The Best Music Festivals in America

Thinking of heading across the pond for festival season? Let us help you. Here are the best music festivals in America.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 1st Feb 2022

Festival season’s just around the corner, so it’s time you started to get some plans together. You need to find yourself a tent, a bag big enough for cans, clothes, and maybe a tin or two of beans, you need to start saving, dig the sleeping bag out of the loft and… y’know, actually decide which festival you’ll be heading to. 

If you’re here, you’re probably thinking about heading to America to check out what their festivals are like. Or you’re just nosy. Either way, we want to help you. As you know, America’s pretty massive, so it’s overflowing with festivals, which can make it tricky to narrow down your list. So let us get the wheels in motion. 

Get comfy because we’re about to tell you all about the best music festivals in America...

 

Primavera Sound Los Angeles
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When: Monday 12th - Sunday 18th September 

Where: Primavera In The City & LA State Historic Park, Los Angeles

Lineup: Arctic Monkeys, Nine Inch Nails, Lorde 

Everyone’s heard about Primavera. And there’s a reason for that. Originating from Barcelona in Spain, the mammoth music festival adored by millions far and wide has since spread to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Portugal and the US. “Why?”, you may be wondering. It’s simple. It’s a bloody brilliant festival. 

You’ll never catch Primavera slipping when it comes to booking quality artists. And this year is looking as spectacular as ever with three massive headliners, Clairo, Bicep, Kim Gordon, James Blake, Mitski, Shanti Celeste B2B Isabella, and Shygirl. To say those who secured a ticket for Primavera Sound LA this year are lucky would be an understatement.

 

Find tickets for Primavera Los Angeles 2022 - here

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Rolling Loud 

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When: Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th July 

Where: Multiple locations

Lineup: TBA 

Rolling Loud is the biggest, wildest hip hop festival in the world, regularly featuring the hottest, most in-demand artists on the scene right now. The festival, with its growing fanbase, has locations in Florida, New York, California, and even Portugal

We’re still waiting for a lineup announcement, but the team behind the festival are always on the ball. With previous editions including ASAP Rocky, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Uzi Vert, Young MA, J. Cole, N.E.R.D, Jack Harlow, and Flo Milli, we’re certain the lineup will bang. 

 


 

Boston Calling Music Festival

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When: Friday 27th - Sunday 29th May 

Where: Harvard Athletic Complex, Boston

Lineup: Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Metallica

If guitar music is more your vibe, Boston Calling might be worth checking out. With three massive headliners, each pioneers of their genre, Boston Calling 2022 will no doubt be a top weekend. While Boston Calling’s lineups clearly lean more towards guitar music, you can also find hip hop, indie and alternative genres dotted around the lineup.

All about the good times, the festival also has funfair rides, including a 100ft Ferris wheel, art installations, comedians, giant versions of your favourite games and “the best food in Boston”. Sounds like the recipe for a great weekend!

 


 

Electric Zoo

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When: Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September 

Where: Randall's Island Park, New York City 

Lineup: TBA 

New York’s biggest rave lands in Randall’s Island Park each year for a massive celebration of house, techno and EDM. As with many EDM festivals, you can count on Electric Zoo to deliver wild light shows, over the top stage design, and plenty of flames and fireworks. 2019’s edition even had giant cyborg monkey puppets and a stage with an elephant head attached. Seriously, check out the photos on their website. 

Sadly, we don’t have any confirmed artists yet, but to give you an idea of what to expect, previous years have seen Tiesto, Alison Wonderland, The Chemical Brothers, Above & Beyond, Nervo, Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren, and CamelPhat take to the stage. 

 


  

Riot Fest

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When: Friday 16th - Sunday 18th September

Where: Douglas Park, Chicago 

Lineup: Misfits (the original lineup), My Chemical Romance, more TBA 

Riot Fest always comes through with unique, impressive lineups. It’s also known for reuniting bands, including Bikini KillSlayer, and Misfits, who you can catch this year with the original members performing their second album, “Walk Among Us”. 

