Outdoor rock festivals and camping have gone together since the Grateful Dead days, but something’s changed in the last few years: No longer are we talking hippies and a few bead-sellers. The festivals, thriving on the laidback college culture marketed by Abercrombie & Fitch and given a green sheen by such eco-rockers as Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson, are big business nowadays. And that’s hardly a bad thing.
Witness what’s happening with the 10,000 Lakes Festival, held July 22 to 25 in Detroit Lakes and one of the largest such shows in the country. The lineup has intriguingly diversified, even if the headliners remain jam-band stalwarts: The Dave Matthews Band and Widespread Panic. Indie-rock heroes Wilco are also on the bill, along with the local hip-hop stars in Atmosphere. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings add a dose of a hip neo-soul, and Junior Brown offers some serious classic-country legitimacy.
The slick website photos tend to feature bikini-clad youth and tie-dyed campers, but it’s clear this festival is aimed at anyone with a taste for good music.