There are dozens of reasons why people list summer as their favorite season.
But for a few local music lovers, it's because summer is also festival season.
Traveling to music festivals is still as popular in the present as it was during the Woodstock era, with hundreds of events happening throughout the summer and across the country. Whether it's to see jazz or jam bands, people like Tara Householder would choose a concert night over a beach day any chance they get.
Tara Householder of Huntingdon took this shot of the lawn at the 2011 All Good music festival in Masontown, W.Va.
"Whenever you get there, it's like a whole different world," Householder, 29, of Huntingdon said of her festival experiences. "Bob Marley said it best, 'When the music hits you, you feel no pain.' For me, when the music hits you, all the worries you had and everyday life just go away."
Householder has been attending festivals for the past 10 years, starting with those put on locally in Huntingdon County. But in 2003, she made the trek down to Manchester, Tenn. for Bonnaroo, which has grown into a five-day festival and one of the biggest in the country. Every summer since then, Householder has hit anywhere from one to five festivals during the season.
"I had a great time," Householder said of Bonnaroo. "Just being with my friends and hanging out ... you're gathered in the wilderness with a group of people you've never met, but you're all there for the same reason."
This year, Householder is sticking closer to home by attending the All Good music festival in Thornville, Ohio, next month. She said she enjoys camping at festivals, usually in a tent or an RV.
"I like the experience of camping and just being out there," she said. "You never know what you're going to miss, you can't see anything in a hotel room."
It'd be a bit more difficult for someone like JoAnn Johnston to camp out - she'll be flying halfway across the world to attend a concert.
Johnston, 63, of Altoona, and her husband, Jon, will travel to a small town in Tuscany, Italy, called Lajatico to see classical tenor vocalist Andrea Bocelli perform live next month. JoAnn said Jon jumped through hoops, including hiring an Italian interpreter, to secure the tickets to see their favorite male vocalist as a surprise for her birthday.
"I'll cry through it," she said of the performance, adding that their tickets are very close to the stage. "I just don't even think I'm going to bother with makeup. [His music] breaks down my soul."
This is the seventh time the couple has been to Europe, but the first time they will ever see a concert there.
Mike Jacobs, 50, of Altoona, prefers the local atmosphere, and frequents live music events in the area like the Alive @ 5 concert series, the Ameriserv Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown and the Billtown Blues Festival in Williamsport. Then two years ago, he made his way to Jazzfest in New Orleans, and went back again this past April.
"It was just amazing, the music and the atmosphere," he said.
And for a city still bouncing back from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, Jacobs said he can't see how a festival that draws up to 100,000 each year could be bad for the economy.
"It has to bring in millions of dollars," he said. "People, they thank you for coming. Musicians, restaurant workers, bar employees - they know we're helping them and they appreciate it."
Jacobs has been around music all his life, with a lot of his family members being musicians and him having been a sound engineer for a band in the '80s.
"My dad, every Sunday morning after church, would listen to polka shows," Jacobs recalled. "I even learned to like listening to that."
With such a diverse background and varied musical tastes, Jacobs would encourage others to broaden their horizons by traveling to a festival.
"You've gotta expand your atmosphere and mind," he said. "You have to go out and take in new stuff and stay fresh and young. In the last five years I've seen so much good music and new music, it makes it exciting."
For Typhani Russo, traveling to a concert wasn't just the start of something fun - it was the start of a life-changing relationship. On the second date with her current boyfriend Peter Kristine, he asked her to go on a multiple-day trip to Chicago, Ohio and Hershey to see the band Phish perform in each city. Now, they go to three shows together or more each summer.
"There are just so many people who are carefree and just love life," Russo, 26, of Altoona, said about people at concerts. "Music brings everyone together. No one is worrying about anything while you're there, you're just breathing in the fresh air and loving summer and listening to great music."
Aside from going to a variety of shows together, Typhani said she and Peter have also seen Phish nine times. Last summer, they traveled to Watkins Glen, N.Y., to attend Superball IX, a festival that is put on by the band every couple of years. Russo said she was surprised by how well her first camping experience went at the festival, as the the festival grounds had both showers and hot water. She was also surprised by how diverse the age range was for the festival attendees, as she saw children as young as 2 and people in their 80s.
"I saw women and men, gray hair, having a blast," she recalled. "I have a feeling that's how Peter will want to live our life until we're old, too, keeping that tradition."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.