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The List: 2018’s Top Music Festivals

Ready to rage, but don’t know where to start? Our editors have hand-picked the best music festivals around the country, from Coachella to local jazz.

By / January 8, 2018
   
   

West Coast

Air + Style

March 3 - 4

Exposition Park

Shaun White's LA festival brings snowboarding and live music together for two days of jams and jumps; this year's lineup includes Phoenix, Zedd, Mura Masa, and more.

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Echo Park Rising

August 17 - 20

Echo Park

This neighborhood festival is free and open to all ages, with stages dispersed across the Eastside neighborhood along main routes of Sunset Blvd, Glendale Blvd, Alvarado Avenue, and Echo Park Avenue.

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Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival

October

Exposition Park

Each year, Tyler, the Creator's festival draws a genre-spanning lineup of musical acts—last year's headliners included Kid Cudi, Lana del Rey, Mac Miller, Solange, Migos, and A$AP Rocky.

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Cloak & Dagger: Dusk Till Dawn

October

Globe Theatre & Tower Theatre

Premiered in 2017 by LA-based "dark music" club Cloak & Dagger, Dusk Till Dawn debuted with an all-black dress code, hidden interactive exhibits, and artists including TR/ST and She Wants Revenge.

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Desert Daze

October

Joshua Tree

Rock isn't dead—especially not at Desert Daze, a music festival held annually in Joshua Tree to celebrate greats like Iggy Pop and Eagles of Death Metal.

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Desert Stars Festival

September

Pappy & Harriet's

Legendary musical venue Pappy & Harriet's brings three stages of music to Joshua Tree National Park's Pioneertown for this three-day, all-ages festival under the desert stars.

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Festival of Disruption

October

The Theatre at Ace Hotel

The director behind Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks is responsible for yet another masterpiece in this curated festival of musical performances, art exhibits, film screenings, talks, and meditation.

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​Tropicalia Music and Taco Festival

TBA

Queen Mary Park

The best things in life feature all-you-can-eat tacos. As far as the musical entertainment goes, this fest features an exciting lineup of Latino artists.

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   Carys Huws

Red Bull Music Academy Festival

TBA

Various locations

The energy drink giant excels in putting on unique and multidisciplinary live performances in a handful of cities worldwide spotlighting groundbreaking artists.

more info

Desert Hearts Festival

Los Coyotes Indian Reservation

Your spot for house, techno, pyrotechnics, dancing, and color in the desert. Kind of like a mini-Burning Man if that's your vibe.

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SnowGlobe Festival

South Lake Tahoe, CA

End 2018 in style with a weekend packed full of live music and fresh air. Bundle up and watch an eclectic lineup of artists play outside in stunning South Lake Tahoe.

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   Thomas Hawk

Coachella

Indio, CA

The 2018 Coachella lineup is bananas. Seriously, we're talking Beyonce, Migos, and Haim all on the same bill. Time to embrace your flower-crown-wearing inner Coachella kid and head to Indio.

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Stagecoach Festival

Empire Polo Club

California's biggest country music festival has a weekend chock full of all-star acts, including Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Kelsea Ballerini.

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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Golden Gate Park

90 acts. Seven stages. Zero dollars. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is one of the Bay's best festivals, especially for music lovers on a budget. Past acts include Hot Tuna, First Aid Kit, and Cheap Trick.

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Outside Lands

TBD

Golden Gate Park

Outside Lands transforms iconic Golden Gate Park into a grownup playground, complete with big name musical acts, comedy, local beer and wine, amazing food trucks, magical cocktails, and more.

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   irene.

Treasure Island Music Festival

San Francisco, CA

2018 will be the first year that Treasure Island Music Festival drops anchor elsewhere in the Bay Area. They took 2017 off and promise that they'll be back and better than ever this year. Stay tuned.

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Electric Daisy Carnival

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

This fest is one of the biggest celebrations of electronic music around the world, and features DJs and performers like Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Yellow Claw, and Tiësto.

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Sasquatch! Music Festival

Gorge Ampitheatre

This annual fest brings together music lovers for a range of genres, from indie rock to EDM. Previous acts have included the likes of MGMT, The Shins, Phantogram, and Frank Ocean.

