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 411mania » Music » Columns

Jam Central Station 4.05.14: Summer Music Festival Preview Pt. 1
Posted by Jeff Modzelewski on 04.05.2014

Welcome to Jam Central Station's annual Summer Music Festival Preview Extravaganza! I love doing this, putting together previews of the best major festivals around the country. This year I tried my best to focus on festivals that are closer to the "jam band" scene than I have in the past. There are a couple that drift pretty far away, but all of the festivals at least have strong jam band roots. There are bigger festivals out there, and there are amazing smaller festivals as well, but I narrowed it down to 15. Here's the first 5!

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Wanee is officially 10 years old, and they keep going strong. This festival kicks off the summer festie season in beautiful Live Oaks, FL, the home of many great events over the years. This year's version won't include festival staples Widespread Panic, but it will include the Allman Brothers, Trey Anastasio Band, Umphrey's McGee, Lynard Skynard, Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk doing Zepplin, Soulive, and plenty of other great acts. The venue is gorgeous, and some say it should be considered one of the best festival venues in the country. Wanee has a reputation for being a laid-back time, and this year's lineup reflects that.

Why You Should Go
If you want to get a jump on festival season, this is the way to do it. While I'm still dealing with occassional snow up north, Florida is beautiful this time of year. The lineup is very jam-centered with a little classic rock thrown into the mix. I'm hoping for some collaborations with Skynard in particular, since they're a bit of an oddball on this bill. Other than that, it's solid top to bottom, reasonably priced, and a great way to kick things off.

What You Need To Know
This is a Thursday-Saturday festival, which is a bit odd, but it is what it is. You can arrive as early as you want and camp at the venue for a small fee. Campfires are allowed, which is pretty unique for a festival of this size. GA tickets are $215 and VIP is $475 plus fees.

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Now in its fourth year, Hangout has grown substantially from a jam band festival to a truly diverse event. Headliners for Hangout are as big as any other festival around, and the lineup is diverse top to bottom. This year's event includes perrenial favorites The Black Keys, The Killers, Outkast, and Jack Johnson. Beyond that, jam fans will be sure to like at least some combination of Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, STS9, Gary Glark Jr., Trombone Shorty, and Zedd, while other big names include Queens of the Stone Age, Modest Mouse, Amos Lee, Tegan & Sara, Dawes, and an array of names from various genres. Plus, it's still the biggest festival on the beach, held in Gulf Shores, Alabama, right on the Gulf of Mexico.

Why You Should Go
Fun in the sun is guaranteed for this event. While it's not a purely jam lineup, it has good jam elements and some top names from across the board. It's not a camping festival either, so you can enjoy the city as well as the music, and you can jam out while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

What You Need To Know
Tickets for the 3 day event are $229 and don't include any lodging, so that's an added expense. You can also purchase a shuttle pass for $50, and there are various shuttle options for your lodging needs. VIP is expensive and starts at $999, again without lodging. The Thursday pre-party is extra, and late night shows are held at venues around town and, again, are extra.

 photo scamp.jpg

A staple of the jam band festivals, Summer Camp returns once again with moe. and Umphrey's McGee at the helm. Both bands will perform 3 days, and they certainly didn't skimp on the undercard either. Zac Brown Band brings some country-fried jam to the table, Trey Anastasio Band will once again be performing two full sets, the other big names like Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, EOTO, Keller Williams, Matisyahu, Devil Makes Three, Greensky Bluegrass, The Wood Brothers, and dozens of others round out one of the best lineups of the summer. This festival is much more music-centered than venue-centered, but Three Sisters Park still provides some wooded areas to camp in and fun things to do for fans. The lineup is what this festival is all about though, and it's pretty fantastic.

Why You Should Go
Look above. The top tier is diverse and excellent, and the undercard has something for everyone. This is also a festival with a very "family" feel to it. Folks go to Summer Camp year after year, and it's known for it's positive energy. Even in the face of torrential rain or searing heat, Summer Camp brings out the best in everyone. Plus you can play kickball with Umprhey's, choose a side and participate in Field Day, go to a workshop, or just spend all day watching great tunes on a half dozen stages.

What You Need To Know
This is a "haul your stuff" event where you park and then take your stuff to your campsite. Pack accordingly. Tickets started as low as $139.50 but are up to $194.50 at the moment. That's just Friday-Sunday, and it's an additional $30 for the Thursday pre-party (worth it). Late night shows in the Red Barn are limited tickets as well, and cost extra. There are other late night music options, but the big late night shows are in the barn. Find a spot in the woods if you can, drag your tent in, and have a good time!

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Del McCoury's DelFest has a long history and will return over Memorial Day weekend in Maryland. The festival has a tremendous bluegrass and jam tradition, and I would say that the best jam and bluegrass crossover bands are on this bill. Del McCoury Band obviously takes top billing, but it's pretty amazing from there. String Cheese Incident will be performing 2 sets. Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby will be teaming up, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth will be there, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Greensky Bluegrass, The Devil Makes Three, The Travelin' McCoury's, and a couple dozen other great names are on the bill as well.

