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Revelers Rejoice: 5 Must-Do Music Festivals


Music festivals are popping up in rural and urban settings all around the U.S. From Coachella in the Southern California desert to the relatively new urban carnival of New York City's Governors Ball, there's a festival for every musical taste. To help you decide where to dance your days away, check out our U.S. music festival round-up.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Where: Indio, California

When: Mid April

Coachella is a multi-genre showcase that draws music fans, cool kids and style-savvy celebrities dancing to the beat of swaying palm trees with Instagram-worthy sunsets behind the San Jacinto mountains. Each year, Coachella wows the crowds with large-scale art installations, performances from newer artists like Calvin Harris and Lorde to rock legends like AC/DC and Steely, and dance sets by David Guetta and other well-known DJs. Festival-goers who love to camp in comfort can opt for the luxe safari tent experience here.

Hangout Music Festival

Where: Gulf Shores, Alabama

When: Late May

Since jumping on the festival bandwagon in 2010, Hangout has become known for its epic three-day beach party on Alabama's Gulf Shores. Hangout attracts some 70 high-energy acts across numerous musical genres, including indie, rock, pop, hip-hop and electronica. Past acts have included Foo Fighters, Beck and Skrillex. With two main stages and tents sprinkled across the shoreline, Hangout promises plenty of tunes, sand and sunshine. 

Movement Electronic Music Festival

Where: Detroit, Michigan

When: Late May

Movement is a laid-back urban electronic gathering where house legends and techno aficionados unite, dig deep into their record crates and entertain. Hundreds of artists, including cult favorites and homegrown acts, spread out across its six stages. Detroit, as the birthplace of techno, boy bands and Motown, makes for a perfect setting for a bass-filled three-days on its riverfront. 

The Governors Ball Music Festival

Where: New York City, New York

When: Early June

The three-day multi-stage Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall's Island is a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, and easily accessible by public transportation. Governors Ball is like a mini, modern-day Woodstock, with a diverse line-up that might include headliners like Kanye West, Gun 'N Roses, Drake and Outkast, as well as acclaimed lesser-known acts. Between shows, festival-goers can while away their time with hula-hooping and yoga workshops.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Where: Manchester, Tennessee

When: Early June

For more than a decade, Bonnaroo has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to a 700-acre farm between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they revel in four-days of entertainment and Southern-style hospitality. 

Bonnaroo is one of the rare festivals to feature music and comedy. Musical acts have included Tears for Fears, Florence + The Machine and Jay-Z, while comedians on its stages have included Louis CK and Zach Galifianakis. Performances can stretch until dawn, with mass-sing-alongs, a beer garden and food trucks galore hallmarks of this free-spirited experience.

For more stories on music experiences in the U.S., discover Austin, Texas’ live music scene or the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

By Carine Buncsi

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