The Best U.S. Festivals to Experience Once in Your Life
Spring time means blooming flowers and the start of longer days and better weather. It also means festival season is under way. From March to October, you can catch a variety of music, art, dance, and community-driven events throughout the U.S. Some have become so popular; they sell out in mere minutes. Festivals are a great way to visit a new destination, make friends and connect with like-minded people from all parts of the world. So get your credit card out and be ready to push refresh on your browser a thousand times to score some of the hottest tickets around.
The most famous multi-day music festival in the states, Coachella opens its doors in Palm Springs, California for two weekends every April to thousands of music lovers, celebrities and press. The sunny days and epic sunsets, the amazing art installations and photo opportunities, and the amount of celebrities roaming the VIP lounges make this a must for those who love mainstream music and people watching.
South by Southwest (SXSW)
A massive gathering for music, education, technology, and food, South by Southwest is one of the most diverse festivals in the states. Once a festival for indie music, it is now a hub of activity for the budding entrepreneurs. The 10-day SXSW festival has emerged as THE festival to see and be seen. Scattered around Austin’s vibrant city in small venues, this festival brings thousands to the city every year in March. One of the coolest aspects of the festival is that many of the music acts are held a secret until the day of the gig. If you’re up for a spontaneous trip, book your tickets and join the treasure hunt!
Bonnaroo is a big one. Every June over 80,000 people find themselves on farmland in the middle of nowhere listening to the biggest and best bands in the world. Surprisingly, Bonnaroo is known for being one of the best festivals due to its intimate appeal. People from all over the world connect through music, dance, partying and southern hospitality. Located in Tennessee, the festival sells out in advance every year, with people claiming that it’s the best out of all in the states. The main aspect of this festival is that there are no rules. Bands can play as long as they want, there’s no curfew or even neighbors to disturb. Everyone stays in Tent City, creating a close-knit family of 80,000.
The most epic and famous creative festivals of all time, Burning Man has developed into one of the best and incredible to date. At the end of August through the beginning of September, 70,000 people drive to the middle of the desert in Nevada to join as one community of artists, self-expressionists and spiritual beings. It’s described as the most intense, beautiful and healing festival ever created. It too, has grown to unreal proportions. Burning Man has become an escape for not only the creative types, but for the Silicon Valley CEOs as well. There are 10 principles in which Burning Man lives on, all incorporating participation, creation and community. No money is exchanged between each other and there is no phone signal. You are truly in the middle of nowhere creating a new community with thousands of strangers who ultimately become family.
If you’re wanting to see plenty of music in one of the most beautiful backdrops, then Sasquatch is your festival. Located in Washington state at The Gorge Amphitheatre on the Columbia River, Sasquatch is over two holiday weekends; one in late May and one in July. Over 200 acts play, speak, perform and dance as 20,000 people cheer on. It’s been called a rustic Woodstock before, everyone sleeping in tents and not showering for days…all to wake up for sunrise over the Gorge and do it all over again. With five stages around the amphitheatre, people who journey to Sasquatch are true believers in the music scene. It’s also a fantastic festival to see new up-and-coming artists.
Austin City Limits
Grown to cover two weekends in late September/early October, Austin City Limits is a Rock, Country, and Jazz lover’s dream. Eight stages are scattered closely together, allowing you to catch all the gigs you want. Hosted by the ever liberal and welcoming city of Austin, you will feel right at home here. It’s also one of the only large festivals that practice sustainability. It also is one of the only big gigs that still feels like it has the same soul it did in its first year. Local eateries, breweries and stores open up shop throughout the festival, charging normal prices rather than astronomically-increased price tags.
Where was the best festival that you have ever experienced? Let us know in the comments below!
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