It’s almost that time again… festival season! Actually, it already is that time because festival season never ends. With so many music fests going on around the world, you could practically spend every single weekend hopping from city to city, collecting wristbands and seeing today’s hottest acts.
However eclectic you think your musical tastes might be, there’s a festival catered to you, and the festival you choose to attend says a lot about you as a person. Whether you dig the indie rock vibes of Real Estate or the metal riffs of Obituary, festival organizers have got you covered. Here are some of the biggest festivals this year and what your favourite says about you.
Austin City Limits
You're fucking stoked to get loaded with your significant other because you actually got a babysitter for longer than a four-hour window on a Friday night. You buy a KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD shirt because you really want to keep Austin weird and, LOL, it's the weekend and you're just having fun! Jeff Tweedy is a god. Book club is super fun. Avocado margaritas are literally amazing. You're doing your part to keep Austin weird!
You compensate for severe personality flaws by spending the weekend dressed as either A) a decayed pop star from the 1980s B) a failed TV personality or C) in a morph-suit that’s been dry-pumped out the arid buttcheek of a gum-deep sixth former. Then you go and watch Duran Duran.
You are someone’s regrettable hippie ex.
Boots & Hearts
You want to listen to country music with all of your friends in an environment where you all can get so black-out drunk that you won’t remember the headliner, let alone where you parked your RV. You have three different types of flannel shirts, but over five versions of each shirt. When you drink more than four bottles of watered down Canadian beer, your inner racist runs wild. You probably have some mud stuck in a weird part of your body right now.
You’re willing to tell anyone who will listen that Boston is the country’s next cocktail mecca. You’ve never left the state of Massachusetts.
YOU USE ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME. TY SEGALL IS YOUR GOD, AND YOUR FAVORITE BAND’S LEAD SINGER DOESN’T WEAR PANTS. YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN IN THAT YOU ONLY EAT PIZZA AND DRINK BEER. YOU HAVE MULTIPLE STAINS ON YOUR DENIM JACKET. YOU’RE A TEEN, AND YOU HATE YOUR PARENTS WHO RAISED YOU IN SUBURBAN LA, SO YOU SLEEP ON THE COUCH OF A RECORDING STUDIO FULL OF VHS TAPES SOMEWHERE.
You’re having a mid-life crisis, so you decide to leave the materialistic life you lead as a computer programmer behind and split a thousand dollar trailer (with wifi and air conditioning) with some people who will forever be referred to as your “Burning Man Friends.” You buy a vintage top hat and goggles for the affair, you’ve built a sweet art car for cruising the Playa, and you have a friend named Rainbow who is bringing acid from Mexico. Even though you own a Canon EOS Rebel camera, you use a disposable camera to capture the grittiness that IS Burning Man, and you and your fellow Burners use them as #tbts every Thursday for an entire year.
You love college radio and argue that the sound at Cake Shop “isn’t that bad.” You lecture everybody about how punk the LES used to be, and you tweet “CMJ is so over” after every show you attend during the week. The best thing you saw all week was some cassette label’s showcase full of NYU bands at Shea Stadium. You said the showcase was pretty chill.
You fucking love Canadian music, and you think that the best talent in the world comes from either Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. You don’t let any mention of a Canadian celebrity pass by you without loudly proclaiming the celebrity's Canadian heritage. You can tell the difference between Shania Twain, Celine Dion, and Alanis Morissette, all from just looking at the back of their heads. You think Chris Hadfield is a great musician and human being.
Your dumb friend bought tickets to weekend one instead of weekend two AND RUINED EVERYTHING, so you've spent months trying to make the swap. You're LITERALLY starving yourself to fit into the Free People romper you bought specifically for this occasion—or you’ve spent months doing dumbell bicep curls, barbell bicep curls, hammer bicep curls, and cable bicep curls to fill out that neon Urban tank (SUN’S OUT GUNS OUT, BABY!)—and tell everyone how stoked you are to finally see alt-J. None of your friends knows who alt-J is, and you feel really hip. Hip like a hipster!
You live north of the Mason-Dixon line but own a Confederate flag.
Creation Music Festival
You are very blessed to attend a music festival. You’ve given your life up to Him. You sit around the campfire at night, swapping stories with your fellow saved friends about the old days when you’d get into fights and drink and have promiscuous sex. Also, you brought your gun to the festival. You know your rights.