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   FORM

FORM Arcosanti 2018

Arcosanti

Like no other festival you've been to, FORM is a three-day retreat combining live music, talks/panels, workshops, experiential art, screenings, new technologies, outdoor/wellness activities, and more.

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Lightning in a Bottle 2018

Lake San Antonio

This boutique festival combines live, multi-genre music with talks and discussions from world-renowned visionaries, wellness and healing activities, workshops, art, yoga, and cultural offerings.

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East Coast

   KCON USA

KCON

June 23 - 24; August 18 - 20

Prudential Center (New York) and Staples Center & LA Convention Center (Los Angeles)

The convention and festival dedicated to bringing bring “All Things Hallyu” to the American fan base offers K-Pop fans two chances to see their favorites: August in New York and June in Los Angeles.

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   Twenty20

Governors Ball Music Festival

Randall's Island Park

You'll be hard-pressed to find a music festival with more swag than this. Eminem, Jack White, Travis Scott, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, N.E.R.D., and more will have you on your feet all weekend long.

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Shaky Knees Music Festival

Central Park

Shaky Knees is the place to rock out with Jack White, Tenacious D, The National, Fleet Foxes, and more. Your head will spin with all the A-listers on the lineup list, so get ready to crowd surf!

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Full Moon Fest

Governors Island

Now entering its eighth year, this fest will fill Governors Island with a jam-packed day of music, food, and art.

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Wanderlust 108 Brooklyn

The Nethermead at Prospect Park

With the fitness trifecta of running, yoga, and meditation, this day-long event has everything you could ever want to help you get in touch with your mind and body.

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Electric Zoo Festival

Randall's Island Park

EDM heaven is returning to NYC for LDW, with three fun-filled days of music madness. Get ready to dance your faces off.

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Afropunk Fest

Commodore Barry Park

This celebration of Black culture brings together an all-star festival of music, film, skate, and art. This year's headliners include Erykah Badu, Tyler, The Creator, Miguel, and Janelle Monae.

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   Goldenvoice

Panorama Music Festival

Randall's Island Park

Touted as the East Coast's answer to Coachella, Panorama is set to feature a killer lineup, with Janet Jackson, The Killers, and The Weeknd all on the bill.

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XPoNential Music Festival

Camden Waterfront

WXPN's yearly fest boasts a stacked lineup: David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, The War on Drugs, Sturgill Simpson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and many more.

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Red Hook Jazz Festival

Urban Meadow

Held across two Sundays, this saxy fest features amazing talent in a relaxed, family-friendly environment. Tickets (which were only $15 a pop last year) are only available the day of, so arrive early!

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   Carys Huws

Red Bull Music Academy Festival

TBA

Various locations

The energy drink giant excels in putting on unique and multidisciplinary live performances in a handful of cities worldwide spotlighting groundbreaking artists.

more info

Boston Calling

Harvard Athletic Complex

This New England fest promises to serve up another hot Memorial Day Weekend, with Eminem, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, and Paramore on the lineup.

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Frozen Harbor Music Festival

Baltimore Soundstage

Frozen Harbor Music Festival runs for two days with 160 acts on 10 stages in the heart of the beautiful Inner Harbor. Artists include George Clinton, Keller Williams, and Jimmie's Chicken Shack.

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ShamrockFest

RFK Stadium Festival Grounds

ShamrockFest is America’s largest St. Paddy’s Day festival, where thousands shake their shamrocks to a variety of current and nostalgic rock bands. It’s pure shenanigans where the beer flows strong!

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Northside Festival

Williamsburg

This Brooklyn fest is celebrating 10 years with over 300 bands, 300 speakers, and media personalities spread across 30 venues. Bottomline? This is THE place to see the latest in music and innovation.

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Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn

Celebrate hip hop music and culture at this six-day event of musical performances, panel discussions, exhibitions, parties, film screenings, a family-friendly block party, and more.

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Firefly Music Festival

Dover International Speedway

Chill on some hammocks in The Nook while you wait for your favorite act, play yard games at The Fort, and shake it to live DJs in the Thicket.

