It looks as if it’s going to be a bumper year for music festivals featuring some of the greatest musicians ever to have emerged in the world of rock and pop music. With many long-established musicians and bands doing well at the Grammy Awards, such as the gods of heavy metal Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr picking up an award too, the stage is set in 2014 for some great performances from stars both old and new.
Ever since 1969’s Woodstock Festival, which featured among others Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, music festivals have been a magnet for music lovers of all ages, mixing acts that appeal to an older audience with newer performers that pull in the younger crowd. The great thing about festivals is that everyone gets the opportunity to listen to music they might not be familiar with, whether it’s Bruce Springsteen and Elton John or Mumford & Sons and Pharell.
So what’s happening in 2014? Here are a few of the best festivals around.
Perhaps the granddaddy of all festivals now, this iconic festival in the magical setting of Glastonbury, England, is a global event attracting the music world’s biggest stars. The Rolling Stones headlined in 2013, U2 have played, and the organizers like to keep the full line-up under wraps until closer to the end of June event. Confirmed acts already include Dolly Parton and Blondie, and there will always be a massive surprise in the run-up to the event.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Kicking off towards the end of April, here’s a festival to attract fans of all ages. Eric Clapton, the doyen of blues musicians is on the bill, and fellow bluesman Johnny Winter is also performing. The Latin/rock sound of Santana will get the feet tapping, and the all-out intensity that comes with one of rock’s greatest stars, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will prove a huge attraction.
Head Down Under to catch one of these Australian festival events at the major cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. Featuring the likes of Green Day, Korn, Alice in Chains and Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, there’s something for everyone’s taste in the line-up.
Head southeast of Nashville, Tennessee to Manchester to catch the amazing Bonnaroo Festival. It’s a brilliant mix of the old and the new, with Elton John and Lionel Richie among the former, and Kanye West, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys for the younger crowd.
Taking place close to Nantes in France, Hellfest is the ultimate festival for lovers of heavy Metal. The classic purveyors of doom and angst, Black Sabbath will be one of the headliners there in June, and, and will be in the company of other British heavy rock household names, including Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Status Quo. With top American rockers Aerosmith also on the bill it’s a great showcase of pulsating riffs and dazzling guitar solos.