Festivals: Sounds of a Summer Night

A craving for music seems to possess the U.S. in the summertime. From coast to coast, Americans brave torrential downpours, smoggy traffic jams, cement seats, grass stains and mosquitoes to get within the sound of music. They seek it out in bosky glens and canopied pavilions, up on mountaintops and down in gulches, in abandoned cow pastures and deserted mining towns, on a riverbank beside a barge and in the middle of a city zoo.

Part rite and part romp, the summer music festival attests the ever-widening U.S. interest in the arts. The...

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