When: June 13-16, 2013
Where: Manchester, Tennessee
Over the last decade, no other US music festival has captured the spirit of large greenfield gatherings like the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Bonnaroo burst onto the scene grabbing headlines along with our hearts as we’ve watched it grow from scrappy newcomer to a full fledged bastion of the season. It may not be the oldest or the largest, but Bonnaroo is the spirit of the quintessential American music festival. Long live The Roo.
5. South by Southwest
When: March 12-17, 2013
Where: Austin, Texas
It’s not that South by Southwest takes over Austin — downtown Austin becomes SXSW for nine days in March. Music, art, interactive, panels, comedy, and movies all vie for your attention span. With over 500 artists, SXSW has become so big that mini-festivals have sprouted up to take advantage of travelling artists. Let’s put it this way. You could skip media for a year, come to Austin for the week, and still come out ahead on pop culture.
6. Austin City Limits
When: October 4-6 and 11-13, 2013
Where: Austin, Texas
Yeah, Austin kicks ass when it comes to music festivals which is why we’re covering a second Texas concert. Named after the venerable PBS series, the Austin City Limits Festival heads into its second decade, cementing its reputation as a cultural touchstone of the US. The traditional lineup announcement leads to a flurry of praise and criticism from hipsters, but there’s never any doubt that ACL will not sell out. Taking a page from the Coachella playbook, this year ACL will double down on weekends.
7. Ultra Music Festival
When: March 15-17 and 22-24, 2013
Where: Miami, Florida
The largest electronic music festival in the States and one of the most well known in the world, it’s no surprise that Ultra doubled up this year. While most of the country is shivering in parkas, Ultra fans are dancing their asses off in sunny Miami. The lineup is enormous, the girls are beautiful, and you should already be on Kayak searching for a flight.