Posts tagged with "top festivals"

Coachella illustration for 360 magazine

Your Guide to the Most Popular Music Festivals

Over 32 million people in the US attend music festivals every year and that number is only getting bigger and bigger.

Buying a ticket and heading off to the most popular music festivals is the best way to listen to your favorite bands live, discover new artists, and have a lot of fun with your friends in a beautiful location.

There’s no wonder why so many people like going to music festivals! It’s a bucket list experience for many. But choosing the right music festival could make or break your whole trip.

If you want to figure out which of the most popular music festivals in the USA best fits your music taste and vibe, we’ve put together this guide to help you. All of these festivals are some of the most popular in the country and they cover a variety of genres and tastes.

Most Popular Music Festivals in the USA

We’ve listed the top, busiest, and most popular music festivals in the USA to inspire you to attend one. They’re located all over the US so we’ve included information such as exactly where they are and what time of year they take place annually.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Where: Manchester, Tennessee

When: Early September

Like a lot of music festivals, Bonnaroo started small and primarily booked folk-rock acts and garage bands back when it started in 2002. In just under 20 years, Bonnaroo now books some of the biggest names in rock and pop music such as Miley Cyrus and Tame Impala.

This is a music festival that offers something for everyone and it’s a great option for first-time festival-goers.

If you’re a festival newbie and are struggling with what to take to a music festival then click here.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Where: Indio, California and Coachella Valley, Colorado

When: Two weekends in April

Whether you love it or love to hate it, Coachella has become one of the music festivals to see and be seen. Tickets sell out faster every year, tonnes of celebrities attend and for those watching from the sidelines on Instagram, it can seem more like a fashion show than a live music event.

But Coachella attracts some of the best musicians in the world spanning all musical genres. It’s also responsible for some of the best musical performances of all time. Everyone remembers when Beyoncé practically renamed the festival Beychella in 2018 with her mindblowing set, right? And they will for years to come.

Stagecoach Festival

Where: Indio, California

When: Late April

Usually taking place the weekend after Coachella wraps up, Stagecoach is primarily a modern country music festival that acts as a sister event to Coachella. The kind of acts that perform live concerts at Stagecoach includes Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban.

As you can imagine, Stagecoach attracts a different kind of crowd that particularly loves country music. But it’s still a hugely popular sell-out event with 75,000 people attending in 2019.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

Where: Austin, Texas

When: March

South by Southwest is a different kind of music festival altogether in that it’s not even strictly a music festival! Part conference, film festival, and music festival, South by Southwest (or SXSW as it’s often styled) almost takes over the city of Austin with hundreds of live music and arts events.

Some of the acts that have previously performed in the music section of SXSW include Lana Del Ray, The Shins, and Lady Gaga. The musical acts tend to be a mix of current pop musicians, hip-hop, and more alternative and indie names.

Lollapalooza Chicago

Where: Grant Park, Chicago

When: Late July/Early August

If you want to attend a quintessentially American music festival that isn’t out in a desert and has a line up featuring all different musical genres, Lollapalooza is perfect.

Past acts at Lollapalooza include Chance The Rapper, Paul McCartney and Alabama Shakes.

Lollapalooza also has a strong history of activism by allowing non-profits and political speakers a platform at one of the most popular music festivals in the USA.

Burning Man

Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada

When: Late August/Early September

Burning Man is not a festival, and any true Burner will tell you the same thing. It is a spontaneous and cultural happening where art, self-expression, and curiosity converge in the Nevada desert.

But for the sake of clarity, it’s a festival and one of the most original in the world. Though there isn’t an official line-up of events or acts, nor is there really an ‘official’ anything at Burning Man.

Burning Man takes place over one whole week (called ‘Burn Week’) and since it’s inception in the late 1980s has amassed thousands of dedicated followers. No money is exchanged at Burning Man and Burners are expected to bring their own shelter, food, and supplies. 

Those who have attended this festival (or cultural happening) usually gushes that it’s one of the best experiences of their lives. 

Hangout Music Festival

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama

When: May

What is missing from the other most popular music festivals on this list? If your answer is “the beach” then Hangout Music Festival might be the music festival for you!

Located on the Gulf Shores in Alabama, this three-day music event is the ultimate live-music-at-the-beach experience. Past performers include Twenty One Pilots, Stevie Wonder, and Vampire Weekend. Granted, Hangout doesn’t attract the huge mega musicians but their line ups are still star-studded events.
And who needs Beyoncé when you have upbeat and catchy tunes, sand, and the sun setting in the distance?