Why You Should Go
This is a bluegrass lover's dream. Del McCoury is a legend, Ricky Skaggs is a great name, Bela Fleck is going to be there, and then the best jamgrass crossovers will be there as well. This is a very family-friendly event with a Kidzone and Family Camp as well. There are some workshops as well as non profit organizations that will be on site. Camping is in the woods, meaning cool mornings for sleeping in. Finally, for those looking to increase their bluegrass chops, you can participate in DelFest University for the days leading up to DelFest, which will include lessons taught by DelFest artists.

What You Need To Know
Tickets for the 4-day event are current at $170.50, and VIP starts at $499. Camping is included but parking is not, although parking is reasonable.

 photo 4f606f0d-97c6-4e7f-9c77-18ef5ddc1297.jpg

Oh man. I can't say enough great things about this lineup. String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, The Flaming Lips, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, John butler Trio, Franti, Papadosio, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Pimps of Joytime, The Revivalists, Dopapod, and the list goes on. It's a huge lineup, with many bands playing multiple shows. If I was going to put together a festival, this is damn close to the lineup I'd put together. Waka has a ton of music, multiple stages, and it always goes late into the night. Add to that multiple camping options (main venue, in the woods, or shuttle distance), a beautiful location, and a festival that's been doing this for quite a while, and you have a winning weekend.

Why You Should Go
I really shouldn't have to sell you on this lineup. Most of the big bands are playing multiple shows. It's one of only a few festivals that John Butler Trio is scheduled to be at this year. The location is beautiful, with great hiking in the area and nature all around. Hiking to the waterfall is a right of passage for Waka fans. The festival also has more acts doing multiple shows than any other festival, including Cheese, Umphrey's, STS9, Break Science, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Nahko & Medicine for the People, and many others.

What You Need To Know
Tickets are $194 but doesn't include camping. You can camp right in the heart of the venue for $119, a short walk to the west woods for $80, or a shuttle ride away for $39. If you want to hike outside of the venue, be careful of law enforcement. Watch out for wildlife as well, bugs, spiders, and occasionally larger animals in some of the further away camping areas. And be prepared for some mountainous driving around the venue as well.

High Sierra adds artists
High Sierra added another round of artists this week. New additions include Ms. Lauryn Hill, STS9, Del McCoury Band, and Hard Working Americans. Already on the bill are Widespread Panic, Trampled by Turtles, Beats Antique, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Yonder and Railroad Earth announce tour
Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth announced a co-headlining tour for this summer. The joint tour is currently only scheduled for a handful of shows at this point. No word on if each band will just be doing one set or if there will be sit-ins at each show.

June 26 Omaha, NE Sumtur Amphitheater
June 27 Kansas City, MO Crossroads
June 28 Des Moines, IA Simon Estes Amphitheater
June 29 Bayfield, WI Big Top Chautauqua
July 1 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest
July 4 Cincinnati, OH Moonlite Gardens
July 5 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion
July 9 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
July 11 Syracuse, NY F Shed at the Market
July 12 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

The New Deal to reunite
The New Deal are returning just 3 years after calling it quits in 2011. The band will be reuniting for some shows (no dates announced at this time), although original drummer Darren Shearer is not returning. He'll be replaced by Joel Stouffer, who filled in for Shearer when he injured his hand in 2011. No word yet on whether the band intends to record in the future.

Wanee Festival
April 10-12, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Trey Anastasio Band, Umphrey's McGee, moe., Lynard Skynard, Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dumpstaphunk, and many others

Tortuga Music Festival
April 12-13, 2014
Beach Park
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Sheryl Crow, Train, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett dennen, Delta Rae, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, and many others.

Counter.Point Festival
April 25-27, 2014
Kingston Downs, GA
Performers include: Outkast, Pretty Lights, STS9, Foster the People, Krewella, Big gigantic, Thievery Corp., Griz, Shpongle, Moon Taxi, and many others

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 25-27 and May 1-4, 2014
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Phish, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, String cheese Incident, John Fogerty, Galactic, Avett Brothers, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 16-18
Gulf Shores, AL
Performers include: The Black Keys, The Killers,Outkast, Jack Johnson, Queens of the Stone Age, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, STS9, The Flaming lips, Modest Mouse, Zedd, and many others.

May 22-25, 2014
Cumberland, MD
Performers include: The Del McCoury Band, The String Cheese Incident, Ricky Skags & Bruce hornsby, Yonder Mountain String band, Railroad earth, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Summer Camp
May 22-25, 2014
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Zac Brown Band, Lotus, EOTO, The Devil Makes Three, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

Dark Star Jubilee
May 23-25, 2014
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: 3 nights of Dark Star Orchestra, Yonder Mountain String Band, Galactic, Keller Williams & More Than A Little, Anders Osborne, The Werks, The Wailers performing Legend, and many others

The Ville
May 23-25, 2014
Clay's Park Resort
Lawrence, OH
Performers include: 3 nights of ekoostik hookah, Flether's grove, Tropidelic, Blue Moon Soup, and many others.

Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 23-25, 2014
The Gorge
George, WA
Performers include: OutKast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, MIA, Foster the People, Kid Cudi, Neko Case, Violent Femmes, and many others.

Nelsonville Festival
May 29-June 1, 2014
Nelsonville, OH
Performers include: The Avett Brothers

June 5-8, 2014
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, STS9, Umphrey's McGee, John Butler Trio, Flaming Lips, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lettuce, Dr. Dog, Papadosio, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 5-8, 2014
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Gov't Mule, Bob Weir & RatDog, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Umphrey's McGee, Pretty Lights, and many others

Governor's Ball
June 6-8, 2014
Governor's Island
New York, NY
Performers include: Outkast, jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Skrillex, Interpol, and many others.

June 12-15, 2014
Manchester, TN
Performers include: Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, Zedd, Umphrey's McGee, John Butler Trio, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many others

Snowmass Mammoth Festival
June 13-15, 2014
Snowmass Village, CO
Performers include: LEftover Salmon, chris Robinson Brotherhood, Xavier Rudd, Les Claypool's Duo De Twang, The Motet, Bonerama, and many others

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 19-22, 2014
Telluride, CO
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Bela Fleck & The Colorado Symphony, Brandi Carlile, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Firefly Music Festival
June 19-22, 2014
Dover, DE
Performers include: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, Weezer, Girl Talk, Tegan and Sara, and many others.

Electric Forest
June 26-29, 2014
The Double JJ Ranch & Resort
Rothbury, MI
Performers include: The String Cheese Incident (3 nights), STS9 (2 nights), Ms. Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, EOTO, Anders Osborne, The Revivalists, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Rising Apalachia, Zedd, and many others.

High Sierra
July 3-6, 2014
Quincy, CA
Performers include: Widespread Panic, STS9, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Beats Antique, Trampled by Turtles, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and many more to be announced

July 17-20, 2014
Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park
Terra Alta, WV
Performers include: Shpongle, Beats Antique, EOTO, Conspirator, Zilla, vibesquad, Janover 7 Resunator, Cosby Sweater, Aliver Hall, Broccoli Samurai, and many others.

Northwest String Summit
July 17-21, 2014
Horning's Hideout
North Plains, OR
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, The Motet, Steep Canyon Rangers, Fruition, Dead Winter Carpenters, The Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many others

July 18-20, 2014
Waterfront Park
Louisville, KY
Performers include: Outkast, Jack White, Beck, The Replacements, Ray Lamontagne, Band of Horses, Nickel Creek, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Gary Clark Jr., Trampled by Turtles, JJ Grey & Mofro, and many others

July 23-27, 2014
Floyd, VA
Performers include: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and many others

Gathering of the Vibes
July 31-August 1, 2014
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT
Performers include: Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, moe., Umphrey's McGee, The Disco Biscuits featuring Mickey Hart & Bill Kreutzmann, Ziggy Marley, Dumpstaphunk, and many others.

August 1-3, 2014
Grant Park
Chicago, IL
Performers include: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, White Denim, Broken Bells, Lorde, The Avett Brothers, Forster the People, The Head & The Heart, Trombone Shorty, Chromeo, and many others.

Werk Out Festival
August 7-9, 2014
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: The Werks (3 nights), Papadosio (2 nights), Emancipator, Future Rock Zoogma, Dopapod, Zach Deputy, and many others.

Outside Lands
August 8-10, 2014
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Arise Music Festival
August 8-10, 2014
Sunrise Ranch
Loveland, CO
Performers include: Galactic, Grateful Grass, Nahko & Medicine for the People, and many others

Peach Music Festival
August 14-17, 2014
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band (2 nights), Bob Weir & RatDog, Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lotus, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Revivalists, Dopapod, The Infamous Stringdusters, papadosio, and others.

Camp Barefoot
August 21-23, 2014
Bartow, WV
Performers include: Beats Antique, Papadosio, Lettuce, Kyle Hollingsworth Band performing a tribute to Motown, Dopapod, Kung Fu, The Motet, Zach Deputy, and many others.

August 29-31, 2014
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY
Performers include: moe. (3 headlining nights), Lotus, O.A.R. Les Claypool's Duo de Twang, Soulive, Twiddle, Aqueous, and others.

Lockin' Music Festival
September 4-7, 2014
Arrington, VA
Performers include: The String Cheese Incident, The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, and Bob Weir & Ratdog

Phases of the Moon Festival
September 11-14, 2014
Kennekuk County Park, IL
Performers include: Widespread Panic (2 nights), Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov't Mule, Galactic, Leftover Salmon, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and many others.

Catskill Chill
September 5-7, 2014
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Harvest Music Festival
October 16-18, 2014
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR

Jam Cruise
January 6-11, 2015
Departs from Miami, FL

Thanks again for stopping by. I'll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!


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