The Biggest Music Festivals In The US

Music Festivals in US
Photographer: William Haun / CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

The biggest music festivals in the US play a key role in shaping musical trends, subcultures, and the overall music industry.
The United States boasts a lively and varied music festival scene, catering to an extensive array of musical preferences. From the early days epitomized by events like the Newport Folk (1959) and Jazz Festivals to the contemporary spectacles of Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Ultra Miami, these festivals have transformed into colossal, multi-genre spectacles. Today, they stand as major economic catalysts, drawing in millions of attendees and presenting a diverse musical panorama, spanning jazz, indie, rock, and electronic dance music. The surge in popularity of music festivals not only enhances the cultural mosaic of the US but also plays a pivotal role in fostering economic growth, demonstrating the profound ability of music to unite people and craft enduring memories.

The significance and influence of America’s biggest music festivals on the local culture are profound, enhancing the collective heartbeat of the nation. Music festivals now play a crucial role in American culture, providing a unique space where musicians can engage with their fans and collaborate with fellow artists in a creative environment. Beyond their musical contributions, these festivals are important hubs for interdisciplinary discussions, challenging traditional values and encouraging Losnew models of interaction. They also foster local pride and help people cherish positive moments in life. Moreover, these events blend cultural and artistic activities beyond just music, providing everyone with a one-of-a-kind musical journey.

Top Music Festivals in the US

🔹 Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival (Austin, TX)
🔹 Bass Canyon (George, WA)
🔹 Beyond Wonderland (Multiple Locations)
🔹 Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN)
🔹 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, TN)
🔹 Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, NV)
🔹 Cali Vibes (Long Beach, CA)
🔹 Chicago Blues Festival (Chicago, IL)
🔹 CMA Fest (Nashville, TN)
🔹 Coachella (Indio, CA)
🔹 Countdown NYE (San Bernardino, CA)
🔹 Cruel World Festival (Pasadena, CA)
🔹 Dancefestopia (DFT) (Kansas City, MO)
🔹 Decadence Arizona (Avondale, AZ)
🔹 Decadence Colorado (Denver, CO)
🔹 Dreamstate (Long Beach, CA)
🔹 Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) (Multiple Locations)
🔹 Electric Forest (Rothbury, MI)
🔹 Escape Halloween (San Bernardino, CA)
🔹 Gasparilla (Tampa, FL)
🔹 Gem and Jam (Tucson, AZ)

🔹 Global Dance (Denver, CO)
🔹 Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, AL)
🔹 HiJinx (Philadelphia, PA)
🔹 Levitation (Austin, TX)
🔹 Life is Beautiful (Las Vegas, NV)
🔹 Lights All Night (Dallas, TX)
🔹 Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL)
🔹 Lost Lands (Thornville, OH)
🔹 Made In America (MIA) Festival (Philadelphia, PA)
🔹 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage (New Orleans, LA)
🔹 Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, RI)
🔹 Outside Lands (San Francisco, CA)
🔹 Thunderdome (Tacoma, WA)
🔹 Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago, IL)
🔹 Riot Fest (Chicago, IL)
🔹 Rolling Loud (Multiple Locations)
🔹 Shaky Knees Music Festival (Atlanta, GA)
🔹 Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)
🔹 SXSW Conference and Festival (Austin, TX)
🔹 Ultra Music Festival (UMF) (Miami, FL)

Austin City Limits

The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival happens once every year at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. It is usually scheduled for two consecutive 3-day weekends in October. Austin City Limits features eight stages for a vast range of musical genres, from rock and indie to country and folk. There is even a place for some electronic, and hip-hop music. The festival sprawls across the park with various stages hosting performances. This festival attracts about 450k people each year. It’s more than music performances – it’s also an art market for the local talents, so you can discover exciting things beyond concerts.

Established in 2002 as a one-weekend event, the festival grew largely in 2013, thanks to a unanimous decision by Austin City Council members on 16/08/2012. The Austin City Limits is now attracting renowned artists. Amongst festival performers are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, and many more.

🕺 Attendance: 450,000
🏰 Established: 2002
📅 Duration: 2 weekends
📆 Held In October
💖 Music genres: hip hop, country, rock, electronic, and indie/alternative
📍 Location: Austin, TX
🌐 Website: midnightlighting.com

Bass Canyon

Dive into the ultimate bass adventure at Bass Canyon! This three-day music fiesta, happening at Washington State’s Gorge Amphitheatre, is your ticket to a non-stop bass bonanza. Picture this: multiple Excision sets with no stage clashes—just pure bass vibes.

But it’s not just about the beats; it’s a whole experience. Camp under the stars, wake up to epic views and soak in the immersive energy that Bass Canyon is known for. Fans can’t wait for it, and you shouldn’t either!

Save the date – August 16-18 – for the upcoming Bass Canyon festival. Tickets? Keep your eyes peeled a few months ahead. Get ready to dance, camp, and feel the bass like never before. Bass heads, this is your moment!

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🕺 Attendance: 20,000 – 25,000
🏰 Established: 2018
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In August
💖 Music genres: bass music, dubstep, drum and bass, and other EDM subgenres
📍 Location: George, WA
🌐 Website: basscanyon.com

Beyond Wonderland

Beyond Wonderland is an EDM festival organized by Insomniac Events, known for its immersive atmosphere, vibrant stages, and top-tier EDM artists. It’s part of a series of festivals by Insomniac, featuring diverse electronic music genres. Attendees often wear whimsical costumes, contributing to the magical ambiance. For the latest information, check the official Insomniac Events website.

The Beyond Wonderland festival has taken place in different areas on the West Coast, like Southern California, Washington, and Northern California.

