It was in
I already had an appreciation for live music, but that evening I realized that live music in the outdoors has a quality unlike anything else. Now Erika and I combine our love of music with our love of travel by spending time at music festivals. If you have never experienced one, you should give one a try; and with winter in its final month, this is the perfect time to check out what options are out there for 2011.
There are as many varieties of music festivals as there are varieties of music. Some are focused on a specific genre, others are eclectic. Some are in cities, others in the country. Some are packed to the gills, while others keep the number of tickets down to avoid excessive crowding. And because independent artists and craftsmen sell their wares on site, these events offer more than just music -- some, like the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) don’t even put the word “music” in their title even though music is their main draw.
Regardless of genre, my personal preference is to attend festivals that are in the country. At these you can camp on the property and be in the midst of the action from beginning to end, contrary to city-based festivals where you have to stay in a hotel at jacked-up rates and commute to the action.
One of my favorites is the one I just mentioned, LEAF, which takes place every May and October in a valley near Black Mountain, North Carolina. It is where we were introduced to this rock band from
Plus, LEAF offers plenty of activities other than listening to music and looking at arts and crafts. You can ride a zip line from the top of a hill right down into the waters of
Another example of a good springtime mountain festival is DelFest, which is staged in Western Maryland where the Alleghenies and
But you don’t have to wait until May to experience outdoor music in gloriously mild weather. In just a few weeks, Suwannee Springfest will kick off a long weekend along
This festival takes place at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, whose camping options include everything from a developed campground (meaning there is electricity and running water at every site) to designated primitive areas (meaning people do without those luxuries and pitch their tents wherever they want in the woods). In addition, the park has some small cabins to rent. Canoe rentals are available so you can explore the
Meanwhile, if listening to music in a scenic outdoor setting appeals to you but the thought of camping in the sticks does not, you should head to Telluride, Colorado in June. That is when the famous ski town will be staging its 38th annual bluegrass festival, as if to prove the Rockies are just as fun in the summer as in the winter.
And if jazz is your thing, maybe you should make 2011 the year you finally take in the annual jazz festivals in Newport, Rhode Island and Monterey, California. They allow you to listen to fine music near the sea while visiting some of
No matter what your taste is for music and venue, there is something out there for you in the coming months, so get out and experience it.