Festival Noize: March Madness, Knotfest, D’été de Québec, Malibu Guitars, Vertex, Merryland & More

Houston to host a weekend of free shows in honor of the college basketball tournament . . . Secret Solstice promises 24 hours of sun and music . . . Knotfest sets Japan details . . . 11 days of music in Festival D’été de Québec . . . Aficionados converge for Malibu Guitar Fest . . . Adventure + nature + music = Vertex . . . Inaugural Merryland festival set to bring eclectic mix of sounds . . . Georgia’s Counterpoint will not return this Spring.

The 2016 NCAA March Madness Music Festival has announced its lineup on March 14: Maroon 5PitbullFall Out BoyFlo RidaPanic! At The DiscoJason Derulo are on the bill for the April 1-3 festival in downtown Houston, Texas.

Photo: Joey Hernandez
United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, TX

The schedule seems to be somewhat organized by genre, with rockers Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco playing together on Friday, crooners Jason Derulo and Conrad Sewell performing on Saturday, and rappers Flo Rida and Pitbull taking the stage on Sunday along with headliners Maroon 5.

On Saturday the event will also feature a live broadcast of the first semifinal game of the NCAA’s iconic tournament.

The event is non-ticketed and available to the public on a first-come basis. More information can be found here.

Concertgoers venturing North to Iceland’s Secret Solstice Festival can look forward to seeing RadioheadDeftonesDie Antwoord and Of Monsters and Men, headlining the event June 17-19. Featuring over 100 performing artists on multiple stages, the festival is held during the summer solstice, while Iceland’s days have 24 hours of sun.

Photo: AP Photo

For those interested in a more personal experience, a special June 18 side-event will be available to only 20 ticket holders: a private concert inside Thrihnukagigur volcano from a secret artist who is yet to be revealed. These tickets cost about $2,000 a pop, and include a VIP ticket to the main event.

Tickets to a number of other side events are also available. These include the Secret Lagoon Party, which takes place in a naturally heated, geothermal pool, or the Into the Glacier event, which invites participants to party inside an actual glacier. Sounds chill.

Tickets to the entire festival and to the side events are currently available at SecretSolstice.is.

Headbanger favorite Slipknot returns to the Land of the Rising Sun for Knotfest Japan. The event is set for November 5-6, will feature 20 bands which have not yet been revealed.

The event will be the second time Knotfest comes to Japan, with the first iteration in 2014. Earlier this year the band also announced Knotfest Mexico, which is scheduled for October 15-16. The festival will take place in the U.S. in San Bernardino, Calif. October 24-25 and will feature Judas PriestKornMastodonGhostface KillahTriviumMobb DeepGwar and many more.

“I celebrate Knotfest Japan as a high watermark of my legacy,” Shawn “Clown” Crahan of Slipknot said. “We began plotting our return the moment we got on the plane home.”

The band’s live shows make full use of the band’s extensive percussion section and a wide array of on-stage theatrics, which have helped it develop a reputation as a highly-entertaining act.

Tickets are available at KnotfestJapan.com.

For 11 days this summer nearly 1,000 artists from a wide variety of genres will perform at the Festival D’été de Québec. The July 7-17 event will feature Sting and Peter GabrielSheryl CrowDuran DuranSelena GomezRed Hot Chili PeppersIce CubeKaskadeRammstein and over 900 more.

The festival will have 10 indoor and outdoor venues in Québec City, Canada, and will host concerts at historic locations like the Plains of Abraham.

Passes to the entire 11-day festival are available for $90 CAN (about $67 USD), but there are all also free concerts and activities hosted throughout the city during the festival for anyone seeking only to visit.

You can buy passes starting March 16 online at InfoFestival.com and by phone at 1-855-800-3347, with a limit of eight passes per transaction. On June 7, prices for festival passes will increase to $100 CAN (about $75 USD).

Guitar geeks get ready, because the Malibu Guitar Festival is returning for another go-around April 28- May 1. This year Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Albert Lee top the bill of shredders.

A wide diversity of guitarists are set to play the festival, representing many different genres, from jazz to blues to country. Besides performances the festival also features a fundraiser, a special Guitar Brunch and an art exhibit.

Photo: Richie Downs for I.M.P. at Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC
"Experience Hendrix," Lincoln Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Although only in its second year, the event has been honored by the Malibu Times for its service to the Malibu community. Proceeds from the event benefit charities and in 2015 the festival raised over $30,000 for a number of organizations that work with children and youth.

More information is available at MalibuGuitarFestival.com and early bird tickets are available here.

OdeszaAlabama Shakes and Trey Anastasio Band have all confirmed their participation in the inaugural Vertex music festival in Buena Vista, Colo. The event will be held on a local ranch and expects to draw visitors who can gain appreciate the natural beauty of Colorado’s mountain valleys.

Festivalgoers are encouraged to try out local outdoor adventures such as whitewater rafting, hiking and rock climbing while at the festival. Ticket prices include meadow camping for those seeking to get the full, nature-loving experience.

Photo: Mary Andrews / ConcertLivewire.com
The Marquee, Tempe, Ariz.

The event is scheduled to take place from August 5-7, during the peak tourist season for Buena Vista, so if you plan on going but not camping, it might be wise to reserve hotel rooms well in advance.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards philanthropic endeavors, including the establishment of a community garden and funding music in public schools.

General admission tickets are available at $199.75 at VertexFestival.com. Information regarding VIP tickets can also be found at the same site.

A new festival is set to make Maryland merry with two days of live music this year. Ben Harper and the Innocent CriminalsThe String Cheese Incident, Grace Potter and Stephen “Ragga” Marley are all slated to appear at the inaugural Merryland Music Fest, to be held July 9-10 in Columbia, Mar.

The event will have two stages and will feature local artisans, philanthropic groups and crowd performers. The organizers describe a part of their mission as helping promote self-expression and community awareness through music education, and is partnered with Baltimore-based nonprofit Believe in Music.

While this festival is new, the , the site of Merryland, has hosted acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead.

Advance two-day weekend passes go on sale March 18 and single-day passes start on March 25. Ticket options include general admission, pavilion pit, and lawn tickets. More information can be found at MerrylandMusicFest.com.

Bad news for Atlanta concert lovers: organizers have said CounterPoint Music Festival will not be returning to  this spring.

The festival experienced problems last year, as it was rescheduled to Labor Day weekend, but did ultimately take place. Performers included Widespread PanicZeddThe RootsKygoZeds Dead, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and .

Organizers have said they are exploring other options for the festival’s return.