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Rhythm and soul: Festivals

By Kathleen McWilliams
On April 2, 2014

It was the week of the music festivals. Or maybe it has been the month of music festivals, with SXSW wrapping up in mid-March, and major lineups being released in the past few weeks. This week, The Governor's Ball music festival released their headliners, OUTKAST, The Strokes, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend, and ticket prices were a pretty penny. Now it's totally worth forking over $300 to see these groups, but I always remember that you're paying to be at a famous music festival and this fact is a major part of the price.
Festivals like Bonaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza gather huge crowds to see their amazing line-ups, but packing up and heading to California or Chicago is pricey for a college student. Travelling costs alone can be more expensive than tickets, and putting food and lodging expenses into the equation, going to a huge festival can be bank breaker, even if you do camp out.
Lucky for broke college students such as myself, there are a smattering of smaller and equally fantastic festivals that are affordable. I know what you're thinking-these festivals don't have major headliners-but they do. Firefly Festival, in Dover, Delaware, is hosting OUTKAST, the Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Beck and Jack Johnson, on top of appearances by The Lumineers, Broken Bells, Young The Giant, Tegan and Sara and dozens more talented artists. For only $300 you can get a four day pass to the festival and camp out on the sight for next to nothing. Additionally, travel to Delaware is cheap if you drive. Obviously, Firefly isn't super cheap, but if you want to head to a festival or get away for an inexpensive vacation, its prices are pretty reasonable.
For $175 you can buy yourself a weekend in Boston watching Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse and The Decemberists light up the night. Boston Calling music festival has one of the best lineups I've seen all year and its prices can't be beat. If you want to catch one day at a time, you can buy day passes for $50, which is a steal. To see any of these artists live independently, you'd be paying at least $150 a ticket. Bastille, Jenny Lewis and Magic Man will also be playing this festival, alongside other groups such as The Head And The Heart and Phosphorescent. Their lineup can't be beat with this combination of festival veterans and new voices and its location in City Hall Plaza is super convenient for commuters.
Gathering of the Vibes is a small local Connecticut festival that despite its limited lineup has a few big headliners coming to the 203. Their main headliner this year is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero, but Slightly Stoopid, John Fogerty, Ziggy Marley and Umphrey's McGee will also take the stage in Bridgeport. Tickets are $235 all-inclusive and a great deal if groove-jam music is your scene.

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