Festival lineup (2020): Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Flume, Lana Del Rey, Thom Yorke, FKA Twigs
Selling out fast every year, the Indio desert becomes a fashionable hive of the coolest bands watched by trendy people and celebrities. Near the top of everyone’s bucket list of festivals, the Coachella lineup is a constant source of annual anticipation and a hotbed for musical discussion.
When & where: April 9-11 & 16-18 2021, Indio, California
Festival lineup (2019): The Strokes, The Chainsmokers, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, J Balvin, Ariana Grande, Flume
A wonderful gathering of music, dance, comedy and craft booths, Lollapalooza is another multi-genre delight which also provides a platform for political and non-profit artists and groups. The festival is forever creating historical moments in many a musicians career firmly cementing it in the global hall of fame for festivals.
When & where: TBA July-August 2021, Grant Park, Chicago
South By South West
Festival lineup (2020): Margot Price, Belako, Steam Down, HMLTD, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Pokey LaFarge, Soccer Mommy
Regarded as the ultimate trend-setter and launcher of careers, SXSW is an annual showcase of music, film and interactive highlights enjoyed through performances, showcases, talks, screenings and more. Virtually taking over the city of Austin, everyone in the world of music from fans to media flock here to discover the next big thing.
When & where: TBA March 2021; Austin, Texas
Pitchfork Music Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels, The National, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Big Thief, Thundercat, Danny Brown
Organised by independently focused music source Pitchfork Media, this three day event is a music genre melting pot of rock, hip-hop, electronic, jazz, punk and any other genre and sub-genre you want to celebrate. With a record fair, food, art and beverages from local and national vendors, this truly is a cultural feast.
When & where: TBA July 2021, Union Park, Chicago
Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
Festival lineup (2020): Martin Garrix, Tiësto, Alison Wonderland, David Guetta, Carl Cox, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Major Lazer
Aside from its two popular US events, this fairytale carnival experience has also visited Puerto Rico, Mexico and the UK. Inviting attendees into an EDM wonderland of neon decor and walkabout performers, every year the event pulls in a record attendance with fans desperate to escape reality through electronic music.
When & where: 21-23 May 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Festival lineup (2019): Guns N’ Roses, Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino, The Cure, Cardi B, Billie Eilish, Tame Impala, Robyn
Inspired by a concert series of the same name, the festival is an eight stage celebration of all things music, along with an art market, delicious food and drink, a dedicated family area and much more. Originally a one weekend event, the festival successfully expanded to two weekends in 2012 after the local council voted unanimously to allow it to do so.
When & where: October 1-3 & 8-10 2021; Austin, Texas
Ultra Music Festival
Festival lineup (2020): David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Major Lazer, Armin van Buuren, Flume
Seen as the ultimate gathering for electronic music fans across the nation and globe, the streets of Miami turn into a bold and bumping party with worshipped DJs ushering in what will be the sounds of summer.
When & where: March 26-28 2021; Miami, Florida
The Governors Ball Music Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Tame Impala, Missy Elliot, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Stevie Nicks, Solange, Miley Cyrus
Another event which proves the music loving potential of Randall’s Island Park is Govenors Ball, an exciting and infectious mix of rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop and folk. Providing a variety of music and food tastes, whether you look to kick back and relax or surrender yourself to beats and riffs, Governors Ball has what you want.
When & where: TBA June 2021; New York, New York
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Lizzo, The Who, Dead & Company, Lionel Richie, Erykah Badu
Few festivals mean more to their community than New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festivals. Dating back to 1970, the festival is a complete cultural experience reaching well beyond the music. A rigid, stuffy affair this is not: Jazz Fest has expanded its purview over the years, growing alongside one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
When & where: April 22 – May 2 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana
Festival lineup (2019): Diplo, Skrillex & Boys Noize, Zedd, Afrojack, Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren
Turning the parkland of Randall’s Island Park into an electronic dance utopia, the creative minds behind Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and Sensation have taken over the event injecting the same passionate magic into an event all dance fans anticipate.
