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Best Music Festivals In the East
Written By: Melissa Golden
*Click images below to view larger versions.
Best Music Festivals In the East
Best Music Festivals In the East
Best Music Festivals In the East
Best Music Festivals In the East
Best Music Festivals In the East
    Spring is in the air! The Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, trees are turning back to rich shades of green and the summer music and art Festivals are lining up and already selling tickets! So mark your calendars and get your wallets ready for some of the greatest entertainment on and around the shore.
    Though we have many favorites around the world such as the Coachella Festival in the  Coachella valley of Calif., April 13-22; The New Orleans Jazz Festival in New Orleans, La., April 27; The Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tenn., May 4-6; or the Isle of Wight Festival on the Isle of Wight off the coast of the United Kingdom, June 22-24, for now however, we’ll just stick to a few that will be within driving distance!
 
Sweetlife Festival,  Columbia, Md. - April 28
Tickets: $75 GA - $125 VIP
info: sweetlifefestival.com
Distance from Ocean City: 146 miles
Notable Acts: Avicii, Kid Cudi, The Shins
    This one is right around the corner but tickets are still available and it is a great Green Event to kick off your summer! The more I researched this one the more great things I found to say about these guys. They have really been busy and are quickly gaining loads of attention in both the food and music communities. This festival is bringing together a community with great music, great organic foods and energy efficient solutions.
    The Festival was founded in 2010 by restaurant owners and entrepreneurs Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru. The three were Georgetown college students just a few years ago who were simply tired of not having any quick, easy and healthy food choices in the area. So in 2007 they decided to open Sweetgreen, a restaurant that would “re-define the concept of fresh casual cuisine”. They specialize in salads and frozen yogurt and use only farm-fresh and organic ingredients from local farmers they know. They now have 11 locations in D.C., Va. and Md. Metropolitan areas.
    Their first modest Music & Food festival was held in 2010 behind Sweetgreen’s Dupont Circle location. The event sold out and was such a success that the 2011 Festival was moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion and headlined The Strokes. They also had a Food Forest with food from Sweetgreen as well as many other participating food vendors from the DC area such as Shake Shack & Pepe.
    This year the event has exploded. They now have two stages, more than doubling the bands on last year’s line-up. The Pavilion’s main stage will feature Avicii, Kid Cudi, and The Shins and The Treehouse stage will feature up-and-coming acts such as Delta Spirit, Twin Shadow, and U.S. Royalty. The Sweetgreen & Serious Eats Food Forest will be a collection of Sweetgreen’s favorite chefs, food trucks and farms including José Andrés, Toki Underground, New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar, Roberta's Pizza, Baked + Wired, Luke’s Lobster, Smucker Farms and more. In addition to The Forest, this year Sweetlife intends to reinvent the idea of festival food. They will do this by offering selections from their favorite chefs, beverages and food brands right at Merriweather’s concession stands throughout the festival grounds providing healthy organic choices beyond The Forest.
    General admission tickets will get you access to most everything; however, they are offering VIP tickets this year which will include prime seating and pit access in the Pavilion as well as an area at The Treehouse stage, covered cabana lounges and seating, special food & drink offerings by Chef RJ Cooper of Rogue 24, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Dolcezza gelato, FREE Sweetgreen salad tasting & FREE filtered water.
    That’s right for just $125 you can get FREE filtered water. We know this alone sounds ridiculous; however, this year a portion of your ticket price is going to D.C. Central Kitchen, a locally built charity that is now providing long term solutions to poverty, hunger and homelessness all over the U.S. www.dccentralkitchen.org. There will be loads of other orignizations there who are all doing great things to pay-it-forward and who are creating opportunities and solutions for our future. Companies such as KIND Snacks with their program KINDmovement.com & Global Inheritance with their TRASHed program,  globalinheritance.org, are among a few. That being said, and with the amount of free gourmet cuisine and top-notch entertainment they will be providing, we decided the price of FREE water is well worth it!! Overall it should prove to be a pretty Sweet time!!
 
Springfest - Ocean City, Md. - May 3-6
Distance from Ocean City: O miles
Tickets: ticketmaster.com; 1-800-551-7328
info: ococean.com; 1-800-OC-OCEAN
Notable Acts: Loretta Lynn,  Eddie Money  & The Survivors, The Fabulous Hubcaps, Randy Lee Ashcraft & The Saltwater Cowboys, Mary Lou & The Untouchables, Great Train Robbery.
    This year our own Ocean City Springfest will be celebrating 22 years. This event has been held annually the first weekend in May since 1990. Springfest has an array of different artistc flairs to offer; anything from handcrafted jewelry, unique gifts, beautiful photography, hand paintings on a variety of different and sometimes unusual canvases, delicious food, and, of course, our favorite live entertainment. This all takes place under four huge big-top tents located in the Inlet Parking Lot at the south end of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk.
    This year’s headliners will be The Fabulous Hubcaps Thurs., May 3: 7pm $5-10; Loretta Lynn Fri., May 4: 8pm $35-55; and Eddie Money and The Survivors Sat., May 5: 8pm $20-45.  There will be many other acts such as Rick K and The Allnighters, Frankie & The Pack, Sons of Pirates, and Quiet Fire. Local favorites Randy Lee Ashcraft and The Saltwater Cowboys will perform Sat. at 4pm and Sun. at  2:30,  Mary Lou and The Untouchables Sat. at 5pm and Great Train Robbery Sun. at 3:30 p.m.
    This is always a great way to kick-off our summer season here in Ocean City! The rich aromas of boardwalk junk food such as cotton candy, funnel cakes and fried oysters will fill the air and the sounds of music can be heard for blocks! We look forward to seeing the tents go up every year for it is a sure sign that summer is here!!
 
