Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival, A Celebration of Brews and Beats, Bonnaroo 2024, A Unique Festival Experience & Recap, California Roots Festival, A Celebration of Music, Art, and Community

Bonnaroo is a behemoth among American festivals. As Fred again.. highlighted during his headlining set on Sunday night, Bonnaroo is the US’s answer to Glastonbury, rivaling Coachella in cultural significance. Like Glastonbury, Bonnaroo demands a full-on experience, with camping in the muggy heat and surrendering to a neon-lit rager.

If there’s a “Big Five” of American festivals (Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Outside Lands), Bonnaroo was the only one I hadn’t attended before this year. I’d heard countless tales of unforgettable nights at the Farm and knew about the festival’s community-centric identity. For years, I’d eagerly unpacked lineup breakdowns, recaps, and highlight reels from each edition, but I never made it there—getting to Bonnaroo and dealing with the camping were challenges I hadn’t tackled.

This year, I finally immersed myself in the Bonnaroovian experience, and it rocked, though not quite as I had imagined. If you’re curious about what Bonnaroo is like 22 years in, here are some takeaways from Bonnaroo 2024.

The Challenges and the Heat, Bonnaroo veterans know the festival has its fair share of obstacles, from navigating the grounds to setting up a comfortable campsite and managing expenses. This year, the biggest challenge was the heat. Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, with a high of 95 on Sunday, plus humidity. Although a small thunderstorm briefly halted music on Sunday, bringing fears of a full-scale cancellation like in 2021, the music soon resumed, and the cold rain was a refreshing change.

The heat posed a serious safety issue. Many attendees succumbed to the heat during shows; at Post Malone’s set, three people near me fainted within five minutes. Several artists, including Ethel Cain, paused their performances to call for medics when they saw people in distress. Chappell Roan, dressed as a doctor for her 3:00 p.m. set, announced she had direct communication with security and would watch for signs from the crowd needing assistance.

Despite the heat, Bonnaroo attendees rose to the occasion. Staff generously distributed free water, which was crucial when a 16oz can of Liquid Death water cost $6. The centrally located fountain was a godsend, offering a respite in recycled water that was well worth the hour spent under its cooling spray.

The Music was A Blend of Electronic and Jam Bands. Even after its acquisition by Live Nation, Bonnaroo has maintained a consistent booking strategy. Alongside popular 2024 festival acts like Reneé Rapp, Dominic Fike, and Goth Babe, Bonnaroo featured genres integral to its identity.

Electronic music was a dominant force, with headliners Pretty Lights and Fred again.. delivering extensive sets. Pretty Lights played for a collective seven hours, including a four-hour set on Thursday night. Fred again.. headlined on Sunday, marking his grand christening at the festival.

Bonnaroo’s emphasis on electronic music mirrors Coachella’s, though Bonnaroo remains deeply connected to rave culture. I watched Pretty Lights on Thursday beside a woman juggling hula hoops and saw numerous neon-lit yo-yo-like contraptions throughout the weekend.

The totems were particularly endearing, with fans crafting elaborate and illuminated creations. Highlights included a Bonnaroo-focused game of the New York Times’ Connections, an LED version of the “Elmo in flames” meme, a “Check Engine” light, and niche references like Gibby from iCarly.

Longer set times allowed many acts to dive into riveting psychedelia, reminiscent of Bonnaroo’s jam band roots. BADBADNOTGOOD, Neal Francis, Khruangbin, Geese, and Mdou Moctar delivered performances that expanded and contracted musically like living organisms.

Standout Performances as the Red Hot Chili Peppers embraced the jam ethos, spending much of their 90-minute set improvising. While their rhythm trio of Chad Smith, Flea, and John Frusciante was as funky as ever, the song selection left some fans wishing for more hits.

Parcels married Bonnaroo’s electronic and jam identities perfectly. Their 90-minute set on Saturday showcased four-part harmonies, tight and expressive rhythms, and exceptional sound quality. Alongside Fred again.. and Chappell Roan’s triumphant sets, Parcels delivered one of the weekend’s best performances.

Chappell Roan, whose popularity had surged since the festival lineup was announced, drew a massive crowd. Her set was an unforgettable hour of pop music, and while her production budget seemed modest compared to her Governors Ball performance, her flair for the dramatic was undeniable. She is poised for headlining festivals like Bonnaroo in the near future.

The Tents: A Haven from the Heat, The tents, offering a more intimate experience than the open-air main stages, featured some of the best sets of the weekend. The legendary Superjam, curated by Dashboard Confessional, delighted with a mix of emo covers. NYC rockers Geese impressed on Thursday night, and artists like Yves Tumor, Ethel Cain, Faye Webster, and TV Girl delivered captivating performances.

The Bonnaroo Spirit, Bonnaroo’s sense of community and positivity was palpable. Attendees went out of their way to compliment each other and help those in need. The festival’s traditions, like High-Five Friday and the “Roo Chute,” added to the inclusive atmosphere. Despite challenging conditions, the festival maintained its unique character and charm.

Bonnaroo is an amazing party with infectious energy, but it requires commitment and resilience. While it may not have changed my life, the experience illuminated why so many people adore this festival. Bonnaroo demands a lot, but rain or shine, its dedicated attendees keep answering the call, ensuring it remains a defining event in the festival landscape.

The California Roots Music and Arts Festival, commonly known as Cali Roots, has firmly established itself as a premier event in the world of music festivals. Held annually at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, this festival is a vibrant celebration of reggae, rock, hip-hop, and folk music, blending a rich mix of sounds with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and social consciousness.

Since its inception in 2010, Cali Roots has grown from a small gathering into a major festival, drawing tens of thousands of attendees each year. What started as a one-day event has expanded into a multi-day extravaganza, featuring a diverse lineup of artists from around the globe. The festival has become a haven for music lovers, attracting both seasoned festival-goers and newcomers seeking a unique and immersive experience.

