Best Festivals in North America You Haven’t Heard Of (Yet!)

best new music festival in us


With so many new festivals sprouting up seemingly on the daily, how can one keep up? Sure, there’s the longstanding staples: Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Coachella, Lollapalooza…etc.

But if you’re seeking to find something new, here’s your guide to some of the best new fests in the U.S. and surrounding areas, or just a few that you may not be familiar with yet.

Backwoods Music Festival (2018)

Did you hear that Backwoods will be moving from Oklahoma to the gorgeous Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas in 2018? We’re downright stoked. This venue used to hold Wakarusa, and is the perfect place for Backwoods to expand in a beautiful, homegrown atmosphere. The lineup announcement is obviously still far away, but with past acts including Big Gigantic, Marian Hill, Porter Robinson, and Lettuce, you can count on us getting those blind pre-sale tickets on lock.

2018 Dates and Location: April 20-22 on Mulberry Mountain, Ozark, Arkansas
Website: http://backwoodsmusicfestival.com/
Lineup: TBA

UpNorth Music + Arts Festival

This will only be UpNorth’s second year running, but this collaborative, community-grown festival has already staked its claim as one of the best festivals in the Midwest. It seeks to set itself apart through creating an experience brimming with “optimism, acceptance, and pure bliss,” and takes place on a truly beautiful property in northwest Michigan. Last year’s lineup featured electronic acts like Mija, Manic Science, Liquid Stranger, and Space Jesus, and we’re excited to see what this team brings for round two.

2017 Dates and Location: August 18-20 in Copemish, Michigan
Website: https://www.upnorthfest.com/
Lineup: Coming VERY soon!

Spectrum Music + Arts Festival

Ever wanted to venture to Alaska? Spectrum is the perfect opportunity. This EDM music and arts festival brings the fest life to an area that is pretty quiet the rest of the year, focusing on creating a transformative experience by bringing good people together. The full lineup will be released in May and will feature some amazing local acts you may not have discovered on your own. The cherry on top? Just look at how beautiful Willow, AK is.

2018 Dates and Location: July 14-16 in Willow, Alaska
Website: https://www.spectrumfestivalalaska.com/
Lineup: TBA in May

Imagine Music Festival

Ever since the infamous TomorrowWorld debacle of 2015, Atlanta — and the South as a whole — was in desperate need of a killer new EDM festival to take the crown, and Imagine Festival has done the city more than right for the past two years. The festival features an aquatic wonderland theme, featuring mermaids, circus performers, art installations, and some of the best production to be found at any festival in the world.

2017 Dates and Location: September 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia
Website: http://www.imaginefestival.com/
Lineup: Above & Beyond, Deadmau5, Tiesto, Datsik, Flux Pavilion, Pretty Lights Live, Jai Wolf, The Floozies, Minnesota, OTT, Bleep Bloop…..and that’s not even everyone on their first round release.

Down to Earth Music Festival

How cool would it be to go the first rendition of a festival? Down to Earth is a new festival coming to New York in fall 2017. Four-day passes start at just $110, which is a crazy deal compared to the $300-$400 you shell out for most four-day fests. What makes this festival special? This festival seeks to get back to the root of why music festivals were great in the first place. Down to Earth’s team says it best:

“Concept behind the festival is leaving behind materialism, pretentiousness and harmful attitude, while kicking back and listening to like-minded music in a laid back environment. No VIP, no preferred treatment; a place where everyone can feel equal to one another, and share untroubled time together.”

2017 Dates and Location: August 18-21 in Saugerties, New York
Website: http://dtemusicfestival.com/
Lineup: Infected Mushroom, Shpongle, Noisia, Liquid Stranger, Koan Sound, Psymbionic, and more

down to earth music festival

Broccoli City Festival

Though this fest’s music programming is only one day, for its fifth rendition the producers are hosting Broccoli City Week, featuring a 5K, smart city incubator conference, and volunteer action events. This festival is truly unique in that it just include that it wants to create change in its mission statement — it’s actually activating thousands of youth to do so in a meaningful way. You can even earn a free ticket by volunteering at enough “impact events,” then celebrate with a lineup of rap and R&B’s next stars.

2017 Dates and Location: May 6 in Washington, D.C.
Website: https://www.bcfestival.com/
Lineup: Solange, Rae Sremmurd, 21 Savage, AlunaGeorge, Lil Yachty, Smino, Nick Grant, Chaz French, and more

Bonanza Campout

Bonanza seems almost too good to be true, but we’re so, so glad it is. This festival is quickly garnering buzz for its eclectic, stacked lineup; beautiful location near Salt Lake City, complete with options to sleep in a cabin; and small community, with a capacity of only 7,500. Great music, fresh mountain air, and the chance to see some of your favorite acts in a small crowd? We’re in.

2017 Dates and Location: June 23-25 in Heber, Utah
Website: http://bonanzacampout.com/
Lineup: Odesza, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Duke Dumont, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, Tokimonsta, and more

Exodus Festival

Only the most serious of partiers need apply. Bridging the gap between the best of both worlds Las Vegas has to offer — pool parties and nightclubs — Exodus gives you access to 10 of the strip’s best parties with one wristband. Tickets are less than $100 for women ($200 for men) and they also offer discounts on corresponding hotel and travel packages, making this one of the most affordable ways to club and catch top acts in Vegas this spring.

2017 Dates and Location: May 18-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Website: http://exoduslasvegas.com/
Lineup: Marshmello, Tiesto, Tritonal, Eric Prydz, Dash Berlin, Diplo, David Guetta, and more

Emissions Festival – West Coast Bass Culture

This festival has actually been around for quite some time — nine years to be exact — but it’s a well-kept secret unless you live in California. This festival emits a Burning Man-like feeling, thanks to the fact that it’s put on by theme camp Camp Questionmark, and invites attendees to creatively express themselves and enjoy the bass music, nature, and being together. This year’s lineup should be out soon, but to give you a taste of what they offer, last year’s lineup included Minnesota, G. Jones, Gravez, CloZee, and Joker.

2017 Dates and Location: May 19-22 in Belden Town, California
Website: https://emissionsfestival.com/
Lineup: TBA

WayHome Music & Arts Festival

We love us a well-rounded festival lineup and WayHome has one of the best, if not THE best, overall lineups this year. It’s put on by the same companies that put on Bonnaroo and Forecastle, and the grounds, acts, and atmosphere have similar friendly, laidback vibes. Check out the short film below, which gives you a comprehensive look into this festival, going into its third year.

2017 Dates and Location: July 28-30 in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada
Website: http://wayhome.com/
Lineup: Frank Ocean, Flume, Justice, Solange, Schoolboy Q, Porter Robinson, Marshmello, Banks, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinares, Louis the Child, Jazz Cartier, Honne, Mura Masa, and more

Rolling Loud

We’re calling it now — Rolling Loud 2017 has the best hip hop lineup of all time, and likely will for at least the next five years. Though Rolling Loud is in its third year, it seemed to have appeared from thin air this year with the release of its killer lineup, going viral in a matter of minutes. This fest will hold 40,000 people in Bayfront Park, the same venue Ultra Music Festival takes place in. The only downfall of this festival? Choosing between overlapping sets is gonna hurt.

2017 Dates and Location: May 5-7 in Miami, Florida
Website: http://www.rollingloud.com/
Lineup: Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Mac Miller, Kevin Gates, Migos, 21 Savage, Run the Jewels, Action Bronson, Curren$y, and more

Stay tuned for an international edition of this blog coming soon!

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