Mayhem Festival - 3 close Venues
Susquehanna Bank Center, N.J. - Fri., Jul 27
Distance from Ocean City: 150 miles
First Niagara Pavilion, Penn. - Sat., Jul 28
Distance from Ocean City: 390 miles
Jiffy Lube Live, Va. - Sun., Jul 29
Distance from Ocean City: 188 miles
Notable Acts: Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax, Motorhead, The Devil Wears Prada
Tickets: Pre-Sale tickets available April 6
info: rockstarmayhemfest.com
    Bringing you some of the hardest bands in rock since 2008, Rockstar Energy Drink presents The Mayhem Festival. This festival was assembled by Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman & John Reese. With the success they have had with Warped Tour (an extreme sport & music festival) since 1995, which combines grinding tricks with punk rock music, Lyman really wanted to see a festival that catered to die-hard metal fans for a full day of hard, headbanging beats. This tour travels all over the world, sometimes picking up and dropping off different bands along the way. They are currently spanning the U.K. but will have dates in the U.S. all summer from June 30 to Aug. 5.
    There are three great venues from which to choose that are close to us here on the shore. All dates feature three different stages with bands performing all day and night. This means many bands will be performing at the same time so you might want to plan this one out to make sure you don’t miss your favorite acts. But not to worry, no matter where you look or go or end up you will still be able to feel the vibrations of shrieking guitar riffs. Be sure to have your car stocked with plenty of water and aspirin for your after-party journey home!
 
Dew Tour - Ocean City, Md. - August 16-19
Distance from Ocean City: 0 miles
Notable Acts: coming soon
    Ocean City Dew Tour will be returning to the beach this August 16-19. Though there is no news yet on who will be coming this year we thought it was worth assuring you they will be back! We have heard that one returning skater and local hero, Bucky Lasek, will be making an appearance at Jolly Roger Amusements Park. We will keep you posted on when and where.
    Last year’s skaters included the now three-time winner of the Tour, Pierre Luc Gagnon (PLG), legendary gold medalist (for snowboarding) Shaun White, and many other seasoned pros such as Bob Burnquist and Steve Caballero. It all wrapped up with a live concert on the beach from Kid Cudi and The Cool Kids. So even though we are not sure what they have in store for us this year, we do know it should be as equally exciting and entertaining as it was last year!
 
Abbey Road on the River - National Harbor
Washington, D.C. - Aug. 30 - Sept. 3
Distance from Ocean City: 151 miles
Notable Acts: The BackWards, The Blue Meanies, Day Trippers, The Beatrips, Glass Onion
Tickets: $30 for 1 day - $180 All 5 days
under 21 FREE
info: www.abbeyroadontheriver.com
    Abbey Road on the River is an annual music festival that brings together the best in Beatles’ cover bands. Bands from all over the world come together for this one-of-a-kind event that really is all about honoring legendary band, The Beatles. For Beatles enthusiasts of all ages, this should be a great time to become emersed in the vibrations of The Fab Four.
    The festival started in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2002 and was moved in 2005 to two different locations. It will first be held in Louisville, Kentucky, May 24-28 and will be in D.C. Aug. 30-Sept. 3. It is now attracting around 30,000 attendants, making it the largest Beatles festival in the U.S.
    There are many different types of acts from Japan to Canada. Some bands choose to look, sound and behave just like the Beatles, while others focus on playing the music to perfection. Some even choose to bring on their own reditions of the beloved classics.
    Bands are subject to change but here are a few to be expected this year: The BackWards which was started by two young men from Slovakia who were best friends and wanted to express their gratitude to the most popular rock band of all time; The Blue Meanies, who are one of the most popular British Invasion bands in New York, N.Y.; Day Trippers are from Holland so it hasn’t been hard for them to have relished playing on the stage of the legendary Cavern Club 7 times; so far; Glass Onion is an all acoustic tribute band from Concord, Mass.; and The Beatrips are all the way from Kyoto, Japan.
    It was The Beatle’s vision to make the world a happier place, a world in which we could all come together and experience the gift of music with peace, love, and non-violence in our hearts. There is no doubt that this festival will have the same quality about it and should prove to be a harmonious week long Beatles adventure! So get your Ticket-to-Ride today!

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