5 all-inclusive music festivals to see | VailDaily.com

5 all-inclusive music festivals to see

Michael Franti & Spearhead perform on the beach at the Dead and Company's Playing in the Sand in Mexico.
Special to the Daily |

The ever-evolving world of live music and entertainment has entered a new phase of musical weekends. Think of it as a fantasy camp with your favorite artists subbing for major athletes.

I’m not sure who got this rocking fad started, but they are growing in popularity and I think the world is better place for it. I am talking about the numerous bands that combine weekends of Lollapalooza-type festivals with all inclusive resorts and/or cruises.

There are a few bands who have been doing this for sometime, such as Moe and String Cheese Incident, but more recently much larger bands such as Dead and Company and My Morning Jacket have gotten into the game. Here’s a look at weekend festivals for you to consider this year.

My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday

March 2-5: This event slated for Punta Cana has a short list of acts who have released fantastic albums in the past year and are reaching their prime as live performers just in time for the four-day affair.

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The price tag of roughly $2,000 a person includes all the booze and food you can consume while enjoying some tasty tunes from the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff, Spoon, Portugal.The Man and Moon Taxi in addition to three full sets from the weekend hosts — My Morning Jacket — a tremendous live band that recently announced these performances, for just a few thousand fans, will be their last for sometime as the members will pursue their individual careers.

Widespread Panic’s Panic At The Playa

Jan. 26-30: Much like the Dead’s party, Widespread Panic is the main draw here. A few musical guests such as Marcus King and David Shaw, of The Revivalists, get a chance to stretch their musical muscle with a number of all star jam sessions.

Think WinterWonderGrass Festival on a beach. Throw in a few Neville Brothers, Duane Trucks and others and you have a southern jam band extravaganza in, well, the deep, deep south.

Dead and Company’s Playing In The Sand

Feb. 15-19: The ageless jammers will play six sets over four nights in the Rivera Maya. The Barcelo Maya weekend is sold out and includes a Michael Franti & Spearhead performance on the beach just a short walk from every Deadhead’s room.

Be ready for anything to happen as last year Bob Weir was a no show, but this year marks John Mayer’s return to the band from his recent hospital stay for appendicitis.

Jam Cruise 16

Jan. 17-22: This might just be the grand daddy of them all as the all inclusive boat tour stops in Honduras and Grand Cayman after leaving Miami.

The lineup looks like the best of Vail’s Street Beat shows as Galactic headlines this year with Madeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood joined by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Main Squeeze and Kellers Williams. You should go knocking on the boat that is rocking.

Zac Brown Band’s Castaway in Rivera Maya

Jan. 27-31: Though I’m not much a of a country fan, the Zac Brown Band is as close to rock ’n’ roll as it gets. Throw in a strong multi-genre lineup that includes Trombone Shorty, The Wailers, Dawes and Michael Franti and you have yourself an all inclusive not just in food and booze in this Mexican paradise but also in shapes and styles of music.

So don’t fret over the lack of precipitation here in the Vail Valley and head out for a rock ’n’ roll extravagant weekend where the inches are measured in beers drank and sandy beach front walked.

Tom Genes is a musicologist and is on air Mondays through Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m. on KZYR. Genes hails from Flossmoor, Illinois, and Edwards. He can be reached via email at tom@kzyr.com.

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