Frustrated when you can’t get tickets for your favourite US artist’s UK tour? Why not hop on a plane and catch them – along with many more – at one of the USA’s best music festivals. Nowhere does music festivals like the States and they’re a great way to combine music with a city break or road trip holiday. Mike Gerrard lists his best USA music festivals 2017.
Tortuga Music Festival (7-9 April)
If you want Florida beaches and music, this event in Fort Lauderdale is your festival. The weather will be perfect. Now in its fifth year, 2017 will see Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan and Chris Stapleton. Last year over 90,000 attended the three-day event.
More Information: www.tortugamusicfestival.com
How to get to Fort Lauderdale
Coachella (14-16 and 21-23 April)
One of the best of California’s many music festivals, Coachella has expanded to run over two consecutive weekends at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, which is about two hours east of Los Angeles. It’s also in the Colorado Desert so at this time of year you could freeze or fry. Since 1999 this festival has attracted artists such as Florence and the Machine, AC/DC, Ellie Goulding, Pet Shop Boys and one year an unannounced appearance by Madonna.
More Information: http://splash.coachella.com
How to get to California
Tucson Folk Festival (6-7 May)
One of the oldest free folk festivals in the USA, this is coming up to its 32rd annual weekend – usually in beautiful Arizona sunshine. Dozens of acts both national and local play constantly on five different stages around the old town area of Tucson. National headliners for 2017 are The Black Lillies, who have played the Grand Ole Opry over 30 times, while local headliners are Ryanhood.
More Information: www.tucsonfolkfest.org
How to get to Tucson
Boston Calling (26-28 May)
For 2017 this music festival will be in a new location (the Harvard Athletic Complex in Allston, just outside Boston) and adding a film festival to its always eclectic music mix.Past stars have included Beck, Pixies, Christine and the Queens, Janelle Monáe and Alabama Shakes.
More Information: www.bostoncalling.com
How to get to Boston
Sasquatch! (26-28 May)
In the terrific setting of the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington (yes, there is such a place) over the Memorial Day weekend, the 2017 lineup is coming soon but past years have seen Fleet Foxes, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, Coldplay, Robert Plant and Ryan Adams.
More Information: www.sasquatchfestival.com
How to get to Washington State
The Governor’s Ball (2-4 June)
New York naturally has a choice of festivals, and Panorama is also worth checking out, but The Governor’s Ball in Randall Island Park is always hard to beat. Past names have included Drake, Florence and the Machine, Jack White, Phoenix and Noel Gallagher.
More Information: http://governorsballmusicfestival.com
How to get to New York
Bonnaroo (8-11 June)
Held over four days on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo is always one of the year’s biggies. No lineup yet for 2017 but past years have seen an eclectic mix of rock acts from The Beach Boys and Paul McCartney to Kanye West, Jay Z and the White Stripes.
More Information: www.bonnaroo.com
How to get to Manchester
Telluride Bluegrass Festival (15-18 June)
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is held annually on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice which officially marks the start of Colorado’s summer. It has a broad definition of bluegrass and has attracted stars like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, John Fogerty, Robert Plant, The Dixie Chicks and Elvis Costello.
How to get to Telluride
Summerfest in Milwaukee (June-July)
This has been the world’s largest music festival since 1999, and with over 800 acts last year, who can argue? They spread over 11 stages and 11 days and headliners of the calibre of Kacey Musgrave, Bon Jovi, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan have all headlined. For 2017, Red Hot Chili Peppers and P!nk have been confirmed..
More Information: http://summerfest.com
How to get to Milwaukee
Lollapalooza (3-6 August)
Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza is held in Grant Park and combines music, politics and the arts with a mix of heavy metal, punk, hip-hop and rock musicians on several stages. No 2017 schedule yet but 2016 saw Lana del Rey, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ellie Goulding.
More Information: www.lollapalooza.com
How to get to Chicago
Vail Jazz Party (1-5 September)
The Vail Jazz Party features over 35 headliners that join together to play in group performances, multi-artist jam sessions and performing tributes to jazz legends. In 2017, the Vail Jazz Party will feature a House Band with John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Cunliffe and Lewis Nash.
How to get to Vail
Tell me more about Best USA Music Festivals 2017
All tickets for these festivals can be booked through 101 USA Holidays
All photos courtesy of the festival concerned.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival credit Benko Photos.