Summer music festivals offer something for everyone

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By Stacy Lee

By Stacy Lee

What do children look forward to in the summer?

Swimming pools, ice cream and carnivals.

What do music junkies look forward to in the summer?

Concert tours and festivals.

Summer is where everything happens, including city-wide festivals and performances to nationally touring concerts.

It’s no wonder everyone looks forward to summer so much.

For punk rock fans, the Vans Warped Tour is the biggest tour of the summer, which starts in Pomona on June 26.

Warped Tour is North America’s longest running tour and has come to be known as the “Punk Rock Summer Camp.”

It has endured 15 years of grueling heat and millions of miles to bring some of the biggest names of every genre in music history to fans across the country.

This year’s line-up isn’t any different.

Artists include bands that have been in the industry for many years like Underoath, Big D and the Kids Table, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, Senses Fail, The Ataris, NOFX, Bayside and Thrice.

It also includes a bevy of newcomers such as The White Tie Affair, The Maine, 3OH!3, Madina Lake, Breathe Carolina and Jeffree Star.

In addition, Warped Tour offers many other attractions, including auctions for various tour-related items which benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation, which is a non-profit organization to raise money for early stage cancer and AIDS research.

Not into punk rock?

Mayhem Festival, sponsored by Rock Star Energy, is a hardcore festival that is headed to the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino on June 12.

Mayhem fest will be bringing more than a dozen hardcore bands on the road this summer.

Some bands on this year’s tour are Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Killswitch Engage, Job For A Cowboy, GodForbid, The Black Dahlia Murder and Bullet for my Valentine. Fans are likely to be in for a treat when attending Mayhem Fest 2009.

Many bands will be showing off material from new CD releases that come out this summer.

Motley Crüe hits the road with CrüeFest 2: The White Trash Circus, for a second year in a row, playing the San Manuel Amphitheater on July 31.

Bringing bands like Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils on the road with them, this tour is sure to be a rockin’ good time.

Another festival happening this summer is Rock The Bells.

This international Hip Hop festival has been happening since 2003, and unites some of the biggest names within urban culture.

Rock The Bells will be at the San Manuel Amphitheater on Aug 8.

This year’s line-up includes Nas, Damian Marley, Ice Cube, The Roots, Common, Busta Rhymes, Supernatural and Big Boi.

One tour that will unfortunately not be back this summer is Ozzfest.

Ozzy Osbourne has decided to put his annual tour on hold to take some time off to record his upcoming album.

This year is the first since 1996 when there will been no tour, through a statement said Osbourne hopes to have an Ozzfest 2010.

On the local level there are several different festivals.

One major festival is the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, which includes entertainment by Sugar Ray, Lonestar, Jupiter Rising and more the weekend of June 5 through June 7.

Another local festival happening this summer is the eighth annual Fishfest, a day-long Christian music festival, sponsored by TheFish 95.9 radio station.

Fishfest will be at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on July 25.

Bands to play include Jars of Clay, Needtobreathe, This Beautiful Republic, Matthew West and MercyMe.

Don’t want to pay for concerts?

Riverside features many free concerts throughout the summer.

Rhythm of Riverside Summer Concert Series features performances every Wednesday from June 24 to Aug. 12, 6-9 p.m. at Fairmount Park.

Riverside also features a Downtown Street Jam, which features live entertainment every Saturday night until Nov. 11.

Concerts in the Park is another fun way to enjoy live music. It runs from June 26 through July 24 at the California Citrus State Historic Park five nights a week.

In addition, The Riverside Plaza features live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.

Riverside is not the only town to feature free music.

Redlands Community Music Association is hosting Love and Tribute on June 26 with two-time Grammy Award winner, Rita Coolidge.

Coolidge will be performing a variety of music styles including jazz, blues and pop, as well as some of her own chart-topping hits.

In addition to festivals, some major tours are headed through the southern California area.

Some old-school bands set to hit the road are Aerosmith with ZZ Top (Irvine, Aug. 23), Depeche Mode (Anaheim, Aug. 19), the Village People (Rancho Cucamonga, June 13), Def Leppard with Poison and Cheap Trick (Irvine, Aug. 30), Billy Ray Cyrus (Anaheim, June 13), Journey (San Bernardino, Aug. 1) and AC/DC (Anaheim, Aug. 9).

Some newer artists also hitting the road include Coldplay (Irvine, July 19), New Kids On The Block (Irvine, July 10), No Doubt (Irvine, July 31), Beyoncé (Anaheim, July 11), The Offspring and Alkaline Trio (Irvine, June 5), Boys Like Girls (Anaheim, July 1), 311 (Irvine, July 12) and The Fray (Irvine, July 29),

This summer is clearly gearing up to be a great one for concerts and music festivals.

There is something for everyone this summer, from hip-hop to pop and jazz to classical.

For more information on upcoming tours, check out or

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