Every spring, New Orleans puts on something called the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. But as Jazz Fest has grown more and more popular, the headlining acts have had less and less to do with jazz or New Orleans heritage; this year, headliners include Kid Rock, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett and, of course, recent Album of the Year winners Arcade Fire.
Inviting artists like that to your Jazz & Heritage Festival is sort of like holding something called the Ragtime and Bonzo Skiffle-palooza and inviting Metallica. It just doesn't gel. Which led us to imagine: what if other well-known music festivals invited acts that didn't quite fit their theme?
Why, it might look something like...
American Folk Festival: Much like the Jazz & Heritage Festival, this year's American Folk Festival will be featuring just about everything but folk music, although we hear Iron Maiden's Dave Murray plays a mean banjo.
Pitchfork Music Festival: This year's Pitchfork Music Festival consists entirely of bands so new and cutting-edge, they haven't even been formed yet.
Glastonbury: Once a haven for independent and innovative artists, Glastonbury's 2011 line-up seems a little bit past its prime.
Inferno Music Festival: Oslo's Inferno Music Festival is typically a showcase for death metal's most brutal Cookie Monster shriekers, although this year they seem to be taking a somewhat different approach. We hope they're well-stocked on hair spray.
South By Southwest: Some people have been saying that SXSW has gotten way too big and completely lost its original independent spirit. We say if rags-to-riches YouTube sensation Justin Bieber doesn't symbolize Austin's own plucky DIY vibe, then who does?
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.