Summer Music Festivals

Bon Iver at Eaux Claires
Bon

credit: Graham Tolbert

August 2, 2015

Ah, summer music festivals... beer tents, starry nights, a great lineup of bands. And tens of thousands of strangers. The festival-ization of American music has more of us shelling out for expensive tickets to multi-day, multi-stage festivals. Are they worth it?  Today, a road trip to indie musician Justin Vernon's new boutique Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival in his Wisconsin hometown. And a sonic tour of the great 60's festivals you're too young -- or were too stoned -- to remember.

  1. Why Do We Love Summer Music Festivals?

    Summer festivals are a huge part of the American music scene -- and of the music marketplace.  Why do millions of people risk sunburn and dehydration when they could hear the same music better with earbuds?  Music critic Maura Johnston unpacks the economics and the atavistic lure of the summer music festival.

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  2. Bon Iver Puts Wisconsin Hometown On The Map With Indie Music Fest

    Bon Iver's Justin Vernon has created a nearly perfect summer music festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin -- his hometown.  25,000 people spent two days camping by a river, throwing frisbees and listening to indie bands. Festival narrator and local writer Michael Perry shares the story behind the town, the festival, and the musical legend.

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  3. Too Young For Woodstock? Here's What You Missed

    You can trace the history of the 1960's through its iconic music festivals:  Newport '65, Monterey '67, Denver '69, Woodstock, and Altamont.  Historian Craig Werner was there and says those festivals changed a lot more than American music.

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  4. Groovier Than Woodstock

    45 years ago, long-haired hippies and flower children from across the Midwest converged on a small Wisconsin farm for a weekend of peace, love and music including a band people were just beginning to talk about at the time - The Grateful Dead. Historian Michael Edmonds tells the story.

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  5. Why I Hate Summer Music Festivals

    Jessica Hopper is a rock critic with a secret.  She hates music festivals.  After more than a decade covering Lollapalooza, Bonaroo and all the rest, she finally called it quits.

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  6. Indigo Girls On The Power Of All-Women's Music Festivals

    Amy Ray and Emily Saliers - The Indigo Girls - have been a mainstay of the music festival circuit for years.  They just released their 14th studio album, "One Lost Day."  They stopped by our studio to reflect on women, the music industry, coming out, and the decline of women's music festivals.

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