The best music festivals in the U.S

The best music festivals in the U.S.

Remember Woodstock in 1969? That’s where outdoor music festivals started in the US, and now they’re everywhere! From massive events like Coachella to intimate genre-specific gatherings, there’s a festival for every taste throughout the year.

Craving live music, delicious food, and an electric atmosphere? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with top music festivals happening across America in 2024. Whether you love pop, country, EDM, or folk, there’s a festival within road trip distance ready to make you dance the year away.

SXSW | Austin, TX

1. SXSW | Austin, TX

When: March 8–16, 2024

Launched in 1987, SXSW has become a massive gathering that brings in revenue, influence, and tons of entertainment to Austin. Over 280,000 people attended the 10-day festival in 2019! It’s now a key player on the national entertainment scene.

SXSW offers something for everyone with its various sections:

  • Music: Hear over 2,000 bands performing live all around Austin.
  • Film: Catch screenings of hot new movies, attend panels, and participate in workshops.
  • Comedy: A week of side-splitting routines featuring both established and up-and-coming comedians.
  • Interactive: This ever-more-popular section features talks, panels, a pitch competition, and the SXSW Accelerator program.

2. Big Ears: A Genre-Bending Musical Feast

When: March 21–24, 2024

Forget labels! Big Ears is all about open-minded music exploration. Dive into a world where classical masterpieces share stages with bold indie rock, electrifying jazz, and head-banging metal. This adventurous festival celebrates music without boundaries, featuring a diverse lineup that pushes the limits of categorization.

For four days, Knoxville transforms into a music lover’s paradise. Imagine grand concert halls, cozy clubs, and even serene churches pulsating with a vibrant mix of sounds. With everything conveniently located within walking distance, Big Ears lets you experience an unforgettable musical journey.

Big Ears | Knoxville, TN

3. Ultra Music Festival

When: March 22-24, 2024

Calling All Ultranauts: Ultra Music Festival Heats Up Miami

Miami gets electric for three days at Ultra Music Festival, a global phenomenon considered one of the best EDM events. House, techno, and pulsating beats take center stage as music lovers from around the world – the “Ultranauts” – descend upon downtown Miami for a non-stop party. This year’s lineup boasts headliners like Calvin Harris, Afrojack, Black Tiger Sex Machine, David Guetta, and Zeds Dead, guaranteeing an unforgettable dance experience.

Ultra Music Festival | Miami, FL

4. Coachella | Indio, CA

When: April 12–14 and 19-21, 2024

Coachella: Desert Oasis of Music Bliss

Over 100,000 music fans flock to Coachella each weekend, transforming the Empire Polo Club into a vibrant music Mecca. Whether camping under the stars or arriving in style from nearby resorts, festival-goers unite for one thing: the magic of a perfectly-curated lineup under the vast desert sky. While fancy food options and after-parties might grab attention, Coachella’s heart lies in the relaxed desert vibes and euphoric atmosphere that only a world-class music festival can create.

Coachella | Indio, CA

5. Jazz & Heritage Festival | New Orleans, LA

When: April 25–May 5, 2024

A New Orleans Tradition: Jazz Fest Goes Beyond the Genre

New Orleans’ Jazz Fest isn’t just one of the biggest music festivals in the US, it’s also one of the longest-running, kicking off in 1970 and thriving ever since. Close to half a million people descend upon the city to experience a musical gumbo – a vibrant mix of jazz, blues, rock, and roots music.

Forget recycled headliners! Jazz Fest goes above and beyond with legendary artists. This year’s lineup transcends genres, featuring powerhouses like the Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton, The Killers, Hozier, and Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s a festival experience unlike any other.

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