A Breakdown of Three Must Attend Festivals in 2014

It’s been a while since Christmas holidays and you’ve probably been fantasizing about your next big break from the office. When it comes to daydreaming about vacation, some young professionals are picturing a sunny sojourn on a Cabo beach while others are imagining a wild weekend in Sin City. And for others, holidays this year will involve festival grounds, unpredictable weather and swimming through crowds of 60,000+ people for the sake of catching a stellar line up of music.    

If this last scenario sounds like you, then you’re probably in the middle of trying to decide which festival you’ll be attending this spring and summer. To help you narrow down your choices we’ve made a list of three top festivals that will be making headlines in the next few months.

1. Coachella  
April 11-13 and April 18-20

The Empire Polo Fields in the sleepy town of Indio, California come alive for two weekends in April when some of the biggest names in music show up. Fans from far and wide descend on the county of Coachella in hopes of finally seeing the Daft Punk show (rumoured to happen every year) that is now something of an urban legend. For people who don’t have that much time off, Calgary to Palm Springs is a direct flight and therefore a pretty painless trip. 

Coachella never disappoints and everyone has heard the famous stories, like the one about Thom Yorke and Flea, the most unlikely musical pair, putting on an insane performance, the French DJ crew JUSTICE starting a wild desert party to close out the final night and, of course, the hologram of Tupac Shakur. The headliners are always a big deal and this year is no different with Beck, OutKast, Arcade Fire, Disclosure, Queens of the Stone Age, Haim and Skrillex making appearances. If you love the Palm Springs vibe, LA hipsters and celebrities, this is your festival.

An added bonus: This is the only festival where people will actually turn in your lost cell phone.

The heat can be unbearable at times. If you plan to attend, make sure you dress for the occasion. This means brining a hat for the daytime and drinking plenty of water. Nobody wants to watch you collapse in the DJ tent. Also beware the dust storms that can blow up without any notice. Always have a scarf close by to double as a fashion accessory and protection.

Ride a bike to the festival if you’re staying close by. The traffic at the end of the night can be horrendous. While camping is an option, it’s not recommended.

2. New Orleans Jazz Festival
April 25th – May 4th

If you’ve never been to New Orleans, the Jazz Festival is a great excuse to see the city. Getting to NOLA is a bit more time consuming but it’s well worth it to experience the surreal energy and culture of Louisiana.

When you land somewhere and the first thing you hear from a local is, “Relaaax, you in the Big Easy now baby,” you know that you’re in for a great time. You can hit street parties just outside the festival grounds and see more jazz music in one week than you will see for the rest of your life. The food is great, the French Quarter is fascinating and the party never stops. This year you can catch classic acts like Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band along with Alabama Shakes, Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire.

If this is your first time in the Big Easy, then pace yourself. People tend to get swept up in the 24-hour party and you will go back to work feeling more burnt out than when you left.

If you don’t like jazz music, the mysterious and constant appearance of horn sections and marching bands everywhere you go will be start to wear on your nerves.

Check out the Howlin’ Wolf for evening shows. This is one cool bar.

Better safe than sorry; the city is charming but a cab is recommended at night. 

3. Sasquatch
May 23-25

Situated in the beautiful gorge amphitheatre outside Quincy, Washington, the Sasquatch Festival overlooks the Columbia River, making it one of the prettiest festival sites going.

You can always catch a cool variety of shows at Sasquatch that you’ll be telling friends about for the next year. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio and Death From Above have all left crowds speechless. This year The National, MIA, Foster The People, Kid Cudi, Major Lazer and Portugal The Man deliver the promise of musical diversity and raw talent. If you like camping and afternoon shows on grassy hillsides, pack your bags for a trip to the Evergreen State.

Weather in May can be unpredictable. Prepare for sun, rain, snow and just about every other weather condition. This is more of an outdoorsy type festival and people generally don’t retreat to hotels at the end of the night. If you don’t like tents or RVs, this festival may be a bad choice for you.

People really deck out their camping areas at Sasquatch so don’t be afraid to get creative. Stop by Mountain Equipment Co-op to find a few items that will make living in the outdoors more comfortable. Flashlights are essential.

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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