It’s hard to explain the atmosphere that’s created at music festivals. They’re an absolute perfect place to a party, hang out with friends, meet new people, and listen to some amazing music (obviously). When it comes to the the America, there is not shortage of quality music festivals. I’ve compiled this list of what I would call the 25 best music festivals in America, and would encourage everyone to try and experience all of these before you die. How many have you been to already?
1. Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
- When: Mid-April
- Where: Indio, California
- Website: www.coachella.com
- Why: Have you been living under a rock? Coachella is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in the entire world. Set in the beautiful desert of California, and bringing in some of the biggest acts from a wide variety of genres, Coachella will be an experience you never forget. It might be expensive as hell, but it’s definitely worth every penny!
2. Electric Daisy Carnival
- When: June (Dates Change )
- Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Website: www.electricdaisycarnival.com
- Why: Raver’s Paradise. Hands down of the most massive raves in the world. Ever since getting kicked out of L.A in 2010, every year hundreds of thousands of people flock to Sin City and party from dusk till dawn under the electric sky.
- When: Mid-June
- Where: Manchester, Tennessee
- Website: www.bonnaroo.com
- Why: This 3 day camping festival in the great state of Tennessee always brings a stellar and diverse line-up, and doesn’t shut down early compared to many other festivals. Get yourself to TN for some amazing food, but an even better festival experience.
4. Ultra Music Festival
- When: Mid-March
- Where: Miami, Florida
- Website: www.ultramusicfestival.com
- Why: Boasting the World’s best DJs, unparalleled production, and location in the beautiful city of Miami, ULTRA Music Festival is the world’s premier electronic music festival.
6. Holy Ship
- When: January & February Each Year
- Where: Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Bahamas
- Website: http://holyship.com/
- Why: Mix 3 days of partying on a cruise ship with some of the best electronic acts, and a private island party in the Bahamas, Holy Ship is one festival that everyone needs to experience at least once.
7. Electric Forest
- When: End of June
- Where: Rothbury, Michigan
- Website: http://www.electricforestfestival.com/
- Why: Take the journey deep into the forest of Michigan for one of the most beautiful settings, incredible production, and bass heavy line-ups.
- When: Mid-May
- Where: The Gorge, Washington
- Website: http://www.sasquatchfestival.com/
- Why: Just look at that venue. Listening to incredible music in such a beautiful landscape is guaranteed to be filled with moments you’ll never forget.
- When: End of July / Early August
- Where: Chicago, Illinois
- Website: http://www.lollapalooza.com/
- Why: Perfectly located in downtown Chicago, and bringing in some amazing talent every year, Lollapalooza has really made a name for itself as one of the best festivals in America.
10. Movement Electronic
- When: Mid/End of May
- Where: Detroit, Michigan
- Website: http://movement.us/
- Why: The birthplace of techno. For underground music lovers, Movement Electronic is one of the best festivals out there for hearing nothing but quality techno tracks from some of the biggest names in the industry.
- When: End of September
- Where: Atlanta, Georgia
- Why: When Tomorrowland (arguably the most popular electronic music festival in the world) chose it’s location for expansion, they chose America. From creating an amazing Dreamville camping experience, top-notch production value, and bringing some of the best DJ’s in the world; TomorrowWorld has definitely earned it’s spot on this list.
12. Lightning In A Bottle
- When: Mid/ End of May
- Where: Bradley, California
- Website: http://lightninginabottle.org/
- Why: LIB has had some issues in the past securing a location, but it seems they have found their new home in Central California. A 3-day camping festival unlike any other the state has to offer, LIB is filled with nothing but quality music in an amazing atmosphere. Complete with yoga workshops, meditation, art installations, and much more; LIB is a festival you definitely want to experience.
13. Outside Lands
- When: August
- Where: San Francisco, California
- Website: http://www.sfoutsidelands.com/
- Why: Thrown at the beautiful location of Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands is one festival experience you definitely need to check out.
14. The Groove Cruise
- When: End of January / End of October
- Where: Miami – Jamaica / Los Angeles – Mexico
- Website: http://thegroovecruise.com/
- Why: What some people call the original festival + cruise experience, the Groove Cruise boasts an impressive line-up every year of some of the best electronic music. Having two departures from two different cities is also a plus! If you visit Miami, you should also check out these 25 Best Things to Do in Miami
15. HARD Summer
- When: Early August
- Where: Los Angeles, California
- Website: http://www.hardfest.com/
- Why: This annual 2-day festival in Los Angeles always has a stacked line-up, ranging from heavy electro-house and bass music, to the deeper sounds of the underground. HARD Summer is a west coast favorite among party goers.
16. The Governor’s Ball
- When: Early June
- Where: Randall’s Park, New York City
- Website: http://governorsballmusicfestival.com/
- Why: Set in the great city of New York, The Governor’s Ball is guaranteed to be an absolute blast. Randall’s Island Park is the perfect setting for a music festival, and with such a massive and diverse line-up, there’s definitely something for everyone.
17. Mysteryland U.S.A
- When: Mid/End of May
- Where: Bethel Woods, New York
- Why: Originally from the Netherlands, Mysteryland is another festival that has made it’s journey across the Atlantic and set-up shop in America. A 3-day camping festival in upstate New York, with a line-up that will make any electronic music fan drool. Oh, and one thing — it’s held on the same grounds the legendary Woodstock Festival was held!