You hate that indie crap. You don’t wanna see any Fostering the People—whatever that is—or that jackass hack Kanye West. You post things on Facebook about how many songwriters it took to write a hit Beyoncé song versus how many it took to write a Judas Priest song, which is ONE: Rob Halford, your god. You actually read Kerrang!
You’ve never bought an album that wasn’t released by No Idea Records and beer koozies are your currency. You spend most of the year growing out your neckbeard and posting in Fest Facebook groups about how many PBRs you’re gonna crush and how many high fives you’re gonna give during that Dear Landlord song. You cry at the end of On the Impossible Past and you have an AVAIL/Dixie tattoo.
You like hanging out with your friends, having a good time, and enjoying live music. You like all kinds of music, and you love discovering new bands on Pandora. Really, you’re just here for the experience. There’s nothing better than getting together with your friends and seeing the music that you can make memories to, like Bastille and Foster the People. You love the newest Kings of Leon album. You’re excited to turn up. Live, Love, Laugh. YOLO.
Fun Fun Fun
You never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never say you're having fun fun fun.
You just got through with your early morning Krav Maga sesh, caught a few waves off Venice, did some sun salutations before snapping a new round of headshots for your latest gig, got caught in traffic on the 10, spotted Jared Leto at brunch, Ubered over to your friend’s place to hit the pool, cruised the Four Pins Instagram, hit up some babes on Tinder, got off some fire Snapchats, hopped on your longboard and made it here just in time to dodge the line for the cold press juice stand. The new Father John Misty album really tickles your manbun.
Gathering of the Juggalos
You are a Juggalo or a VICE reporter.
You are still wearing your wristband from last year’s festival. You whine endlessly about how the festival’s become too commercial then have a nervous breakdown when you carry your bag to your pre-erected yurt. You tell everyone that Glastonbury is the best festival in the world and that you love it more than life itself, but really you just love taking loads of drugs in a field with all your mates and not going to work on Monday.
They normally give weekend passes to your clients at J.P. Morgan, but your portfolio was down this month, and you just need to blow off a little steam, so you took them for yourself. Bummer you’ll be missing the Yankees game though but hey, at least Duke won this year. You’ve been going to Gov Ball every year since it started—you still have both passes hanging on your mirror to prove it. You didn’t buy a ferry pass, and they won’t let you use a car service. So now you gotta walk across the damn bridge in your brand new Sperrys, but at least it gives you time to catch up on The Fat Jewish’s Instagram.
You own every Merge Records release on vinyl and occasionally namedrop members of Superchunk. You’re pretty into hip-hop, too, though: You bought a De La Soul album at Schoolkids once, and you know someone who was in a Petey Pablo video. But, really, you can’t wait for the experimental noise acts playing this year. That’s where the action’s at. Oh, and you’re definitely down to go to Cook Out later if anyone wants to do that.
Isle of Wight
You really wanted to go the Monaco Grand Prix, but those darned bureaucrats in the EU have made it too expensive to get flights, so instead you’re going to drive the Winnebago down to the Ferry for three days of bands you normally only hear in the punchlines of “coke so white…” jokes.
Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise
Your favourite drink is a cold light beer. You have a large collection of koozies to put your cold light beer in. To you, there’s nothing better way to spend a day than rigging up your lawn mower and turning it into a margarita machine, lighting a bonfire, and shotgunning beers until you pass out. Your motto is “life is all about the party.” The Fourth of July is awesome. Parades are awesome. American flags are awesome. Freedom ain’t free. These colors don’t run.
You like spending a day at what feels like a Broadsheet intern catch up. You also like that new “FKA twigs/Beach House/Warpaint/latest punky guitar band in the US at the moment” sound. “Wanna go and see what food trucks are here?”
If you're wondering who's actually going to vote Liberal Democrat in this election, the answer is literally everyone with a Latitude ticket.
Levitation (a.k.a. Austin Psych Fest)
YOU LOVE DRUGS! You’re obsessed with The Jesus and Mary Chain, but you’ve only listened to Psycho Candy. You end up skipping their set to see Tame Impala for the 11th time. You tell people you’re saving up to buy a motorcycle, but you spend all of your money on feather tattoos and cocaine.
You’re in a frat but, like, kind of ironically. You don’t have the heart to tell your fellow frat bros that there’s cooler music out there than Foo Fighters. Like Chance the Rapper, for example, who you read about on Pitchfork. You are filled with hometown pride for Chicago, the greatest city in the world for live music, even though technically you're from Hoffman Estates. You’ve heard good things about Rae Sremmurd and are hoping he’s playing this year.
