From Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, there are a number of long running music festivals throughout the summer, but few can hold a candle to the Ravinia Festival. The Chicago-based event has hosted talented musicians in Highland Park since the early 1900s, and this year welcomes the likes of Seal, Sarah McLachlan, Duran Duran and Natalie Merchant.
The first moth of the schedule is packed full of great artists. Here are some highlights:
June 9 Earth, Wind & Fire with Orchestra
June 10 Iron & Wine/Dr. John
June 15 Al Green/Chicago Children’s Choir
June 17 Jimmy Cliff
June 24 Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers
June 25 Esperanza Spalding
June 28 Glen Campbell “Goodbye Tour”/Ronnie Milsap
June 29 Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw
June 30 Sarah McLachlan
Download PDF of full schedule here.
The oldest music festival in the country, Ravinia runs from June through September, with shows scheduled for most days throughout the summer. Many of today's most popular festivals owe their existence to Ravinia. Here's a look at two of this summer's most anticipated festivals.
Bonnaroo Music Festival
Held in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo Music Festival began as a celebration dedicated to jam bands and has since expanded to include artists of all different genres. This year, the weekend-long festival is slated for June 7 through 10 and will welcome some of the biggest names in music. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Phish are the scheduled headliners, and although they may be the most recognizable acts, there are many other must-see artists making appearances throughout the weekend.
Fresh off his Best New Artist win at the Grammys, Bon Iver, the musical project of Justin Vernon, is another one of the most anticipated acts. Additionally, bluegrass favorites The Avett Brothers are set to be on one of the featured stages along with 2011 breakout stars Foster the People. Music legends The Beach Boys and Alice Cooper will also be taking the stage.
Lollapalooza Music Festival
Much like the Ravinia Festival, Lollapalooza is held in Chicago, but a short distance away in the city's Grant Park. This year, the festival is set for August 3 through 5, and although it features a somewhat different lineup than Bonnaroo, it is no less impressive.
Like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza will feature the Chili Peppers, but the other headlining acts are The Black Keys and Jack White, who is fresh of the release of his first solo album, the critically acclaimed Blunderbuss.
Outside of the three big-name headliners, Lollapalooza is a veritable who's who of breakout stars from the last 18 months. The Alabama Shakes, M83, Childish Gambino and The Head and the Heart will all be making their way to Chicago in early August.
Sometimes referred to as the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500 has certainly lived up to its reputation. For more than 100 years, the annual race has pitted some of the most talented drivers in auto racing and has become one of the most widely-attended events in all of sports. Hundreds of thousands of fans get their hands on Indy 500 tickets each year, and 2012 should be no different.
There are a lot of storylines to consider entering race weekend, but perhaps most interesting is just how wide open this year's event is. It's always hard predicting a winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but few analysts have been able to offer up a clear cut favorite. A lot of attention has been given to Australian driver Ryan Briscoe, who captured the pole position last weekend, but he certainly has a lot of competition right behind him.
There are many big name drivers who will vie for the Indy 500 crown. In particular, Briscoe should be on the lookout for Andretti Autosport drivers - three of whom will be starting right behind him. Among them is Marco Andretti, who is the grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti and has been especially successful in his early career.
Fans should also keep their eye on Brazil's Helio Castroneves. The racing veteran has captured three Indy 500 titles before, with the most recent coming in 2009. With 19 wins in the IndyCar Series, he is one of the most decorated drivers in the sport.
If this year's race is anything like the 2011 incarnation, it will not leave anybody disappointed. Even the most casual of racing fans remember how last year's ended. JR Hildebrand, making his first start in an Indy 500, entered the final lap in first place and seemed destined to claim the title. However, he crashed on the final turn, allowing veteran Dan Wheldon to pass him in the final 200 yards.
Will this year be just as exciting? There's no reason to think it won't be. With no clear cut favorite, the title is anyone's to capture. Will Hildebrand earn redemption for last year's mistake? Will Castrovenes win his fourth title? Or Will Marco be able to break the dreaded Andretti Curse? There's only one way to find out.
Who's your pick to win it?
Photo by Getty Images
First off a big congrats to Phillip Phillips on winning season 11 of American Idol! It was an epic season, filled with some of the most talented singers the show has ever found. Lucky for you that talented group is heading out on tour in a few short weeks! The top 10 Idols are hitting the road in July for the American Idols Live! Tour.
Jump to: American Idols Live! Tour tickets.
The 2012 American Idols Live! Tour will certainly be a big hit. With such a talented lineup of singers, how could it not be? The biggest names are the two finalists, Philip Phillips - a 21-year-old Georgia native - and 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez. Other performers include the likes of Joshua Ledet, Skylar Lane and Colton Dixon.
But the focus of the tour will be squarely on Phillips and Sanchez. Phillips won over the hearts of Americans thanks to his unique singing and dancing style that's earned him comparisons to Dave Matthews.
As for Sanchez, she is one of the most talented singers the show has seen in years. The young contestant has shown her natural flair through her renditions of songs including Whitney Houston "How Will I Know" and Mariah Carey's "My All."
Make sure to catch the American Idols Live Tour when it comes to your town and see these talented performs as they start down the path to stardom.
Were curious: Which Idol do you think will have the best career? Tell us in the comment section below.
About American Idol Live! Tour
Fans of the show who purchased American Idols Live! Tour tickets during its inaugural run were given the opportunity to catch the initial glimpses of first season winner Kelly Clarkson before she went down the path to stardom. Joined by runners up Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin and six others, the 30-stop tour was Clarkson's first exposure to concertgoers, and she has since grown into one of the most popular acts in the country thanks to hits like "Miss Independent," "Since U Been Gone" and her most recent single "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)."
The initial American Idols Live! Tour was a hit and has been every year since. The nationwide concert series has introduced the music world to several big names throughout the year including country star Carrie Underwood, who embarked on the tour in 2005 after winning the fourth season. Other stars who have made a name for themselves on the tour include Daughtry lead singer Chris Daughtry, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.