Coachella, Lollapalooza and SXSW are often the first US festivals that come to mind. From the celebrated favourites, to a few surprises in between, here's our breakdown of the finest events in the US...
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#15 Electric Zoo
Headliners: Kaskade, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Virtual Self
Turning the parkland of Randall's Island Park into an electronic dance utopia, the creative minds behind Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and Sensation have taken over the event injecting the same passionate magic into an event all dance fans anticipate.
When & where: 31 August - 2 September 2018, Randall's Island, New York
#14 Electric Forest
Headliners: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Marshmello, Griz Live Band
Fusing bands with electronic DJs, this forest takeover is an alternative to the field-only festivals we are used to, as festival goers are immersed in the colours of the nature surrounding them, as thumping sounds follow them around from stage to stage.
When & where: 21-24 June; 28 June - 1 July, Rothbury, Michigan
#13 Sasquatch! Music Festival
Headliners: Bon Iver, Modest Mouse, The National, David Byrne
In a relatively remote part of Washington, this festival has a popular campsite and while featuring all music genres, the lineup often has a larger concentration of indie rock bands and adored singer-songwriters. Taking place over Memorial Day weekend, tickets for this are often in high-demand as many include this festival amongst their summer time must attend events.
When & where: 25-27 May 2018, Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Washington
#12 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Headliners: Eminem, The Killers, Muse
Originally focused on jam bands and folk rock, this festival has expanded to include an impressive array of genres and was once praised by Rolling Stone magazine as being amongst the "50 Moments That Changed Rock & Roll".
When & where: 7–10 June 2018, Great Stage Park, Tennessee
#11 Hot 97 Summer Jam
Headliners (2017): Chris Brown, Migos, DJ Khaled & Friends
No festival has been more integral to the development of hip hop than Hot 97 Summer Jam. Giving a platform to the freshest names, as well as providing fans with an opportunity to see the superheroes of rap, the festival has hosted its fair share of classic moments, with performers bringing out huge special guests having become the norm. Anyone who’s anyone has played Summer Jam.
When & where: 10 June, East Rutherford, USA
#10 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Headliners: Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Jimmy Buffett
Few festivals mean more to their community than New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals. Dating back to 1970, the festival is a complete cultural experience reaching well beyond the music. A rigid, stuffy affair this is not: Jazz Fest has expanded its purview over the years, growing alongside one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
When & where: 27 April – 6 May 2018, New Orleans, USA
#9 Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
Headliners: Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Eric Prydz, Hardwell
Aside from its two popular US events, this fairytale carnival experience has also visited Puerto Rico, Mexico and the UK. Inviting attendees into an EDM wonderland of neon decor and walkabout performers, every year the event pulls in a record attendance with fans desperate to escape reality through electronic music.
When & where: 18–20 May 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada
#8 AFROPUNK FEST Brooklyn
Headliners: Erykah Badu, Miguel, Tyler, The Creator
Starting out as a DIY movement in the US, as a response to feeling like an outsider and desiring a sense of belonging, AFROPUNK is now one of the world's most famous cultural movements. Its mix of art, activism and music now attracts up to 60,000 people and spreads its message in cities around the globe, celebrating black culture and giving community to those who feel marginalised in modern western societies.
When & where: 25-26 August 2018, Brooklyn, New York
#7 Austin City Limits Music Festival
Headliners (2017): Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, The Killers
Inspired by a concert series of the same name, the festival is an eight stage celebration of all things music, along with an art market, delicious food and drink, a dedicated family area and much more. Originally a one-weekend event the festival successfully expanded to two weekends in 2012 after the local council voted unanimously to allow it to do so.
When & where: 5-7; 12-14 October 2018, Zilker Park, Austin
#6 Ultra Music Festival
Headliners (2018): David Guetta, Tiësto, DJ Snake
Seen as the ultimate gathering for electronic music fans across the nation and globe, the streets of Miami turn into a bold and pumping party with worshipped DJs providing the summertime soundtrack.
When & where: March 2019, Miami, Florida
#5 The Governors Ball Music Festival
Headliners: Eminem, Jack White, Travis Scott
Another event which proves the music loving potential of Randall's Island Park is Govenors Ball, an exciting and infectious mix of rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop and folk. Providing a variety of music and food tastes, whether you look to kick back and relax or surrender yourself to beats and riffs, Governors Ball has what you want.
#4 Pitchfork Music Festival
Headliners: Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, Lauryn Hill
Organised by independently focused music source Pitchfork Media, this three day event is a music genre melting pot of rock, hip-hop, electronic, jazz, punk and any other genre and sub-genre you want to celebrate. With a record fair, food, art and beverages from local and national vendors, this truly is a cultural feast.
When & where: 20-22 July 2018, Union Park, Chicago
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Jack White
A wonderful gathering of music, dance, comedy and craft booths, Lollapalooza is another multi-genre delight which also provides a platform for political and non-profit artists and groups. The festival is forever creating historical moments in many a musicians career firmly cementing it in the global hall of fame for festivals.
When & where: 2-5 August 2018, Grant Park, Chicago
#2 South By South West
Regarded as the ultimate trend-setter and launcher of careers, SXSW is an annual showcase of music, film and interactive highlights enjoyed through performances, showcases, talks, screenings and more. Virtually taking over the city of Austin, everyone in the world of music from fans to media flock here to discover the next big thing.
When & where: March 2019, Austin, Texas
Headliners: Beyoncé, Eminem, The Weeknd
Selling out fast every year, the Indio desert becomes a fashionable hive of the coolest bands watched by trendy people and celebrities. Considered to be a bucket-list event the rumour mill for the lineup is a constant source of annual anticipation for music press and fans alike.
When & where: 13–15; 20–22 April 2018, Indio, California
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