What could be better than attending a concert by your favorite musician? Seeing all your favorites in one place.
Music festivals are a concert lover’s dream, offering the opportunity to hear performances by dozens or hundreds of musicians at the top of their art form. In destinations across the country, festivals dedicated to jazz, folk, rock, country and bluegrass music draw thousands of visitors, who come both for the headlining acts and the opportunity to enjoy the host city or region.
Here are 10 iconic music festivals that combine award-winning lineups with distinctive destination appeal. If you have music lovers in your group, consider planning a trip to one of these events.
Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
Straddling the Tennessee/Virginia state line, the city of Bristol is recognized as the official birthplace of country music. Visitors can learn about that music heritage any time, but it comes to life for three days each September during the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. Founded in 2001, this festival now draws up to 50,000 attendees who come to hear the likes of Robert Randolph, John Oates and other Americana music stars. The festival features 165 artists and over 2,200 sets of music.
Beale Street Music Festival
Memphis enjoys legendary status in the history of rock, blues and soul music, and Beale Street downtown is one of the country’s foremost destinations for live music any time of year. During the Beale Street Music Festival, which takes place each May, artists from numerous genres converge to celebrate Memphis’ musical roots. More than 60 acts perform throughout the course of the three-day festival on four stages spread around a park where Beale Street meets the Mississippi River. Recent lineups have included names such as Jill Scott, Kings of Leon, Tori Kelly and Ziggy Marley.