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5 USA festivals you must attend before you die

5 USA festivals you must attend before you die

When house parties and club nights aren’t cutting it, you can always count on a blowout at a music festival for a guaranteed ripper weekend.

There’s nothing like hours of boogieing, crazy crowds and the never-ending nose-beers to really make you feel alive, and America is blessed with some of the best events in the world. 

But, being so spoiled for choice can make knowing which festival to attend an impossible choice.

To help you narrow it down, we’ve listed our top 5 USA music festivals and what to expect when you go.

So, find ya festi-fit, gather your gang, and read on for the festivals in the US you can’t miss.

 

What makes a music festival irresistible?

Music festivals can transport you to a whole new world, so what’s most important is working out what kind of experience you’ll most enjoy.

Are you more of an electronic music bloke? A hip hop fan? A rock'n’roll party animal? Crowd and vibes are crucial factors, but before we begin, what else should you consider when choosing festivals in the US?

Music genre 

It might sound obvious, but try not to fall into the trap of heading to a festival just because your mates are going, even though you don't like the music genre. There’s nothing worse than forking out hundreds (maybe thousands!) of dollars, only to find yourself stranded listening to music you hate for an entire weekend.

Your team mates

Choose your music festival crew carefully. You’re gonna spend a shitload of time together in what can be some pretty hectic scenarios! You don't want to take a folk rock fan to a country music jam. Nothing against folk rock or country music! It's just a matter of who's gonna match the vibe. 

Price 

Festivals can be bloody pricey. It all starts to add up once you factor in ticket cost, travel, outfit cost and of course the festival mark-up on all alcohol and food once you’re there! So, before choosing the best festival to attend (and we doubt you'll only want to attend one) make sure you’ve crunched the numbers and won’t find yaself skint by the end of the party.

Art

Most music festivals feature massive art installations to set the scene. Think giant sculptures, roaming artists and immersive experiences. If you're into great music and crazy visuals, definitely look into what kind of art is on display at all the best music festivals.

Of course you'll come up with your own ranking and decision factors, but keeping these in mind is a good start. Now let's head to the listing.

#1 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - California

One of the biggest festivals in the USA and easily one of the most hyped, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is a must-do annual music festival in Indio, California.

This is for the bloody legends that want to see some of the biggest names in the world across a variety of genres. From electronic music to rock’n'roll, from indie to pop music and hip hop, the madness that is Coachella takes place every April.

Coachella Valley

The festival was first held 1999, with ticket sales reaching just over half the organizers’ attendance goal of 70,000. By 2011, Coachella had grown so popular that a second, identical music festival was added the weekend after the first.

Be warned, the weather at Coachella is all over the shop - scorching in the morning and freezing at night. Dress in layers and if you don’t want to turn into a lobster, bring along a funky hat.

Lowest price for a ticket to this music festival

$: From US$516

When it happens

When: Apr 14-16th & 21-23rd/2023

Where it happens

Where: Indio, California

 

#2 Lollapalooza, Chicago, Illinois

When it comes to America’s biggest music festivals, music enthusiasts and functioning alcoholics can always count on Lollapalooza.

The four day music festival is held in Grant Park, Chicago, and celebrated its 30th year in 2021 with a crowd of more than 385,000.

Technically, it is a rock music festival, but really there’s something for all music lovers with a mix of genres including hip hop, techno and alternative rock taking the stage

There are also plenty of art installations dotted around the music festival site, guaranteed to amp up the wig if you find yourself enjoying any substances during the party.

While Lollapalooza is a classic festival, it’s worth noting that it’s also somewhat of a family event! There’s a designated “Kidzapalooza” section for young ones, but generally you should be able to avoid awkward encounters with yuppy parents. 

If you are concerned about someone’s granny catching you with a bag, go all out at your pre-festival party to minimize the risk.

And, if Chicago isn’t your jam, no wuckaz mate. You can also catch Lolla’s annual international events in Chile and Brazil.

Lowest price for a ticket to this music festival

US$460

When it happens

Aug 13-16th/2023

Where it happens

Grant Park, Chicago

 

#3 Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) - Las Vegas

Vegas baby!

Get ready to rip the lid off at the home of partying - Las Vegas. 

While there are a thousand ways you can get up to no good in the city, this music festival will take you to a whole new world.

Introducing the Electric Daisy Carnival, a celebration of life, love, art, and music. 

Effectively, the electronic dance music festival is a playground for adults, the kind of thing you could only imagine in your wildest dreams.

With multiple stages, insane music performances, themed bars, open-air chapels (!), 3D superstructures, and interactive art installations, this music festival will get you wondering if this is a music festival or an arts festival. 

The stages are named after the type of music you are into and the sensations it might cause. Set your imagination free at the kineticFIELD, cosmicMEADOW,circuitGROUNDS, neonGARDEN and more in this music and arts festival.

Electris Daisy Carnival attracts all the biggest names in EDM, as well as spotlighting some of the genre’s best new talent.

One minor drawback of Electric Daisy Carnival is that tickets can cost an arm and a leg.

While we can’t make them cheaper, we can help you rustle up some extra coin with a side hustle. And if you just go hard at pres, you might avoid some of the brutal food and drink prices. 

Lowest price for a ticket to this music festival

US$500

When it happens

May 19-21st/2023

Where it happens

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV

#4 Burning Man - Nevada

Welcome to the Black Rock Desert of Burning Man, a self-described temporary city dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance, AKA Black Rock City.

Technically, the organizers of Burning Man don’t consider it a music festival, but whatever, it’s close enough. 

Based on 10 principles and an economy of trading, the week-long experience is sure to blow your mind.

The desert which hosts the festival becomes a sprawling metropolis of arts, music and culture, but be warned - this festival is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Instead of a couple of large stages, Burning Man is a collection of multiple events and happenings simultaneously. The lineup is only revealed as the DJs confirm their appearance at the event, although you can mostly expect to hear electronic music at this festival.

And they don’t accept money at the Burning Man festival. Rather, you bring in everything you think you’ll need at the event and have to trade for anything new you want!


Lowest price for this music festival ticket

$575

When it happens

August 27-September 4/2023.

Where it happens

Black Rock - Nevada

 

#5 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival - Manchester

If you want a stacked lineup and value for money, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is the party for you.

Bonnaroo literally means “good stuff” in Creole, and boy does this event live up to its name.

First up, is the crazy number of acts.

Bonnaroo is an absolute live music bonanza, with more than 150 musicians flocking to Manchester, Tennessee to perform over four hectic days.

Secondly, the music festival is held on a farm. Picture it as a giant camping trip with ya closest mates and hundreds of thousands of loose units.

Even if you’re not a ride or die live music fan, Bonnaroo music festival is still well worth a visit for its mind-bending art installations, regular parades, water slides, celebrity sightings and so much more.

It’s the perfect way to kick off summer of 2023.

Lowest price for this music festival ticket

$379

When it happens

June 15-18 th 

Where it happens

Manchester, Tennessee

Ready to attend the best festivals in the USA? Get your outfit ready.


If you didn't make up your mind yet, no worries, but be warned - tickets to these music festivals sell out early!
Should you miss out, there are always other options like Afropunk festival, Electric Forest Festival, and even traditional, heritage festival ones such as Mardi Gras Festival (the Orleans Mardi Gras). Not to mention a whole bunch of unique festivals to put on your bucket list.

In the meantime, it’s time to begin piling up your favorite outfits to party. Start with some light statement tees, then switch into something a little warmer later in the night.


Whatever you end up doing, have fun and be sure to get Nastee.

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