One specific aspect of the Beyond Wonderland festival is its elaborate stage designs, featuring intricate and visually stunning setups that contribute to the festival’s immersive and magical atmosphere. Everything is inspired by the popular story “Alice in Wonderland”

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🕺 Attendance: 170,000 (BW SoCal)
🏰 Established: 2010
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In March (BW SoCal); June (BW Chicago); June (BW at The Gorge)
💖 Music genres: EDM, house, techno, trance, substep
📍 Location: San Bernardino, CA; Chicago, IL; George, WA
🌐 Websites: WB SoCal; WB Chicago; WB at The Gorge;

Big Ears

The Big Ears Festival is held every year in Knoxville, Tennessee. The festival is crafted and presented by AC Entertainment. The Big Ears Festival was established in 2009 by Ashley Capps. He is also recognized as the founder of the music promotion company AC Entertainment.

The Big Ears Festival was recognized by Rolling Stone magazine in 2010 as “arguably the classiest, most diverse festival in the country“. Later editions of the festival have also been praised as some of the most ambitious avant-garde music festivals in the US.

🕺 Attendance: 5,000 daily
🏰 Established: 2009
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In March
💖 Music genres: Indie rock, Classical music, Contemporary classical music, Alternative rock, Minimalist music, Jazz, Metal, Electronica
📍 Location: Knoxville, TN
🌐 Website: bigearsfestival.org

Bonnaroo

Every June, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival creates a four-day sunny experience for the audience. Superfly Presents and AC Entertainment indeed pour their hearts into this event, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Since 2002, the festival has been hosted at Great Stage Park, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Typically happening on the second Thursday in June, the festival spans four days and features various musical genres.  The festival’s main attractions include multiple live performances across diverse musical styles, from indie and classic rock to world music, hip-hop, jazz, and many, many more.

Musical acts kick off on Wednesday evening for early arrivals and continue throughout the festival, starting each day around noon. Some stages entertain the audience until sunrise. Popular music magazine Rolling Stone has incredibly high and flattering recognition for the festival. According to the music publication, Bonnaroo is one of the events that changed Rock & Roll. GQ Magazine included it among the “10 Best Festivals” to visit.

🕺 Attendance: 70,000 – 80,000
🏰 Established: 2002
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In June
💖 Music genres: rock, jazz, Americana, hip-hop, electronica
📍 Location: Manchester, TN
🌐 Website: bonnaroo.com

Burning Man

Burning Man is a seven-day, yearly event held in the Nevada Desert. It derives its name from the symbolic climax: the burning of a massive wooden effigy called the Man on the Saturday evening before Labor Day. It’s one of the largest music festivals in the US occurring in Black Rock City, Nevada.

The event had its inception on 22/06/1986, at Baker Beach, San Francisco. The Festival was initiated by modern-day Renaissance men Larry Harvey and Jerry James. The duo created and built the first Burning Man.

The Burning Man is now held every year. It starts nine days before and includes Labor Day. Burning Man had a notable rise in attendance over the years. In 2019, a total of 78,850 people participated in the event. Forget headliners and setlists! Burning Man is all about music on your terms. You can enjoy the random performances in the desert or even host an event yourself. It’s a musical exploration, not an event on schedule.

Burning Man 2023, a week-long event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, drew 73,000 attendees. However, severe weather, including flooding and mud, overshadowed the gathering, leading to one reported death.

🕺 Attendance: 78,000
🏰 Established: 1986
📅 Duration: 7 days
📆 Held In August-September
💖 Music genres: Various
📍 Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
🌐 Website: burningman.org

Cali Vibes

Cali Vibes is a distinguished three-day festival set against the picturesque backdrop of Marina Green Park in Long Beach, CA, occurring in February.

The festival embeds a diverse global music lineup, encompassing genres such as Jamaican dancehall, reggae, soca, and more. This inclusive event is designed for all ages, with the venue welcoming attendees from noon onwards on all three days.

Cali Vibes stands at the forefront of modernity, embracing a cashless transaction system that accommodates credit card payments and a variety of contactless options, including Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, and contactless cards. Beyond its commitment to seamless transactions, the festival takes pride in being accessible to all, extending a warm welcome to attendees with disabilities and actively pursuing improvements in accessibility services.

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🕺 Attendance: 75.000
🏰 Established: /
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In February
💖 Music genres: reggae, dancehall, soca, ska punk, afrobeat, hip-hop
📍 Location: Long Beach, CA;
🌐 Website: calivibesfest.com

Chicago Blues Festival

The annual Chicago Blues Festival, taking place in June, spans three days and showcases the talents of prominent blues musicians, featuring a mix of established favorites and rising stars. The event is organized by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, previously known as the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, and consistently unfolds in early June.

The Festival used to take place at Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park. From 2017 onward, the festival takes place at Millennium Park.

🕺 Attendance: 500,000
🏰 Established: 1984
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In June
💖 Music genres: soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip-hop
📍 Location: Chicago, IL
🌐 Website: chicagobluesfestival.us

CMA Music Festival

The four-day CMA Music Festival is a true celebration of country music, being one of the biggest music festivals in the US. Every year in June, the Country Music Association (CMA) hosts the festival in the capital of country music Nashville, Tennessee. Originating in 1972 as Fan Fair, it is one of the oldest festivals on this list. The festival has attracted over 400 artists and celebrities through the years. Participants engage in autograph sessions and play various concerts throughout the event. Each year, the festival raises big money that goes to good causes and charities and helps country music shine on the scene.

🕺 Attendance: 90,000 daily
🏰 Established: 1972
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In June
💖 Мusic genres: country
📍 Location: Nashville, TN
🌐 Website: cmafest.com

Coachella

Coachella is a yearly music and arts celebration at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The name comes from the Coachella Valley, the location where it is held. The Coachella Festival first occurred in 1999. Masterminds behind Coachella from the very beginning are Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen.

The festival extends across two weekends, with each lasting three days. This festival doesn’t only promote music. You can attend exceptional art installations and see sculptures while the music plays in the background.

