We at Ticket Rescue have attended our fair share of festivals. And now, we’ve gathered our knowledge into one backstage pass on the top 15 music festivals in the United States for 2024 that we’ve deemed must-attend festivals.  Please remember that our top-15 list is entirely subjective and you’re not allowed to get mad at us for it. We tried to give y’all a good mix of popular and fringe, big and small, and both coasts (plus all the in-between). There’s tons of other incredible festivals out there beyond these fifteen — feel free to tell us more about why your favorites should’ve made the list instead in the comments.

Festival #1: Coachella

Scenic picture of Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California featuring large crowds and art installations.

Okay, okay, don’t hate us…but yes, Coachella is number one. A jack of all trades, Coachella Valley Music Festival has a little bit of something for everyone. The art is engaging, the artists are varied, and it’s a festival where you can take it precisely as seriously as you want. It’s a great first festival given that it sets a solid expectation point for the festival experience as a whole. Known for its unparalleled blend of music and arts, this festival boasts an impressive lineup with headlining acts and notable performers that make the desert landscape come alive. Indie gems to mainstream powerhouses, Coachella’s allure extends beyond the music, with unique features and attractions transforming it into a cultural phenomenon. Simply put, Coachella is set apart as an unmissable experience.

Festival #2: Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music Festival arch entryway with festival goers passing in front.

Next on our list is the historic Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, the four-day fest of Manchester, Tennessee with roots dating back to the early 2000s — making it a cornerstone of festival culture. Held on a beautiful 700-acre farm, the 2015 attendance of 80,000+ gathered across sprawling campgrounds. Bonnaroo is known for weaving a rich tapestry of music history and significance into a vibrant community atmosphere and scenic location. Its lineup tends to offer notably diverse musical acts, and this June’s headliners include Pretty Lights, Fisher, Post Malone, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fred Again… Want to read more about the festival creating a magical world of friendship*? Check out this article from NYS Music about Bonnaroo’s 20 year anniversary
*Their words, not ours.

Festival #3: Lollapalooza

Budlight Seltzer sponsored stage of Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Rounding out our top 3 is the ever-vibrant Lollapalooza, celebrated for its thematic focus and eclectic lineup. Lollapalooza is no small festival, with nearly 400,000 guests gathering together in Chicago’s Grant Park every August. The festival presents a thematic thread that ties together its diverse array of artists and genres, with big names in 2024 including SZA, Blink-182, The Killers, Hozier, Skrillex, Metro Boomin, and Tyler, the Creator. From rock legends to emerging talents, Lollapalooza showcases the breadth of the music landscape. Special events and collaborations add an extra layer of excitement, making each Lollapalooza edition a unique spectacle.

Festival #4: Austin City Limits (ACL)

Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas (2012).

The Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) has carved a niche for itself with a reputation for pushing creative boundaries. The venue itself is an integral part of the experience, offering not only a fantastic sonic backdrop but also top-notch amenities (glam stations, good brand sponsors, giveaway opportunities, etc.) for festival-goers. The smaller crowd of 75,000 or so festivalgoers and lower frequency of EDM artists makes Austin City Limits a great intro festival for your friends who think they won’t like festivals. The 2024 lineup hasn’t been announced just yet, but you can sign up for the music festival’s text notifications to hear about it first. And when you do, keep an eye out for emerging artists — ACL has a pretty good cultural radar.

Festival #5: Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)

Electric Daisy Carnival group crowd photo featuring bright, EDM-style rave outfits.

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) electrifies our list at number five. While its acronym is often mistaken for “electronic dance carnival,” EDC is a journey through house, techno, dubstep, and drum and bass. From pulsating beats to pyrotechnics, the lineup reflects a vibrant spectrum of electronic dance music and attracts over 170,000 attendees. Audience engagement is a key highlight, with interactive sensory elements transforming the festival into a living, breathing entity that responds to the energy of its attendees. This year, EDC’s attendees can look forward to artists like Tiësto, David Guetta, Allison Wonderland, John Summit, and Deadmau5.

Festival #6: Outside Lands

San Francisco's Outside Lands festival main stage from 2022.

