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With the weather warming, it's time to get out your shorts, tropical shirts and sandals, grab some sunscreen, a water bottle and a cool hat and head out to the myriad of music festivals coming to the region.
CMA Music Festival
Even though the name changed years ago, to the country music faithful, this is still a “fan fair” where you can meet the biggest names in the biz up close and personal. Oh, and while they're there, they can check out a show or two. Or ten.
Website: cmaworld .com
June 6 – Zac Brown Band
Proof that you can wear something other than a cowboy hat and be successful.
June 7 – Randy Travis
From the tabloids to the big tent.
June 8 – Kelly Clarkson
No, we're not being sarcastic, she's really that good.
June 9 – The Band Perry
Some mighty good musical genes in the Perry family tree.
A Chattanooga tradition since 1982 (and a near guarantee for the start of hot summer weather), Riverbend continues to dominate the riverfront with an eclectic collection of big names, hip bands, and a wide variety of “never head of ’em but they sound interesting” musical acts. Among the headliners are CeeLo Green, Dierks Bentley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jake Owen and Gavin DeGraw. One price, one pin, nine nights of entertainment. The best bang for the musical buck in the region.
Website: riverbendfestival .com
June 7 – Galactic Cowboy Orchestra
Country-edged jazz fusion insrumentals. No, really.
June 8 – Hot Club of Cowtown
How can you not like a Western Swing band that has toured Azerbaijan?
June 9 – 10,000 Maniacs
You may have 10,000 problems, but the Manaics ain't one of 'em.
June 12 – Pyschedelic Furs
Go. Just go. You'll thank us afterwards.
June 13 – Monophonics
What happens when you combine pyschedelia and soul.
June 14 – Drew Sterchi & Blues Tribe
Blues guitar the way it was meant to be played.
June 15 – Steel Pulse
Jamaican reggae by way of Birmingham. The one in England.
Weird Bass Music Festival
Camp out at Taylor Road Farm for an extended weekend of the best in dubstep, drum & bass, and trap. Just be sure to be bring plenty of water and a hefty supply of glowsticks.
Website: weirdmusicfest .com
A nice little gathering of a few tens of thousands of music fans in the farm country of Midde Tennessee. You may have heard of it. They also have invited some relatively familiar names, like Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Nas, Bjork, Wilco, ZZ Top, even Wu-Tang Clan. Oh, and another several dozen other acts and comedians. Yes, comedians. Bob Sagat, Daniel Tosh, Ed Helms, Davis Cross, Maria Bamford, to name a few. Just remember that if you plan to drive, you might want to leave a bit early...like on Tuesday.
Website: bonnaroo .com
June 13 – Father John Misty
It's amazing how much he looks and sounds like J Tillman. Eerie, in fact.
June 14 – Glen Hansard
The only way Hansard could be more Irish is if Guinness poured from his navel.
June 15 – “Weird Al” Yankovic
Follow him on Twitter. Now. Trust us.
June 16 – David Byrne & St. Vincent
Ever wonder what the Talking Heads would have sound like as a brass band?
At the intersection of music, art and activism , one will find the Forescastle Fest just a few hours up the road and across the border into Kentucky, along Lousiville's Waterfront Park. Combining local, regional and national acts, outdoor recreation and environmental activism, Forecastle has fast become on the “must attend” festivals of the year. And if you're lucky, you might even see a horse or two on your drive up.
Website: forecastlefest .com
July 12 – Old Crow Medicine Show
You want some twang with your gee-tar strings? Take your medicine and enjoy.
July 13 – Freakwater
We've been fans since their appearance in “ Half-cocked ” back in ’94 .
July 14 – Datsik
Dubsteps into your mind and controls your body, happily.
World Music & Food International Festival
A celebration of multi-cultural music and food featuring Edi Kriz Orki and the Afrocentrix, Soweto Street Beats, Chinese Cultural Group, and the Indian Culture Group of Nashville.
Vans Warped Tour
Lace up your Vans, grab your bitchin' board and roll down to Atlanta for the annual melding of music and extreme sports. Somehow they cram nine stages into the Lakewood Amphitheatre complex, where you can see a who's who of punk, metal, club, alernative, and pretty much anything young, loud and underground.
Website: vanswarpedtour .com
The Warped Tour too mellow for you? Need to find a reason to wear as many studs and possible? Lace up your leather pants and complete the destruction of Lakewood along with metal gods Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, and Amon Amarth among many other head-banging, mosh-pitting, ear-bleeding, turn-it-up-past-11 bands .
Website: rockstarmayhemfest .com
Southern Brewers Festival
Saturday, August 24
Forty microbreweries presenting more than 100 different tasty brews along with great food and live music along the riverfront. If Bill Murray had had to live this day over and over again, he wouldn't have wanted it to end.
Website: southernbrewersfestival .org