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

When: Late April/Early May

There’s no denying that New Orleans is one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world and Jazz is super important to the city’s history and music landscape.
Back in the 1970s, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was created as a showcase for local musicians but nowadays the event is so much bigger. In the past, non-jazz performers like Stevie Nicks, Lizzo, and The Who have performed at the festival so there really is something for everyone.
But at the heart, the Jazz & Heritage Festival is still about celebrating the spirit of the New Orleans people and their undeniable love of music.

There’s a Music Festival Out There for Everyone

Those are just some of the most popular music festivals, and there are heaps more out there! Music festivals aren’t simply just live music shows, but they’re exciting, fun, and often life-changing experiences.

Check out our other arts and music-related articles on our site for more inspiration and information!

Ocaso Festival, Costa Rica, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

OCASO 2020

“Be prepared to be teleported into a quantum realm of whimsicality.”360 MAGAZINE

By Vaughn Lowery × Sam Berman

At the peak of the year, music, beats and dancing brought together a crowd of 10,000 attendees to Costa Rica for 2020’s Ocaso Underground Music Festival – the world’s largest rave in the jungle. Even the leatherback turtles, howling monkeys and crocodiles were head bobbing.

The Ocaso Underground Music Festival, which engaged on January 9th – 13th, united travelers, ticos and seasoned ravers alike to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, off the coast of the Pacific Ocean for five days of electronic music bliss. The jubilee was established by founder Devin Ellis in 2018; and it just culminated its fourth semester, with plans to return in January 2021, proving a successful run for one of the most emerging EDM festivals on the planet. 

What makes this carnival so sui generis, aside from a stellar bill of DJs including Maceo Plex, Äme, Doc Martin, Justin Martin, Magdalena, Shiba San, Seth Troxler and Artba, might just be the visually striking and lushful setting of CR. The grounds, known as the Lesenda Retreat, centers around a trilithic stage composed of metal trusses for performers, complete with a towering geometric visual screen synchronized to the music, pulsating lasers, fog machines, pyrotechnics and go-go dancers. Apart from hypnotizing technical components conjured up by architectural wizards, the surrounding landscape and warm weather provided a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy the fiesta in, enhanced by art installations sprinkled throughout, providing a truly remarkable habitat. 

Let’s talk about the sound! Imagine being at the On The Run II tour with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, state-of-the-art subwoofers and tweeters pinging throughout the venue, delivering clean and crisp vibrant instrumentation. Of course, this added fan excitement to every set.

Viewers were able to use tokens for transportation, food and drinks, providing added security from petty theft and loose cash. Overall safety was key with tons of guards at every entrance alongside of roaming escorts. We all wore sparkly color-coded wristbands to identify our level of participation – GA vs VIP. Staff members wore official reflective tanks and shirts to be easily accessible.

A short 15 minute-bus drive on a vintage yellow school bus brought participants to the festivities. Guests were offered an assortment of carte du jour options to replenish their prance-exhausted bodies with a number of locally and globally known chefs preparing flatbread pizzas, gyros, keto bowls, tacos as well as protein shakes.

Saturday was the most distinctive night of the event, with people from all over the globe, dressed in their most eye-catching ensembles, echoing the avant-garde fashion of other fairs such as EDC, Ultra, Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. Ocaso brought a parade of colors infused with futuristic and organic elements blended seamlessly into garbs straight out of an alien planet, welcoming and embracing all. 

The festival wrapped with a pool party at base camp, the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. After a five-day outer body experience of infectious dance music, a sort of culinary delights, cozy lodging options, and the beautiful backdrop of the rugged rainforested, Central America, this is one masquerade which many should add to their list. 

Missed out on the fun this year? Don’t fret, as the festival plans to return the weekend of January 7-11, 2021. Ticketing packages from this past year ranged from $19.00 to $59.00 for single day passes, a two-day Friday and Saturday pass for $89.00 and a 5-day-full-weekend pass for $119.00, a great deal for those who can’t get enough from just one night. So ravers, start planning your next vacation, because this is an experience any party animal should dive into. 

For additional information visit Ocaso Festival.

Local Guide

Besides the #RaveInTheJungle, The city of Tamarindo itself possesses a plethora of thrilling activities: ziplining, horseback rides on volcanic trails; ATV tours; surfing and dolphin-watching sailing tours.

If you are seeking additional dining/nightlife options outside of the fête, be sure to check out the following:

Pacifico Club (http://www.pacifico-costarica.com/beach-club/), Sharky’s Bar (http://sharkysbars.com/), Long Board BBQ, Chinese Food (directly across from Vista Villas) and Bamboo Sushi Club.

Just down the road was the luxurious Tamarindo Diria hotel, which features a lobby side pool/hot tub, an array of cabanas with an outside bar/dining deck as well as private beach access to make any jovial attendants experience an unforgettable rave-cation.