Since the earliest days of the classic rock era, at places that have become legendary -- Woodstock, Monterey, Altamont, Isle of Wight -- summertime outdoor rock festivals have been crowd magnets. Of course, we're rather partial to those that feature classic rock artists, and those are the ones that make our 2012 (classic) rock festival list.
Originally, Download was to have been the first stop on a reunion tour of the oirginal Black Sabbath
lineup. They will be minus Bill Ward, who bowed out because he was unhappy with the contract he was offered. Metallica
are also among bands booked for the 10th anniverary edition of the heavy metal festival.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
In just a few years, Bonnaroo has become one of the largest and most popular multi-genre festivals. When 2012 tickets went on sale, the ticket vendor's system overloaded, and sales had to be suspended for several days. Alice Cooper
will be the classic rock banner carrier. This will also be one of the stops on The Beach Boys
' reunion tour.
Isle of Wight Festival
Beginning in 1970, Glastonbury (Glasto, to its ardent admirers) is the world's largest outdoor music and performing arts festival -- sort of like an annual Woodstock (including the mud, which Glasto often has.) There is no Glastonbury festival in 2012 because of potential conflicts with the Summer Olympics in London. Tickets for Glasto 2013 are already on sale.
This is the 45th year for Milwaukee's Summerfest. There's always an eclectic musical mix, as evidenced by the list of headliners which includes The Beach Boys, Megadeath, and Alice Cooper.
Moondance Jam 21
, Iron Maiden
, Alice Cooper
and Lita Ford
will represent classic rock at Cadott, Wisconsin's Rock Fest. This one is especially popular with festival fans because of the opportunities to take photos from directly in front of the stage, and the number of beer pavilions.
Newport Folk Festival
is a headliner at Rhode Island's Newport Folk Festival 2012. Newport has been around since 1959, making it one of the oldest summer festivals, and one credited with propelling artists like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez into the national spotlight.
Lollapalooza is another of those festivals that doesn't book many classic rock artists, but in 2012 it will be one of only three dates still on the books for the original Black Sabbath lineup (minus drummer Bill Ward.) Not-quite-classic rock artists will include Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, and Jack White.