Golden Gate Park (credit: Randy Yagi)
Some of the best music festivals of the year, such as SXSW and the Ultra Music Festival, have come and gone. But even as Coachella is entering its final weekend, a cavalcade of premier music festivals are still weeks or even months away. Whether you’re looking for an amazing summer getaway or simply want to enjoy an eclectic array of music and great food, here is a look at five of the best music festivals in America.
Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94121
Date: August 7-9, 2015
Golden Gate Park has been the scene for an extensive list of historical music events from the 1967 Human Be-In to a 1973 Led Zeppelin concert at Kezar Stadium. More recently, this landmark park has been drawing even larger crowds to Outside Lands and free concerts like Alice’s Summerthing and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Outside Lands has drawn a number of high profile performers, like The Black Eyed Peas, Further, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. This year’s lineup will include Elton John, Mumford and Sons, The Black Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith and Billy Idol. In addition to the world-class music talent, festivalgoers will have a diverse selection of incredible food and beverage choices, including some of the Bay Area’s best food trucks, wineries and craft brewers.
New Orleans Jazz
And Heritage Festival
Fairgrounds Race Course and Slots
1751 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70119
Date: April 24 – May 3, 2015
British rock gods Elton John and The Who are among the top headliners slated to perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held annually since 1970, the enormous 10-day festival celebrates the music and culture of New Orleans and is expected to draw 400,000 music lovers to what is New Orleans’ largest music festival. In addition to Sir Elton John and The Who, more than 115 music artists are also scheduled to appear, including such luminaries as Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Keith Urban, Pitbull and acclaimed local stars such as The Meters, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Dr. John, Aaron Neville and Allen Toussaint. Attendees will be able to enjoy some of the most popular Cajun and Creole dishes at the legendary event, like po’boy sandwiches and jambalaya along with arts and crafts from hundreds of artists and from across the country. Due to the enormity of the event, festival goers are not advised to park within the surrounding neighborhoods and instead should take the Jazz Fest Express.
Great Stage Park
627 Campground Road
Manchester, TN 37355
Date: June 11–14, 2015
Bonnaroo is not only one of the largest outdoor music festivals in America, it’s also North America’s largest camping event. Held on a 700-acre farm 65 miles southeast of Nashville, this year’s event will feature a diverse group of 150 music artists including headliners Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Other great attractions at this world famous four-day event include a variety of food options including a legion of food trucks, arts and entertainment and fitness activities like yoga and the only 5K race within a major festival. More than 80,000 people will be camping at Great Stage Park, making the campsite the seventh largest city in Tennessee for the weekend.
Henry Maier Festival Park
200 N. Harbor Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Date: June 24 -28 and June 30 – July 5, 2015
Featuring more than 800 acts and over 1,000 performances on 11 stages, Summerfest is recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” by the Guinness Book of Records. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, the mega-festival at Henry Maier Festival Park is expected to draw an estimated 900,000 people to enjoy some of the biggest names in the music business and great food from more than 45 food and beverage vendors. Last year’s star-studded lineup included Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Brad Paisley, Motley Crue, Dave Matthews Band, Usher and the Zac Brown Band. Among those confirmed to appear are Kings of Leon, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Sheryl Crow and Linkin Park.
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Date: July 31–August 2, 2015
If Lollapalooza 2015 comes anything close to last year’s party, festivalgoers will be in for one truly unforgettable weekend. Some of the biggest names on the planet performed at historic Grant Park overlooking Monroe Harbor in 2014, including Eminem, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Lorde and a rising star named Iggy Azalea, who performed what was arguably summer’s biggest hit. Tickets to Lollapalooza went on sale in late March and were quickly scooped up in less than an hour, leaving thousands of other hopeful people empty handed. But those fortunate enough to grab tickets will be attending one of the most famous and most popular music festivals in the world, with other locations in Chile, Brazil, Argentina and new this year – Germany.