Top 10 USA Music Festivals; Which One is the Best for You?
Every year, a variety of music festivals throughout the United States feature some of the most popular artists in the industry, alongside lesser known musicians to obtain more exposure for their music. From the trendy fashionistas at Coachella to the cultural community at Burning Man, every festival goer is different, and every music festival caters to a different audience. If you are planning to attend a music festival within the next year, but are having trouble deciding which event to go to, we have the ultimate guide to some of the most popular music festivals in the country.
One of the most popular music festivals that is commonly seen throughout social media is Coachella. The event is held in the Colorado Desert in Coachella Valley and runs for two weekends around mid April. Coachella is often recognized for the bold and outrageous fashion choices of its attendees. However, it is also known to feature many well known artists such as K-Pop girl group BLACKPINK, Khalid, Zedd, and Ariana Grande, who put on spectacular performances to help the crowd beat the desert heat. Due to the large variety of artists, Coachella caters to many music genres; the most popular being pop, rock, independent music, hip-hop, and EDM. If you are looking to make bold fashion statements, take many pictures, and jam out to some of the year’s most popular music, Coachella is the festival for you!
On the other side of the United States, many East-Coasters gather on Randall’s Island in New York City to attend Governor’s Ball. Governor’s Ball usually runs for one weekend at the end of May or the beginning of June. Similarly to Coachella, Governor’s Ball features some top name artists that perform spectacular sets to keep the audience entertained. In the past, crowds have gathered to see Tyler the Creator, Eminem, Halsey, and many other artists on both the main stage and the smaller stages throughout the event. If you would like to learn more about Governor’s Ball, you can view our 2019 and 2018 recaps on the event, and take a listen to our Governor’s Ball 2019 playlist on Spotify!
While there’s Governor’s Ball on the East Coast and Coachella on the West Coast, the Midwest has Lollapalooza. This music festival takes place in Chicago, Illinois and usually occurs during the first weekend of August. Approximately 400,000 people gather on Grant’s Island to listen to the high energy performances of some of the big names in music, such as Lauren Daigle, Ariana Grande, and Twenty One Pilots. This festival caters to people of all different music tastes, with a focus on pop, rock, alternative, and indie music. To learn more about Lollapalooza itself, be sure to check out our Lollapalooza 2018 recap article!
Firefly Festival is another popular music festival for East Coasters as it is located in Dover, Delaware. The event occurs annually around the last weekend of June. Unlike the previous festivals, Firefly does not feature as many pop artists as it does rappers, rock bands, and alternative musicians. Firefly 2019, which took place the weekend of June 21st, headlined some of the top rappers and alternative rock bands in the music industry, including Post Malone, Travis Scott, and Panic! At the Disco. To read more about the music festival, we have two articles regarding Firefly Festival and a Spotify playlist for the 2019 event!
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place annually at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee around mid June. Originally focusing more on folk rock and jam bands, the festival has expanded its horizons to include a variety of genres such as pop, rock, and rap. Bonnaroo 2019 headlined many popular names in music such as Childish Gambino, Post Malone, and The Lumineers as nearly 80,000 festival goers enjoyed the variety of musical performances on the farm in which the event takes place. Bonnaroo Festival is great for those that are located around the South and are willing to experience a variety of musical genres within one weekend.
SXSW (South by Southwest) is another notable music festival that occurs in the United States. Not only is this event a musical festival, but it also showcases film and interactive media through performances, talks and screenings. SXSW takes place in Austin, Texas and runs for about a week in mid-March. SXSW features smaller names artists who are looking to gain exposure from the thousands of festival goers that attend each year. If you are interested in film, interactive media, and learning about new local artists, SXSW may be the festival for you.
Ultra Music Festival is an annual EDM festival in Miami, Florida. The festival runs for one weekend around mid to late March and is known to hype up a crowd with the upbeat performances. Many popular DJ’s and EDM producers such as Afrojack, David Guetta, and The Chainsmokers have made an appearance at Ultra Music Festival in the past. If you plan on attending Ultra Music Festival, be prepared to dance and jump around to the beat of the music.
Electric Zoo is another popular EDM music festival that is actually taking place at the end of this month! Taking place on Randall’s Island, New York City, the upcoming festival is set to have some of the most popular EDM artists featured on its mainstage such as Zedd, Skrillex, and Diplo, throughout the course of the weekend. The stage and the effects of Electric Zoo prove to be extravagant and contribute to the overall utopian environment that dance fans experience when they attend the event. If you are thinking of going to Electric Zoo this year, we can already tell it will be an unforgettable experience.
For those around the Baltimore area, Moonrise festival is a great event to attend if you an EDM or rap fan. The festival takes place at the Pimlico Race Course and runs for two days in mid-August. Some of the most notable artists from this past lineup were Alan Walker, 21 Savage, Desiigner and Cheatcodes. Although the event recently passed for the 2019 summer season, you can never doubt that next year’s lineup will bring an overwhelming amount of energy to hype up the crowd and make for an electrifying experience.
The last festival on our list is Burning Man Festival that takes place in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This festival is unique because it does not feature a typical lineup of popular artists. Instead, it showcases music, art, and culture that is driven by those that attend the event. The festival considers itself to be more of a community for this reason, and provides a unique experience for those who are looking to learn more about individual cultures and form communal bonds with others. The event runs for approximately nine to ten days from mid-August to September. Don’t miss out on your chance to experience this amazing gathering of cultural in community.
Overall, there are many types of music festivals that cater to all kinds of music lovers. However, as shown from the variety of genres and art forms represented throughout these events, it is evident that music festivals do more for its attendees than just entertain. They introduce new cultures and provide for a diverse social environment.