M for Montreal
You’ve heard of a handful of cool Canadian bands, but don’t want to dedicate time to seeing them at “real” festivals, so you just wait to see them all at M for Montreal. You can’t speak a word of French, but that doesn’t stop you from trying at every single chance.
You love to debate with your friends about going to that fest in the Czech Republic, but ultimately you've decided downtown Baltimore is the perfect place to embrace the occult. You wear a bullet belt because one time you you saw a young Tom Warrior sporting one. You hear that the "exciting new sounds of heavy music are at Maryland Deathfest" on NPR. Or you actually enjoy drinking lukewarm Natty Boh on a blacktop in 90 degree heat surrounded by thousands.
You think the coolest-looking rock move in the world is not smashing a drumset or swinging a guitar over your head, but unplugging a cable from a Moog Audiosonic Duotone Sequencing Stereophile System Board IV and and bleep-blorping it into some other hole. Nailed it.
Newport Folk Festival
You know, without a doubt, that the most important moment in music history was when Bob Dylan went electric here in 1965. You commemorate this moment of forward-thinking musical innovation by talking to everyone you meet about the long history of the festival and getting mildly annoyed by any act that doesn’t sound like it could have been around before World War II.
You truly believe that the San Francisco music scene is not dead, even though all of your garage rock heroes have moved to LA. You probably wear clogs, and you only listen to indie rock from 2008. You’ve seen The Dodos ten times and think that paying four dollars for a cup of coffee is normal.
You live in the COOLEST neighborhood of all time—Williamsburg, Brooklyn (as featured on the hit HBO show, Girls)! Why would you travel all the way to some music festival when all the coolest acts come to you? And even if you did want to leave Williamsburg (which again, you wouldn’t because it’s so cool and Sky Ferreira lives there), you can’t afford it because you pay so much in rent due to having no grasp of the actual value of New York real estate, having moved here from Indiana last year and all. But you love living in The Edge!
You can’t afford to go to SXSW, likely because you’d need to pay legal fees to receive a pardon to cross the border. You think Toronto is the best city in the world, despite this festival constantly proving to you that the city lacks the infrastructure needed to host dozens of concerts concurrently.
You consider yourself a true outsider and pride yourself on how little you know about popular music. You listen to bands whose alias stretches the limits of the English language, with spelling so poor you can’t tell if the “X” in the band’s name is supposed to be pronounced like an “O,” or not at all. You know a lot about an instrument that has never been widely used by anyone except its inventor, and you spend an obscene amount of your free time eating mushrooms.
Your older brother who works for Google hooked you up with some free tix, and you still think flower crowns are a thing. You haven’t caught on to the fact that San Francisco summers are cold as fuck, so you freeze your ass off in a crochet dress you bought from the H&M Loves Coachella collection. You still think Chromeo is an indie band, and “know a guy” who buried vodka and drugs behind a bush somewhere in Golden Gate Park. You’re also a foodie!
You only want to see maybe one or two acts on the line-up, but since this show is in Montreal you’re considering this a true cultural experience because you’ll need to read some French on your journey to the island. You’re secretly afraid of the French but for good reason.
You’ll be damned if you miss another surprise appearance by an aging rapper or R&B singer.
You’re going to get so high that you’ll forget the details of most of the sets. When you return home to tell your friends about it, you’ll play off your amnesia by talking about how the “real show” was the mountains in the distance. You typically don’t wear bucket hats but have purchased at least two for this festival.
Pitchfork Music Festival
You are a music writer.
Your manager at the pizzeria wouldn’t let you take Halloween weekend off to go to Fest.
You laugh at all those idiots at Glastonbury who had to wade through mud and sleep in a big bag for three days just to see the exact same line-up, then wonder how you still managed to ruin all your clothes, lose all your shit, and wake up face down in the pubic hair of someone who thinks the microwaves from mobile phones give you cancer.
Punk Rock Bowling
You spend more time on your look than anyone on this whole list. You’re one of those arts and crafts punx who meticulously decorates your denim vest with hundreds of studs and Anti-Nowhere League patches. Too bad it’s a thousand degrees in Las Vegas, and you’re stuck in an asphalt parking lot all day wearing 40 pounds worth of metal. You shed a single tear as your yellow mohawk starts to wilt.