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🕺 Attendance: 500,000
🏰 Established: 1999
📅 Duration: 6 days
📆 Held In April
💖 Music genres: rock, pop, indie, hip-hop, EDM
📍 Location: Indio, CA
🌐 Website: coachella.com

Countdown NYE

Countdown NYE is an annual electronic music festival by Insomniac, happening on December 31st in San Bernardino, California.

This festival has a unique theme every year but its extraterrestrial theme. The theme for 2024 is “Alien Invasion.” Tickets come in different tiers with perks like faster entry and special viewing spots.

The festival features top electronic music artists, food and drink options, and themed entertainment. Safety is a priority with strict rules against drugs and thorough security checks. Additionally, there are rules about what you can bring inside, like leaving your professional recording gear at home and not bringing outside food or drinks.

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🕺 Attendance:
🏰 Established: /
📅 Duration: 1 day
📆 Held In December
💖 Music genres: techno, house, trance, dubstep, bass music
📍 Location: San Bernardino, CA
🌐 Website: countdownnye.com

Cruel World Festival

The Cruel World Music Festival stands as a testament to the timeless allure of alternative and new wave music, bringing together an eclectic array of legendary artists for an unforgettable sonic experience. This annual festival has become a pilgrimage for fans of the genre, offering a nostalgic journey through the ’80s and ’90s sounds that shaped a generation. With a lineup that reads like a who’s who of iconic bands and artists, Cruel World creates an immersive atmosphere where attendees can revel in the magic of artists like The Smiths, Depeche Mode, and Blondie, to name just a few. The festival not only showcases the enduring relevance of these musical pioneers but also introduces their groundbreaking tunes to a new generation of fans, fostering a sense of musical continuity that transcends time.

Beyond the music, the Cruel World Music Festival provides a carefully curated experience, blending the nostalgia of classic sounds with modern amenities. The festival grounds are transformed into a vibrant and inclusive community, where attendees can engage with a diverse array of food, art installations, and merchandise. This unique fusion of past and present, coupled with the communal spirit that permeates the festival, makes Cruel World a must-attend event for music enthusiasts seeking a transcendent journey into the heart and soul of alternative and new-wave music.

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🕺 Attendance: 70,000
🏰 Established: 2020
📅 Duration: 1 day
📆 Held In May
💖 Music genres: New Wave, Post-Punk, Gothic Rock, Alternative Rock
📍 Location: Pasadena, CA
🌐 Website: cruelworldfest.com

Dancefestopia (DFT)

Dancefestopia (DFT) is an electronic dance music (EDM) festival held annually in the United States. The festival is known for its vibrant and energetic atmosphere, featuring a diverse lineup of popular EDM artists and performers. Dancefestopia typically takes place over multiple days, offering attendees an immersive experience with various stages, art installations, and interactive elements.

The festival has gained a reputation for bringing together a community of EDM enthusiasts who gather to celebrate their shared love for electronic music. Dancefestopia often showcases a mix of genres within the EDM spectrum, including but not limited to house, techno, dubstep, and trance. The event aims to provide a visually stunning and musically dynamic environment, creating a memorable experience for festival-goers.

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🕺 Attendance: 60,000-65,000
🏰 Established: 2011
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In September
💖 Music genres: dubstep, EDM, folk, and indie genres
📍 Location: Kansas City, MO
🌐 Website: dancefestopia.com

Decadence Arizona

Every year, electronic music enthusiasts gather in Avondale, Arizona for Decadence Arizona, a thrilling festival that gives a colorful life to the desert landscape. Scheduled annually on December 30th and 31st, this event pulses with the energy of top-tier EDM artists, dazzling visual displays, and an array of engaging activities, from captivating art installations to delectable food and beverage options, including exclusive VIP experiences.

Decadence Arizona has become a highlight of the electronic music calendar, drawing fans from across the globe to immerse themselves in its vibrant atmosphere. The 2023 edition, themed “The Sky Realm,” showcased an impressive lineup featuring renowned acts like Black Tiger Sex Machine, Chris Lake, Illenium, John Summit, and many more, delivering unforgettable performances that left attendees buzzing with excitement.

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🕺 Attendance: 8.000 – 12.000
🏰 Established: 2015
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In December
💖 Music genres: EDM, house, techno, dubstep, trance
📍 Location: Avondale, AZ
🌐 Website: decadencearizona.com

Decadence Colorado

Decadence Colorado, an annual electronic music festival located in the heart of Denver, Colorado, stands out as a premier event for both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers to the electronic music scene. Boasting a vibrant array of electronic music artists, interactive art displays, carnival-style amusements, and a delectable selection of food and drinks, the festival promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

Renowned for its immersive atmosphere, state-of-the-art sound systems, and meticulously crafted stage setups, Decadence Colorado offers attendees a sensory journey like no other.

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🕺 Attendance: 40.000
🏰 Established: 2012
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In December
💖 Music genres: EDM, house, dubstep, trap, trance
📍 Location: Denver, CO
🌐 Website: decadencenye.com

Dreamstate SoCal

In the world of trance festivals, Dreamstate, organized by Insomniac, reigns supreme. Known for its ethereal beats and timeless melodies, Dreamstate has been held globally, captivating audiences in the United States, Mexico, the UK, Australia, and Poland.

Dreamstate offers an enchanting experience with meticulously crafted stages, creating immersive audiovisual environments for trance exploration.

The festival has received acclaim for its layout, production, and overall vibe, making it a sought-after destination for trance enthusiasts.

Dreamstate ensures a comfortable experience with amenities like free water refill stations, diverse food options, and easy bar access.

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🕺 Attendance: 26,000
🏰 Established: 2015
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In November
💖 Music genres: trance, tech-trance, uplifting, psytrance
📍 Location: Long Beach, CA
🌐 Website: dreamstateusa.com

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)

The Electric Daisy Carnival, or EDC, is a famous music festival that plays electronic dance music. It’s put together by a company called Insomniac, which plans and promotes events.