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Mountain Jam

Hunter Mountain

2018 marks the 14th annual Mountain Jam, and they're celebrating by bringing some phenomenal acts to their massive stage. Spend a glorious summer weekend in the mountains with music and friends!

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Newport Folk Festival

July 27-29, 2018

Fort Adams State Park

Since 1959, Newport Folk Festival has brought together folk musicians and fans alike for three days of live folk tunes. Past performers include Wilco, Roger Waters, Johnny Cash, and Joan Baez.

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The South

   ACL Festival

Austin City Limits

October 5 - 7; 12 - 14

Zilker Park

With a 2017 lineup covering everyone from Jay-Z to Zhu (with some Red Hot Chili Peppers in between), this year might be the best yet for Austin's two-weekend festival n Zilker Park.

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Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

October 26 - 28

City Park

Get your spooks (and tunes) Voodoo Music + Arts, a Halloween weekend festival that in recent years has brought Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Florence + The Machine, and The Killers to New Orleans.

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Shaky Knees Music Festival

Central Park

Shaky Knees is the place to rock out with Jack White, Tenacious D, The National, Fleet Foxes, and more. Your head will spin with all the A-listers on the lineup list, so get ready to crowd surf!

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Hangout Music Fest

Gulf Shores, AL

Get ready for a stellar lineup, with artists like Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Foster the People, and the Killers. The Hangout is always a blast, and don't forget your swimsuit!

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Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

Sunshine Grove

This festival has a lineup that is hard to beat! Acts like Snoop Dogg, Arcade Fire, Lil Dicky, and Halsey will grace the stage over four days of music, sun, sand, and fun in Sunshine Grove.

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Ultra Music Festival

Bayfront Park

Ultra takes place in sultry Miami, so right off the bat, you know you're in for a good time. Headliners include The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, and Eric Prydz, so you better show up ready to dance!

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FloydFest

894 Rock Castle Gorge Road Floyd, VA 24091

Take a trek to Floyd, Virginia to see Foster The People, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Hiss Golden Messenger, ZZ Ward, and more.

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LOCKN’ Festival

Infinity Downs & Oak Ridge Park, Arrington, VA

This music festival is held in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains and features jam band talent, yoga classes, swimming at Tye River, craft beer, and more.

more info

Tortuga Music Festival

April 6 - 8

Fort Lauderdale, FL

With the Rock The Ocean Foundation, Tortuga pairs music with meaning by bringing together marine conservation and research organizations with the biggest names in country, rock, and roots music.

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9 Mile Music Festival

March

Miami, FLorida

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this year's fest will be the largest in its history. Expect roots, reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop music from around the world, welcoming acts from as far as Japan.

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SunFest

May 3 - 6

West Palm Beach, FL

Three days, four stages, and more than 50 live performances. As Florida’s largest waterfront music and art event, SunFest is all about hanging with good friends and listening to even better tunes.

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Rolling Loud

May 11 - 13

Miami, FL

As the largest hip hop festival in Miami, Rolling Loud features some of the most famous musicians in the industry, from Future, Young Thug, and Travis Scott, to 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, and Juicy J.

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III Points

October

Miami, FL

This music, art, and technology festival offers nearly 100 performances along with lectures, labs, tech talks, and gallery showcases.

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Shaky Beats Music Festival

May 11 - 13

Atlanta, GA

This beat-driven event brings together more than 50 top-notch electronic, indie, and hip-hop acts that'll have you hooping and dancing all weekend long.

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Sunset Music Festival

May 26 - 27

Tampa, FL

Head south to kick off summer with dozens of pop artists over Memorial Day Weekend. Past performers include Major Lazer, Above & Beyond, RL Grime, and Zeds Dead.

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Sloss Music Festival

July 14 - 15

Birmingham, AL

Located at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, expect more than 40 bands on four stages plus craft beer and cocktails, arts and crafts, live iron pouring demonstrations, and more.

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Suwannee Hulaween

October

Live Oak, FL

This annual music and camping festival during Halloween weekend is a visual arts extravaganza filled with interactive showcases and live performances.

