US Music Festival Guide
There's nothing quite like a good music festival -- friends, cool venues and amazing music. Here is Travel Channel's month-by-month guide to our favorite music festivals from Miami to San Francisco.
JanuaryJam Cruise - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
By taking the music to the seas, Jam Cruise makes the music festival a full-blown vacation. When you set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, enjoy all the amenities of a cruise and see your favorite jam bands while making stops in locales like Mexico and the Bahamas.
More Festivals in January:
Chicago Blue Grass and Blues - Chicago
Ann Arbor Folk Festival - Ann Arbor, MI
MusicFest - Steamboat Springs, CO 960 1280
FebruaryNoise Pop - San Francisco
One of the biggest indie music festivals in San Francisco, Noise Pop also embraces indie art and film. With 6 nights of shows taking place in more than a dozen venues, Noise Pop makes it difficult to not feel inspired by all the creative energy.
More Festivals in February:
Cabin Fever Camp Out - East Peoria, IL
Winter Jibberjam - Camp Hill, PA
Snowlive - Crystal Bay, NV 960 1280
MarchUltra – Miami
Held in downtown Miami, Ultra Music Festival has grown into a 3-day dance party and is now North America's second largest electronic music festival. After Madonna's surprise appearance this year, it's sure to keep on growing.
More Festivals in March:
South by Southwest - Austin, TX
Snowball Music Festival - Vail Valley, CO
Savannah Stopover - Savannah, GA
Treefort - Boise, ID
Mission Creek - Iowa City, Iowa 960 1280
AprilCoachella - Indio, CA
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, commonly known as "Coachella," is held annually in the desert area of Indio, CA. Featuring rock, indie, hip-hop and electronic music, Coachella has gained a reputation as one of the top music festivals of the year with this year's tickets selling out in a record 3 hours.
More Festivals in April:
Middle of the Map - Kansas City, MO
Country Thunder Arizona - Florence, AZ
Old Settler's - Austin, TX
New England Metal and Hardcore - Worcester, MA
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - New Orleans 960 1280
MaySummer Camp Music Festival - Chillicothe, IL
Every Memorial Day weekend, the Summer Camp Music Festival takes over Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL, with bands like The Avett Brothers and Jane's Addiction. Also a family affair, the music festival includes a kids' camp area where children can dress up in costumes provided by the festival and participate in a parade that encompasses the festival site.
More Festivals in May:
Beale Street Music Festival - Memphis, TN
Hangout Music Fest - Gulf Shores, AL
DelFest - Cumberland, MD
Wakarusa - Ozark, AK
Sasquatch Festival - George, WA 960 1280
JuneWanderlust Vermont - Stratton, VT
The Wanderlust Festival, held in Stratton, VT, as well as Squaw Valley, CA, and expanding to Canada this year, not only has a top lineup of musical acts, but also a lineup of top yogis who provide yoga classes in between the music sets. If that wasn't enough to recharge you, enjoy a farm-to-table dinner with the freshest in local cuisine.
More Festivals in June:
Bonnaroo - Manchester, TN
Starscape Festival – Baltimore
Free Press Summerfest - Houston
Governors Ball - Governors Island, NYC
Summerfest - Milwaukee 960 1280
JulyAll Good - Thornville, OH
The All Good Music Festival and Camp Out has been held all over the East Coast -- in Brandywine, MD, Masontown, WV, and most recently in Thornville, OH. Featuring up to 16 hours of music a day ranging from folk to reggae to rock, the festival has no overlapping acts so you can actually hear all the scheduled music.
More Festivals in July:
High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA
Gathering of the Vibes - Bridgeport, CT
Floyd Fest 11 - Floyd, VA
Newport Folk Festival - Newport, RI
Firefly Music Festival - Dover, DE 960 1280
AugustElectric Zoo - New York City
Each Labor Day weekend, electronic music fans flock to Randall's Island Park in New York City for Electric Zoo. Featuring all genres of electronic music, with DJs and live acts from around the world, Electric Zoo has become a top event for those looking for an outrageous dance party.
More Festivals in August:
Lollapalooza - Chicago
Gnarnia Festival 2012 - Beech Mountain, NC
Outside Lands - San Francisco
Musikfest - Bethlehem, PA
Abbey Road on the River - Louisville, KY, and Washington, DC 960 1280
SeptemberMonterey Jazz Festival – Monterey, CA
Starting in 1958 with headlining acts Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, the Monterey Jazz Festival in California is one of the longest-running jazz festivals in the world. A nonprofit organization, the festival donates its proceeds to musical education.
More Festivals in September:
DeLuna Fest - Pensacola, FL
Bumbershoot - Seattle
The Americana Music Festival - Nashville, TN
Catskill Chill Music Festival - Hancock, NY
Telluride Blues and Brews Festival - Telluride, CO 960 1280
OctoberVoodoo Experience - New Orleans
Voodoo Experience in New Orleans features national artists from all genres such as Eminem and 311 alongside local acts. The festival also includes "Le Carnival," with burlesque and circus acts rounding out the "voodoo experience."
