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Summer Festivals 2017: 5 Stories to Watch

From Bonnaroo’s comeback to Chance the Rapper’s victory lap

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Find out what to look for during festival season 2017, including Chance the Rapper's dominance and the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac's new Classic fests.

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As many major artists gear up to hit the road for big summer tours, others are preparing for a festival-heavy season. Here are five stories to watch, from the arrival of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac’s Classic East/West events to the return of Jay Z to the festival circuit.

New Orleans' Essence Festival

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Unsung Fest

Though it doesn’t receive the press of
Coachella, New Orleans’ Essence Festival draws just as many people. This year’s
features Chance, Diana Ross and Solange. In 2016 it drew 450,000 and included a
moving Kendrick Lamar set. “We’re a predominantly black audience,”
says Cori Murray, the entertainment director. “You get moments you won’t
get anywhere else.”

Bonnaroo Bets On U2

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Bonnaroo Bets On U2

Last year, Bonnaroo’s attendance plunged 38
percent – partly the result of new major-city fests like Panorama and Governors
Ball. This year, the Tennessee festival scored U2, who will play for a new
crowd between their own stadium sellouts. “I don’t think it means ‘problem
solved,'” says Tom Windish of Paradigm, which books acts like Coldplay. “I
don’t know how many U2 fans are going to go see them out there.”

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