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Top Music Festivals in the USA

The Best Music Festivals to See in 2013


The USA has some of the biggest and best music festivals in the world. From the long-standing Jazz and Heritage Festival, which has been showcasing jazz and rock legends in New Orleans since 1970, to the relatively new Burning Man Festival, where music, art, and hijinks collide in the hot Nevada desert, there is a music event for every age and taste. Following are some of the best music festivals to check out this year.

1. Sasquatch

2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 3
Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Date: May 24-27
Location: The Gorge, Washington

The bank of the Columbia River in Washington State is the setting for the Sasquatch Festival, a haven for indie music lovers in the Pacific Northwest. Previous bands at Sasquatch include Jack White, Beck, Bon Iver, St. Vincent, The Civil Wars, Girl Talk, and many more.

2. Bonnaroo

Date: June 13-16
Location: Manchester, Tennessee

Set on a farm in rural Tennessee, Bonnaroo is an unlikely contender for one of America's favorite music festivals. But it has been growing since its debut in 2002. Previous musicians include Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Shins, The Roots, Alice Cooper, Ludacris, and many more musical and comedy acts.

3. Summerfest

Date: June 26-30, July 2-7
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Since 1968, Summerfest has been showcasing live music in downtown Milwaukee. It is now considered the "world's largest music festival" because it attracts more than 700 bands and hundreds of thousands of spectators over the course of the event.

4. Lollapalooza

Date: August 2-4
Location: Chicago

A traveling festival in the 1990s, the Lollapalooza Festival, which features indie, rock, punk, and electronica acts, has settled in Chicago. The lineup for this year's festival has yet to be announced. Stay tuned for updates.

5. Burning Man

Date: August 26-September 2
Location: Black Rock City, Nevada

According to festival organizers, Burning Man "isn't your usual festival, with big acts booked to play on massive stages. In fact, it's more of a city than a festival, wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the event." Since Burning Man espouses a lot of the ideals Woodstock - perhaps the most famous festival of all time - it has to be included in this list. Check the Burning Man website for more information on this year's theme.

6. Bumbershoot

Date: August 31-September 2
Location: Seattle

Seattle's oldest and largest arts festival includes music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film, comedy, and spoken word and spoken word performances, making it what organizers call "North America's largest urban arts festival." Previous performers include Tony Bennett, Jane's Addiction, Skrillex, and so much more.

7. Wanderlust

Date: February 28-March 3
Location: Oahu, Hawaii

Going to a music festival and maintaining a healthy body need not be mutually exclusive, as the Wanderlust Festival proves. Combining yoga, music, meditation, and outdoor excursions, As the 2013 Wanderlust website says: "Your yoga just grew a fin." The North American installment of the Wanderlust festival will take place at the Turtle Bay Resort and Spa.

8. Austin City Limits

Date: October 4-6, 11-14
Location: Austin, Texas

Music lovers that want to enjoy the outdoor festival atmosphere a while longer should check out Austin City Limits, which takes place over two weekends in October. On par with Bonnaroo and Coachella, this Austin festival showcases music, food, and art.


Date: March 12-17
Location: Austin, Texas

Far more than a music festival, SXSW, which stands for South by Southwest, invades Austin, Texas, each year with big-name and indie musical acts, film screenings, tech panels and conferences, and tons of parties.

SXSW is actually broken up into three segments - interactive, film, and music - all of which overlap slightly so participants can sample all aspects of the festival. The music portion of the 2013 festival runs from March 12-17. Go to the website for more information on dates for the other portions of SXSW.

10. CMJ

Date: Stay tuned for 2013 dates
Location: New York City

The long-standing CMJ festival in New York City is a five-day event in which to check out bands before their big break. Hundreds of bands play in clubs around the city during this conference that is more like a "battle of the bands" festival, with many artists signing to music labels by festival's end.

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