A musical summer in the mitten state

GVL / Courtesy - Mary Mattingly
Greensky Bluegrass performing

GVL / Courtesy – Mary Mattingly “Greensky Bluegrass” performing

Shelby Pendowski

Each year, Michigan is home to a variety of music festivals featuring artists from all genres on the musical spectrum. Although there are countless concerts and festivals for summer 2014, there are a handful that beckon music lovers — and many are close to Laker nation.

US-131 will once again experience the bumper-to-bumper traffic caused by the B-93 Birthday Bash. By bringing in country artists such as Dierks Bentley, Justin Moore, Lucy Hale and Brett Eldredge, the US-131 Motorsports Park becomes the largest Honkey Tonk in the state. While general admission for this event is free, parking passes are $60 for the weekend. The motor speedway will transform on June 7 and 8 to accommodate the masses of country fans that will tailgate for the two days.

The raving light show, known as the Electric Forest Music Festival, is an annual showcase of electronic music. Held at the Double JJ Resort and Hotel in Rothbury, Mich., this festival continues to grow in popularity and attracts many renowned EDM artists as well as up and coming musicians in the genre. For $269.50, attendees receive a three-day pass to experience the stylings of Zedd, The String Cheese Incident, Steve Angello, Cut Copy, Flying Lotus and many more. A total of 105 musicians will perform from June 26-29.

Our state capital welcomes alternative, rock, hip hop and country artists for the Common Grounds Music Festival July 8-13. The concerts kick off with performances by Circa Survive, Say Anything, Dinosaur Pile-Up and six more musicians. As the week continues, Big Sean, Dr. Dog, Earth, Wind & Fire, Justin Moore, David Nail, Juicy J and Fitz & The Tantrums will take the stage. Daily tickets, individual concert tickets and week passes are sold for this event and range from $10-$299.

The DTE Energy Theatre in Clarkston, Mich. will also feature rock artists in the Rockstar Mayhem Festival on July 17. Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandra, Korn, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse, Body Count ft. Ice-T, Suicide Silence, Mushroomhead and Miss May I are headlining the festival. Tickets range from $30-$225.

Two years ago Mayday Parade headlined Grand Valley State University’s fall concert. Once again, students will get the chance to see them perform this year at Vans Warped Tour on July 18 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Multiple stages will feature hundreds of alternative rock and pop musicians such as We the Kings, Yellowcard, Breathe Carolina, Of Mice and Men and Parkway Drive all for the price of $59.65.

Spanning from June 1 to Sept. 7, the Fifth Third Bank Concert Series will feature artists from every genre. The festival, located at Frederick Meijer Gardens, will keep the city of Grand Rapids and music lovers alike busy. From Santana to CAKE to Gavin DeGraw to the Beach Boys, 30 different artists will light up the stage. Tickets for each individual concert in the series are sold separately, ranging from $35-$155 per person.

With their close proximity, these select festivals offer a variety of genres at a wide range of ticket prices. Although many students remain studying for the summer semester, music festivals can be a nice break to forget about the stress caused by classes. 

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