At EDC, you’ll experience various electronic music genres, cool stage setups, and amazing art and tech. The festival features DJs, carnival themes, and vibrant 3D environments with LED lights.

EDC takes place in various locations worldwide, including Mexico, Orlando, Los Angeles, and more. Each event offers a unique lineup of artists, local cuisine, and carnival rides.

Read more about EDC Orlando
Read more about EDC Las Vegas

🕺 Attendance: 134,000 daily (Las Vegas)
🏰 Established: 1997 in Los Angeles
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In May (Las Vegas), November (Orlando)
💖 Music genres: EDM
📍 Location: Las Vegas, NV (Flagship); Orlando, FL
🌐 Website: electricdaisycarnival.com

Electric Forest

Electric Forest Music Festival was an annual event held in Rothbury, Michigan. It gained popularity for its unique venue set in a wooded area (Sherwood Forest), creating an enchanting and immersive experience for attendees. The festival typically featured a diverse lineup of electronic, jam bands, and other genres of music.

The Electric Forest was known for its vibrant and interactive atmosphere, with elaborate light displays, art installations, and a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental consciousness. Multiple stages hosted a variety of artists, and the festival attracted music enthusiasts from across the United States.

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🕺 Attendance: 40,000 – 50,000
🏰 Established: 2011
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In June
💖 Music genres: electronic music, jam band
📍 Location: Rothbury, MI
🌐 Website: electricforest.com

Escape Halloween

Escape Halloween, is an annual music festival that transcends reality on the eve of All Hallows’ Eve. Across multiple stages, renowned DJs conjure a supernatural symphony, ranging from pulsating techno to bone-chilling bass. Attendees, adorned in eerie costumes, become part of the mystical ambiance, creating a kaleidoscope of fantastical outfits. Escape Halloween is not merely a music event; it’s a journey into the unknown, a celebration of the mysterious, and a communion of souls bound by the love for music. Join the legion of lost souls, unleash your inner specter, and immerse yourself in a haunting harmonic haven where the living and the dead dance together under the shadowy moonlight.

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🕺 Attendance: 50,000
🏰 Established: 2011
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In October
💖 Music genres: EDM
📍 Location: San Bernardino, CA
🌐 Website: escapehalloween.com

Gasparilla Music Festival

The Gasparilla Music Festival, an annual celebration of diverse musical talent, is set to light up Tampa, Florida, in February. Hosted at the scenic Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, this event promises a thrilling lineup that spans a multitude of music genres including indie rock, soul, blues, hip-hop, electronic pop, and country.

The festival uniquely showcases local bands alongside major headliners, offering attendees a rich tapestry of musical experiences. Beyond the tunes, festival-goers can indulge in a variety of regional cuisines, adding a flavorful twist to the experience. Furthermore, the Gasparilla Music Foundation uses the event as a platform to support music education, inviting attendees to contribute to a noteworthy cause while enjoying the festivities.

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🕺 Attendance: 25,000
🏰 Established: 2011
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In February
💖 Music genres: hip hop, electronic dance music, indie, country, rock, jazz, funk
📍 Location: Tampa, FL
🌐 Website: gasparillamusic.com

Gem and Jam

The Gem and Jam Festival, held annually in Tucson, Arizona, is a celebration of a live gam session and arts. Originally an afterparty for the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, it has evolved into a full-scale festival featuring a diverse array of music genres including electronic, jam, and indie, alongside workshops, talks, and yoga sessions.

Beyond music, the festival offers a holistic experience with on-site camping, RV passes, glamping options, late-night music, daytime workshops, a food and drink bazaar, and continuous art and music entertainment. It’s a unique opportunity to dive into Tucson’s eclectic music and arts scene, catering to a wide range of interests and providing a little something for everyone.

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🕺 Attendance: 55,000
🏰 Established: 2005
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In January/February
💖 Music genres: EDM, folk, blues, rock, pop, funk
📍 Location: Tucson, AZ
🌐 Website: gemandjamfestival.com

Global Dance

Global Dance Festival is Colorado’s largest summer event, happening on July 21st and 22nd in Denver. Featuring two headlining performances and sets from various artists, it’s a vibrant celebration of dance and music.

In addition to the festival, don’t miss the Global Dance Open – an international dance competition offering a chance to be part of a unique global dance experience.

Both the festival and competition aim to showcase the best in dance and music, creating a welcoming space for a diverse audience and fostering a sense of community among participants. Join us for a weekend of rhythm and beats, celebrating the arts at the Global Dance Festival!

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🕺 Attendance: 10,000
🏰 Established: 2000
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In July
💖 Music genres: EDM
📍 Location: Denver, CO
🌐 Website: globaldancefestival.com

Hangout Music Festival

The Hangout Music Festival is a three-day event held annually in May at the sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Established in November 2009 by A.J. Niland, Shaul Zislin, and Lilly Zislin (the festival’s creative director), it’s the city’s inaugural major music festival held directly on the beach. The primary stages, including the Hangout Stage and the Surf Stage located at opposite ends of the beach, along with the Boom Boom Tent and more, serve as the festival’s focal points. Typically occurring on the third weekend in May, the event has gained prominence as a unique beachside musical experience.

Hangout Fest has hosted an array of superstars, featuring performances by artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Cardi B, OutKast, The Killers, Motörhead, Travis Scott, Khalid, The Weeknd, and many more.

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🕺 Attendance: 40,000
🏰 Established: 2009
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In May
💖 Music genres: rock, indie, hip-hop, and electronic music
📍 Location: Gulf Shores, AL
🌐 Website: hangoutmusicfest.com

HiJinx

Prepare to be dazzled by the rocking beats and pulsating rhythms of the annual HiJinx music festival! The HiJinx is held in Philadelphia in late December. This two-day music sensation boasts a lineup featuring electronic and dubstep icons like Skrillex, Porter Robinson, RL Grime, and Zomboy.

