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Archival Material

On the Road Again—2000

Jump on the festival bandwagon this summer

by Beth Rowen

Chicago Blues Festival | Glastonbury Festival | JVC Jazz Festival | Monterey Jazz Festival | Newport Folk Festival | OZZfest 2000 | Reading Festival | Tanglewood | Vans Warped Tour

Source/Monterey Jazz Festival

Pat Metheny will appear at this year's Monterey Jazz Festival which runs from Sept. 15-17.
(Source/Monterey Jazz Festival)

With only days left in the school year, it's time to start penciling in the dates for this year's summer music festivals. This summer, however, the pickings are slim.

Summer festivals seem to be on their way out, with radio-station-sponsored concert events and big-name tours dominating the roster. The past few years have seen the demise of Lollapalooza, H.O.R.D.E., Smokin' Grooves, and Lilith Fair.

The survivors continue to satisfy all musical tastes, from blues to jazz to hip-hop to metal. In addition to hours of music and sun, the shows offer everything from arts and crafts to software to tattoos. Here's a look at the hottest tickets of the summer.

Chicago Blues Festival

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Held each year in late May or early June Chicago's Grant Park, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, hosts the country's largest blues festival. Throughout the event, there's plenty of hometown talent. This year's fest celebrates the 100th birthdays of Tampa Red and Pink Anderson, as well as the 90th birthday of Howlin' Wolf. The festival runs from June 8 through June 11. Other performers include Diamond Jim Greene, Larry McCary, Lonnie Shields, Super Chikan and the Fighting Cocks, and many more.

At night Chicago's blues clubs are crawling with musicians and revelers. Recommended venues include Buddy Guy's Legends and the bars dotting Halstead Street, including the popular Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S., as well as Theresa's on the south side.

Festival Venues

Glastonbury Festival

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If travel abroad is on your summer schedule, check out England's Glastonbury Festival-the biggest open-air festival in the world. Truly a cult event that has grown in size, reputation, and outrageousness since it began in 1970, the festival combines music, theatre, cabaret, poetry, crafts, circus performances, cinema, and comedy, and even includes a children's play area. The festival runs from June 23 through June 25, with 1,000 performances by 500 acts playing on 17 stages. Expect to be among the 100,000 fans at the 700-acre Worthy Farm.

The lineup includes The Chemical Brothers, David Bowie, Travis, Moby, Nine Inch Nails, Elliot Smith, Fatboy Slim, and many, many more.

Official Site: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

JVC Jazz Festival

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This is the granddaddy of American jazz fests. It began in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1954, moved to New York in the 1970s, and by the '90s had satellite events in Chicago; Dallas; Atlanta; Concord and Hollywood, California; Saratoga, New York; and back at Newport. The big kahuna's in New York City, however, and it attracts an international audience. This year's event runs from June 12 through June 24, and features Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cassandra Wilson, Patti LaBelle, João Gilberto, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall, Cesaria Evora, Bruce Hornsby, Angelique Kidjo, Rubén Blades, Julia Zenko, and Etta Jones performing at 25 New York City venues.

Monterey Jazz Festival

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Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves will be one of many celebrated performers at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.

The longest-running jazz festival in the world, Monterey has remained true to the vision of its founder, Jimmy Lyons, whose dream was to host "the best jazz people in the whole world playing on the same stage, having a whole weekend of jazz." He started the festival in 1958, with Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Ernestine Anderson, and many others performing. Monterey has grown and now boasts six stages, with continuous concerts running simultaneously.

This year's event, which runs from September 15-17, includes the Pat Metheny Trio, Wayne Shorter Group with the Monterey Jazz Festival Chamber Orchestra, Rubén Blades featuring Editus, a Lou Rawls-Les McCann reunion, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove Quintet with Strings, and Bill Frisell, who will perform with several groups as part of the festival's new Monterey Showcase, which highlights one artist.

Official Site: http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org/index.html

Newport Folk Festival

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The best known of all folk festivals, now more than 40 years old, runs from August 4 through August 6, with artists performing on the sea-surrounded, expansive lawn of Rhode Island's Fort Adams State Park. This year's lineup includes Willie Nelson, Natalie Merchant, Shawn Colvin, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, String Cheese Incident, Dar Williams, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

When the weather cooperates, this is a beautiful summer affair, with sailboats circling the concert grounds. Despite a charming seacoast and its industrial-era mansions, downtown Newport is overrated, overpriced, and overpopulated during the summer.

Official Site: http://www.newportfolk.com

OZZfest 2000

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The tour for suburban white boys who continue to assure us that loud metal is not dead. Ozzy Osbourne himself headlines, with Godsmack, Pantera, Incubus, Methods of Mayhem, Kitty, and others joining the fun.

If 15 hours of mind-numbing metal is too much, Never-Never Land, a circus-like concourse, provides a colorful respite, with a wide variety of exhibitors and diversions, including a mechanical bull, body piercing, and body painting. The show tour kicks of July 2 in West Palm Beach, Fla., and runs through Sept. 2.

Official Site: http://www.ozzfest.com

Reading Festival

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While the rock festival scene on these shores seems to be going the way of house music, weekend-long events in England are alive and well. The Reading Festival, which was once dominated by metal bands and their metal-head fans, has been reinvented as perhaps the premier showcase of indie and indie-minded bands. The 2000 fest runs from August 25 through August 27. This year's lineup includes Beck, Oasis, Pulp, Primal Scream, Rage Against the Machine, Emenim, Blink 182, Foo Fighters, and more.

Official Site: http://www.readingfestival.com/

Musical Notes

Tanglewood

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Each July, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) packs up its French horns and tympanis and heads to Tanglewood, its summer home in Western Massachusetts' lush Berkshires. The area has been a haven for cultural activity since the first half of the 19th century, when residents of Boston and New York began to build summer estates in the region's rolling hills. The two-month festival offers weekend programs for music lovers of many tastes: concerts by the BSO, performances by popular artists, chamber music, the internationally recognized Festival of Contemporary Music, a long weekend of jazz, Tanglewood on Parade, recitals, and two Boston Pops concerts.

Official Site: http://www.bso.org/

Vans Warped Tour

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The extremely rad place to hang this summer, the Vans Warped Tour not only features more than 50 acts, ranging from thrash, ska, punk and grunge, but also a diverse subculture, weaving together gender issues and extreme sports. An assortment of professional and amateur extreme athletes compete in street and vertical skateboarding, inline skating and BMX events. There are climbing, skateboarding and other sports activities set up for enthusiasts. The lineup includes Green Day, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Soulcracker, Whippersnapper, NOFX, and many more bands. The festival kicks off June 23 at the Fresno State Amphitheater.

Official Site: http://www.warpedtour.com

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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