Music Festivals 2020
“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” ― Keith Richards
“Love is friendship set to music.” ― Jackson Pollock
By Jaunty Staff
Best Music Festivals 2020
Thankfully, Winter’s about to give way to Spring. Sunshine, renewed optimism & music festivals are around the corner!
Therefore, let’s lock in one if the music celebrations now!
First, nothing lets you feel as connected as being outdoors in shorts & tee’s, surrounded by a crowd’s kinetic energy…. and inspired by music! Music festivals provide a wonderful mix of your favorite bands, new artists and much more!
Best of all, festivals combine multiple stages, art, exhibits and your favorite food & drink creating an immersive experience.
They also afford you the freedom to wander, and let let whatever catches your imagination take hold.
Good for your soul… & your health!
Second, in addition to festivals crazy fun factor, a 2018 UK study cited the added benefit of a “well being” boost. The study found that regularly attending live concerts could extend your life by 9 years!
Live large, live longer! What more reason do you need!
Why these Music Festivals?
Because there are hundreds of music festivals to choose from, we need to narrow the field. Consequently, we also factored in:
- Great city locations
- These Cities are worthy of a visit on their own
- Great cities have great hotels. I want to rock, then retreat to my nice hotel!
- Sightseeing & Gastronomy
- Multiple VIP options
- VIP Creature comforts add to the experience
- Better views, bars, food, parking & yes, clean bathrooms with AC! Oh yeah, it matters!
- Festivals combining timeless & new artists
- Dance with reckless abandon to your favs, discover new!
- Inspiring music, but so much more to explore!
- Culinary stages, Curated, local food & drink
- Guest Speakers & Comedy
- Artist & Sustainability exhibits
- Weed gardens (Thank You Golden State 🙂 )
- The list goes on…
Music Festivals 2020 – Timing is everything!
Most important, book early as tickets sell out every year! It’s likely that some of the festivals listed have already sold their initial round of tickets. You might need to go to the secondary market to grab those tickets.
Once you’ve lined up your tickets, make sure you can get a hotel near the venue. A comfortable place to crash after the show will make the experience that much better!
Remember that if 100,000 like minded individuals are coming to the show as well, maybe you should nail down your flights early!
15 of the Best US Music Festivals in 2020
We’ve highlighted 15 great festivals from around the country. Yes, California made the list 3 times. Hey, it’s just something we’re really good at! 🙂
To make it easier, the festivals are in chronological order. Also, links are provided for you to dig into the details.
Jaunty has no financial relationship with any of the below listed venues! We just like em…
Innings Fest – Tempe, Ar, Feb 29th – March 1st
Home to spring training for Major League Baseball, this festival uniquely combines a love of baseball & music. Rub elbows with big leaguers during Spring training. Try some of the baseball oriented activities & rock the two day festival in Tempe, AZ
South By Southwest -Austin,TX March 16th-22nd
There’s simply no words to capture the essence of South by Southwest. This incredible exhibition provides a year’s worth of cultural insight in 9 days.
SXSW explores virtually EVERYTHING culturally relevant: World music, speakers, film festival, parties, comedy, experimental storytelling, climate and social action, Politics, health & Med Tech.
South by Southwest engulfs Austin for 9 days. Multiple venues are used, around the city. This is perhaps the most diverse festival on earth. Pick a few days and take in a fire hose of enlightenment!
SXSW is perhaps one of the best music festivals ever!
New Orleans Jazz Festival – April 23rd, May 3, 2020
New Orleans is no stranger to festivals and parties. Since the 70’s the Jazz festival, just outside the French Quarter, stretches across two weekends.
With 12 stages the lineup of artists is massive. Many of today’s greatest artists have played the Jazz Fest. This year’s lineup of rock stars is no exception (While Jazz is a part of it, don’t let the Jazz label fool you).
SunFest Downtown, West Palm Beach, Florida, April 30th to May 3rd
West Palm Beach & Sunfest welcome 170,000 + festival goers to it’s waterfront Art and Music festival. SunFest takes place along the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm.
Floating dance bars, fireworks, dozens of artists and an eclectic mix of musical talent make up Sunfest.
They even throw in a 5K race if you want to add a little exercise into the mix!
Shaky Knees Festival, Atlanta GA, May 1st to 3rd
Drawing around 40,000 for the weekend, Shaky Knees is a more intimate festival. But, it’s certainly no less fun and lively!
Right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Shaky Knees combines ease of access, Southern charm, Southern BBQ and a great lineup!
Shaky Boots Festival, Atlanta, GA May 8th & 9th
The country version of Shaky Knees…
One week later, same venue. Same everything, except with an all star country lineup!
