4 Musical Festivals That Are Worth Traveling To

Our feet tap and our bodies sway when we listen to live music. Many wait until favorite bands or crooners hit their town but there are some outstanding musical festivals across the country and these top four are ones worth visiting.

1. SXSW – Austin, Texas

Since 1987, there’s a reason music lovers head to Austin Texas each March—the SXSW musical festival. The technology and gaming trade show may get the event’s first spot but by week two, it’s all about the music in America’s self-proclaimed musical capital of the world—Austin Texas.

Austin has a Willie Nelson Boulevard and a Stevie Ray Vaughan statue on First Street—Texans love not just their country but their pop, folk, rap, blues, jazz, Latino and above all, anything that falls in the unusual or alternative category.

What’s great about this music festival is it includes global and local entertainers but do expect these bands to be joined by the impromptu celeb like Willie Nelson or Billy Bob Thornton—even Kevin Bacon. Each year, SXSW offers a listing of the various downtown venues and scheduled bands on their website. Tickets can be purchased for the event only or as a hotel/event package for out-of-towners.

2. Bumbershoot® - Seattle, Washington

This music and arts festival has been around since 1971 and is held each year over Labor Day Weekend throughout the 74-acre Seattle Center. Although music is a focus, Bumbershoot® also boasts tributes to film, theatre, dance and the arts.

Past performers include Tony Bennett and Jane’s Addiction and you’ll discover the entire scale of music sounds from rock to rap to jazz to hip-hop and more. A perk to this music festival is you only need to buy one ticket for all three days and along with the music, this event is full of local food and craft vendors. The atmosphere offers the eclectic style of Seattle and is a must-do for music lovers everywhere.

Located in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood, the festival’s promoter, One Reel chose the name Bumbershoot, a slang word for “umbrella” to convey the variety of happenings during this Seattle music event—available in one location or “under one umbrella.”

3. Sasquatch! – Quincy, Washington

This Memorial Day weekend festival is an official start the summer with a bang music event. It began in 2002 as a one-day event and since 2006 it’s been four days full of music, camaraderie and food for all ages.

Located on the Columbia River Gorge in Quincy, Sasquatch! at the Gorge general admission tickets are all inclusive, meaning entry to the festival and basic camping. They also offer a VIP package that includes accommodations at the Cave B Inn if camping isn’t your game. They also offer upgraded tickets for Premier, Terrace and Bigfoot camping areas.

Those who got great deals on Pre-owned Mazda at will be happy to know your four-day ticket also includes free parking. Upgrade to their Star parking package to park in monitored lots.

Over the years, they’ve improved the stage viewing area and added more food, drink and hospitality areas. Past performers include Elvis Costello and Mumford & Sons for this internationally know music-fest and the event goes on—rain or shine.

4. Bonnaroo – Manchester, Tennessee

Think “Woodstock” in Tennessee! Since 2002 Bonnaroo’s crowd continues to grow and recent years has seen attendance as high as 80,000. This is a July four-day outdoor camping festival where you can drive in or shuttle in from the Nashville airport.

Its beginnings were all about jam bands but the variety of musicians has grown including headliners like the Beach Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Food, drink and leaving life’s worries are encouraged here and there is even a Bonnoaroovian code.

Bonnaroo boasts 700 acres and 10 stages including one dedicated to a mini film festival. Bonnaroovians recommend hugging a stranger by accident, system overload, sandals, singing and laughing.

The event is so popular it sells out every year but if you want to disconnect or as Bonnaroo recommends, “be like a snowflake and melt into wonderment,” this is the musical festival for you. It’s recommended to read all about this festival because you will be truly “roughing” it but the music, art and film are worth the ride.

Music lovers everywhere should experience a festival at least one in their lives and with these top four picks, you may decide attending one is just not enough!

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