At this relatively young music festival, you can enjoy local delicacies and beverages with the convenience of a cashless payment system.

Remember, it’s an 18+ event with a strict policy for NO RE-ENTRY, so come ready to dedicate yourself fully to the experience HiJinx offers during those two days!

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🕺 Attendance: 20,000 – 24,000
🏰 Established: 2018
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In December
💖 Music genres: EDM, dubstep, trap, bass house
📍 Location: Philadelphia, PA
🌐 Website: hijinxfest.com

Levitation

Levitation, formerly known as Austin Psych Fest, is a yearly three-day music festival founded by The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Since 2013, the festival has found its home at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas. Inspired by the 1960s creativity and influenced by festivals like ATP and Primavera Sound, the organizers had a mission to realize their unique vision of a music festival. The inaugural Austin Psych Fest took place on Saturday, 08/03/2008, at The Red Barn in north Austin, featuring great performances by The Black Angels, Ringo Deathstarr, Horse + Donkey, and others.

Evolving from its modest beginnings, this independent festival has blossomed into a globally recognized, full weekend extravaganza, becoming one of the biggest music festivals in the US that attracts the greatest performers. In 2015, Austin Psych Fest underwent a name change to “Levitation” as a tribute to the psychedelic rock pioneers of Austin, The 13th Floor Elevators.

🕺 Attendance: 20,000 daily
🏰 Established: 2008
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In April
💖 Music genres: psych, dream pop, punk, indie, metal, darkwave and electronic music
📍 Location: Austin, TX
🌐 Website: levitation.fm

Life is Beautiful

The Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, held annually in Downtown Las Vegas, is a three-day extravaganza blending music, art, and culinary delights. Founded by Rehan Choudhry in 2013, it has evolved into one of the world’s highest-grossing festivals, boasting a diverse musical lineup and immersive art experiences. In 2022, Penske Media Corporation took control, ushering in a new era for the festival.

What sets Life is Beautiful apart is its central location in vibrant Las Vegas, providing a unique experience where festival-goers step out of the gates into a city that thrives all night. Beyond the beats and visual treats, the festival offers a culinary journey with world-class cuisine. Life is Beautiful isn’t just a festival; it’s a transformative, immersive escape, inviting everyone to embrace the present moment, celebrate diversity, and find beauty in the world around them.

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🕺 Attendance: 170,000 – 180,000
🏰 Established: 2013
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In September
💖 Music genres: hip hop, indie rock, experimental rock, EDM, alternative rock, and pop
📍 Location: Las Vegas, NV
🌐 Website: lifeisbeautiful.com

Lights All Night

Lights All Night is the premier EDM festival held annually in Dallas, Texas, over New Year’s Eve weekend. With a diverse lineup of electronic dance music artists across genres like house, techno, trance, and bass, it’s a must-attend event for music lovers.

Held at the conveniently located Dallas Market Hall, the festival offers easy access for both locals and travelers. Attendees can choose from various ticket options, including General Admission, General Admission Plus, VIP Admission, and ULTRA VIP Admission, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to top-notch music, Lights All Night features merchandise stalls, locker rentals, and food vendors, enhancing the overall experience. The festival is the country’s longest-running independent and Texas’ longest-running electronic music festival.

Lights All Night is committed to inclusivity, providing an accessible experience for all fans, including those with disabilities.

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🕺 Attendance: 15,000 – 40,000
🏰 Established: 2010
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In December
💖 Music genres: EDM, techno, trance, dubstep, house, trap, bass house, drum and bass, hardstyle
📍 Location: Dallas, TX
🌐 Website: lightsallnight.com

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is a four-day music festival that takes place every year in Grant Park, Chicago. Although it initially began as a touring event in 1991, Chicago has been its fixed location for several years now. Lollapalooza showcases a variety of music genres. For fans of alternative rock, heavy metal, and punk rock it’s one of the go-to festivals in the US. The variety here appeals to both hip-hop fans and people into electronic dance music.

Lollapalooza is not only a diverse and various musical lineup. It’s also a great hub for art installations, food corners, and engaging activities while enjoying the stunning Chicago skyline

🕺 Attendance: 400,000
🏰 Established: 1991
📅 Duration: 4 days
📆 Held In August
💖 Music genres: rock, metal, punk, hip-hop, EDM
📍 Location: Chicago, IL
🌐 Website: lollapalooza.com

Lost Lands

Lost Lands Music Festival, presented by Excision, is an electrifying event that takes place every year at the iconic Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Since its early days in 2017, this bass music extravaganza has become a global phenomenon. The festival is now drawing music enthusiasts from all corners of the world to experience the sheer power of drum and bass, trap, dubstep, and more.

The Legend Valley transforms into a bass music utopia, with Excision’s thunderous bass drops, earth-shattering sound systems, and a prehistoric stage design that transports festivalgoers to a world that time forgot. The festival lineup boasts heavyweights like Excision, Zeds Dead, and Flux Pavilion, alongside rising talents on the music scene.

But Lost Lands isn’t just about the beats and bass; it’s a unique experience. For those looking to stay active, the grounds feature sporting activities like basketball, dodgeball, and volleyball. The amusement park with a Ferris wheel and carnival games, offers a relaxing escape from the music-filled air. Local vendors, food and beverage stands, and captivating art installations add to the festival’s vibrant atmosphere.

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🕺 Attendance: 30,000 – 40,000
🏰 Established: 2014
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In September
💖 Music genres: bass-heavy beats, dubstep, trap, riddim, house, drum and bass
📍 Location: Thornville, OH
🌐 Website: lostlandsfestival.com

Made In America Festival

The Made In America Festival, is a two-day music festival, in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held every Labor Day weekend. Conceived in 2012 by the American rapper, record producer, and business mogul Jay-Z, the first Made in America Festival unfolded at the beginning of September 2012. It attracted a massive crowd of nearly 80,000 and raked in an impressive $5 million in ticket sales. This annual celebration of music and culture was officially unveiled at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on 14/05/2012.