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In Bloom Festival

Houston, TX

Houston's annual In Bloom Festival is back with two days of mouthwatering local food and live music, featuring headliners like Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus, and more.

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Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam

Asheville, NC

Start the holiday season right by celebrating the 30th anniversary of Christmas Jam. Legendary guitarist and songwriter Warren Haynes hosts this annual raucous, multi-day music extravaganza.

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Essence Music Festival

New Orleans, LA

"Party with a purpose" is the theme of Essence Fest, a three day celebration of black culture and music with concerts, fashion, beauty, and more. Definitely pre-game with a "Girls Trip" viewing.

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Satchmo Summerfest

New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Mint

This fest began in 2001 to commemorate Louis Armstrong's 100th birthday and has since grown into a three-day event filled with entertainment, education, and fare from some of NOLA's best restaurants.

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SXSW

Austin Convention Center

This annual coming together of film, interactive media, music festivals, and conferences started in 1987 and has grown bigger by the year with one mission: to help creative people achieve their goals.

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   FilmMagic

Bonnaroo

Great Stage Park, Manchester, Tennessee

Started in 2002, this four-day festival brings together the best of jam bands and folk rock, along with several other genres. This year's acts include The Killers, Sheryl Crow, Moon Taxi, and alt-J.

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The Midwest

Electric Forest

June 21 -24 & June 28 - July 1

Electric Forest GA Camping Grounds

Electric Forest takes place over two separate weekends with amazing acts on each date, so you're going to have a hard time choosing. Come out to see String Cheese Incident, Cut Copy, Zhu, and more.

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   Summerfest

Summerfest

Milwaukee, WI

As "The World's Largest Music Festival," Summerfest has live acts for every kind of concert-lover. Halsey, Logic, James Taylor, and Florida Georgia Line are all part of the stellar 2018 lineup.

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Lollapalooza

Grant Park

This once touring music festival put down roots in Chicago's Grant Park in 2003, and since then it's featured acts like Chance the Rapper, Arcade Fire, The XX, and Lorde. Stay tuned for 2018 lineup.

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   Ravinia

Ravinia

Ravinia Park

Established in 1904 as an attraction intended to lure riders from the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad, this fest is North America’s oldest outdoor music festival.

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Pitchfork Music Festival

Union Park

This annual summer music festival is organized by Pitchfork Media—as such, it brings the best in indie rock, pop, hip-hop, and soul to the stage for three days straight.

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Chicago Jazz Festival

Millennium Park Campus

A favorite Labor Day weekend tradition, the Chicago Jazz Festival showcases four stages of live performances by jazz talent hailing from Chicago and around the globe.

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Eaux Claires

Foster Farms, WI

Founded in 2015 by Aaron Dessner of The National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, this fest aims to shine a spotlight on the Midwest with talent like Feist, James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and Erykah Badu.

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Mamby on the Beach

Oakwood Beach

This beachside fest brings together the best in every genre of music now, from EDM to indie pop. Previous lineups have included the likes of MGMT, Marian Hill, Windy City Soul Club, and MisterWives.

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Comments

17 Comments

  1. Mamby on the Beach in Chicago is an incredible festival. Its not huge, but last year had MGMT, Local Natives, Walk the Moon, and Flying Lotus headlining. Not bad for a little fest on the beach!

  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia’s FREE Funk Fest is a great 3-day Old School Music Festival featuring top flight R&B entertainment on a huge stage between the boardwalk and the beach. Bring your folding chair and set up in the sand. Fireworks follow at night over the ocean. It attracts a diverse audience of around 40,000 fans every year during the last weekend in August and on the same weekend that the Annual East Coast Surfing Championships, held every year at Virginia Beach, culminates.

  3. Jazzy Lady in Mer

    Heaven’s-to-Mercutroy!……Didn’t Include Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, Maryland?…..Shame on YOU 🙁 🙁 :(…..
    It’s the Best Summer Music Fest in the DMV (Two great areas, Lawn or Pavillion, Jazz and R&B, Plenty of Lovely People, Good Eats and all of the Memobilla you want

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