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A Breakdown of 2019’s Music Festivals

Which festival is right for you?

Cece Starkman



The time has come for music fans all over the country to begin making plans for the coming festival season. If you’re like me,  you’ve already bought some tickets and started listening to festival-catered playlists. If you haven’t made your 2019 festival decisions yet, here is some guidance for finding the wisest way to spend your cash. 

Many festivals this year have a lot of overlapping when it comes to headliners and overall lineups. A few of this year’s popular headliners include Childish Gambino (Coachella, Bonnaroo), Tame Impala (Coachella, Boston Calling, Shaky Knees), Post Malone (Bonnaroo, Firefly) and The 1975 (Coachella, The Governors Ball, Hangout).

Rising artists spotted on this year’s lineup posters include Two Feet (Bonnaroo, Hangout), Mac DeMarco (Coachella, Bonnaroo) and King Princess (Coachella, Bonnaroo, The Governors Ball, Firefly, Hangout).

Let’s breakdown the major festivals on the horizon: 

Coachella: April 12-14, 19-21

Over the years, Coachella has become one of the most popular festivals in the country due to its high population of celebrity festival goers, fashion culture and consistently stellar lineup. The 2019 edition has something for everyone and is hard to beat among American festivals. If you’re looking to dress your festival best and you’re ready to take a trip to the desert, Coachella is the one for you. 

MUST SEE ARTISTS: Kid Cudi and Bassnectar

Bonnaroo: June 13-16

Located on a farm in the middle of Tennessee, Bonnaroo gives its patrons an escape from the real world. With their mantra “Radiate Positivity” and their eco-friendly initiatives, it’s no wonder that the festival has gotten so popular. This year’s lineup easily stands out as one of their best in recent years with a diverse mix of artists. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a positive culture with good vibes to spare, Bonnaroo might be the festival for you.

MUST SEE ARTISTS: Phish and Two Feet

Hangout Fest: May 17-19

How does a weekend beach party set to the soundtrack of all of your favorite bands playing live sound? Gulf Shores, Ala. is home to one of the greatest kickoffs to summer, Hangout Music Festival. This year’s lineup offers a lot for fans of indie-pop and rap, but the lineup looks worth seeing, no matter what genre you are into. If you want to feel the sand between your toes while you jam out to your favorite song, Hangout is a solid choice. 

MUST SEE ARTISTS: The 1975 and Diplo

Governors Ball: May 31-June 2

Held in Randall’s Island Park outside of New York City, Gov Ball is a high energy festival only a ferry ride away from Manhattan. It’s proximity to the city and fun installations are what draws so many fans back to the festival each year. This year’s lineup features an even blend of genres to satisfy any festival goer. If you’re looking for a fun trip to New York coupled with good music and a great times, go Gov Ball. 

MUST SEE ARTISTS: Florence + The Machine and Tyler, The Creator

Firefly: June 21-23

Firefly is located in the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware and has quite a loyal fan base of festival goers. One thing that keeps bringing people back year after year its installations like a silent disco called “The Thicket” or a secluded area in the woods for hanging enos called “The Nook.” This year’s lineup is very diverse (as usual for Firefly) and offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for a party in the woods and to expand your taste in music, Firefly might be the festival for you.

MUST SEE ARTISTS: Louis the Child and Death Cab for Cutie

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Cece Starkman is a senior art student at The University of South Carolina with a passion for live music and photography. After growing up only a train ride away from NYC, she hopes that her creativity and determination will bring her back to a big city after she graduates from college. Cece’s love for concerts and cameras is only matched by her love for The Killers and her dog, Cleo. In her spare time you can find Cece hogging the aux cord or planning her next trip to Bonnaroo.

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