If you are a music lover, there are no shortage of festivals to see live music in the USA. Whatever genre interests you, there is probably a festival for it, including those dedicated to techno/house/EDM, country, blues and rap. We have rounded up five of the most-popular music festivals in the USA, which mostly focus on more mainstream music. Use our list as inspiration to start planning which festivals you go to.
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Say the word “Coachella”, and most people below a certain age will know exactly what you’re talking about. This music and arts festival at the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio, California started in 1999 and takes place over two weekends in April every year. The festival in the desert is a magnet for celebrities (it’s less than 2 hours from Los Angeles, after all), and also offers a diverse lineup of both headliners and other acts, so there is truly something for everyone. The only catch is it is so popular you need to buy tickets and book accommodations almost a year in advance; your best bet is to secure your spot as soon as tickets and passes are available. Use our tips to have a great Coachella experience!
- Date: April 14-16, 21-23 (2023)
- Location: Indio, CA
- Ticket options: General admission (Tier 1-3) & VIP weekend passes; camping passes; lodge & tent accommodations
- Past headliners: Radiohead, Drake, Gorillaz, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
This event, commonly known as “Jazz Fest” is not just about music, but also the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. You will find multiple stages showcasing genres of music indigenous to the city and state, as well as food areas where you can sample Louisiana’s famous Cajun and Creole dishes. There are even artisans selling art and crafts.
- Date: April 28-May 7 (2023)
- Location: Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, LA
- Ticket options: Single-day tickets, weekend passes, locals ticket, VIP experience
- Past headliners: Trombone Shorty, Erykah Badu, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Who, Honey Island Swamp Band
Austin City Limits Music Festival
This music festival that debuted in 2002 is an offshoot of the longest-running music series in TV history, Austin City Limits, which has been broadcast on PBS for 43 years. Every year the festival in central Texas features more than 130 artists on multiple stages in Austin’s Zilker Park. The eclectic lineup has something for almost everyone and the affordable single-day ticket prices that are as low as $25 make the ACL music festival more accessible than others.
- Date: October 7-9, 14-16, 2022
- Location: Zilker Park, Austin, TX
- Ticket options: Single-day, 3-day, 3-day plus hotel. All ticket types have general admission, VIP & platinum levels.
- Headliners: The Chicks, SZA, P!NK, Diplo, Kacey Musgraves, the Red Hot Chili Peppers
What started out as the touring music festival to see alternative rock artists like Jane’s Addiction in the early 1990s found a home in Chicago, where Lollapalooza was held every July until 1997. Then it made a comeback in 2003 and has been going strong ever since, even expanding to other countries like Brazil and Germany. The lineup has diversified to include genres of music beyond alternative rock, and you can enjoy them on multiple stages over four days.
- Date: July 28-31, 2022
- Location: Grant Park, Chicago, IL
- Ticket options: 1-day tickets (GA, VIP, platinum); 2, 3, 4-day tickets bundles & passes; hotel packages
- Headliners: Metallica, Dua Lipa, Glass Animals, J. Cole, Kaskade, Porno for Pyros
Firefly Music Festival
This festival is popular not only for the music, but for the camping experience. Firefly, held on the festival grounds of the Dover Motor Speedway in Delaware, gives you the option of tent camping, “glamping” or RV camping so you can enjoy the outdoors and music at the same time. This is a newer music festival, launched in 2012, but quickly gained in popularity due to the camping component and the fact that it’s one of a handful to be found on the East Coast. The lineup has included rock, pop, rap and other alternative acts performing on multiple stages.
- Date: Sept. 22-25, 2022
- Location: The Woodlands, Dover, DE
- Ticket options: 1-day tickets (GA, VIP & 4-day passes (GA, VIP, Super VIP levels)
- Headliners: My Chemical Romance, Halsey, Green Day, Dua Lipa
SIXT rent a car for music festivals
Whether you want to take a road trip to a music festival or simply upgrade your ride so you arrive in style, SIXT can help. Our convenient locations across the US mean you can rent a spacious SUV to travel with friends, or book a premium convertible or sedan to enjoy the drive and turn heads when you arrive.