Mixing rock, punk, alt. rock, metal and hip hop, the festival keeps its lineups diverse, engaging, and powerful. But the festivities go beyond music. You can also find funfair rides, sideshow performers such as chainsaw jugglers and maybe even a butter sculpture. 

 


 

Lollapalooza

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When: Thursday 28th - Sunday 31st July 

Where: Grant Park, Chicago

Lineup: TBA

Another massive fest with multiple locations due to its popularity, Lollapalooza is a bucket list fest for sure. Prioritising great music over specific genres, Lolla’s lineups include most mainstream, including hip hop, pop, rock, electronic, RnB and beyond. 

With around 385,000 attendees in 2021, Lolla is one of the worlds biggest festivals, and it’s no surprise it attracts so many music fans when the lineups never miss. Having had Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Tyler, the Creator, CHVRCHES, The Strokes, Bring Me The Horizon, Tame Impala, Janelle Monae, and other outstanding artists in recent years, we’re eager to see the lineup for 2022. 

 


 

South By Southwest (SXSW)

When: Friday 14th - Sunday 20th March

Where: Austin, Texas

Lineup: Poppy Ajudha, Maxo Kream, Horsegirl, Yard Act, Ezra Furman, Priya Ragu, Wargasm, Aeon Station, and many more 

SXSW is a bit different to your typical music festival. While live music can be enjoyed from the 14th of March, there are also conferences, exhibitions, speakers, film, and comedy that stretches the festival from the 11th to the 20th.

Music genres range from experimental, classical, country, bluegrass, electronic, jazz, Latin, metal, pop, funk, blues, folk, hip hop - pretty much every genre you could imagine. This year, attendees can catch a screening of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and sit in sessions covering various topics, including the gaming industry, climate change, filmmaking, and so much more. This is one for the artsy types. 

 


 

Coachella 

When: Friday 15th - Sunday 17th April & Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th April 

Where: Empire Polo Field, Indio, California

Lineup: Harry Styles, Billie EilishKanye West, Swedish House Mafia

We bet you were wondering when Coachella would pop up. Well, here it is! You probably don’t need much of an introduction. With dozens of celebrities attending each year, and plenty of them getting in some kind of trouble that gets plastered all over social media, you will have heard of it whether you wanted to or not. 

But there’s a reason so many celebs can’t stay away from it. Each year, it boasts one of the biggest lineups in popular music. Coachella might be Kanye’s only festival date in 2022, although it’s hard to confirm as his website is currently just a STEM player spinning around. Alongside him are two of the biggest names in pop, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles. It’ll be massive.

If this desert festival sounds right up your street, stick that flower crown and get ready for the performances of your life. 

 

Find tickets for Coachella 2022 - here

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Burning Man Project

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When: Sunday 28th August - Monday 5th September 

Where: Black Rock Desert, Reno, Nevada

Lineup: N/A

The fest with the giant burning effigy has been prominent in pop culture for years now and has been referenced in all sorts, including The Simpsons and American Dad. So much more than a music festival, Burning Man is all about community, self-expression and appreciating art. 

A quick peek at their Instagram instantly reveals the “no boundaries” vibe. You can see stunning, intricate art pieces, mutant vehicles, trippy patterns and a whole lot of dust in the air. At Burning Man, there is no fixed lineup or schedule. But you can hear psychedelic inspired genres, soul, jazz, hip hop, and electronic music. 

We could go on for days about Burning Man as it’s so interesting with so much history and symbolism, but we have to move on… 

 


 

Austin City Limits

When: Friday 7th - Sunday 9th October & Friday 14th - Sunday 16th October 

Where: Zilker Park, Austin, Texas

Lineup: TBA

Another one of America's biggest festivals, ACL takes place across six days and eight stages. With out-of-this-world lineups, ACL almost always sells out. In fact, the festival sold out in record time for its 20th anniversary last year. It seems the Texan festival is just getting started.

We’re on the edge of our seats waiting for 2022’s lineup. How could we not be when past editions included Billie Eilish, Erykah Badu, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Duran Duran, Guns N' Roses, The Cure, Tame Impala, Cardi B, MetallicaThe xx, and Martin Garrix? All of those huge talents were spread across just four years. Madness. 

