Most major music festivals and concerts were canceled or postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means all us music lovers are itching to get back on the festival scene ASAP.
Since the chances of a vaccine being available by the end of the year seem pretty high at the moment, most venues will start reopening and events will be going forward as planned within the first few months of 2021. Luckily, festival season doesn’t start gaining momentum till mid-March. Since there’s so many music festivals to choose from and since we’re all so thoroughly deprived of live music, check out this list of the top 2021 music festivals that will make up for everything you missed out on this year!
Phoenix Lights – Apr 2-3
Held annually in Phoenix, Arizona at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Phoenix Lights is a 2-day electronic dance festival that books the hottest DJs and producers on the scene.
Promoted and sponsored by Relentless Beats, the leading dance music promoter in Arizona, Phoenix Lights is a great starter festival for those who aren’t too sure if they want to check out the rave scene because there are plenty of cool hangout spots, food trucks, and beautiful neon decor away from the stages.
Coachella – Apr 9-11, 16-18
Everyone has heard about the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival located in Indio, California because of its all-inclusive offering of live artists from literally every genre. Some of the headliners over the years have included Rage Against the Machine, Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Eminem, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, and Madonna.
The sculpture and installation art featured at Coachella’s music festivals has grown in scale and intricacy over the years, which is one of the event’s main appeals to all types of music and art lovers.
Stagecoach – Apr 23-25
Located at the same venue as Coachella, Stagecoach is one of the largest country music festivals in the world that features many mainstream country and lesser-known folk, bluegrass, roots rock, and alternative country artists.
Stagecoach is also known for bringing in a variety of southern and world-famous eats, including Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Fisherman’s Market and Grill, Pink’s Hot Dogs, and several barbecue and cantina restaurants.
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) – May 21-23
With venues located in Las Vegas, Mexico, Florida, Japan, and Korea, EDC is one of the most popular and one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world. It’s famous for its grand neon decor, many costumed performers, elaborate stages, sophisticated camping options, and consistent offering of the most popular DJs and producers.
Tickets for the Las Vegas venue, hosted at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, typically sell out within the first few months of going on sale, so be on the lookout now!
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – Jun 17-20
Hosted at the 700-acre Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo Music Festival has evolved from headlining jam and folk rock bands to including some of the biggest names in indie rock, classic rock, hip-hop, country, pop, electronic, and more.
Bonnaroo has been ranked as one of the top 10 best festivals by GQ Magazine and has been referred to as one of the “50 moments that changed rock & roll” by Rolling Stone.
Levitate Music Festival – Jul 9-11
Levitate Music Festival is a 3-day music and arts festival held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds, which is just 30 minutes south of Boston. This music festival features indie, reggae, and psychedelic rock headliners like Jack Johnson, Tash Sultana, and Stick Figure, which are all major artists in their respective genres.
Levitate, a community-oriented surf/skate shop and apparel line, threw its first festival as a 10-year anniversary party that has grown into New England’s most popular grassroots music and arts festival!
Lollapalooza – Jul/Aug TBD
One of the most iconic music festivals in the world, Lollapalooza annually gathers around 400,000 music lovers from all over the globe.
Located at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, this music festival is similar to Coachella in that it headlines major artists of all genres as well as international nonprofits, political groups, and visual artists.
Electric Zoo – Sep 3-5
One of the US’s largest electronic dance music festivals held annually in New York as well as Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and China, Electric Zoo is a magical event spread out over the open fields of Randall’s Island that can be accessed by ferry, subway, shuttle, or on foot.
Electric Zoo is famous for its elaborate and colorful wildlife displays as well as some of the biggest names in all electronic music genres!
Life is Beautiful Festival – Sep 17
Hosted in downtown Las Vegas, Life is Beautiful is an annual inspirational music, food, and art festival that spreads out over 11 blocks, 4 stages, and more than 70 of the most popular and sought-after artists, including Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Snake, and Rebelution.
The festival offers massive murals and interactive sculpture exhibits, including recycled installations from Burning Man, which is an arts festival that’s just a bit too unconventional for this list!
Desert Daze Festival – Oct 2-4
Definitely one of the most anticipated psychedelic music festivals of the year, Desert Daze sprawls out over 420 acres in Joshua Tree, California, which is naturally a place of peace, spiritual contemplation, and art.
Featuring psychedelic desert rock artists and three stages, this is definitely a festival you want to check out as a prelude to Burning Man if that’s one you’re considering in the future.
Escape Psycho Circus – Oct TBD
Hosted by Insomniac at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California, Escape Psycho Circus is an absolute must for all those dance music lovers who want to experience the ultimate Halloween party in 2021. While some of Insomniac’s events can get pretty experimental, Escape typically hosts the most mainstream DJs and producers each year. Although the dates haven’t yet been released, this festival is typically held the weekend closest to Halloween.
In addition to great music and spooky decorations, Escape includes costumed performers, a haunted maze, and plenty of open space to kick back and take in the sights!
Which of these music festivals are you adding to your 2021 schedule? Comment your favorites below!
Featured image source: http://blog.bohobuys.com/the-best-looks-from-coachella-2018/
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!