When you think of iconic music festivals of decades past, many people think of Woodstock, which wasn’t the first of it’s kind but is certainly the most famous. It’s been 50+ years since Woodstock, and music festivals have changed dramatically in every way imaginable. From performances in the desert to festivals smack dab in the heart of a city, modern music festivals are now as popular—if not more—as concerts.
To many Millennials and Gen Z’ers, spending money on a trip to a music festival doesn’t seem like an exorbitant way to spend money to see a lineup of artists all in one place and share with your social followers that you were a part of a big event like Coachella or South By South West. Attendees value experiences in a way that generations before them didn’t, and music festivals aren’t just about music. The atmosphere, the friendships formed with strangers, the photo opportunities, the sense of history-making…it’s all part of the draw for tens of millions of music festival attendees in the United States alone.
Each year new music festivals creep to the top of the list, and with hundreds of options in the U.S. alone, it may seem overwhelming. But we’ve broken down the most popular music festivals in the United States so you can decide which one(s) will make your list this year!