When & where: September 3-5 2021; Randall’s Island, New York
Festival lineup (2020): The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Flume, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Diplo, Louis The Child
Fusing bands with electronic DJs, this forest takeover is an alternative to the field-only festivals we are used to, as festival goers are immersed in the colours of the nature surrounding them, as thumping sounds follow them around from stage to stage.
When & where: TBA June 2021; Rothbury, Michigan
Festival lineup: Burning Man doesn’t have a lineup per se, instead showcasing a programme of music, art and culture driven by its attendees.
Burning Man is the ultimate festival, taking place in the Nevada desert. Started in 1986, the festival has grown into a cultural phenomenon and has inspired imitation festivals around the globe.
When & where: TBA August 2021; Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Tool, Lizzo, Tame Impala, Lana Del Rey, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Miley Cyrus
Originally focused on jam bands and folk rock, this festival has expanded to include an impressive array of genres and was once praised by Rolling Stone magazine as being amongst the “50 Moments That Changed Rock & Roll”.
When & where: June 17- 20 2021; Great Stage Park, Tennessee
Hot 97 Summer Jam
Festival lineup (2019): Cardi B, Meek Mill, Migos, Tory Lanez, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Rich The Kid, Megan Thee Stallion
No festival has been more integral to the development of hip hop than Hot 97 Summer Jam. Giving a platform to the freshest names, as well as providing fans with an opportunity to see the superheroes of rap, the festival has hosted its fair share of classic moments, with performers bringing out huge special guests having become the norm.
When & where: TBA June 2021; East Rutherford, USA
Festival lineup (2019): FKA Twigs, Danny Brown, Leon Bridges, Lianne La Havas, Jill Scott, Brittany Howard, EarthGang
Starting out as a DIY movement in the US, as a response to feeling like an outsider and desiring a sense of belonging, AFROPUNK is now one of the world’s most famous cultural movements. Its mix of art, activism and music now attracts up to 60,000 people and spreads its message in cities around the globe, celebrating black culture and giving community to those who feel marginalised in modern western societies.
When & where: TBA August 2021; Brooklyn, New York / TBA October 2021; Atlanta, Georgia
Festival lineup (2020): The Strokes, Robyn, Wu-Tang Clan, KAYTRANADA, Caribou, Disclosure, Stereolab
One of the country’s leading boutique festivals, III Points has been raising the bar in terms of giving creativity a platform since 2013. Firmly anchored in electronic music, the festival also showcases the best from hip hop, rock and beyond with only one criteria to make it on the bill: your music has to be good.
When & where: October 16-17 2020; Miami, Florida
Firefly Music Festival
Festival lineup (2020): Rage Against The Machine, Billie Eilish, Halsey, blink-182, Maggie Rogers, Khalid, Run The Jewels
An American multi-genre behemoth, Firefly is the east coast’s biggest camping festival. Everything about this festival is top of the line, from the lineup which is annually made up of the biggest names in popular music to an utterly immersive experience onsite with tons of areas to explore.
When & where: TBA June 2021; Dover, Delaware
Desert Daze Festival
Festival lineup (2019): The Flaming Lips, Ween, Devo, Flying Lotus, Stereolab, Wu-Tang Clan, Khruangbin
Perhaps the premier psychedelic-tinged festival in The States, the sun-drenched, fuzzed-out sounds that pervade the artists’ music that make up the bill are perfectly melded with Desert Daze’s palm tree lined, beach-fronted location on Lake Perris. Skip tripping in Joshua Tree and come here instead.
When & where: October 2-4, 2020; Moreno Beach, CA.
Rolling Loud Festival
Festival lineup (2020): A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Post Malone, 21 Savage, Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert
In only a few short years Rolling Loud shot up to become the undisputed king of all hip hop festival series. Now featuring editions in New York, LA, the Bay Area, Australia, Portugal and of course its flagship in Miami, the festival is by far the biggest festival dedicated to hip hop by any metric.
When & Where: February 12-14 2021, Miami, Florida
Festival lineup (2020): Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Jackson, Brett Young
Stagecoach is the Coachella of country music in every way. The lineup is one of the most hotly anticipated in the country and annually features the biggest names in modern (country) music, you’re likely to spot some celebs onsite and it even takes place on the same hallowed grounds in Indio, California.
When & Where: April 23-25 2021, Indio, California