Since its inception, the event has been a recurring spectacle, captivating audiences annually—except for the unfortunate cancellations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2023, because of unforeseen complications beyond the organizers’ control.

🕺 Attendance: 100,000
🏰 Established: 2012
📅 Duration: 2 days
📆 Held In September
💖 Music genres: hip-hop, rock, pop, R&B, and EDM
📍 Location: Philadelphia, PA
🌐 Website: madeinamericafest.com

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The yearly event recognized as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival occurs at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. Drawing in crowds of thousands each year, this event is a vibrant representation of local music and culture.

The inception of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival dates to 1970, guided by the visionary George Wein. Despite an initial attendance of only 350 people, the festival quickly gained artistic success. Wein’s vision was clear: he wanted a sprawling daytime fair with multiple stages showcasing a diverse array of locally produced music genres, Louisiana cuisine food stalls, and arts and crafts booths. Additionally, he aimed to establish an evening concert series that would have universal appeal.

🕺 Attendance: 475,000
🏰 Established: 1970
📅 Duration: 8 days
📆 Held In April-May
💖 Music genres: jazz, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, blues, R&B, rock, funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, folk
📍 Location: New Orleans, LA
🌐 Website: nojazzfest.com

Newport Jazz Festival

The Newport Jazz Festival is an annual 3-day music event. It occurs every year, during August in Newport, Rhode Island. Established by Elaine Lorillard in 1954, she and her husband Louis Lorillard provided financial backing for the event for many years. The first festival was organized by George Wein, who was tasked with bringing jazz to Rhode Island.

Numerous Newport Jazz Festival performances were recorded and later released as albums. Since 1981, it has transformed into a two-site festival, returning to Newport while maintaining a presence in New York.

Hosted at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, the festival typically coincides with the Newport Folk Festival, both contributing to the vibrant musical scene in the region.

🕺 Attendance: 13,000
🏰 Established: 1954
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In August
💖 Music genres: Jazz, rock, pop
📍 Location: Newport, RI
🌐 Website: newportjazz.org

Outside Lands

Outside Lands, previously recognized as the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, is a three-day celebration of music, art, food, wine, and cannabis, hosted annually in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Outside Lands stands as the most extensive independently owned music festival in the United States. Another Planet Entertainment, Starr Hill Presents, and Superfly established the festival in 2008.

The music festival is also described as a “Love Letter to San Francisco.” Outside Land got its name from San Francisco’s western neighborhoods. The location was known as The Outside Lands during the 1800s. Spanning 80 acres, the festival grounds showcase art installations and exhibits crafted by local artists. Specific areas within the festival are dedicated to cannabis, activism, and sustainability, aligning with the vibrant culture of San Francisco.

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🕺 Attendance: 130,000
🏰 Established: 2008
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In August
💖 Music genres: alternative rock, indie pop, jam bands, conscious rap, progressive Latin and world-beat fusion
📍 Location: San Francisco, CA
🌐 Website: sfoutsidelands.com

Thunderdome

Thunderdome Music Festival is an exhilarating event curated by Excision, renowned for its relentless bass and dynamic lineup of top-tier artists. Held in Tacoma, Washington, this festival has become a must-attend for electronic and hardcore music enthusiasts.

Exclusively for patrons aged 18 and above with a valid government-issued photo ID, the Thunderdome festival is known for uniting diverse musical talents.

This cultural phenomenon, with its dedicated fan base, is celebrated for high-energy performances that create an unforgettable atmosphere.

And don’t confuse this festival with the European one inaugurated in the early nineties.

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🕺 Attendance: 50,000
🏰 Established: 2018
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In February
💖 Music genres: Electronic hardcore
📍 Location: Tacoma, WA
🌐 Website: excision.ca

Pitchfork Music Festival

The Pitchfork Music Festival is also on the list of the biggest music festivals in the US. It’s an annual summer event orchestrated by Pitchfork (formerly Pitchfork Media), in Union Park in Chicago, Illinois. Since 2011, the festival has expanded its reach with a counterpart in Paris. Typically spanning three days in July (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), the festival spotlights artists and bands within the alternative rock, hip-hop, electronic, and dance music realms. Still, there are dedicated festival selections that have explored punk, experimental rock, and jazz as well.

The Festival maintains its focus on cutting-edge talent but also incorporates influential artists and acts that have shaped and inspired newer performers and artists. Apart from the music, the Pitchfork Festival offers a diverse experience, including food, drinks, art, and gig posters from various vendors.

🕺 Attendance: 60,000
🏰 Established: 2006
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In July
💖 Music genres: alternative rock, hip-hop, electronic, and dance
📍 Location: Chicago, IL
🌐 Website: pitchforkmusicfestival.com

Riot Fest

Riot Fest, is a yearly three-day punk rock music festival located in Chicago, Illinois, usually held in Douglass Park. Renowned for its ability to secure reunions, guest performances, and full album showcases.

Launched in Chicago in 2005 Riot Fest initially spanned multiple venues over a three-day weekend. The first festival was founded and launched by Mike Petryshyn and Sean McKeough.

The stages of The Metro, Subterranean, Double Door, Cobra Lounge, and the Congress Theater welcomed a diverse lineup of bands. Among them were, Danzig, Weezer, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bad Religion, and Butthole Surfers.

🕺 Attendance: 50,000
🏰 Established: 2005
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In September
💖 Music genres: punk, rock, indie rock, alternative, psychobilly, metal, skate punk, and ska
📍 Location: Chicago, IL
🌐 Website: riotfest.org

Rolling Loud

Rolling Loud is an international hip-hop music festival. While it initially started in Florida, branches of Rolling Loud are now held across the world. Since its start in 2015, Rolling Loud earned recognition as “one of the biggest festivals in the world” – not just in the US. Billboard has hailed it as “the be-all of hip-hop festivals”. The 2019 Miami event drew an estimated 210,000 attendees.