At the heart of Cali Roots is its music. The festival boasts an impressive lineup of artists spanning various genres, though it remains rooted in reggae. Past performers have included iconic names like Damian Marley, Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, and Ziggy Marley, alongside emerging talents who bring fresh energy to the stage. The blend of reggae, rock, hip-hop, and folk ensures that there is something for everyone, creating a musical journey that transcends genres and unites attendees in their love for live music.

One of the defining features of Cali Roots is the festival’s commitment to showcasing a mix of well-known acts and up-and-coming artists. This approach not only celebrates established talent but also provides a platform for new voices to be heard, fostering a sense of discovery and excitement among festival-goers.

Beyond the music, Cali Roots offers a holistic festival experience that emphasizes art, culture, and community. The festival grounds are adorned with vibrant murals, interactive art installations, and live painting sessions, creating a visually stunning environment that complements the auditory experience. Local artists are given a platform to showcase their work, adding a unique, regional flavor to the festival.

Sustainability is a core value of Cali Roots, and the festival has implemented numerous initiatives to minimize its environmental impact. From waste reduction programs and composting stations to solar-powered stages and water refill stations, the festival strives to be as green as possible. Attendees are encouraged to participate in eco-friendly practices, making sustainability a shared responsibility and a key aspect of the festival culture.

Food and beverage options at Cali Roots are another highlight, featuring a wide array of offerings that cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences. Local vendors provide a range of culinary delights, from traditional festival fare to organic and plant-based options, ensuring that everyone can find something delicious to enjoy.

Cali Roots is more than just a music festival; it is a community. The festival fosters a sense of connection among attendees, creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere where people can come together to celebrate their shared love of music and art. Workshops, panel discussions, and wellness activities such as yoga and meditation sessions offer opportunities for personal growth and community engagement, enhancing the overall festival experience.

The festival also partners with various nonprofit organizations, raising awareness and funds for important causes. This philanthropic aspect of Cali Roots underscores the festival’s commitment to making a positive impact both locally and globally.

As Cali Roots continues to evolve, it remains dedicated to its core values of music, art, and sustainability. Each year, the festival builds on its legacy, introducing new elements and innovations that enhance the experience for attendees. With its unique blend of genres, commitment to environmental stewardship, and focus on community, Cali Roots stands out as a beacon of positivity and creativity in the festival landscape.

For anyone seeking an unforgettable festival experience that goes beyond the music to embrace art, culture, and community, the California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a must-attend event. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a first-time attendee, Cali Roots promises a journey of discovery, connection, and celebration that will leave you inspired and uplifted.

Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival: A Celebration of Brews and Beats. The Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival, often heralded as one of the premier beer festivals in the United States, has become a beloved annual tradition for beer enthusiasts and music lovers alike. Held at the iconic Atlantic City Convention Center, this two-day extravaganza brings together an impressive array of breweries, top-tier musical acts, and a vibrant community of attendees eager to celebrate the art of brewing and the joy of live music.

Since its inception in 2006, the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival has grown exponentially, drawing thousands of visitors each year from across the country. The festival is a brainchild of Jon Henderson and Good Time Tricycle Productions, and it has successfully combined the region’s rich brewing history with a dynamic music lineup to create a unique and engaging event.

The Brews

At the heart of the festival is its extensive selection of beers. With over 150 breweries participating, attendees have the opportunity to sample a wide range of brews, from traditional lagers and stouts to innovative IPAs and sour ales. The festival showcases both well-known craft breweries and up-and-coming brewers, providing a platform for new talents in the beer industry to shine.

Each brewery brings its unique offerings, allowing attendees to explore a diverse array of flavors and styles. Beer enthusiasts can engage with brewers, learn about the brewing process, and discover the stories behind their favorite beers. The festival also features special releases and rare brews, making it a must-attend event for connoisseurs and casual beer drinkers alike.

The Music

Complementing the vast selection of beers is a stellar music lineup that spans various genres. Over the years, the festival has featured performances by renowned bands and artists, creating an electric atmosphere that keeps attendees entertained throughout the event. Past performers have included acts like The Used, Flogging Molly, and Less Than Jake, offering a mix of punk, rock, and alternative music that appeals to a wide audience.

The festival stages are alive with energy as live music fills the air, providing the perfect backdrop to the beer-tasting experience. The combination of great brews and live music creates a festive ambiance that defines the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival.

Beyond the beer and music, the festival offers a plethora of activities and attractions that enhance the overall experience. Attendees can participate in beer-related games, watch culinary demonstrations, and attend educational sessions on brewing techniques and beer pairings. The festival grounds also feature a variety of food vendors, serving up delicious fare that complements the beer offerings and caters to diverse tastes.

The Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival is known for its vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or a first-time attendee, the festival provides an inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy themselves. The sense of community is palpable as people come together to celebrate their shared passion for beer and music.

The festival organizers place a strong emphasis on sustainability and responsible drinking. Efforts are made to minimize the environmental impact of the event, with recycling programs and eco-friendly initiatives in place. Attendees are encouraged to drink responsibly, and the festival provides ample resources to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

As the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival continues to evolve, it remains committed to delivering an exceptional experience for attendees. Each year brings new breweries, exciting musical acts, and innovative attractions that keep the festival fresh and engaging. The festival has become a staple of the Atlantic City event calendar, drawing visitors from near and far to partake in the celebration.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of craft beer or simply looking for a fun and lively event to attend, the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival offers something for everyone. With its winning combination of world-class brews, fantastic music, and a vibrant community, it promises a memorable weekend that will leave you counting down the days until the next edition.

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