These days, seeing just one artist perform isn’t enough. Instead, why not catch three dozen musical acts performing over the course of an entire weekend? Coachella, Sasquatch, Newport Folk, Lollapalooza - the options for music festivals this spring and summer are endless. Got tickets yet? Well, if you’re a rock, rap, pop, folk or electronica fiend, be sure to start planning these ultimate adventure travel trips across the continent.
Here are a handful of the best ones to look out for this year:
If there’s one festival to trump them all, it could be Coachella. The Indio, California-based show has gotten so massive that it spills over not one, but two weekends in April, bringing in musical greats like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Jurassic 5, Passion Pit, Local Natives and Wu-Tang Clan in one place. The tradition started in 1999 and now features nearly 200 acts, pool parties and inspiring art installations. While some fans are disappointed by its two-weekend stretch, others are looking at it as a way to expand their holidays in America’s sunny West Coast state.
Canadian Music Fest
The nation’s largest music festival, Canadian Music Fest storms through Toronto in March over a week’s period, featuring more than 900 artists in venues across the city. Less a free-spirited, hippie fest in a big open field and more a celebration of all music genres, this event is impossible to avoid when in the Ontario city March 19 through 24. Featuring local acts as well as international names like Rihanna, Metric and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, this nonstop festival is one of the most anticipated events in all of Canada.
South by Southwest
Held in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest (SXSW) is an emerging artist’s dream festival - while classic bands and solo musicians often headline here, it’s the breakthrough artist who really shines. Artists often see their music spread from coast to coast after playing a show at this festival in the live music capital of the world (seriously, it is). You can dance, party, mingle with music industry folk and of course, catch your favourite artists from March 12 to 17. The only thing that might get you worried is not being able to see every single show or attend each party, but that’s not the worst problem to have.
Chicago, Illinois, is a vibrant city with a thriving arts scene - especially in terms of music. Near the tail end of summer in early August, city dwellers and visitors from around the world attend this huge party in the heart of the metropolis. Hotels are in walking distance, so it’s easy to make accommodations and take a short walk to the concert site, and as you watch your favourite acts, you can see the spectacular Chicago skyline in front of you. While they have yet to reveal this year’s lineup, you can be sure it’s going to pack some major performers in one short span of time. Last year featured The Black Keys, Jack White, Black Sabbath and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and dozens upon dozens more.
Are disco lights, heart-pounding beats and glow sticks more your thing? Then consider taking your adventure travel trips to New York this summer to Randall’s Island Park. Electric Zoo also has yet to reveal to fans which techno acts will headline, but there are sure to be at least a few repeat performers from last year: David Guetta, Pretty Lights, Tiesto, Benny Benassi and Skrillex, to name a few. Guests ride a ferry to the New York island and can map out their itinerary using the festival’s specialized app, which includes maps, food offerings and live schedules of the event.