As a teenager, did you ever borrow a parent's car, cram it full of your friends, and head to the local sports stadium for an all-day rock festival? The world of music festivals has grown up a lot since those days. Regardless of whether or not you have, heading down the path of your glorious youth is easy with so many events full of great music and entertainment.
Let's start with Vegas. Could it get any better than seeing top bands live in Sin City? Add in the debauchery o Halloween and then you have Vegoose , a two-day extravaganza that is equal parts Rat Pack, Burning Man, and celebrity impersonators. Held primarily at the Sam Boyce stadium, you can also see performances in nearby clubs like the Hard Rock and MGM. Over the past two years, performers have included Beck, The String Cheese Incident, Tom Petty, The Shins, Widespread Panic, and Dave Matthews. Experience wild interactive attractions, performance artists, cabaret acts, costume contests, and art installations. Throw in lots of beautiful people in Halloween costumes and you've got one heck of a concert.
No list of music festivals would be complete without the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Jazz Fest offers every music genre related to New Orleans and Louisiana, including Cajun, Zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, Gospel, Blues, and, of course, Jazz. It all takes place in a tremendous party atmosphere. The food at the festival is a great experience as well. Try "mudbugs", crawfish, pheasant gumbo, po' boys, African food, soft shell crab sandwiches, strawberry lemonade. It all tastes awfully good with beer. Parties tend to spring up everywhere during this festival. There's even a bar across from the festival entrance where you can rendezvous with friends or people you've met. Bourbon Street bars keep the fun rolling in New Orleans for your group throughout the night.
To see the best in emerging musical talent, head to Austin in early March for South by Southwest (SXSW). Considered by the music industry as the place to be seen and get signed, South by Southwest has evolved into rock's version of the Sundance Film Festival. It takes place over the course of four days with an enormous scope of music and venues, with nearly 800 bands performing. As an added bonus, the beer and food are free at some shows during the day! Austin, the capital of Texas, is a great place to visit, with 300 days of sun and excellent food, ranging from four-star restaurants to down-home barbecue joints. Austin City Limits, in September, is another world-class music festival with well over 100 bands.
Still looking for the perfect festival for your getaway with the guys? Try blues festivals in Chicago or San Francisco, Seattle's Bumbershoot, or Bonnaroo in Tennessee.