Culture

The Music Festivals We're Planning Road Trips Around

Words By Wildsam Staff

Wildsam

Pooneh Ghana | Lollapalooza

Updated

24 Apr 2024

Reading Time

7 Minutes

The Headliners


HUGE ACTS! BIG CROWDS! MILES OF PORTA-POTTIES! SAVE THE DATES FOR THE BEST OF THE BIGGIE FESTS.

INDIO, CA - APR 12–21

COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL

Lana Del Rey, Doja Cat, and Tyler, the Creator headline the gargantuan desert fest that's also sort of a fashion show- case—imagine if Woodstock were run by influencers.

New Orleans, LA - APR 25–MAY 5

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL

Crescent City mainstays like Trombone Shorty, George Porter Jr. and Galactic share a bill with The Rolling Stones, Queen Latifah, Bonnie Raitt and dozens more.

INDIO, CA - APR 26–28

STAGECOACH FESTIVAL

Country's traditions sidle up to its new frontiers: catch Willie Nelson and Clint Black on the one hand, Wiz Khalifa and Charley Crockett on the other.

Atlanta, GA - May 3–5

Shaky Knees

Noah Kahan headlines along with Weezer and Foo Fighters? They could all be his father! Three days, dozens of bands: idyllic park life and post-fest neighborhood crawls.

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STAGECOACH FESTIVAL | ROGER HO
MANCHESTER, TN - Jun 13–16

BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

A campout on 700 acres of former farmland, known for wildly cross-genre lineups. Also parades, a waterpark, a Ferris wheel and other carnivalia.

TELLURIDE, CO - Jun 20-23

TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band headline. Bluegrass legends like Peter Rowan, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway and The Fretliners take the smaller-font slots.

ROTHBURY, MI - JUN 20–23

Electric Forest

One for the EDM and jam band crowd: Pretty Lights, Subtronics and a whole lot of lasers and glowsticks.

NEWPORT, RI - July 26-28

NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

Setting for some of the most consequential American festival lore— Dylan goes electric, etc.—returning for its 65th anniversary. Lineup includes Gillian Welch, Killer Mike (!?) and the electro-Latin vibes of Reyna Tropical.

Chicago, IL - Aug 1—4

LOLLAPALOOZA

Nine stages! Grant Park packs with bands from across the genre spectrum, with light retro-alt-culture nods.

Seattle, WA - AUG 31–SEPT 1

BUMBERSHOOT

The Emerald City fest marked a half-century last year with a renewed emphasis on Northwest acts and Seattle-y offstage hijinks (think witches giving energy readings, a cat circus).

Austin, TX - Oct 4-13

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS

Two weekends of some of the biggest names in music, past and present. So that's a draw. Plus it's in Zilker Park in the fall, when there's not a more perfect place on Earth to be outside.

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DYLAN VANWEELDEN | PICKATHON

Breakouts


EIGHT REGIONAL FESTS YOU DON’T KNOW YET (BUT SHOULD).

IOWA CITY, IA - APRIL 4–6

MISSION CREEK FESTIVAL

Musicians and writers get equal billing—Hanif Abdurraqib alongside Neko Case on Thursday night, for instance.

Festival highlight: Saturday. Small-press fest by day, L.A. rockers Osees by night.
Who you’ll meet: A Pulitizer winner or five.
Dress code: Library cardigan, cornfield denim.

PENDLETON, OR - JUNE 27–29

JACKALOPE JAMBOREE

Indie-country fun in a town synony- mous with rodeo and Western crafts. Silverada (formerly Mike and the Moon- pies), Charley Crockett and Bella White stand out.

Who you’ll meet: Actual ranchers, twang-loving road-trippers.
Dress code: Custom job from Pendleton Hat Company.

WHITEFISH, MT - JULY 12–14

UNDER THE BIG SKY

Twangy acts like Miranda Lambert and Sierra Ferrell, plus a daily roughstock rodeo. Held on a working cattle ranch (with trail rides).

Who you’ll meet: Real-deal cowpokes, dudes up from Missoula.
Dress code: Fringed leather, sequinned chaps.

FLORENCE, AL - JULY 19–28

W.C. HANDY MUSIC FESTIVAL

Jazz, blues and you-name-it, tapping the infinite Muscle Shoals talent pool.

Festival highlight: Church-choir- gospel mornings roll right into road- house-blues nights.
Watch out for: The program is a tome—consider hiring a personal assistant to plan.

HIRAM, ME - JULY 25–28

OSSIPEE VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL

In the White Mountain foothills, a roots- music campout with a crunchy, family vibe.

Who you’ll meet: Graying back- to-the-landers, their spiritual progeny.
Festival highlight: Doing cobra with the headliners in the yoga barn.
Watch out for: Gangs of kids on bikes.

HAPPY VALLEY, OR - AUGUST 1–4

PICKATHON

This beloved conclave turns a farm into a multi-genre, all-ages village, with stages tucked into discrete woodsy nooks—“neighborhoods,” in Pickathon parlance.

Who you’ll meet: Folkies, rock- ers, alt country adjacent parents.
Festival highlight: The mystical Woods Stage.
Dress code: Your “summer flannel.”

ASHEVILLE, NC - AUGUST 1–4

AVLFEST

After debuting last year, this multi-venue festival does another takeover of Western Carolina’s unofficial capital.

Who you’ll meet: Lovers of microbrews and songcraft, probably a working luthier or two.
Dress code: Hike-ready shorts, John Muir–quote tees.

HILLSDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 6–8

OLDTONE FESTIVAL

Traditional folkways—gospel, Cajun, bluegrass and more—preserved and celebrated on a working farm in the Hudson Valley.

Festival highlight: Contra and square spins in the dance tent.
Who you’ll meet: Trad music culture-bearers in a late-night pick session.
Dress code: Pearl snaps, muck boots.

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