16 Festivals In The USA That You Just Cannot Miss! Prem Gupta February 24, 2015 FS Features The USA hosts some of the most iconic music festivals in the world today. Every one of these epic music gatherings witnesses attendees from around the globe. The festival bug first hit the USA in 1969 with Woodstock, and since then, there’s been no stopping it. Live music and art began to be showcased freely for the world to see, and today – the country hosts over 60 music festivals. The USA has been setting the benchmark in the festival scene with the likes of the legendary Lollapalooza and Coachella giving European festivals a run for their money. Here are the 16 best music gatherings that make America a festival haven. And here are The Sherp’s pick of 15 of these mind-blowing gatherings 1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Indio, California (April) (Images Courtesy: Fest300) Coachella has everything you’d like at a music festival — spellbinding music to innovative art installations and amazing, not to mention extremely fashion forward, people. Since its inception in 1999, there are few gatherings that can step up to the standards that Coachella has set up , be it in terms of – production, hand picked line – up, people, organization – Coachella never fails to draw aces year after year. 2. Bonnaroo – Manchester, Tennessee (June) (Images Courtesy: Fest300) In the middle of 700 acres of nowhere, there is a special gathering called Bonnaroo which attracts more than 80,000 festival-goers annually. A less corporate and a more free-spirited festival as compared to its other north American counterparts, Bonnaroo won over a wide range of critics. 3. Mysteryland – Bethel Woods, New York (May) (Images Courtesy: Mysteryland Facebook) Mysteryland is the longest-running electronic music, culture and arts festival in the world, active since 1993 with international editions in Chile, the Netherlands and the United States. Taking place over Memorial Day Weekend , Mysteryland’s second installment will expand to present an even more satisfying festival experience, starting with new-and-improved campgrounds with increased capacity and camping options, plus more musical programming to offer campground visitors a full three-day festival experience. 4. Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois (August) (Images Courtesy: Lollapalooza Facebook) The legendary Lollapalooza music festival has garnered comparisons to Woodstock for its counter-cultural aura.Lollapalooza is easily one of the most iconic celebrations of music, in American pop culture. Founded back in ’91, the festival has consistently featured the best international talent the world has to offer, hands down. P.S: This year’s edition will be a no smoking gathering. Know more about it HERE. 5. Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas, Nevada (June) (Images Courtesy: Insomniac Facebook) An electrifying 3-day dance party which initiated back in 1997, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) is a traditional electronic music festival with DJs at its forefront, shelling out the best of ‘EDM’. Having now spread out over international grounds including Puerto Rico, Mexico and the UK, the ever-growing popularity of EDC is what keeps the organisers investing in this elaborate aesthetic year after year. 6. Sasquatch! Festival – Quincy,Washington (May) (Images Courtesy: Sasquatch! Facebook) Sasquatch! is the largest music festival on the Pacific side of the continent, and has hosted some of today’s biggest names in music, including Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, and more. Thousands of fans fill the Gorge Amphitheatre, Washington, each year, and be a part of the celebration. Indie rock, hip hop and electronic music dominate this 3-day event. 7. Governor’s Ball – Randall’s Island, New York City (June) (Images Courtesy: Fest300) ‘GovBall’ is an exceptionally organised festival that was founded in 2011, and has a well-balanced line-up that has attracted a vast North American audience in its brief life span. Briefly criticised for its muddy 2013 edition, the festival has otherwise only generated positive reviews. 8. Snowglobe – South Lake Tahoe (December, New Years Eve) (Images Courtesy: Snowglobe Facebook) 2014 was a massive year for electronic music, as music festivals around the world were dominated by electronic sounds, and dance music artistes stole the headlines. The SnowGlobe festival held in California was staged around New Year’s Eve and provided one of the most amazing spectacles amid the freezing temperatures. 9. Mardi Gras – New Orleans, Louisiana (February-March) (Images Courtesy: imgur) The entire city of New Orleans shuts down for the historic Mardi Gras, and festivities begin a week prior to the actual festival, though some parades and events start as early as a month before. The official parade route is stunningly choreographed and we highly recommend this one if you love the communal vibe. 10. Burning Man – Black Rock City, Nevada (August) (Images Courtesy: Burning Man Facebook) Burning Man is a celebration of artistic self-expression for those who have a utopian vision of the world. For some it’s about creating a spiritual sense of oneness in an intentional community based upon a few principles. The epic desert location is a haven for hippies and has an enamoring vibe which can be experienced nowhere else. 11. Comic Con – San Diego, California (July) (Images Courtesy: Fest300) Comic-Con is the largest of any comics or pop culture convention in the USA. It has a massive programme schedule and over the years, Comic-Con has become the main event for comics conventions and artists around the world. Many fans show their love by dressing in costume to heighten the experience, but all are welcome at Comic-Con. 12. South By Southwest (SXSW) – Austin, Texas (March) South By Southwest, more conveniently known as SXSW, is spread across more than a 100 venues in the city of Austin, Texas, the festival is one of the largest of its kind in the United States. a 10-day music, tech, and film festival that has single handed-ly put Austin,Texas on the map over the years. SXSW is one of the largest music festivals of its kind, with more than 2,000 official performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues. The Indian presence at the festival is pretty strong this year as well. 13. Ultra Music Festival – Miami, Florida (March) Hordes of people descend upon Miami every March to witness this epic music festival. Despite its expansion into other genres, the roots of Ultra are planted firmly in electronic dance music. 14. Wanderlust Festival – Squaw Valley, California (July) Wanderlust is essentially a festival organised to cleanse your mind, body and spirit with its incredibly relaxing fitness regimes, and is set in the beautiful California Valley. On a typical day at Wanderlust, you might wake up and take a sunrise yoga class overlooking a beautiful valley. You’d have a delicious, healthy breakfast and make instant friends too, as everyone is so open at this festival. 15. Electric Forest Festival – Rothbury, Michigan (June) Electric Forest Festival is a 4-day dance fantasy festival held every June in Michigan. America’s premier electronic dance party for those in the know, the festival actually pays homage to Alice in Wonderland and other tales, and it’s line-up and communal spirit is unlike any we’ve ever witnessed. The location, people, and music brilliantly come together at one of the world’s happiest music festivals. 16. Lightning In A Bottle – Bradley, CA (May) The Do Lab’s Lightning In A Bottle is a festival dedicated to celebrating the creative life with people passionate about making it happen. Billed as a ‘transformational event’ this event encompasses music, art, yoga, speakers, workshops, interactive experiences and much more. The focus of LIB is on absolute freedom. You are on your own schedule and get to decide exactly what you want to be doing at any given time. If you think we’ve missed out on any one of the outstanding festivals that you’ve been to or think need mentioning, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!