuits (Camp Bisco) have taken that idea and altered it a little adding other bands and staging kookie stunts and collaborations to their annual gatherings. Perhaps no current band is as confident in its fan base as Phish was when they carried the musical torch of a weekend music festival all by themselves hours from any major city or airport.
San Francisco’s recently announced Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival boasts some huge names. Radiohead, Tom Petty, Wilco, Beck and Widespread Panic are all bands that sellout venues and draw huge crowds on their own. But they want that festival feel – 80,000 people standing for 12 hours in the sun soaking in hour after hour of music while downing microbrew after microbrew. On the right day, there is nothing better. Except that unique chance to see artists that would hardly be in the same room together on the same stage together. And it doesn’t happen enough.
So as a reward to these dedicated fans, who spend hundreds of dollars to attend festivals from coast to coast, it would be nice to see some interesting collaborations among the bigger name acts. Let’s see Beck join Wilco for a song or two in San Francisco. Let’s see Eddie Vedder step on stage with My Morning Jacket at Bonnaroo. And please, let’s see someone else in Wayne Coyne’s giant bubble.