 


 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

When: 29th April - 8th May 

Where: Fair Grounds Race Course, New Orleans, Louisiana

Lineup: The Who, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Lionel Richie, Luke Combs, The Black Crowes, Willie Nelson, Eryka Badu, Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band 

Although it’s strayed from its name to include almost every genre under the sun, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival still honours and features jazz music on its lineups and attracts music fans from all over the world. 

Welcoming around half a million people each year, the festival, now in its 50s, has undeniable influence as one of the biggest, longest-running, and most relevant festivals of modern times. Simply put, this festival is one of the undisputed champions and will go down in history as such. Therefore, it’s no shock that the biggest, best acts are happy to grace the main stage year after year. 

 


 

Stagecoach Festival 

When: Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May

Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California 

Lineup: Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Luke Combs 

Stagecoach Festival is America’s, maybe even the world’s, biggest most well-known country music festival. Celebrating all things country as well as bluegrass, folk, rockabilly, and fusion genres such as country blues, the fest has more than live music from the best in the scene. 

Tuck into some delicious barbecued food from Guy Fieri's Stagecoach Smokehouse. Or check out Diplo on the decks in the evening. The Compton Cowboys will be at this year's edition with their horses, ready to share their story. And you can pop in the Honkytonk Dance Hall to meet new people and enjoy some line dancing. Yeehaw! 

 


 

The Governors Ball

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When: Friday 10th - Sunday 12th June

Where: Citi Field, New York City

Lineup: Kid Cudi, Halsey, J. Cole, Flume, Playboi Carti

Gov Ball is quite the experience. An experience of food, music, art, people, togetherness and good times, a vibe they capture in the mantra, “you’re doing great”. As with many major festivals, the lineups for Gov Ball are always impressive, so let us shine a light on a different aspect of the festival…

If you're going to Governors Ball, go on an empty stomach. The food and beverage list is longer than your arm and includes indulgent treats such as vegan burgers, Greek dishes, proper American ice creams loaded with toppings, hot dogs, mouthwatering Asian food, pizza and… Actually, we’ll stop. It’s making us hungry. 

 


 

Electric Daisy Carnival 

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When: Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd May 

Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nevada

Lineup: TBA 

If you’re looking for an excuse to splash out on a few new rave outfits, here it is. EDC is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, and the biggest in North America, that celebrates EDM, house, techno, hip hop, hardstyles and more.

EDC won Festival of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards in 2017, likely thanks to the otherworldly experience it provides with wild, ethereal light shows, pyro, unique stages, as well as over a dozen funfair rides, and a couple of Ferris wheels. Paired with its unstoppable lineups, it was bound for greatness. 

 


 

Ultra Music Festival

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When: Friday 25th - Sunday 27th March 

Where: Bayfront Park, Miami

Lineup: Carl Cox, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Alison Wonderland, David Guetta, Nina Kraviz, Timmy Trumpet, Amelie Lens, Armin van Buuren, Boris Brejcha, CamelPhat, PendulumTiesto, Sofi Tukker

We’ll give you a second to absorb that earth-shatteringly massive lineup. We mean really… wow. If that didn’t convince you, we don’t know what will. But we’ll tell you a bit more about it anyway. Ultra is (clearly) one of the biggest electronic music festivals that (unsurprisingly) attracts thousands from all corners of the globe. 

Known for monstrous lineups and a mad party atmosphere, Ultra is the perfect festival for any party-loving electronic music fan. With such an unbeatable vibe and a heavyweight lineup, the fest has spread beyond the states and has landed in Mexico, Croatia, Columbia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, and Brazil, too.  

 


 

Day N Vegas 

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When: TBA

Where: Las Vegas Festival Grounds, Las Vegas 

Lineup: TBA

Another huge hip hop festival, Day N Vegas has huge lineups featuring some of the hottest artists in hip hop and occasionally RnB and pop. Holding up to 85,000 raging hip hop fans, the fest is perfect for those looking to enjoy their favourite tunes with like-minded people.

