Top 5 Music and Art Festivals (USA)

Posted by Jules Annen on

Whether you're 16 or 61 Music and Arts Festivals have something for everyone. And the majority of them seem to be amping up their game from tastier food options to swag to free hydration stations. For me, these type of events are essential to my well-being; they rejuvenate my mind, body and spirit. 

In this article, I roundup my 5 Favorite Music and Arts Festivals that are worth the time and money. 

#5 Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Various Cities Around the World
**I've been to EDC Puerto Rico, which seems to be the one and only time they'll host. For this article's purpose, I'm referencing EDC Las Vegas**

Established: 1991
Date: Mid-May
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Attendance 3-Days: 400,000
Average Temperature: 89/66
Social Consciousness: Rock the Vote
Genre: EDM -Calvin Harris, Hardwell, Alesso, Kaskade, Martin Garix, Zedd, Afrojack, Yellow Claw, Tiesto. 

Highlights: Too many to note! It's truly a carnival. It's like you're a cast member of Cirque Du Soleil. Bright colors, amazing light shows, over-the-top costumes. Pool parties, yoga tents, dance classes, roller disco.
Drawbacks: Since the venue is 15 miles away from the Strip, it can be a bit challenging to get to and from. {Read: traffic, not enough roads for 400,000 people decending upon Sin City.}

Average Cost of Ticket:
3-Day GA: $400 
3-Day GA Express: $600 {Express lines, better restrooms}
VIP 3-Day: $800
**You must be 18+ to enter and 21+ for alcohol/VIP. Photo ID required**

Average Cost of Lodging Near Venue per Night: 
Hotels: $150
Airbnb (shared): $100
Airbnb (private): $150
Camping 3-Day: $1100
RV Camping 3-Day: $500

Average Cost of Beverage:
Craft Beer: $10
Coffee: $4
Cocktail: $14

Food and Drink Budget:
$125 per day

Averge Ride Share:
One-Way to Strip: $25
One-Way to Strip Surge: $50

Average Helicopter Ride from Maverick's Terminal to Venue:
Round-Trip: $850

Average Cost for 3-Days (without flight) double occupancy: $2,200

 

#4 VooDoo Experience, New Orleans, Louisiana

Established: 1999
Date: Typically Halloween Weekend
Location: City Park
Attendance 3-Days: 180,000
Average Temperature: 76/59
Social Consciousness: Global Inheritance 
Genre: Mixed  Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Muse, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Tiësto, Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5, Neil Young, Duran Duran.

Highlights: Local jazz musicians, traditional creole food, House of Blues Lounge. And the city of New Orleans in and of itself. 
Drawbacks: Can be tough to find decently priced lodging, so book early. Parking is limited.

Average Cost of Ticket:
3-Day: $150-$200
1-Day: $100
VIP 3-Day: $1350
**Voodoo is all ages. Children 10 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Limit 2 children per ticketed adult**

Average Cost of Lodging Near Venue per Night: 
Hotels: $160
Airbnb (shared): $125
Airbnb (private): $200
No Camping at Venue

Average Cost of Beverage:
Craft Beer: $8
Wine: $9 (Glass), $29 (Carafe)
{Careful of carafes, they can easily go down like an extra large glass of wine.}
Cocktail: $10
Coffee: $4

Food and Drink Budget:
$100 per day

Averge Ride Share:
One-Way: $12 
One-Way Surge: $30

Trolly Ride:
One-Way: $1.25 exact change

Average Cost of Parking:
Limited. May need to reserve via Delgado College Lot.

Average Cost for 3-Days (without flight) double occupancy: $1,600

 

#3 Bottle Rock, Napa, California

Established: 2013
Date: Typically Memorial Day Weekend
Location: Napa Valley Expo
Attendance 3-Days: 120,000
Average Temperature: 78/48
Social Consciousness: 30/30 Project
Genre: ROCK- pop, alt, funk, punk, surf - Florence + The Machine, Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz.

Highlights:  Gourmet food and wine.  So much free swag!
The Culinary Arts Stage-one year I watched Martha Stewart teach Macklemore how to cook.
Drawbacks: If you aren't staying in downtown Napa, you'll have to get shuttled in. Parking can be challenging. There's only so many roads leading to town, so you may get stuck in traffic.

