Four “Cultural” Events To Hit In 2012
by Jess Linn
Don’t worry. They aren’t actually that cultural. And I promise that Burning Man isn’t on the list.
This iconic music festival is back again in May, with one twist – due to huge crowds and robust ticket sales, identical lineups will be playing two weekends, rather than just one, so twice as many tickets will be available. Additionally, airline ticket should be a little cheaper, as will hotel rooms. Purists may cry foul, but 2012 will make Coachella more accessible to everyone, so take advantage of this experiment, so get your ass out to the Palm Springs desert. The lineup is normally announced a in February or so, but you can assume there will penty of music to satisfy every appetite.
Most people know SXSW (or "South by Southwest," if you're a total tool) as a music festival, which it certainly is, but it’s also so much more, also serving as a film festival and new technology conference. But all that’s incidental. What it all means is that for two weeks in late March, Austin gets turned into a citywide party. UT is on spring break, but it’s hard to leave Austin during this onslaught of music, parties, bars, and humanity. Locals hate the growth the event has seen in recent years, but for those who thrive on partying, SXSW gets better and better every year. JAGT will be there reporting live, when sober enough to do so.
Note: I originally had picked Austin’s F1 race as the event to attend, but pressure from track owners pushed its debut back to 2013, sadly. Bummer, but it will certainly be worth the wait.
Art Basel – Miami
Not to be confused with the event in Switzerland, the Miami outpost of this conference-cum-art show serves as the art world’s answer to SXSW. Look for irreverent shows, swanky parties, and thousands of people who look amazing even by Miami standards. It’s generally in early December, so it serves as a wonderful respite from the winter weather. Book flights and hotels early, as this event is growing bigger and bigger every year.
Summerfest – Milwaukee
The yen to the yang of Art Basel would be something along the lines of Summerfest, which takes place in Milwaukee in June. It doesn’t draw the caliber of bands as other festivals do, but music isn’t really what Summerfest is about. Milwaukee gets about 10 weeks of hospitable weather per year, and the locals make damn sure they enjoy them, so catch a flight to MKE as everyone there spends the month outside before hibernating all winter. Don’t worry about bringing your own beer and sausages. They have plenty there.