Reading and Leeds
You are 16 years old and have just procured a wide range of narcotics from a drum teacher your brother knows. You might go and see Blink-182 but mostly you are just going to sit in your tent drinking warm cider, breaking only to set a first aid tent on fire or for your mum to call you to tell you what you got in your exams. Chances are you’ll end up getting up turned in a Porta Potty while you’re taking a shit and come home with scabies and it’ll be the best weekend of your life.
You dress your four-year-old kids in Milo shirts and drag them to see Descendents because it is SUPER IMPORTANT that they learn about good music and not that rap garbage.
You love telling people that “Sasquatch is so chill.”
Secret Garden Party
You’re attending under the guise that you enjoy “wacky pursuits” like mud wrestling, the romanticisation of childhood memorabilia, and participating in space hopper races, but really you’re attending to procure a buttload of legal highs and ogle the opposite sex inappropriately.
You share articles on Facebook about how there aren’t enough female acts at music festivals, but at the same time OMG THE STROKES!
Skate and Surf
You long for the days when you used to go to Warped Tour. Now you’re a post-college young professional with rent and bills and responsibilities. You’ll still go to the occasional Emo Night to sing along to DJs spinning your favorite Taking Back Sunday song (“Cute Without the ‘E’”) or see The Gaslight Anthem and scream out requests for “We’re Getting a Divorce” so you can yell and think about your stupid ex and point to your anchor tattoo, which means you’re lucky and free or something.
You like metal, Monster Energy drinks, greasy pony tails, and following the insanely arrogant tweets from the festival promoter.
You laugh at the coastal elites spending the enormous sums they earn in fake jobs in industries like “fashion” and “advertising” and “media” to go to overcrowded yet underwhelming baby festivals like Coachella to see lame hipster bands and pay 14 dollars for their vodka tonics. You know that there is only one way to appreciate a festival, and it’s with a Miller Lite in one hand and a basket of cheese curds in the other, yelling at some drunk guys who are wearing too much camo while you watch REO Speedwagon for the eighth year in a row and get ready for the surprise Prince performance on the last day that no blogs will cover because the internet doesn’t even know Wisconsin exists. You fucking love the Packers.
You are a rapper and you want people to listen to your mixtape, you are a band that thought of a really quirky viral stunt that you can’t wait to pull on Sixth Street, you are a music publicist whose schedule is SO INSANE this week, you are a music writer who is SO OVER South By, you are a brand manager for a deeply uncool household product who heard that SXSW is hip, you are a student at UT who gets how it all works, you are big in the garage rock scene and can remember when this festival was cool, you are Rachel Ray, you are an influencer, you are an #influencer, you are Trae the Truth, you have an app, you are standing in line for Fader Fort, you are certain that you are more important than the other people here, you are a street style blogger, you are a street style icon, you have a college radio show, you are a mid-tier marketing executive at Vevo, you’re an Austin resident just hoping to get out and catch some live music, you are sick of it all and ironically going to PF Chang’s, you just happen to be in town and are unironically going to PF Chang’s, you are someone who’s been coming for years because you love discovering great bands, you are a cultural ambassador for a Scandinavian country, you have a quirky interview show on YouTube, you just lurrrrve breakfast tacos, you can’t believe how cheap beer is here compared to New York, you are hoping to build, you work in social media, you are Wiz Khalifa.
This Is Hardcore
In a fresh pair of Nikes (not Vans), you skip the first few bands to meet your significant at the merch tables to load up on new colored vinyl seven-inches, which you store in your sticker-covered '98 Accord. You spend the rest of the festival enviously staring down a kid who is rocking the hyper-rare Cold World shirt, talking to your friends about how sick the recent UFC pay-per-view was.
Treasure Island Music Festival
You rode on a branded sailboat to the festival while watching Mikal Cronin perform on the boat for a commercial. You love MGMT, and you Instagram the ferris wheel at the festival using the hashtag #NotCoachella. Your molly kicked in at 6 PM while you were dancing in the “silent disco tent” (that exists because it’s zany) with your fellow tech bros.
You become sexually aggressive when you hear Steve Aoki, and the tape over your nipples is falling off because you sweat more than the average person. Your kandi is majestic. Unfortunately, you peaked on the party bus on the way there.
Your bedroom walls are covered with pinups of scrawny metalcore frontmen with arrest records cut out from the pages of Alternative Press. Sometimes, when no one’s looking, you kiss them.
You can’t decide if you want to go glamping or book a flight to go to a festival in America, so you decide to split the difference and go to Canada’s answer to Bonnaroo. You only listen to Top 40 songs, but say you listen to “everything besides country.”
They don’t even have this anymore. God, you’re old.
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