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2021 Music Festivals: Events To Look Forward To

2021 is a year of uncertainty for music festivals around America compared to years past, but it seems like some of the biggest ones are still geared up and set to go. There’s Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the biggest festival in the country, which will feature the Jonas Brothers. Wherever you live in the country, there’s something for you, from the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, to Outside Lands in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 

Whether you’re a huge fan of Tame Impala or you love Phoebe Bridgers, there’s a festival out there for you. Because of COVID-19, some of these events may require masks in the future, so don’t forget to bring one!

EDC

How does one describe the Electric Dance Carnival in one word? “Mind-blowing” seems appropriate. EDC takes place annually in Las Vegas, NV, and it is one of the craziest weekends of the year. In 2016, this festival generated a whopping $1.3 billion dollars for the local community, as well as creating countless jobs. 

EDC has everything from live music to carnival rides and everything in between. There are a few things to keep in mind before you go; drink lots of water, prepare for all kinds of weather, and get ready for lots of traffic and crowds. 

Hydration is probably one of the most important things to keep up with while at a music festival. Luckily, there are free hydration stations all throughout the venue, so bring a refillable water bottle with you. 

Las Vegas is known to be extremely hot, but there are the occasional cold fronts. Bring three types of outfits: hot weather stuff, moderate weather outfits, and stuff like sweaters and jeans. You’d probably rather bring a bunch of clothes that never get used than get caught in 50-degree weather with nothing but tank tops. 

The crowds at EDC can be insane. Traffic is also a nightmare around this weekend, but there is another option besides hotels and shuttles: camping. You do have to buy camping tickets, and they sell out fast, so buy them early!

EDC’s Music Lineup

All kinds of techno and dubstep are going to be at this event this year, and some of the performers set to be there are pretty big. Keep in mind that it will be almost impossible to see every performance with 250 artists over the three-day weekend. 

Some of them include Kaskade, Knife Party, deadmau5, and DJ Snake. Keep in mind that some of the artists you may be looking forward to seeing may be performing sets at the same time. So, if you’re interested in particular sets, plan accordingly. 

Don’t be too focused on just the music while you’re there. EDC isn’t just a music festival. It’s certainly the most prominent element, but there is a ton of other stuff to do there, like rides and even art installations.  

What To Do in Las Vegas

EDC is, of course, not the only thing to do in Vegas. The city has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment. There are casinos, shows, and a lot of dance clubs. You don’t need to get the best hotel rooms with the nicest rooms because EDC goes all night long, and you’re probably just going to use them for sleep. 

There are some really fascinating exhibits and aquariums to check out while you’re in the area. Some of these attractions are permanent, but some are traveling around the country and will only be there for a short time. 

Lollapalooza

If you’re in the mood for something slightly less extreme and a little more laid back, the Lollapalooza Music Festival is right up your alley. There are a variety of genres performed at this event, like rock, techno, and hip-hop. This festival was the last weekend of July, moving into August in Grant Park. In 2019, the event made more than $247 million dollars. Lollapalooza was canceled in 2020, and we’re still waiting to see how much it brought in this year—it’s likely to be a large number. 

Lollapalooza was originally a traveling farewell tour for the band Jane’s Addiction in 1991. Following annual events were planned due to the success of the original, but it struggled financially and dealt with a few cancellations. 

The organizers eventually realized that the event should occur every year in one location. This helped with the budget enough to make the event popular and very profitable.   

The Lollapalooza Music Lineup

In 2021, there was a pretty eclectic lineup of talent at Lollapalooza. Miley Cyrus had a set on the opening night and Jack Harlow performed on Friday. Rapper Post Malone had a spot for that Saturday, and the Foo Fighters were one of the big-ticket performances on the final night. Tyler the Creator and Megan Thee Stallion also made an appearance. 

It was a pretty big event with over 150 performers participating, and there was a little bit of everything to please almost everyone. 

What To Do in Chicago

There are some really fun and interesting activities and things to see in Chicago outside of Lollapalooza. Chicago has a fantastic museum of natural history with truly impressive exhibits. Chicago is home to some of the most unique art installations like The Bean and historical statues. 

The Lincoln Park Zoo is a wonderful place to get away from the crowds and take a gander at some cute animals. Interested in the history of old-school gangsters like Al Capone and ghosts? Take a look at the ghost tours available if you wanna do something unique at night. 

Austin City Limits

Are you looking for a music festival with a more local vibe? The Austin City Limits festival is for you. The event is split up between two weekends and six days total. The nice thing about this particular festival is that the park the venue is held in is relatively small. 

This means less hopping around and roaming from stage to stage. Performances are a little closer together. There’s a hydration area and tons of food venues, all sourced by local restaurants. There’s even a kids’ area for families to hang out at! 

In 2018, the Austin City Limits festival brought in $264 million for the local economy, and we can only imagine that this year would have done just as much, considering people have been raring at the bit to get out and about. 

The Austin City Limits Music Lineup

The wonderful thing about the ACL is that it’s not just big names that will be performing. The ACL is known for having many lesser-known artists and local bands perform sets alongside big stars. 

Some of the bigger names that are set to perform are Miley Cirus, Billie Eilish, and Stevie Nicks! A little tip about the Austin area: there is a park called Hope Outdoor Gallery primarily known for amazing graffiti art, but there are also musical performances done there.

What To Do in Austin

Austin is a fantastic area for mountain biking, hiking, and swimming. There is a lot of natural beauty to be seen, so take advantage of it if you’re in the area. You’ll probably work up an appetite from the festival and all of those physical activities. 

It’s a good thing Austin is known for its stellar BBQ. There are countless restaurants and food trucks in the area with some of the best southern food in America. The state capital is a wonderful place to see some impressive architecture and learn about some American and Texas history.   

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Jazz Fest is an annual event in New Orleans, Louisiana, that features local jazz music and some of the biggest names from around the country. It was started in 1970 as a non-profit organization that made the events happen. 

The foundation that runs the event contributes to many educational and charity organizations like music workshops for children and funding for local restaurants. This particular festival is a lot more focused on local music history and culture than most of the other festivals that we’ve mentioned.  

According to their director of programs, Scott Aiges, this festival generates over $300 million dollars a year for the local community, both through direct and indirect service. 

Music Lineup

Along with local talent, there will be big names headliners like the Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and even Stevie Nicks. And prepare your stomach because the food at this event is just as amazing as the performances themselves. 

All kinds of southern and Cajun food are served from local restaurants and food trucks. There will be gumbo, deep-fried gator, beignets, boiled crawfish, and much more. 

What To Do in New Orleans

New Orleans is brimming with American history and is home to some unique tours. Ever seen a swamp? Believe it or not, boat tours of these areas are very popular and highly regarded. 

As for nightlife, the area is packed with fun dive bars and clubs. Bourbon Street is a great place to start. If you’re a Disney fan, you may want to check out the Saint Louis Cathedral because it was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the iconic Disney castle. 

The Future of Partying

No matter what the future holds for us, there will always be things to look forward to. The celebration of music can be found across the country and all throughout the year, whether you’re seeing A$AP Rocky at a classic festival like Governors Ball in New York (which will be at Citi Field this year, rather than Randall’s Island) or you’re switching it up with Glass Animals at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee. Get out there and experience the different flavors of music and culture!

 

 

Sources: 

Insomniac | EDC 2021

Lollapalooza | Lollapalooza

ACL Festival | ACL Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | NoJazz Fest