MUSIC: A WORLD OF MUSIC FESTIVALS THIS SUMMER
Fans wanting to see the best bands in the world have a world of choices this summer.
In Japan, the Fuji Rock Festival is the mother of all festivals, and one of the safest and most inspiring gatherings anywhere in the world. The event, held the last weekend of July, will see about 100,000 fans venture to the Naeba ski resort in the mountains of Niigata, about 3 hours by train and bus from Tokyo.
Highlights this year include Radiohead on Sunday, and shows by Noel and Liam Gallagher, though in separate bands. Fans are hoping that the harmonious vibe of Japan will bring the brothers closer toward a possible Oasis re-union. (http://www.smash-uk.com/frf12/)
Among the hundreds of festivals in Europe this summer, four stand out in August. In the gorgeous city of Budapest, which hosts concerts in city squares all summer, Sziget from August 6 to 13 will feature Roots, Korn, Anti-flag on Thursday; Bebel Gilberto and Stone Roses on Friday; Snoop Dog, Pogues and Horros on Saturday, and the Killers and others on Sunday. Sziget also provides an introduction to local bands in a vibrant culture that, more than twenty years ago, celebrated the withdrawal of Soviet troops with a concert by Frank Zappa. Unlike other major festivals where fans have to brave rain, mud and sun, fans have a wide choice of hotels in a fantastic city rather than staggering back to a tent in the woods. (http://www.sziget.hu/festival_english/#.UBF-I2Z5HX8)
The following week, the Frequency FM festival takes over the Green Park in St. Polten, Austria from August 15-18. In addition to Korn and other bands appearing at Sziget, the Frequency Fest will host Noel Gallagher’s new band, as well as the Cure, Placebo, Bush, Bloc Party, Wilco, Korn and many others. The festival promises 7 stages, and you can swim in the nearby river or a pond. (http://www.frequency.at/)
(Bloc Party perform at Fuji Rock Fest in Japan)
The same weekend, Pukkelpop festival in Belgium will try to overcome the memories of last year’s tragedy. The line-up includes Bjork, Foo Fighters, the Shins, Wilco and other bands touring Europe this summer. (http://www.pukkelpop.be/en/)
Also the same weekend, many top bands including Kasabian, Foo Fighters and others take the stage at the Lowlands festival in the Netherlands. (http://lowlands.nl/)
Kasabian fans can also catch them at the LowCost Fest in Benidorm, Spain on July 29-30.
(Kasabian perform in darkness at Fuji Rock Fest in Japan)
Meanwhile in America, the counter-culture will take over the Nevada desert for the Burning Man festival August 27, while Mudhoney, Jane’s Addiction and others will cheer up Washington State with Bumbershoot Sept. 1-3.
September also sees great concerts outside the festival circuit, with Coldplay in Germany Sept. 12 to 22; Radiohead in Berlin Sept. 29-30; Stone Temple Pilots in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge Sept. 11-18; Pearl Jam in Missoula, Montana on Sept. 30; and Red Hot Chili Peppers showing support for diehard fans in Athens, Beirut, Istanbul and Tel Aviv from Sept. 4-10.
(Coldplay perform at Fuji Rock Fest in Japan)
The Chili Peppers will light up perhaps the greatest music festival city of them all, during Austin City Limits Oct. 12-14, which features Neil Young, Jack White, Iggy Pop, and many others.