Adding a Southern music festival to your summer plans infuses your warmer months with tunes and gives you a weekend destination without having to travel too far. With so many to choose from around the South, we have selected some of the best to help you decide which ones to attend. Enjoy!
Southern Ground Music & Food Festival
April 16-17, 2016 — Charleston, SC
The Southern Ground Music & Food Festival is the perfect marriage of good tunes and delicious eats in Charleston, SC. Of course, the cuisine offered at Southern Ground, being in Charleston, is more than your typical food truck fare. World-renowned chefs will offer everything from award-winning low country cuisine and Creole jambalaya to Southeast Asian farm-to-table food. As excited as we are about the food, we can’t wait to see Kacey Musgraves, Hunter Hayes, Muddy Magnolias and the Zac Brown Band. One-day tickets are $115 each, and two-day general admission tickets are $189 each. See the complete lineup and learn more here.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 22-24 and April 28-May 1, 2016 — New Orleans, LA
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival celebrates the city of jazz, its cultural history, and Cajun and Creole cuisine in a two weekend-long parade of craft booths and concerts. Nowhere else but New Orleans can deliver a multistage music festival with crawfish boils, tribal basket weaving, woodworking and more. Even at the very first Jazz Fest, renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington both joined a parading brass band for an impromptu performance, exemplifying the vivacious energy of the festival that continues today. This year’s amazing lineup includes Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Beck and Van Morrison. Several ticket packages and options are still available. To purchase tickets and view the entire lineup, click here.
Beale Street Music Festival
April 29-May 1, 2016 — Memphis, TN
Beale Street in Memphis has long been known for its musical offerings, especially blues, but the Beale Street Music Festival turns up the volume just that much more. The festival, located in the Tom Lee Park along the riverfront, celebrates all that Memphis has to offer, including but not limited to great barbecue, musical entertainment and tons of amazing local art. There is always a stellar lineup at Beale Street Music Festival with acts crossing all genres. This year’s roster includes legendary names like Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, Beck, Indigo Girls, Lucinda Williams, Jonny Lang and so many more amazing names. Several ticket options are still available and can be found, along with all the acts, here.
Shaky Knees Festival
May 13-15, 2016 — Atlanta, GA
If you’re in or near Atlanta and are craving some summer music festival fun, plan to attend the food truck-fueled Shaky Knees Festival. Held for the first time this year in the beloved Centennial Olympic Park, the festival invites attendees to take in the music, pop in and out of photo booths and grab screen prints of their favorite bands. Must-see acts include Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists and The Head and the Heart. Single-day tickets are $97; three-day tickets are $215. Purchase your tickets and find the complete lineup of artists here.
Hangout Music Festival
May 20-22, 2016 — Gulf Shores, AL
What more do you want at the beach than a few beers and some good tunes? Hangout Music Festival delivers with its major beach party vibe and consistently chart-topping lineups, which, this year, include the likes of Alabama Shakes, Brett Dennen and Lenny Kravits. At no other festival can you see talent this good with your toes deep in the sand and the Gulf of Mexico as your backdrop, truly setting Hangout apart from the rest. Our wish list of acts to see is too long to count, but some favorites are The Weekend, Leon Bridges and Calvin Harris. A general admission, all-weekend ticket is $289, and VIP packages are also available. View the entire lineup and purchase tickets here.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 9-12, 2016 — Manchester, TN
When the topic of Southern Music Festivals comes up, the first one to come to mind is likely Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. For a few days each summer, the quiet town of Manchester, TN, becomes a bustling, groovy campground as concertgoers from all over the world show up for some serious musical entertainment. Bonnaroo gives a nod to it festival predecessors, most notably Woodstock, and features jam bands and folk rock aplenty. However, the selection is diverse and spans all genres, from pop to hip-hop to bluegrass. Attendees of the festival get to participate in the melting pot of creativity the festival has become and engage with music and visual arts of every sound and color. We are especially excited about Jason Isbell, Chris Stapelton, Miguel, Ibeyi and Tame Impala. Click here to create a custom lineup, view your ticket options and see what’s new this year at this one-of-a-kind, you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it festival.
July 15-17, 2016 — Louisville, KY
Held in Louisville’s scenic waterfront park, Forecastle Festival is not only known for its star-studded lineups, but also for featuring local artists and promoting environmental activism. The Kentucky Landing area of the festival, focusing solely on goods from the Bluegrass State, includes regionally produced beers, handmade crafts and food trucks galore. This year’s lineup is as impressive as you’d expect with headliners like Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers, Death Cab for Cutie and Alabama Shakes. General admission and VIP packages are still available in limited quantities. See purchase options and a complete artist lineup here.
Sloss Music & Arts Festival
July 16-17, 2016 — Birmingham, AL
Sloss Music & Arts Festival, promoted by Jill Wheeler and her team, is preparing for its second year. Held at one of Birmingham’s most unique historic sites, Sloss Furnaces, the music festival’s backdrop is the 20th century ironmaking complex, which provides a funky, industrial setting for some seriously great talent. Concertgoers can find more than musical entertainment, though, including a beer garden, art for purchase by the American Poster Institute and even a hands-on iron pouring demonstration by the Sloss Metal Arts Program. Notable acts this year are Death Cab for Cutie, Washed Out, Dr. Dog and Ray LaMontagne. Tickets start at $125; find complete purchasing options and check out the entire lineup here.
August 25-28, 2016 — Arrington, VA
LOCKN’ Festival is the perfect spot to get your groove on and catch some of your favorite bands in a picture-perfect setting. The foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a picturesque opportunity for hiking, yoga and almost any outdoor activity imaginable to complement the amazing tunes, which this year are being offered by Gary Clarke Jr., Phish, Tedeschi Trucks Band and more. LOCKN’ is definitely the festival to visit if jam bands are your favorite, and while you should go for the music, don’t miss the offerings of regional cuisine, local artisans and craft beer. Tickets and camping and parking passes can be purchased here. See the full lineup here.
Have a blast at whatever summer music festival you attend. They are all sure to be amazing!
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