As George Bush readies himself to step down from his Presidential role this November, he's asked us to compile a Top 10 US
festival list (in an MTV countdown styley) so he'll have something to do next summer. Good riddance George!
Since music festivals were made mandatory in the Bill of Rights they’ve been cropping up all over the show with
thousands of events being held each year. We've scrawled through them all to bring you the definitive choice of USA field
10 - Popped! Festival – 20-22 June - Drexel University, Philadelphia
in the city where the Fresh Prince was 'born and raised' this three-day festival is back for its second year in the
grounds of the university. Don't let that put you off, non-scholars. Hip hop funksters The Roots will be performing
their album 'Things Fall Apart' in its entirety on the Friday this year, as well as curating the entire festival,
so expect an eclectic mix of artists and bands.
9 - Vineland Music Festival – 8-10 August - Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey
"I love it when a plan comes together," the A-Team's Hannibal used to famously drawl and that's
what the organisers of Vineland Music Festival are hoping. The event has been put together by Festival Republic (Glasto, Reading
and Leeds) and C3 (Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza) and has been billed as: 'a weekend of pure unadulterated rock
n roll pleasure' – much like a pub crawl with Keith Richards and Shane McGowan.
8 - Langerado Festival
– 6-9 March - Big Cypress Indian Reservation, Florida
Langerado Festival returns for a sixth
year at its new venue on an Indian Reservation in Florida. The four-day festival allows revellers to enjoy an eclectic line-up
of artists across five stages and has already lined up The Wailers, R.E.M. and The Roots. Also expect plenty of green-fingered
action with a sustainability village onsite, bio-diesel generators and biodegradable plates and cups.
7 - Virgin Festival
– Pimlico Racecourse, Baltimore
The mighty Virgin Festival is still a baby compared to its wealthy British
counterpart as it gears up for its third edition. In regards to booking bands expect organisers to pull out all the stops
as well as pulling out hoards of advertising too. Last year The Police and The Smashing Pumpkins headlined so could Baltimore
be seeing more band reunions in 2008?
6 - Download (USA) – 18 August - 6 October - Boston, Washington, Chicago and San Francisco
Download (USA) is another event export from the shores of Blighty, but it follows the 'touring' festival idea that
has proved popular in Australia. A little less heavy than its British counterpart, the American version has seen the likes
of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck and Modest Mouse performing in previous years, so expect more of the same in 2008.
5 – Bonnaroo
- 12-15 June -Manchester, Tennessee
"Manchester, so much to answer for," sang Morrissey.
He was obviously on about Christiano Ronaldo, but don't worry the Winker won't be at Bonnaroo because he'll be
at the World Cup. Instead Metallica and Led Zepplin are rumoured to be on the bill with other acts spanning rock, hip hop
and electronica set to play across the four days.
4 - Austin City Limits – 26-28 September - Zilker Park, Austin, Texas
SXSW the main affair in Austin, Texas, there has always been a feeling of 'this town ain’t big enough for the
both of us.' But since it began in 2002 the Austin City Limits has regularly attracted big crowds and big names in
equal measures. Muse, The Killers, Bjork and Arcade Fire wowed the 65,000 revellers in 2007 and organisers are likely to lasoo
some equally giant acts this time round.
3 – Lollapalooza – 1-3 August - Grant Park, Chicago
What started out
as a final farewell tour for Jane's Addiction has swarmed into one of the best known US festivals. Lollapalooza
tries to capture the spirit of Woodstock for revellers of the modern generation. The original 'touring' festival has
finally found a home in Chicago where it continues to draw in massive acts from around the world like Daft Punk, Muse and
whatever band Perry Farrell is playing in at the time.
2 – Coachella – 25-27 April - Empire Polo Field, California
is the Dear Deidre of the festival world. The event is renowned for getting bands to reunite (usually for copious amounts
of cash.) Rage Against The Machine, Pixies and Jane's Addiction have all found solace in the desert festival in recent
years and the band reunion tag is starting to stick. So go along and see if favourites like Daphne and Celeste, Cartoons or
The Beatles decide to reunite for one show only, or just bask in the hot Californian conditions and admire the great line-up
and art pieces.
1 – South By Southwest 2008 (SXSW) - Music, Films and Interactive – 7-16 March
- Austin, Texas
Forget the Eurosonics and Camden Crawls; SXSW has broken more bands than Courtney Love. Bars, clubs
and restaurants around Austin, Texas, host top new talent from across the globe and unleash them on preying band-bookers
and promoters. Expect loads of beer, BBQs and bucketfuls of sweat as this week-long showcase brings you the next Arctic Monkeys,
the odd Coldplay and probably a Courtney Love too…