One word to describe the world of Ouside Lands: extravagant. Held in NorCal’s Golden Gate Park, this festival is highly renowned for its community spirit and cultural immersion. Notable headliners and rising stars share the stage to create a 100+ artist lineup that near-always has something for everyone. Outside Lands embraces its surroundings and creates a haven for all the wonderful art, food, and drinks that San Francisco has to offer. It’s the perfect festival for those less into festivals, as the late August weather of SF tends to pull in lower temps and Karl the Fog. Plus, there’s so much to explore outside of Golden Gate Park —all in walking distance— that Outside Lands proves to be the perfect core of an extended weekend getaway.

Festival #7: Governors Ball

Aerial photo of New York's Governors Ball on Randall Island.

Held in Randall’s Island of New York City, Governors Ball Music Festival claims the seventh spot on our list, making waves in the local music scene. Its impact goes beyond the festival grounds, shaping the musical landscape of the region by uniting genres that otherwise wouldn’t share a stage in New York. The signature scenic backdrop of the Governors Ball provides a distinctive setting for artists taking the stage this July such as 21 Savage, Peso Pluma, Labrinth, and Sabrina Carpenter. For those looking to maximize their festival adventure (especially with a huge group of friends who couldn’t share a Spotify playlist if they tried), Governors Ball is the perfect setting.

Festival #8: Pitchfork Music Festival

Crowd shot of Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park.

Pitchfork Music Festival comes in at number eight. It’s bold of us to throw another Chicago festival in the top ten, but we couldn’t get past Pitchfork’s craft, post, and vinyl record fairs — which feature the country’s best artists showcasing and selling prints and products in a vibrant marketplace between sets. In addition, Pitchfork has put ecofriendliness first at this music festival for over a decade with recycling incentives, waste reduction programs, and public transportation initiatives. The lineup is a vibrant blend of eclectic genres for your more obscure pals, including artists like 100 gecs, Alanis Morissette, and Black Pumas. All in all, this smaller 60,000 person festival offers a more alternative vibe for both performers and crowd in the heart of Chicago.

Festival #9: Firefly Music Festival

Jake Frommer from MadHouse Present's photo of Firefly Music Festival's hammock forrest.
After taking a brief pause in 2023 following their 10-year anniversary, Firefly Music Festival is coming back in 2024. It’s for that reason it’s on our list, not just as a musical event but as a cultural campground. Firefly Festival weaves a narrative that extends beyond the musical notes in the heart of Dover, Delaware — a place not typically known for its enchanting campgrounds. The festival offers a trove of activities and attractions beyond the stages, creating a multi-dimensional experience for attendees. Get a glimpse into the magic that unfolds at Firefly and making it a unique and cherished cultural event on the festival circuit — and see where the festival gets its mystical bug namesake.

Festival #10: Hangout Music Festival

Hangout Music Festival's SURF stage — including a crowd surfer.

Hangout Music Festival claims the tenth spot with unique features that set it apart in the festival landscape. It’s beachy, it’s chaotic, it’s held on the beaches of the Gulf Shores in Alabama. The lineup has heavy hitters, with 2024 bringing in Cage the Elephant, Zach Bryan, Lana del Rey, ODESZA, and The Chainsmokers. Accompanying them are small powerhouse artists from several genres, like Dominic Fike, Reneé Rapp, Nle Choppa, Subtronics, All Time Low, and Koe Wetzel. This kaleidoscope of music held in sunny Orange Beach has higher vibrations and a more collegiate atmosphere, ideal for a younger festival goer.

Festivals 11–15: Honorable Mentions

Moonrise Music Festival, as presented by Insomniac.

As we said at the beginning, there’s a lot of music festivals out there — and we don’t want you to forget about these ones. Some additional musical delights include:

 

…and so many more that our list might necessitate a part two. Did we miss your favorite? Think Coachella shouldn’t have been number one? Drop a comment below to let us know which festivals deserve to be must-attends for new festival goers.

Have to Miss a Festival? Ticket Rescue Buys Tickets Instantly

From the iconic stages of Coachella to the eco-conscious beats of Pitchfork Music Festival, every music festival offers a unique take on the live arts experience. At Ticket Rescue, we know that scoring a festival pass to your favorite music festival feels just as great as being there — which is why having to sell your music festival ticket can be such a heartbreaking headache.

As you plan your 2024 festival calendar, don’t be afraid to score tickets to every festival you’re even considering; Ticket Rescue will buy any festival passes you need to sell, instantly. We offer you our best price and if you accept, you’ll have direct payment issued to your PayPal account within minutes. Learn more by reading about how our ticket buying process works, or read more about the team of festival lovers behind the Ticket Rescue website.

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