The inaugural Rolling Loud occurred in Miami, Florida, in February 2015. The first festival showcased artists like Schoolboy Q, Juicy J, and Currensy.

Starting from 2018, Rolling Loud in Florida has been held at the Hard Rock Stadium.

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🕺 Attendance: 200,000
🏰 Established: 2015
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In March (California), and July (Miami)
💖 Music genres: hip-hop
📍 Location: Miami, FL
🌐 Website: rollingloud.com

Shaky Knees

The Shaky Knees Music Festival is a 3-day event that takes place in May in Atlanta, Georgia. The event has been held every year since Tim Sweetwood established it in 2013. Its creation aimed to introduce a genuine indie music festival to Atlanta, a city already known for hosting events like Sweetwater 420 Fest and Music Midtown. The festival’s current location is Central Park in Old Fourth Ward.

Boasting a lineup of over 60 bands each year, Shaky Knees stands as a rock enthusiast’s haven. Since its inception in 2013, the festival has consistently delivered a diverse roster, showcasing both globally acclaimed acts and emerging artists.

While it did start as a two-day music event, it has now extended to include an extra day. Its musical spectrum spans indie rock, indie folk, country music, and alternative rock genres, featuring artists from around the world alongside regional talents.

🕺 Attendance: 9,000 daily
🏰 Established: 2013
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In May
💖 Music genres: indie rock, indie folk, country music, and alternative rock
📍 Location: Atlanta, GA
🌐 Website: shakykneesfestival.com

Summerfest

Established in 1968, Summerfest is a yearly music festival hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Situated at Henry Maier Festival Park the event draws around 800,000 attendees annually.

Billing itself as “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” a Guinness World Records certification in 1999 initially supported this claim. However, in 2015, Donauinselfest surpassed Summerfest’s attendance.

Over 11 days, typically spanning late June to early July (including the Fourth of July), the 75-acre (30 ha) park hosts a diverse array of performances. The festival revealed plans to implement a three-weekend into the schedule, incorporating additional Fridays and Saturdays into the event lineup. It showcases local and nationally renowned talents from various genres. Throughout its 50+ year history, Summerfest has hosted an illustrious lineup of artists, including legends like Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones.

🕺 Attendance: 624,000
🏰 Established: 1968
📅 Duration: 11 days
📆 Held In June-July
💖 Music genres: blues, country, electronic, folk, hard rock, metal, hip hop, indie, jam band, jazz, pop, R&B, reggae, rock, zydeco
📍 Location: Milwaukee, WI
🌐 Website: summerfest.com

SXSW Conference and Festival

South by Southwest, commonly known as SXSW is a yearly amalgamation of parallel festivals and conferences.

It’s not just a musical festival – the event also promotes film and interactive media. Held in mid-March in Austin, Texas, the event had its inception in 1987 and has consistently expanded both in scale and breadth each year. In 2017, the conference spanned 10 days. The interactive part lasted five days. The music segment of the festival took place for seven days. The film segment took place for nine days. The central “hub” for the festival is the Austin Convention Center. Most affiliated events occur at venues in and around Downtown Austin.

🕺 Attendance: 300,000
🏰 Established: 1987
📅 Duration: 9 days
📆 Held In March
💖 Music genres: unlimited by genre or regional focus
📍 Location: Austin, TX
🌐 Website: sxsw.com

Ultra Music Festival (UMF) – Ultra Miami

Miami’s iconic Ultra Music Festival (UMF) returns for its 25th year from March 22 to 24 at Bayfront Park. Founded in 1999, UMF has grown into a global electronic music phenomenon, drawing over 70,000 attendees annually.

Featuring top-tier artists like Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix, UMF has faced challenges but remains a key player in the music scene. Don’t miss the chance to experience the electrifying beats in the heart of Miami. Secure your spot for this unforgettable music celebration!

Observing the community of music festival lovers in the United States, we can conclude that Ultra Ultra Music Festival AKA Ultra Miami is one of their favorite electronic music festivals in the USA.

🕺 Attendance: 70,000
🏰 Established: 1999
📅 Duration: 3 days
📆 Held In March
💖 Music genres: EDM, techno, house, trance, and hip-hop
📍 Location: Miami, FL
🌐 Website: ultramusicfestival.com

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

🔹 How Many Music Festivals Are There In America?
🔹 What Are The Top 10 Music Festivals In The United States?
🔹 What Is The Most Popular Festival In The USA?
🔹 What Is The Largest Free Music Festival In The US?
🔹 What’s The Biggest Concert Ever?

How Many Music Festivals Are There In America?

Our research tells us that there is no official registry for music festivals in the US. It is really hard to be accurate and to tell how many music festivals are there in America. The number of music festivals is constantly changing as new festivals are created and others are discontinued. The number of music festivals in the US is constantly changing. In the past years, rumors say that there are about 800 music festivals annually, each catering to a broad spectrum of musical preferences.

During our research to identify how many music festivals are there in the United States, we cross-checked several sources:

🔹 Music Festival Wizard‘s website – one of the best sources for music festivals. We counted about 370 music festivals for the upcoming 12 months (Dec 2023 – Dec 2024).
🔹 JamBase‘s websiteFor 2023 – 2024 we counted about 400 music festivals.
🔹 From a dedicated Wikipedia article, we counted about 300 music festivals.

Based on our expedited research, we can confidently assert that, on an annual basis, the United States hosts a minimum of 350 to 400 music festivals.

What Are The Top 10 Music Festivals In The United States?

