Best Fests: Mega-Festivals (US)

South By Southwest 2015

March 17-22, 2015


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. 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.


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Photo Credit: Diego Donamaria

Ultra Miami 2015

March 27-29, 2015


For EDM fans around, Ultra in Miami is a must-stop on the international circuit. While most of the United States is shivering in parkas waiting for the summer festival eason, Ultra fans are dancing their asses off in sunny Miami. The show always delivers suprises – both in the musical acts and the fans that attend.


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Photo Credit: Kevin Verkruijssen

Photo Credit: Mike Ivankay

Coachella 2015

April 10-19, 2015


Like a barometer always reading a temperature of awesome, the traditional kickoff to the summer festival season is dominated by Coachella. The glitz and glamor of Los Angeles migrates east to the Indio desert for back to back weekends of the biggest names in music. What started as a small electronic festival in the desert has transformed into a cultural touchstone for the festival season.


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Sasquatch 2015

May 22-25, 2015


Much like its namesake, the Sasqutach festival resides in the northwest, is completely legendary, and sought after by fans from all over the world. The Memorial Weekend powerhouse now stretches over four days in a trippy Washington wasteland that would be considered desolate if The Gorge didn’t provide one of the greatest natural stages known to man.


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Photo Credit: Matthew Lamb

Governors Ball Music Festival 2015

June 5-7, 2015


New York City struggled for years to land a proper mega-festival and finally found the perfect partner with The Governor’s Ball. Taking place on the Hudson River on Randall’s Island, festival fans can settle back and enjoy the show with the unforgettable NYC skyline as the backdrop.


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Photo Credit: Christopher Garbushian

Bonnaroo 2015

June 11-14, 2015


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 watched it grow from scrappy newcomer to a full fledged anchor of the summer. It may not be the oldest or the largest, but Bonnaroo is the spirit of the quintessential American music festival. Long live The Roo.


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Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti

Lollapalooza Chicago 2015

July 31-August 2, 2015


It’s loud. It’s messy. It’s Lollapalooza. You got to hand it Perry Farrell, the bizarre and quirky visionary who reinvented the American music festival with Lollapalooza first taking it on the road in the last century and then putting down stakes in Chicago. Despite a firm homebase in the Windy City, Lolla hasn’t forgotten its traveling roots with editions in South America and Europe.


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Photo Credit: Nick Simonite

Outside Lands 2015

August 7-9, 2015


A bike valet, wine tasting tent, and local organic food vendors are just a couple of signs that you’re in San Francisco at Outside Lands. The quirky and wonderful Golden Gate Park hosts a wide range of acts and has quickly grown into a highlight of the San Fran summer. Bring a hoodie with you. Just because it’s August doesn’t mean that the fog won’t join the party.


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Photo Credit: Katie Mendez

Bumbershoot 2015

September 5-7, 2015


Now in its fourth decade, Bumbershoot (a oldie time word for umbrella) is more of an institution than a music festival. There’s so much happening here that you’ll need all three days to sort through all the live music, art shows, speakers, and exhibitions happening under the Bumbershoot. With a budget friendly price (and children under ten are FREE), this fest is one of the most affordable and family friendly of the season.


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Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti

Austin City Limits 2015

October 2-11, 2015


Named after the venerable PBS series, the Austin City Limits Festival heads into its second decade stronger than ever. The traditional lineup announcement leads to a flurry of praise and criticism from the hip kids, but the love for this festival is so strong that ACL added a second weekend.


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Photo Credit: Nick Simonite