America has produced some of the most famous musicians in history, so it comes as no surprise that it’s home to an abundance of music festivals throughout the year. These best music festivals in the USA are some of the country’s most spectacular highlights.
1. Outside Lands
Held every year in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands has one of the best festival locations in the country. The festival is held over three days in August, and as well as hosting a killer music line-up, there’s also a lot here for food lovers and even a mini golf course if you find yourself at a loose end one day.
As flights to San Francisco are regular and relatively inexpensive, this is an easy one to get to. The park is just under 30 minutes’ drive from the airport.
2. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Music is the lifeblood of New Orleans, so it’s only natural that the city plays host to one of the most respected festivals in the country. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is held over two weekends in April each year and not only provides a space for jazz but also big names across many genres of music.
As well as soulful tunes, the festival runs craft markets, culture demonstrations, and endless food stalls where you can get your fix of all the Cajun food you fit in your belly. There are few better times of year to fly to New Orleans and experience this lively city.
Held over a summer weekend in Chicago, Lollapolooza brings together some of the biggest names in music and presents them in one outstanding show in Grant Park. The festival started back in 1991 and has been growing strong ever since, now boasting eight stages and nearly 200 artists each year.
Here there is also an arts market, a food court where you can experience some of the best specialities from across the city, and there’s even a kid’s version of the festival (Kidzapalooza!) so there’s fun for all the family here.
In recent years, Coachella has become the holy grail of music festivals in the USA. Some of the biggest artists in the world play at Coachella, which is held in Southern California’s Coachella Valley over two weekends in April.
The line-up draws in thousands of people, but the whole set-up of Coachella is worth going for. There are various camping options, from standard spots where you can pitch up a tent, to tepees and luxury safari tents. Kooky activities are everywhere – look out for the bad dancing competitions held in the campsites – and there’s fantastic food galore.
5. Governors Ball
As one of the most popular destinations in the US, flying to NYC is accessible for most of us, which makes the city’s Governors Ball a top option for travelers. This festival takes place on Randall’s Island, which is to the east of Manhattan.
The Governors Ball line-up is filled with a mix of top musicians and up-and-comers, and fun additions like art installations, lawn games, and photo booths will fill the rest of your time here.
6. Burning Man
Burning Man isn’t so much a music festival but an arts and community extravaganza held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the end of August/beginning of September each year. Although it’s not a music festival in the same sense as the other listed above, we thought it criminal to talk about festivals in the USA without mentioning this legendary experience.
Burning Man is one of the wackiest events in the country, where self-expression is at the heart of everything they do. What’s more, the festival is committed to leaving no trace – come to the desert at any other time of year and you wouldn’t even know it occurred.