Boston Calling, May 22nd to 24th – Harvard Athletic Complex
Boston Calling is a smaller festival packing a lot of punch. It brings the fun, across 3 stages, to the Harvard Athletic Complex. Taking place on Memorial Day weekend, the thrust here is great local food and music! Hey, rub elbows with smart kids; maybe osmosis will occur!
BottleRock, Napa Valley May 22nd-24th
My last BottleRock visit: Caught a set of Portugal the Man, watched Iron Chef Morimoto & Snoop Dog creating Sushi magic on the Culinary stage, enjoyed an exceptional cabernet in the Silver Oak tent with Flava Flav playing on a nearby stage. As the sun dropped, fist pumped to Imagine Dragons on the Main stage…that’s a four hour snapshot of one day.
BottleRock takes place in Napa. A short walk from downtown, the wooded fairgrounds, food, wine and craft beers tents are the perfect compliment to a powerful musical lineup. And don’t forget all that downtown Napa has to offer!
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks & Dave Matthews headline a diverse group of artists this year. Being a foodie town, the music and culinary stages are the draws here. Tickets and hotels go lightning fast, so you have to jump on this one!
Best Country Music Festival?
CMA Country Music Festival June 4th-7th Nashville, TN
CMA Fest is the largest music festival in Nashville. CMA Fest is a Mecca for country music enthusiasts! With eleven stages, around town, CMA Fest delivers a mix of country music classics, up & comers and today’s current superstars.
Since Country music stars seem to be more accessible, your favorite stars can be seen in and around Nashville. As a result, posing for pictures & signing autographs for fans is typical.
Plus, CMA adds a philanthropic element, donating a portion of the proceeds to the CMA Foundation. The foundation helps fund music education.
To check out our last visit to Nashville, click here!
Chicago Blues Festival June 5th to 7th – Chicago
Celebrate a Chicago-born tradition at the Chicago Blues Festival! From its roots in 1984 the FREE 3 day festival celebrates a diverse lineup. Soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip hop acts make up Blues Fest! Spread across 5 stages in the downtown, there’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of Summer in Chicago.
OutSide lands – San Fran, Aug 7th -9th 2020
Outside Lands epitomizes the everything you can experience at a music festival:
Sublime music in Golden Gate State Park, Comedians, Guest Speakers, some of the Bay Area’s finest food, Art exhibits, Sustainability exhibits, shopping and…. Grasslands, which is a curated cannabis experience providing education, insight and sales of weed.
I guess the tradition of smuggling pot into a concert has come to an end 🙁
Kaaboo -Sept 18th to 20th -Petco Park, San Diego, CA
KAABOO is making the move this year from the Del Mar Race Track to Petco Park, in the heart of San Diego. Similar to Outside Lands, Kaaboo is a uniquely curated festival appealing to all five of your senses: World-class music, hilarious comedy, inspiring contemporary art, gourmet cuisine, and craft libations.
Downtown San Diego is a destination in itself and Kaaboo at Petco Park and surrounding area should be a lot of fun!
Life is Beautiful Festival, Las Vegas, Sept 18-20th
Star studded Music, comedy, speakers, art & culinary taking place just off the Vegas Strip. With the Adult entertainment capital of the world throwing the festival, you’ll need to sleep for two days when you get home!
Austin City Limits Oct 2nd-11th
One visit to the Texas State Capitol lets you know that Austin is a music town. On any given night you can catch rising stars playing their hearts out on 6th street as well as many other locations. There’s even a statue of Austins’s own Stevie Ray Vaughn in the city park.
Austin knows music! Similar to South by Southwest, Austin City Limits is an iconic festival. ACL was founded in 2002 and inspired by the PBS series of the same name.
ACL offers up 125 acts, playing across 8 stages. Since the festival crosses over two weekends, you might choose one weekend to enjoy.
Although ACL used to focus on highlighting local talent, it’s evolved into a star laden line up. Great music, food and the arts are on display, with Austin as the backdrop.
VooDoo Experience, New Orleans Oct 30-Nov 1st
VooDoo takes place over Halloween Weekend. This festival experience is a bit of an outlier. With New Orleans and Halloween driving the theme, you can expect outlandish! Costumes and crazy Halloween spirit compliment the 65 bands that will be in attendance, over the 3 day festival.
With the strange times we find ourselves in, many of the music festivals discussed here have been postponed. It is our hope that they will be rescheduled when it’s safe to do so. We sincerely hope that the Music festival experience won’t become a thing of the past.