Last year’s edition saw Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, SZA, Doja Cat, Tyler, the Creator, Lil Uzi Vert, Young MA, Ari Lennox, Saweetie and other huge names, so this year’s lineup will no doubt be brilliant. The only issue is the inevitable clashes.

 


 

III Points

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When: TBA 

Where: Miami’s art district, Florida

Lineup: TBA

Miami’s art, tech and music festival, III Points, will be back in 2022 with phenomenal stage designs, the hottest artists in hip hop, electronic, and rock, immersive art installations, and more. Sadly, we don’t have a lineup yet, but last year's featured indie rock pioneers The Strokes, revolutionary hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, and electronic music icon Eric Prydz

With so many in-demand and frankly legendary artists covering III Points’ lineup posters, you can’t help but feel the excitement flood through your body. On top of that, the festival itself has been described as feeling like its own little town, creating the perfect environment to escape your troubles.  

 


 

Life Is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival

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When: Friday 16th - Sunday 18th September 

Where: Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

Lineup: TBA

Life Is Beautiful is all about the joys that make our lives so colourful. Of course, music is up there as well as art and food. In between watching the hottest artists in the game, you can appreciate murals, exhibits (including recycled ones from Burning Man), light projections, world-class comedy, and you can even stuff your face with some of the best food you'll ever taste. 

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also enjoy cocktails by talented mixologists, performances, parades, dance parties, and so much more. If you somehow find yourself bored at Life Is Beautiful, we’ll be impressed. 

 


 

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

When: Thursday 16th - Sunday 19th June

Where: Manchester, Tennesee

Lineup: Gryffin, J. Cole, Tool, Stevie Nicks, The Chicks, Illenium, Flume, 21 Savage, Machine Gun Kelly, Roddy Ricch

If a friendly, welcoming vibe is what you’re after, Bonnaroo might be a shout for 2022. Boasting an eclectic lineup, party barns, over ten performance stages, over 150 musicians, entertainment to see you through to the AM, yoga, watercolour painting, Bonnaroo is one of the most well-known festivals around the globe. 

Known for its 60s, hippy vibe, you couldn’t ask for a festival with better vibes. Capturing everything we love about festivals, Bonnaroo will no doubt be a top time for anyone. 

 


 

Shaky Knees

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When: Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May 

Where: Central Park, Atlanta 

Lineup: Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, My Morning Jacket 

Did the other heavier music festivals not do it for you? Perhaps Shaky Knees Festival will. Championing rock, indie, punk, with occasional influences from pop, metal, psychedelic, funk, and other genres, Shaky Knees brings the focus back to the music. 

This means there are fewer activities, but who needs extra activities when your favourite bands are smashing it on stage? Fewer activities also sheds a few quid off the ticket price if you’re on a budget. Or, you wanted, you could upgrade to kick the fest up a notch, check out the backstage artist bar, and have an air-conditioned poo (seriously, VIP toilets have AC). 

 


 

Outside Lands

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When: Friday 5th - Sunday 7th August 

Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 

Lineup: TBA

Outside Lands is the largest independent music festival in the US and sees around 200,000 music lovers let loose on its grounds. If you’re curious about what’s in store for 2022, you’ll have to wait. But last year saw Tame Impala, Lizzo, The Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, J Balvin, Young Thug, and Melanie Martinez. So you know it’ll be good. 

As the first major US festival to sell cannabis onsite (legally), you’re guaranteed an experience different to what any UK fest currently offers. But if that doesn’t sound like your scene, there’s plenty else to explore, including intimate night shows, art, award-winning dishes, eco-friendly causes and more. 

 


 

Still with us? We know it was a lot, but it needed to be covered. The fact is, there are so many festivals in America that are unreal. There's something for everyone and a change of scenery is always welcome. 

We hope we put you onto a festival you hadn’t heard of before, helped you decide which one you’re feeling in 2022, or just got you excited for festival season. Now send the screenshot you took of that one festival to the group chat and get some plans sorted. 

 



 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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Festivals 2022