10. Winter Music Conference
It’s heralded as the godfather of dance music festivals. Winter Music Conference began in 1984 and is one of the most publicized annual music gatherings in the world. WMC attracts thousands of artists and music industry reps from 70 countries and over 100,000 attendees each year.
9. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
A ten-day festival, Jazzfest got its start in 1970 and is still held every spring in New Orleans, LA. This is the place to hear really great jazz of all shapes and sizes.
8. Summer Camp Music Festival
Summer Camp is a three-day jam music festival held each Memorial Day weekend in Chillicothe, IL. Started in 2001, Summer Camp features a variety of activities, including a Kids Camp area where an adult must accompany the child/children and participate in the fun.
7. All Good Festival and Camp Out
The All Good Music Festival and Camp Out is a weekend-long event in July. This year’s festival will be held in Thornville, OH, but past events have been held in other areas of the mid-Atlantic.The event includes mostly jam and folk acts, though in recent years has expanded to include reggae, hip-hop fusion, bluegrass, funk, and rock.
6. The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Bonnaroo is a four-day festival held in Manchester, TN every June. The festival began in 2002 with a focus on jam bands and folk rock, and has diversified greatly in recent years, with multiple stages of live music featuring genres from indie rock to hip-hop, jazz to electronica.
5. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Coachella is a three-day festival held in April in Indio, CA. Since it’s start in 1999, the festival has grown so popular that not only is it streamed online, it is now held for two consecutive weekends: same artists, same lineup.
4. Bumbershoot Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival
Started in 1971, Bumershoot got its name from the slang word for umbrella. Fitting, as the festival features the best artists in music, film, comedy, spoken word, dance, theatre, performance, and visual arts. Held over Labor Day weekend in Seattle, WA, Bumbershoot is a 3-day festival offering an experience in everything from regional favorites to international superstars.
3. Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits takes its inspiration from the PBS show of the same title, which started in 1976 and is still going strong, featuring Texas artists in country and folk. The festival, which features many musical genres such as rock, R&B, and jazz, has now influenced the television show!
2. South by Southwest
Yep, another festival in Austin, TX, but this list wouldn’t be complete without South by Soutwest. Beginning in 1987, SXSW is a ten-day festival held usually held in March, encompassing film, music, and technology.
Summerfest is the biggest festival in the United States, with some of the best and most well known names in music. Starting in 1968, this festival is usually held mid-summer (end of June, beginning of July) and spans a full eleven days! Attracting over 700 bands, the festival is held against the Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI.