EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 14, 2013

A Festival of Festivals

The big four have lots of competition these days. Pick your favorite summer music event and make it a vacation.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals know a little something about summer festivals after using the circuit to build their following.

So when they started their own festival, Grand Point North Festival in Vermont, they had a lot of specific ideas.

“It’s significantly smaller than most festivals and that’s intentional,” Potter said. “We also built the dream of Grand Point North around really showcasing the city of Burlington, Vt., because that’s the other character in the play. So many of my favorite festivals do that.”

America’s festival scene is no longer just the big four: Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

Grand Point North is one of several new festivals — some artist curated — that are thriving as the culture spreads across America.

Each has its own personality.

For Potter and her band, it’s about recreating the sense of discovery they always feel when they play up to 10 festivals a year.

“When I go to a festival I don’t look at the lineup,” Potter said. “I literally just wander around and discover new bands. That’s always been my goal because I like to be pleasantly surprised. The seeker in me always appreciates seeing something from the outside.”

Here’s a peek at a summer six pack of new festivals the seeker in you might want to check out:

Grand Point North Festival, Sept. 13-14: Potter and her band’s festival is inspired by fellow Vermont residents Phish, whose small city-sized festivals could pop up anywhere and include anyone. In its first year the festival drew bands like The Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Lineup highlights: To be announced.

Orion Music and More, June 8-9: The members of Metallica mean it when they say music and more. Last year, the festival included a classic car exhibit, the Metallica museum and guitarist Kirk Hammett’s horror movie memorabilia collections. Oh, and an eclectic lineup of bands. This year’s festival will be held on Detroit’s Belle Isle. Lineup highlights: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, Bassnectar and a reunited Infectious Grooves will join Metallica.

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