Average Cost of Ticket:
3-Day: $350-$400
1-Day: $150
SkyDeck 3-Day :$1,700
Platinum 3-Day: $4,400
**Children (6 and under) receive free entry with a ticketed adult. A ticketed adult can bring up to 2 children under 6 for free. All guests 7 and over must have a ticket/wristband.**

Average Cost of Lodging Near Venue per Night: 
Hotels: $200
Airbnb (shared): $150
Airbnb (private): $300
No Camping at Venue

Average Cost of Beverage:
Craft Beer: $10
Wine: $10 (Glass)
Cocktail: $12
Coffee: $4

Food and Drink Budget:
$150 per day

Averge Cost Bus Shuttle:
One-Way: $40-55 

Average Cost Ride Share:
There are not a lot available, so you may end up with surge rates: $40

Average Cost of Parking:
Daily: $35

Average Cost for 3-Days (without flight) double occupancy: $2,800

#2 Coachella Festival, Indio, California 
This is the festival I've attended the most. My first time was in 2002; it was a 2-day event with 32,000 attendees per day and Bjork headlined. They "broke even" that year. Fast forward and now Coachella grosses over $100 million with crowds of more than 99,000 per day. I saw holographic Tupac. I was there when NWA had their iconic reunion. I rocked out with Lemmy before he passed. I survived the sandstorm of 2013 during a Red Hot Chili Peppers show.

Established: 1999 *Celebrated it's 20th anniversary this year*
Date: April, 2 Weekends
Location: Empire Polo Club 
Attendance 3-Days: 300,000
Average Temperature: 91/63
Social Consciousness: 30/30 Project
Genre: Mixed-Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, The Strokes,Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Highlights: 78 acres of music, food, drink, creative activities, and art. A great festival to discover new music.
Drawbacks: It can get very, very hot. In 2012 it got up to 106 degrees.

Average Cost of Ticket:
3-Day: $450
VIP 3-Day: $1,100
**All ages welcome. Ages 6+ require a festival pass**

Average Cost of Lodging Near Venue per Night: 
Hotels: $250
Airbnb (shared): $150
Airbnb (private): $250
Camping at adjacent Campground for 3-Days: $125-$9,500

Average Cost of Beverage:
Craft Beer: $8
Wine: $7 
Cocktail: $10
Coffee: $3

Food and Drink Budget:
$125 per day

Averge Cost of Bus Shuttle:
For 3-Days: $80 

Average Cost of Ride Share:
One-Way: $40
One-Way Surge: $60

Average Cost of Parking:
Preferred Parking 3-Days: $150

Average Cost for 3-Days (without flight) double occupancy: $2,500

Festival Necessity:

SHISEIDO Ultimate Sun Protection Spray SPF 50+, (learn more here).

 

 

#1 Austin City Limits (ACL),  Austin, Texas
With the best mix of music, best food, best drinks and best host city, ACL is hands-down the best Music Festival I've attended. I started attending in 2016, when Lizzo was on a side stage with a modest crowd of 200. This year I couldn't even see her (Weekend 1) amongst the 30,000 people all clamoring to see her booty shake.

Established: 2002 
Date: October, 2 Weekends
Location: Zilker Park
Attendance 3-Days: 225,000
Average Temperature: 85/62
Social Consciousness: Park improvements across Austin
Genre: Mixed-LCD Soundsystem, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, Muse, Willie Nelson, Cardi B. 

Highlights: ACL lineups never disappoint. Last year I saw Paul McCartney and Metallica in the same weekend. And I can never get enough of the city of Austin. So  much culture and the arts. And the food, good Lord! I think I gain 5 pounds every time I visit. 
Drawbacks: Figure out your transporation in advance. It can take a while to secure a Ride Share and surges can get costly. 

Average Cost of Ticket:
3-Day GA: $275+
1-Day GA: $125+
VIP 3-Day: $1200+
Platinum Pass 3-Day: $3700+
**All ages. Children 10 years-old and younger will be admitted free of charge with a ticket-holding adult. Limit 2 children per ticketed adult**
There are 1-Day VIP and Platinum passes available.

Average Cost of Lodging Near Venue per Night: 
Hotels: $200
Airbnb (shared): $150
Airbnb (private): $200
No Camping at Venue

Average Cost of Beverage:
Craft Beer: $10
Wine: $9 
Cocktail: $12
Coffee: $4

Food and Drink Budget:
$100 per day

Average Cost of Ride Share:
One-Way: $20
One-Way Surge: $60

Average Cost of Pedi-Cab:
Per Person: $20

Average Cost of Bike Rental:
You may rent a bicycle from B-cycle, which has 50 stations around the downtown area.  
$20 + tax. 72-HR access to system includes unlimited 60 minute trips. $4 + tax for any ride lasting longer than 60 minutes.

Average Cost of Shuttle:

The festival offers a free shuttle service to and from the festival from the Republic Square located at 4th and Guadalupe. The shuttles run from 10:30am-11pm every day of the festival.

Average Cost of Parking:
Daily: $30

Average Cost for 3-Days (without flight) double occupancy: $1,900

Photos Courtesy of:
lasvegas.electricdaisy.com
neworleans.com
thewrap.com
abc7ny.com
www.austin360.com


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