18. Firefly Music Festival
- When: Mid/End of June
- Where: The Woodlands, Dover, Delaware
- Website: http://www.fireflyfestival.com/
- Why: This 4-day camping festival is music experience set among lush wooded landscapes, featuring a massive line-up covering practically every genre. Do yourself a favor, and get yourself to Delaware for this incredible festival.
19. Electric Zoo
- When: Early September
- Where: New York City, New York
- Website: http://electriczoofestival.com/
- Why: Although having some recent bad luck with cancellations because due to deaths at the festival, Electric Zoo is a must experience for ravers in America. Boasting several impressive stages that cover practically every genre of electronica, Electric Zoo will not disappoint. Head over to the Sunday School stage for the best in underground house and techno.
20. The Hangout Beach Music Festival
- When: Mid-May
- Where: The Gulf Shores, Alabama
- Website: http://hangoutmusicfest.com/
- Why: 3 Days of partying on the beach while listening to top notch music. You might not think of Alabama when you think of amazing beach parties, but Hangout might just change that.
21. Camp Bisco
- When: Mid July
- Where: Albany, New York
- Website: http://campbisco.net/
- Why: Three Days of non-stop Music, Arts, Entertainment, and Camping in upstate New York. This is a favorite among east-coast ravers, and will be an experience you need to check out for yourself.
22. Paradiso Festival
- When: End of June
- Where: The Gorge Amphitheater – Quincy, Washington
- Why: A 2-day party in one of the world’s most beautiful venues (See Sasquatch above) with some of the biggest headlining acts in the electronic music industry.
- When: June & July
- Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Website: http://summerfest.com/
- Why: With over 11 days, 11 stages, and 800 performances, it is definitely one of the world’s largest music festivals. This is the festival lacks a strong electronic music presence, but still boats one of the most impressive line-ups you’ll witness when it comes to live performances.
- When: Beginning of October
- Where: San Diego, California
- Website: http://crssdfest.com/
- Why: You really don’t need many reasons to check out CRSSD Festival other than the incredible line-up. Yes, the venue is gorgeous, San Diego is one of the best cities in California, and the vibe is amazing — but forget all about that — the line-up is simply stacked. Bringing the best names in electronic music, this is a party that will satisfy all your festival needs.
25. Made In America Festival
- When: End of August
- Where: Los Angeles / Philadelphia
- Why: To finish off this list, I had to mention Made in America! Budweiser might just be a beer company, but they do a pretty damn good job at throwing festivals as well.
There’s plenty more music festivals in America, but I would have to say that these are the absolute best ones to choose from! Crossing all these off your festival bucket list might take some time, but you’ll definitely have a blast in the process. Cheers to all my fellow festival junkies.
Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 25
So What’s Your Next Festival…?
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Awesome list. I have been to none of them… YET! I am aiming for Coachella and Burning Man next year!!!
Coachella is absolutely incredible! You definitely won’t regret it! I have never been to Burning Man, but there is a slight chance I’ll go this year, if I miraculously get a ticket somehow. I tried to buy one, but they sold out in like 1 minute. :( But there’s always people selling tickets…
Awesome guide! Bookmarking it as a reference for when I decide to spend my summer partying in the USA! ;)
Thanks! There definitely is no shortage of amazing parties over the summer in America! You’ll have a blast! You should get a car and road trip if you have the time and money!
Thank so much for sharing more about all these music festivals! I have been wanting to go to a festival for years, so it would be really fun to choose from one of these options! Since there are so many that I could go to, I will probably end up going to two or three. I just need to look at the artist lineups for the different festivals to see which events have more artists that I like performing!
You’re more than welcome! Any specific ones you are looking at? I’m dying to go to Sasquatch and TOmorrowWorld the most I think…
New to this blog but I am really enjoying it man! I would like add that for those with an interest in country music (not the most popular music among travelers, I know) Country Thunder in Wisconsin is a great time!
Great list! Thank you for posting, man! I would also add Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland to the list, but unfortunately they discontinued Beyond Bay Area starting this year. I’ve attended this event for 3 straight years and it was something to look forward to every year. I have never been to Beyond Wonderland SoCal, but we went to San Bernardino for Escape in 2014 and it was pretty good too (different stages, top djs on the lineup, not extremely crowded. I think the only downside was the traffic in the vicinity of the venue and we had to use street parking in some sketchy industrial neighborhood)
Yeah I went to Beyond Wonderland awhile back. I love all Insomniac events, but the traffic can get bad in San Bern. I didnt know they stopped the Bay Area events though. That sucks. Sorry to hear. :-( Have you beento EDC Las Vegas?
What The Festival belongs on the list.
I’ll take a look at it :-) This list is always growing! So many epic parties no!
Thank you so much for these wonderful tips. This is a great post and place you visited. Lovely pictures.
lost lands definitely needs to be on this list
One of the best southeastern songwriters and music producers Austen Earp is worth checking out! I cannot get enough of his music!
This is Amazing, Nice Content, Such a great festivals to visit before you die, loved the Concept
Wow, amazing blog!! This is really interesting.
Great write up. Thanks for all the suggestions! I hope these start again soon.