The Coachella festival in April will kick off the 2010 festival season, which is highlighted by U2's appearance at Glastonbury, Muse at Roskilde, and Pearl Jam at Rock Werchter. Here are details about some of the biggest music festivals worldwide, chosen for their lineup, location, or history.
Indio, California, USA
More than 100,000 music fans head to the Southern California desert for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In the decade since Coachella launched, the multi-stage event has grown in size and acclaim and is now considered the opener of the summer festival season. A lineup for 2010 has yet to be announced; the 2009 lineup featured more than 100 artists, including Paul McCartney, The Cure, The Killers, and Chemical Brothers. Presale tickets are available at the festival website. A three-day pass for 2010 is priced at $269. A camping spot is an additional $55, or $250 for an RV. Tickets can be paid in full or in installments.
Manchester, Tennessee, USA
The four-day Bonnaroo Festival brings nearly 90,000 peopleto Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. It is the top-grossing festival in North America, and Rolling Stone has named it as one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll. A 2010 lineup is expected in late January or early February. During the 2010 pre-sale, which ends December 31, a batch of general-admission tickets will be sold at $209.50; once those sell out, tickets will go for $224.50, then $234.50, and finally $249.50. VIP tickets are $1,349.50 per pair during the pre-sale while supplies last. A regular ticket on-sale date will accompany the lineup announcement in early 2010.
The Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest and best-loved music festivals in the world, known for its all-star lineups as well as for its varied arts offerings. U2 will headline the 2010 event, which marks the festival's 40th anniversary; most other acts yet to be confirmed. Tickets for the 2010 festival sold out within 24 hours, but you can still register on the festival website, as there will be chances in 2010 to buy tickets from canceled orders. A standard ticket is £185, which includes camping; additional prices include £15 for car parking, £75 to bring a camper van, and £820 for tipi rental.
June 27 - July 4
Among the largest European music festivals, Roskilde attracts more than 80,000 concertgoers and more than 180 performing bands. British rock band Muse will play at the 2010 festival, joining a lineup that so far includes American punk rock band NOFX and Danish acts The Kissaway Trail, Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, and C.J. Jørgensen. The 2010 festival will take place from July 1 to 4, with the campground opening for warm-up events that run from June 27 until the start of the festival. Tickets are currently on sale. A €275-ticket includes camping and access to events for the entire week.
Rock Werchter is another of Europe's biggest festivals, this one attracting more than 110,000 visitors a year (of which 80,000 stay for all three days). The 2010 lineup is so far set to include Pearl Jam, Muse, Rammstein, and Green Day. Four-day passes are available through January 4 for €180, going up to €188 after that. A campsite ticket is an additional €18.
Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Set on the Naeba Ski Resort, the Fuji Rock Festival is a favorite for its picturesque location. More than 100,000 people attend the annual festival, where they can watch music on seven different stages, the largest of which can accomodate 40,000 people. The festival features nearly 200 artists, most of them from the UK, the US, and Japan; the 2009 lineup included Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, and Weezer. 2010 details have yet to be announced: advance three-day tickets in 2009 went for 39,800 yen (then about €300).
Chicago, Illinois, USA
First launched in 1991 by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza is an iconic American festival with its roots in the alternative music scene. The festival was inactive for a few years but is now set to run through 2011. While historically a vehicle for alternative bands, Lollapalooza has come to encompass a wide range of acts. Headliners in 2009 included Kings of Leon, Depeche Mode, The Killers, Jane's Addiction, and Arctic Monkeys. An early batch of 3-day passes going for $175 sold out in August; the 2010 lineup and further ticket information is expected in spring 2010. Note: This is an urban festival with no camping options, but the festival site does provide a list of hotels in the Chicago area.
Reading and Leeds
Reading and Leeds, England
With the Glastonbury Festival sold out, the Reading and Leeds festivals offer another great UK option, attracting many big-name bands. The two festivals take place simultaneously and have the same lineup, with capacities of about 80,000 at the Reading site at about 70,000 in Leeds. In 2009 both featured headliners Radiohead, Kings of Leon, and Arctic Monkeys. Pre-sale tickets are sold out; look for the next batch of tickets, along with pricing info, in March 2010. Both festivals offer plenty of onsite camping options.