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Festival Face-Off

Breaking down the rest of the summer's overstuffed concert extravaganzas.


Backstage at this imaginary festival would be awesome: TVOTR, Snoop Dogg, Fiona Apple, Axwell, and Metallica.   

Governors Ball
A potent rock lineup moves from Governors Island to Randall's Island, but keeps its old name.
When: June 23-24
Where: Randall's Island Park;
Risk Heatstroke For: Two stages of acts including Beck, Passion Pit, and the return of the lovely Ms. Fiona Apple.
Getting There: Easy-ish, if you don't confuse it with Roosevelt Island.
Price Gouging: Medium. $95 bucks a day gets you a crazy good lineup. However, shuttles and ferries cost extra.
Keep Your Eyes Open: There’ll be—in addition to the gourmet food (a requirement for music fests these days) and Ping-Pong—a “Silent Disco,” where all the participants will be dancing to presumably the same music, heard through headphones.

Best Coast.   

Orion Music Festival
A weekend festival for metalheads and the people who love them.
When: June 23-24
Where: Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ;
Risk Heatstroke For: Old-school Metallica—playing their “black album” on one night and Ride the Lightning the other—Arctic Monkeys, Fucked Up, Modest Mouse, and Best Coast.
Getting There: Medium—take a bus or a car. Or just follow the sweet guitar riffs.
Price Gouging: Medium: it's $90 per day. Drop $750, however, and you get access to a lounge with "relaxed seating," booze, and premium views.
Horror Story: In "Kirk's Crypt" Kirk Hammett of Metallica will be previewing selections from his upcoming book Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection, as well as showcasing his horror memorabilia collection.

Cloud Nothings.   

CBGB Music Festival
The New York punk palace lends it’s name to a fest that aims to honor raucous rock ‘n roll with music, film, and comedy.
When: July 5–8
Where: 40 different bars and venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, culminating in a free show at Central Park’s SummerStage;
Risk Heatstroke For: Agnostic Front, Fishbone, Guided by Voices, Cloud Nothings, The War on Drugs, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Craig Finn
Getting There: Easy. The bevy of venues guarantees a show near you or your favorite train.
Price Gouging: Low. CBGB’s music fest is selling badges for $79.00 that grant you entry to every show on a first-come, first-served basis. ($159 for a film pass)
Punk Rock Revival: The festival is being organized by the group of investors who bought the rights and assets to CBGB last year and plan to reopen the club in a new location.

Busta Rhymes.   

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
A celebration of hip-hop music and culture, straight outta Brooklyn.
When: July 9-14
Where:Throughout Brooklyn from Williamsburg to Fort Greene to Dumbo;
Risk Heatstroke For: Bustaaaaaaa Rhymes. And the "Show and Prove" MC competition. Maybe you have some skills of your own to show and prove?
Getting There: So easy. Buy a Metrocard. Hop on a train. Boom.
Price Gouging: Not too bad at all. Tickets for individual events run around $10, with a week-long pass coming in at $100.
Film Fun: The festival also has a film portion, the first time they've done it. On the lineup: The graffiti doc Wild Style; a Mobb Deep documentary; Nelson George’s The Announcement, about Magic Johnson.

Archers of Loaf.   

4Knots Festival
The Village Voice event will probably definitely overcrowd the South Street Seaport.
When: July 14
Where: South Street Seaport;
Risk Heatstroke For: Indie rock alums Archers of Loaf and new(er) kids on the block The Drums, Hospitality, and Bleached.
Getting There: Easy. The A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, and 5 all stop at Fulton Street. Or you can walk. Or swim.
Price Gouging: None. The event’s free for all. The cost of a hot dog on the Seaport, however, is a different story.
After the Party There's The: The festival is free but for $15 you can keep the party going at the afterparty at Beekman Beer Garden and Beach Club, hosted by DJ Jonathan Toubin and with a performance by the Black Lips. Cop a ticket here.

The Avett Brothers.   

Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival
Connecticut’s storied annual festival isn’t just for hippies, but they’ll definitely feel at home.
When: July 19–22
Where: Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT;
Risk Heatstroke For: Primus, Phil Lesh, Yonder Mountain String Band, Primus, Zappa Playing Zappa, and The Avett Brothers.
Getting There: Medium. Being 60 miles north makes it a challenge for any city mouse without a car, but MetroNorth, Amtrak, and the Port Jefferson Ferry are all making stops nearby.
Price Gouging: Medium. To get the most bang for your buck, we recommend pulling a Bonnaroo and staying on the campgrounds. Advanced passes for four days of music and three nights of camping will cost you $205.
Deadhead Heaven: Launched in 1996, the Vibes was created to celebrate the Grateful Dead after Jerry Garcia’s death. With that spirit in mind, attendees are encouraged to pack their bongs.

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