- Nashville, United States of America
- 8-11 June 2023
United States of America
The cultural dominance of the United States can’t really be overstated. No matter what may be happening on a political front, all things artistic, be it film, visual, or music, one way or another find their way to the USA.
And with Hollywood’s clout not going anywhere and three out of the four major music labels based in America, it doesn’t look like this is going to change anytime soon.
Everything’s bigger here, and this, of course, applies to music festivals. The country is home to some of the biggest and most recognised in the world, with the list of American music festivals headed by the likes of Coachella, The Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Monterey Jazz Festival, Bonnaroo, South by Southwest, and Austin City Limits.
Other countries may boast a handful of festivals on par with even the biggest American festivals, but no other country in the world comes close to offering the sheer volume and range that the States does.
Everything from niche boutique city festivals to mammoth classic rural weekenders can be found throughout the country’s 50 states. All genres are covered, all audiences catered for. And there are new additions added every year.
Dance music festivals include EDC Las Vegas and EDC Orlando, two huge EDM festivals, and Dancefestopia, a bass music camping festival in Kansas. The mainstay of Phoenix Lights Festival is EDM, but it also reaches into the musical spheres of techno, dubstep, and hip hop. Lights All Night takes place in Dallas between Christmas and New Year, and has featured sets from Diplo, Gucci Mane and Tiesto. At Hangout Music Festival you can enjoy hip hop, EDM, alternative, rock and pop acts, as well as taking part in a roller disco, beach sports and relaxing in a tropical spa. Elements Music & Arts Festival in Lakewood, Pennsylvania features a lineup from across the range of electronic genres, and visitors can benefit from its rural location with forest, lake, and beach areas. In Atlanta, Imagine Festival specialises in EDM and house music, with recent lineups including Diplo, Above & Beyond, Marshmello and Alison Wonderland.
Fans of country music should show up to Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California or Old Settlers Music Festival in Texas. Stagecoach features the biggest names in country, as well as folk, bluegrass and roots rock acts. Old Settlers has a more traditional lineup and provides a wholesome experience for all the family.
If you are into Bluegrass then head to UTOPiAfest in Texas or Huck Finn Jubilee in California. Huck Finn has played host to The String Cheese Incident, Ralph Stanley, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Yonder Mountain String Band, the Lone Bellow, and many more.
Mashup festivals like KAABOO del Mar mix multi-genre music with comedy and art. Ozy Fest takes things further adding the likes of political debates, thought provoking discussions and original podcasts to broaden the appeal of their festival. Firefly Music Festival is another multi-genre festival with incredible artists, areas to explore and hammocks to relax in. If you like hard rock music acts and tattoo artists then head to Inkcarceration Festival in Ohio. Pickathon mixes a diverse rock lineup with art installations and alcoholic refreshments courtesy of local breweries and wineries. At Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival in San Diego you can expect to see R&B, rock and alternative acts, as well as tasting the best local food and drink. You can also marvel at the art installations and have fun at the beach parties. In September, in downtown Las Vegas you can experience Life is Beautiful Festival, with its mix of music, art, comedy and workshops. Expect to see acts like Chance the Rapper, Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, and Post Malone. Lucidity Festival mixes dance music with core principles like participation in the arts, personal growth, global healing, environmental and social responsibility, family fun and more. Lightning in a Bottle mixes electronic music (think acts like Disclosure and DJ Koze) with yoga and wellness talks, showcases and activities. At BUKU Music + Art Project in New Orleans you can find multi-genre lineups, as well as local visual artists, and surprise pop-up street performers. Making its debut in June 2020 will be Virgin Fest Los Angeles, which is likely to feature some of the biggest names in music across the spectrum of hip hop, rock, pop, and dance.
How great is the American festival scene really? Just take a look at our picks for the Top 15 Music Festivals in the USA.