The United States is home to some of the most famous music festivals that draw people from around the world to iconic locations with distinguished artists. If you’re a lover of music, these are the top 5 must-see music festivals in the United States.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Bonnaroo, which takes its name from a New Orleans slang word meaning “a really good time,” quickly jumped into the annals of history after it “revolutionized the modern rock festival” in 2002. There is an eclectic collection of artists featured each year with genres ranging from Americana and bluegrass to indie rock and hip hop. Some past artists include Radiohead, Kanye West, Eminem, Neil Young and many others. Aside from the artists, Bonnaroo is also known for its devotion to environmentalism while trying to create a sustainable festival.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
You might think heading into the California desert where temperatures often exceed 100°F for three days is a bad idea, but the Coachella music festival offers an experience few others match. At night, you can camp under the clear desert sky and then wake up to see such artists as M.I.A., Bjork, Jarvis Cocker, The Cure and countless others. The great aspect about Coachella is that organizers love new talent and shy away from booking anyone twice, so you’re treated to new artists every year.
Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
Although a fairly recent newcomer to the festival scene, Outside Lands proved its worth as a must-see festival after instant success at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Like Bonnaroo, this festival also practices sustainability by partaking in green initiatives to reduce impact. The location alone makes it worth going to see, but the festival has also featured such musical all-stars like Beck, Primus, CAKE, Lupe Fiasco, Tom Petty and others.
Since its inception in 1991, Lollapalooza was known as a raucous hardcore festival featuring bands like Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, Ice-T and even a circus freak show. The festival traveled the country initially until it declined and was cancelled completely, but was successfully revived in 2003. By attending this historic festival now permanently in Chicago, you’ll be able to say you witnessed history. Previous artists include Cee Lo Green, Big Audio Dynamite, Best Coast, Wilco, Sonic Youth and many more.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (aka Jazz Fest)
The oldest and perhaps most personal festival on this list, Jazz Fest combines local artists, jazz musicians and other legends into a smorgasbord of musical ecstasy. Held in New Orleans, a city well loved for its historic contributions to music, the festival features a melting pot of sound and style that attracts visitors from around the world. Jazz Fest spans two weekends and has featured such local artists as Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and superstars like Simon & Garfunkel, Arcade Fire and Robert Plant among others. Where else can you listen to jazz and rock while eating crawfish and delectable beignets?
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