Music festivals have been around for decades in their modern form; however, the festival has come a long way since Woodstock. Ever since the creation of Bonnaroo in 2002, music festivals have popped up from coast to coast and across the world. Here are five festivals in the United States to get excited about this spring.
1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — April 12-14 and April 19-21
Recently expanded to two weekends, Coachella is far and away the biggest of the spring festivals. Known for being geared more towards indie rock, Coachella has expanded since their early years to all kinds of music including a number of very prominent electronic and hip-hop artists. Last year was notable for featuring Tupac on stage (or at least a hologram) with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as well as artists as varied as Radiohead to Kaskade. This year's festival will once again span two weekends and is headlined by the Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
2. Crossroads Guitar Festival — April 12-13
Though not outdoors, nor annual, the Crossroads Guitar Festival features one of the best lineups of any festivals, that is, if you like guitar players — lots of them. Originated in 2004 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas and then moved to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois for its 2007 and 2010 iterations, the Crossroads Guitar Festival features a collection of guitar players, young and old, brought together by Eric Clapton. Clapton himself appears with many of the performers and is being held for the first time at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. This year's festival brings together the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, Robbie Robertson and many more in addition to younger guitar players such as John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr.
3. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — April 26-28 and May 2-5
Though there are hundreds of "jazz festivals" around the world, when you say "Jazz Fest" you only mean one thing, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Held at the Fair Grounds Race Course in Mid-City, Jazz Fest is known as much for what happens in the fairgrounds as what happens after the gates close. Running only until 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds, the music is far from over. At the legendary venues up and down Bourbon Street, as well as at Tipitina's and the other legendary clubs off Bourbon Street, music plays until sunrise. Never a quiet moment at the fairgrounds (there are 12 stages), the lineup is an eclectic mix of performers straight from Louisiana and national acts including Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band, Fleetwood Mac and many more, there is truly something for everyone at this massive festival. Don't forget about the food too.
4. Hangout Music Festival — May 17-19
Quickly becoming one of the preeminent festivals, the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama is known for its bucolic setting and fantastic lineups. Though it has only been around since 2010, this festival has seen an unprecedented rate of growth since its inception. In its first year, Hangout featured 13-15,000 people a day and in its second year, 35,000 people were there per day. This year, the festival is being headlined by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, and many more.
5. EDC NYC — May 17-18
With the rising popularity of electronic music, what list would be complete without an iteration of the Electric Daisy Carnival. In its second year in "New York City" (last year it was held in the Giants Stadium parking lots), has actually been moved to New York City this year (at Citi Field). For some reason without an announced lineup this year, last year featured such titans of the electronic music scene as Avicii, Sebastian Ingrosso, Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack and many more, expect another fantastic lineup this year.