Before summer music festivals, the only way to catch musicians live was to bait a Havahart trap with peanut-butter-covered guitar picks or a Fender Stratocaster carved out of cheese. Catch wild acts with today’s Groupon: for $12, you get a three-day general-admission pass to this year’s Firecracker 500 Festival at the Blue Moose Tap House on July 1–3. Doors open at 6 p.m. each day, and the festival is open to people of all ages through 10 p.m.
2011's Firecracker 500 Festival serves up more than 20 eclectic garage-rock groups bent on rocking an all-ages-audience's socks off over three thrash-filled days. Bands such as White Mystery and Pitchfork-reviewed quartet The Coathangers kick out jams with riot-grrrl grit, and headliners The Strange Boys shred psychedelic hooks sharper than Jimi Hendrix's diamond-tipped mustache-trimmers. The festival's full roster of up-and-coming acts can expose most attendees' ears to new shrieks and sounds.
Blue Moose Tap House's full-service bar slakes sing-along-induced thirsts with a selection of 24 draft beers. Vintage rock posters plaster the walls of its double-floor digs, and drinkers can also try their luck at a retro "hot-shot" basketball game or a round of red rover with the bartender.