The United States is a smorgasbord of sound. With music festivals catering to every taste, genre, and budget it is easy to find something for everyone. From the sun-drenched sands of California to the vibrant streets of New Orleans, these experiences offer a chance to lose yourself in the music, connect with fellow fans, and create memories that will last a lifetime (or at least until the next one 😉). Here is our humble effort to count down the top 10 music festivals that will have you shouting “more!” long after the last band finishes the last song.

While creating this list, we focused mostly on the reputation, capacity, and cultural and artistic offerings of the festivals.

🏆
🔹Lollapalooza🔹
🔹Coachella🔹
🔹CMA Music Festival🔹
🔹SXSW🔹
🔹Bonnaroo🔹
🔹Burning Man 🔹
🔹Austin City Limits🔹
🔹New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival🔹
🔹Chicago Blues Festival🔹
🔹Newport Jazz Festival🔹
🏆


Creating an end-all-be-all list for music festivals is a tricky task. The list is subjective, and of course, some festivals are missing.

Lollapalooza 🏆 is the most popular music festival in the USA. According to a 2023 YouGov survey, 47% of Americans hold the most favorable opinions about Lollapalooza.
Second on this survey is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with 40%.

Lollapalooza, an annual four-day musical spectacle held in the iconic Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, is not just a festival; it’s a colossal celebration of music that has evolved into a cultural phenomenon since its inception in 1991. From its humble beginnings as a touring event, Lollapalooza found its permanent home in Chicago, transforming into one of the largest and most sought-after music festivals globally, with a staggering attendance of over 400,000 enthusiasts each year.

The latest edition of Lollapalooza took place in Grant Park, Chicago, from 03/08/2023 to 06/08/2023. Attendees enjoyed performances by artists such as Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, The 1975, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, and many others.


Lollapalooza is a major cultural phenomenon. It’s a place where music lovers from all walks of life come together to celebrate their favorite artists and discover new ones. The festival is suitable for seasoned festivalgoers and first-timers. Every attendee is guaranteed a memorable experience at Lollapalooza.

Popularity is the % of people who have a positive opinion of a music festival

What Is The Largest Free Music Festival In The US?

The biggest and arguably most interesting free festival in the USA is Musikfest 🏆 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Since it started in 1984, Musikfest has taken place every year. It stands as the largest open-to-the-public music festival in the US. Traditionally, the event kicked off on the first Friday in August. However, in more recent years, since 2015, Musikfest commences on Thursday, with a preview night. The festival ends the second Sunday thereafter. It boasts over 500 live performances across 16 stages. The festival attracts more than a million attendees.

From chart-topping artists like Duran Duran, CAKE, Sheryl Crow, Ke$sha, Steve Miller Band, and Stone Temple Pilots, to local gems, and even stand-up comedy from blockbusters like Jerry Seinfeld in 2015 are present. Karaoke, interactive displays, rides, games, and a craft tent are only part of activities where the entire family can participate.

In the 2023 festival, visitors could listen to AJR, Walk the Moon, G-Eazy, Dan + Shay, Walker Hayes, Keith Sweat & Monica, Goo Goo Dolls, Gabriel Iglesias & Faux Friends, El Gran Combo, Maren Morris and Train.

Musikfest is organized by the nonprofit organization ArtsQuest.

What’s The Biggest Concert Ever?

In terms of highest attendance, 🏆 Rod Stewart’s Copacabana New Year’s Eve Concert in 1994 with 3.54 million people in attendance holds the Guinness World Record for the largest concert attendance ever, followed closely by 1997 Jean-Michel Jarre’s Moscow Concert. This outdoor concert commemorating the 850th anniversary of Moscow drew an estimated 3.5 million people. Italian singer Casco Rossi’s concert in Modena Park (2017) holds the record for most tickets sold, with 225,173 attendees. However, determining the absolute “biggest” concert is not an easy task. First, one must answer what is the definition of “big” in terms of concert. Should it be measured by the highest attendance, the duration, or maybe by the cultural impact it had?

The highest attendance concert in the USA was 🏆 Grateful Dead at Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey (1977). This concert holds the record for the largest single-event ticketed attendance in the US, with a staggering 107,019 fans.
🏆 The last stop on George Strait’s farewell tour at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (2014) broke the record for the largest indoor concert in North America. The last concert of the tour drew in 104,793 country music lovers.

In terms of cultural impact, it is hard to imagine anything near the 🏆 Woodstock Festival (Woodstock Music and Art Fair). While not the largest by attendance (estimated 460,000), Woodstock (1969) remains a cultural icon and symbol of peace and counterculture of the 1960s.

Woodstock 1969
Woodstock 1969 – Photo by Mike Chen / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Touring Perspective

As for the touring perspective, there are two standouts.

🏆 Ed Sheeran’s Tour (2017-2019) boasts the highest total attendance for a US artist, selling a whopping 8.9 million tickets across 260 shows.

Ongoing 🏆 Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour has recently confirmed singer dominance in the last few years. Swift’s Eras Tour is No. 1 both worldwide and in North America. She also brought in $1.04 billion with 4.35 million tickets sold, claims Pollstar.

Conclusion About The Biggest Music Festivals In The US

Austin City Limits Festival 2011 - photographer: Thomas Hawk
Austin City Limits Festival 2011 / photographer: Thomas Hawk / Source: Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

The preeminent festivals in the United States confer a diverse array of advantages, exerting influence across cultural, social, economic, and individual spheres within society. Herein, we delineate several pivotal benefits correlated with significant festivals in the US:

Cultural Diversity and Celebration 🎉 Community Building 🏗️ Economic Impact 💸 Arts and Entertainment 🎭Promotion of Local Products 🥒 Tourism and Hospitality 🛎️ Education and Awareness 🧮 Celebration of Creativity and Innovation 🦋 Family-Friendly Activities 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Boosting Local Pride

In a multicultural and democratic society like the United States, the myriad benefits elucidated underscore the significant role played by the largest music festivals. The biggest music festivals in the US constitute vital connections within numerous facets of contemporary life in the US.

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