In light of Noise Pop just ending, SXSW currently happening, and many other music festivals line ups being announced, here is a Top 5 list for live music events.
1. SXSW. Hands down the best. It’s variety: all types of music over a period of 5 days. They’re spread out, and you can actually see the band perform, unlike a music festival where you are mostly witnessing a sea of people. There’s film, the interactive component, speaker panels, parties…it’s dynamic. Plus, it’s in Austin, and you can’t beat that.
2. CMJ. NYC’s CMJ Music Marathon is fast encroaching on the size of of SXSW, and features film and speakers as well. Also spread out across the city, with a variety of bands, CMJ’s core is a display for college DJs. It coincides with the NYC Marathon, so the Big Apple is crawling with rock stars and runner. It’s a site to see.
3. Noise Pop. Much smaller in scale than the others, San Francisco’s Noise Pop features great line ups of polished up and comers. A film component has been added to the festival as well.
4. Winter Music Conference. There’s nothing better to make you forget the winter than Miami in the Spring. Add lots of great music, and it get even better. With some of the world’s best DJs at the hottest indoor and outdoor venues, paired with the Ultra Music Festival, you can see a lot of music and take a vacation at the same time.
5. DAM festival. Really small, but looks like fun. Lots of up and comers. I guess DC doesn’t just contain politicians. Expect about 50 bands in 4 clubs over 3 days.
And, just to gloat again, here is my ‘finalist level’ piece for that dumb Rolling Stone contest, where I wrote about a fictional music festival, MyStock.