The Cities with the Best Music Festivals

Music festivals have taken over. They’re what music junkies long for, because what’s better than seeing over 30 artists perform in a span of 2 to 3 days? From genres ranging from house, rock, hip hop and jazz, these cities welcome music festivals every year almost all year long. So if you’re scouting out what cities holds the best festivals, this list is the one for you.

Los Angeles, California

It’s no surprise that Los Angeles and its surrounding cities host some of the best music festivals in the U.S. It’s a city that has so much talent; therefore, it will always have an abundance of incredible festivals. Coachella usually takes all of the attention but there are smaller festivals that are definitely worth going to.

LA’s Music Festivals: Sunset Strip Music Festival, Culture Collide, Hard Summer, FYF Fest, MusINK, Make Music Pasadena.

Nearby Festivals: Coachella, Stagecoach, Lighting in a Bottle, Beyond Wonderland, Paid Dues Festival, Nocturnal Wonderland, EDC LV.

Chicago, Illinois

Most notably known for Lollapalooza’s home in the U.S., Chicago also hosts many amazing festivals, which grants them a spot on this list.

Chicago’s Music Festivals: Lollapalooza, Spring Awakening, Wavefront, Pitchfork, Riot Fest, Chicago Blues Festival, North Coast Music Festival.

Nearby Festivals: Summerfest, Country Thunder Wisconsin.

New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLA has festivals almost every weekend. Some festivals have been going on for generations while others have been introduced in the past years.

NOLA’s Music Festivals: Jazzfest, Soulfest, Essence Music Festival, VooDoo Music Experience, Words and Music Festival, Cutting Edge Music Festivals & plenty more.

Austin, Texas

Known as the unofficial music festival capital of the U.S., this city with its music culture and good vibes is sure to make for an unforgettable weekend.

Austin’s Music Festivals: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Old Settler’s Music Festival, Austin Psych Fest.

Nearby Festivals: Euphoria

San Francisco, California

With its Outside Lands and Treasure Island Music Festivals, San Francisco has set itself as one of the best cities for its festivals.

San Francisco’s Music Festivals: Noisepop, Outside Lands, Treasure Island, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Nearby Festivals: Bottle Rick Napa Valley, California Roots,

Miami, Florida

The city of Miami lights up during the month of May due to two full weekends of Ultra, one of the most popular EDM festivals in the world. But not to worry, Miami has other music festivals throughout the year sure to please non-EDM lovers.

Miami’s Music Festivals: Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, 9 Mile Festival, Miami Beach Orange Drive, Calle Ocho.

Nearby Festivals: Tortuga Festival, Sunfest, Big Guava Festival.

Nashville, Tennessee

Music is big in Nashville, from the Americana to the CMA Music Festival. Also nearby is the annual Bonnaroo festival, which brings in headliners like Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arctic Monkeys.

Nashville Music Festivals: Rites of Spring, CMA Music Festival, Americana Music Festival.

Nearby Festivals: Bonnaroo, Riverbend Festival.

Seattle, Washington

Let’s not forget about the Northwest. Although taking more of an Indie side when it comes to their festivals, they still earn a spot on the list.

Seattle’s Music Festivals: Capitol Hill Block Party, Bumbershoot, City Arts Festival, Noise for the Needy.

New York City, New York

Although NYC seems to be short on space, the city that never sleeps still manages to welcome some great shows with open arms.

NYC’s Music Festivals: CMJ Music Marathon, Northside Festival, Electric Zoo, EDC New York, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, NYC Pop Fest, CBGB Festival, The Governor’s Ball.

Nearby Festivals: Gathering of the Vibes, Skate & Surf Festival, Clearwater Festival.


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