It seems like a just a couple of years ago that I was thumbing through an issue of Q Magazine and jealously resenting all of the summer festivals with the amazing line-ups (most notably, Glastonbury) that the Brits got to enjoy. Now in 2006, it seems like everyone and their brother is trying to start the next Glasto here in The States. The trend seemed to have been sparked by Coachella, and then just exploded everywhere. Intonation, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Desdemona, Bumbershoot...and now there's Hedgpeth?. As if Intonation, Pitchfork Music Fest, Lollapalooza and Milwaukee's Summerfest wasn't enough in the area, we now have the Hedgpeth Festival just an hour and a half north in lovely Twin Lakes, WI, near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. Headliners include The Flaming Lips (who apparently are physically unable to turn down any festival invitation), They Might Be Giants, The Go! Team, Primus and Kings of Leon. Oddly enough, Hedgepeth is the same weekend as the Pitchfork Music Festival, though I guess we're really talking apples and oranges here. So what has caused this sudden resurrection of the summer festival in The States? To be fair, a couple of the aforementioned festivals have been around for quite some time. Bumbershoot is apparently in its 36th year, and of course Lollapalooza first started in the early 90s. Since "indie" is the new "alternative," one of my theories is that the cycle has just come back around. Now that real bands who play real music are back in vogue, there's a large enough fan base to support the festival scene again. Still, across the board, the festival scene is definitely as big as it has been in quite some time, if not at an all-time high. We've had a lot of big festivals through the years, but I can't think of any other era where we've had so many festivals going on at the same time. So what are your theories? Is this a good thing for music or is the market overly saturated? Are festivals here to stay or is this just a trend that's going to fizzle out when the music cycle shifts again? Discuss...I'll expect your 200+ word essays in my inbox by tomorrow morning.