Pessimist's Guide to Summer Festivals
When he was 15, in 1992, the artist Andrew Kuo tagged along with his older brother to the second year of Lollapalooza in Stanhope, N.J. It was Mr. Kuo’s first summer festival, and he was so excited that he bought the albums by most of the bands on the bill beforehand. Then, halfway through the show, after sets from Pearl Jam (his favorite) and the Jesus and Mary Chain, “I didn’t want to be there anymore,” he said. “I felt like I was being held captive.” Thus began his lifelong ambivalence toward outdoor festivals. “When you finally get to the picnic, there’s ants everywhere,” Mr. Kuo said. Here’s a pessimist’s guide to the summer festival season, which kicks into high gear with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on Thursday in Manchester, Tenn. Mr. Kuo will be home napping.