More Festivals in October:
Austin City Limits - Austin, TX
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival - San Francisco
BayFest - Mobile, AL
A3C Hip-Hop Festival - Atlanta
CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival - New York City 960 1280
NovemberFun Fun Fun Fest - Austin, TX
In a city known for its music festivals, Austin, TX, Fun Fun Fun Fest or F3F, as it is commonly abbreviated, brings together underground musicians from indie, punk and hip-hop genres. Known as one of the most "relaxed" music festivals, F3F is perfect for festival-goers looking for a new music experience.
More Festivals in November:
Sun and Sand Festival - Biloxi, MS
Bear Creek Music Festival - Live Oak, FL
Anti-Pop Music Festival - Orlando, FL
Arizona Classic Jazz Festival - Chandler, AZ
Pee Dee Blues Bash - Florence, SC 960 1280
DecemberSnowglobe Festival – South Lake Tahoe, CA
Over New Year's weekend, music takes over the mountains of South Lake Tahoe, CA, with the Snowglobe Festival. Be sure to bundle up since the festival is outdoors. But with 7 surrounding ski resorts allowing attendees to hit the slopes before catching a show, the cold should be just what you're looking for.
More Festivals in December:
Together as One - Silverado, CA
Sea of Dreams - San Francisco
Bradenton Blues Festival - Bradenton, FL
Orange Drive Miami Beach Music Festival – Miami Beach
Treme Creole Gumbo Festival - New Orleans 960 1280
Elvis Tribute Artist CompetitionElvis lives! For the sixth straight year, Elvis impersonators gather from around the world to compete in the annual Elvis Tribute Artist competition. This year’s contestants hail from countries as far and wide as Australia and Japan. Who will win? Find out on the festival's final day, when the King is crowned. 960 1280
Memphis Baseball GameElvis and baseball -- celebrate 2 American icons during Elvis Week. The Memphis Redbirds kick off the 9-day commemorative event. Extra bonus: The first 5,000 fans to enter the minor league baseball stadium AutoZone Park receive an Elvis bobblehead that’s … all shook up! 960 1280
Candlelight VigilElvis Week began as an act of commemoration. In August 1977, shortly after Elvis Presley’s death, fans gathered at Graceland’s gates to remember the man who’d changed the face of music. The tradition has continued ever since. On the 30th anniversary of Elvis’s death, 75,000 fans held a vigil. That number is expected to be even higher this year -- on the 35th anniversary of the King’s passing. 960 1280
The Peabody HotelWant to dress like the King? Head to the Peabody Hotel -- and look inside for a sign that says Lansky. Elvis got many of his early custom-made shirts from Memphis tailor Bernard Lansky. The two met in 1952, when Elvis was 17. Four years later, Lansky outfitted Elvis for his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 2001, Lansky Bros. established a line of clothing called “Clothier to the King” -- find this 1950s-inspired clothing line in the Peabody’s lobby. 960 1280
Elvis Presley 5K RunWell, you may run on for a long time ... or at least for a few miles. Runners begin their Saturday morning with a 5K run. The event kicks off at the gates of Graceland. The first 2,000 participants who cross the finish line receive a gold commemorative medal celebrating the 5K’s 30th year. 960 1280
Elvis Gospel ConcertElvis Presley won 3 Grammys -- all for his gospel recordings. The King’s love of gospel began early on: Growing up, he attended the First Assembly of God church in his hometown of Tupelo, MS. Later, in 1966, Elvis recorded with the Southern gospel quartet The Imperials. Hear group members Terry Blackwood and Joe Moscheo (pictured here) perform during Elvis Week. 960 1280
Graceland MansionWalk through Graceland for an intimate look into how Elvis lived. You’ll find no glass partitions here, just stanchions. The King’s spirit pervades the 7 rooms on display -- especially the green-carpeted Jungle Room. In 1976 Elvis converted the room into a recording studio where he completed the majority of his last 2 albums, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee and Moody Blue. 960 1280
Hard Rock Cafe (Beale Street)Get your chance to meet the King -- at Hard Rock Café on Beale Street. Elvis contestants perform in 3 separate rounds, on 3 different nights. There’s also an Elvis meet-and-greet in which fans have a chance to meet some of the competitors. 960 1280
Conversations on ElvisIn a career that spanned 150 albums and singles (certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum), as well as 31 feature films, Elvis worked with many people. Hear some of their treasured memories of the King in the festival’s Conversations on Elvis panel discussion. This year’s panelists include actress Mary Ann Mobley who appeared with Elvis in 1965’s Girl Happy. 960 1280
Elvis Week in Memphis 10 Photos