Music festivals are concerts featuring several stages with a variety of artists and typically lasting over several days. Reminiscent of Woodstock, these destination events are among the most successful music concerts these days.
Nearly 700 music festivals are held across the U.S. each year. Most festivals attract a local audience but people travel from across the U.S. and internationally for some of the major festivals. The economic impact of Jazz Fest, for example, held annually in New Orleans, is estimated at $300 million, a figure that dwarfs other megafestivals in terms of economic impact for the host city.
Music Festivals Usa 2019
The following are annual music festivals that attract a national and international audience:
Austin City Limits Music Festival (www.aclfestival.com)
• The three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival, named after the legendary PBS concert series, has been held at Zilker Park in Austin since 2002. The ACL Music Festival features more than 130 acts performing on eight stages. Typically, over
70,000 fans attend the festival each day.
MUSIC FESTIVALS & CONCERT TOURS in USA Photo Gallery
Bonnaroo Music Festival (www.bonnaroo.com)
• Bonnaroo Music Festival, held at Great Stage Park on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee (near Nashville), has been the highest grossing music festival each year since 2003. First held in 2002, the annual 4-day music festival generates an estimated $20 million for the local economy. The event costs an estimated $20 million to stage; top artists are paid more than $1 million to perform. The estimated annual gross of $30 million includes approximately $18 million in ticket sales; general admission tickets are priced at $250. Among Bonnaroo’s other revenue sources are concessions, merchandise, onsite RV rentals, and paid showers. The festival typically features around 100 bands and attracts 80,000 fans.
Music Festivals Usa October
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (www.coachella.com)
• The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, commonly known as Coachella, has been held annually at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, since 1999. Coachella features rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic music as well as large sculptural art. Coachella draws an estimated 75,000 people each of its three days, or an estimated average aggregate of 225,000 attendees. Some 20,000 people camp in tents at a campground site adjacent to the venue grounds.
Essence Music Festival (www.essence.com/festival)
• Held annually since 1995, Essence Music Festival is a three-day celebration of R&B and gospel music with concerts and lounge parties held throughout New Orleans. It is the largest event celebrating African-American culture and music in the United States, and the largest event held in New Orleans. The festival also offers panel discussions focusing on health and family, career and finances, and education and technology. More than 500,000 festival-goers generate nearly $250 million in economic impact for New Orleans.
Music Festivals Usa August
• Held in Chicago since 1991, Lollapalooza features alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, and hip hop bands. C3 Presents, the event promoters, pays the City of Chicago $1 million annually for use of Grant Park, where Lollapalooza is held. More than 125 bands perform for 300,000 attendees. In 2010, Lollapalooza expanded to include a second annual event in Santiago, Chile, and has since expanded to several cities in Brazil.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (www.nojazzfest.com)
• The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, commonly referred to as Jazz Fest and held since 1970, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans. Total attendance is typically 650,000, with single-day attendance at up to 160,000. According to the sponsors, the music encompasses every style associated with the city and the state: jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, Cajun music, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk music, Latin, rock, rap music, country music, bluegrass, and everything in between. Jazz Fest is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course on the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. Performances are held at numerous unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs during the festival’s scheduled two-week period.
Music Festivals Usa Calendar
• Summerfest, referred to as The Big Gig, attracts between 800,000 and 1,000,000 people each year and is the world’s largest music festival according to the Guinness World Records. The 11-day event is held at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee. Headline acts perform at the Marcus Amphitheater. The first event was held in 1968.
Ultra Music Festival (www.ultramusicfestival.com)
• Ultra Music Festival, held since 2005, is the largest electronic music festival in the world and one of the highest grossing music festivals. The three-day event is held in Miami. More than 165,000 people from over 70 different nations attend Ultra.
Virgin Mobile FreeFest (www.virginmobilefestival.com)
• The Virgin Mobile Festival, launched in 2007, is a spinoff from the V Festivals held in the U.K. and Australia. Sponsored by Virgin Mobile, the festival is free. The festival rotates between venues in the U.S. and Canada. The Virgin Mobile youth homelessness initiative is the focus of The RE*Generation project, the pro-social effort by Virgin Mobile USA dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of at-risk and homeless youth. Since 2009, FreeFests have raised more than $800,000 and nearly 75,000 volunteers have pledged their time and effort to the cause.
Voodoo Experience (www.thevoodooexperience.com)
• The Voodoo Experience, commonly referred to as Voodoo, has hosted over 500 artists and has had a cumulative attendance of over one million during it 13-year tenure. Launched in 1999, the festival is held in New Orleans on Halloween weekend or the weekend before Halloween. The Voodoo Experience is known for its blending of high profile national artists from all genres and has been twice nominated for Pollstar’s Music Festival of the Year. The festival has been held at City Park’s Festival Grounds since 2014. Voodoo Music Experience attracts over 100,000.
Winter Music Conference (www.wintermusicconference.com)
Jop Grossing Music Festivals
The following were the top grossing music festivals in 2015 (source: Poolstar):
• Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Indio, CA; April):
• Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival (San Francisco, CA; August):
• Stagecoach California’s Country Music Festival Indio, CA; April):
• Electric Daisy Carnival (East Rutherford, NJ; May):
• Osheaga Festival (Montreal, QC, Canada; July-August):
• Pemberton Music Festival (Pemberton, BC, Canada; July):
• Tortuga Music Festival (Fort Lauderdale, FL; April):
• Hot 97 Summer Jam (East Rutherford, NJ; June):
According to Pollstar (www.pollstar.com), the North American concert business hit a record high in 2015 of $6.9 billion, an increase from $6.2 billion in 2014.
Gross sales for the Top 100 Tours in the U.S. and Canada were $3.12 billion, a 14% increase over 2014 and a record high. The total number of tickets sold by the Top 100 was up 10% to 42.08 million. The average ticket price was $74.25, up 4%.