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Top 10 Festivals for Pop Music Fans


Music festivals are one of the biggest bargains in live music for pop music fans.  You could have the opportunity to see 100 or more different artists over two, three or more days for one flat price.  This means you will get to see favorites as well as a wide range of artists you may not otherwise pay to see in concert.  These are all great opportunities for pop music fans.  For more festivals, check out the Classic Rock Music Festival Guide.

Coachella - April 11-13 and April 18-20, 2014

Coachella Lineup 2014
Courtesy Coachella

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a two weekend annual music festival held in Indio, California. The festival first took place in 1999, was shut down for 2000, and was given a new lease on life in 2001. Since that point the event has grown in both size and acclaim currently reigning as the king of US music festivals. The festival originally focused on alternative acts, but it has become known for an eclectic lineup and frequent featuring of major band reunions.

Top artists for 2014:

Coachella History

Coachella Official Site

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage - April 25-27 and May 1-4, 2014

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2014
Courtesy New Orleans Jazz and Heritage

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is sometimes simply referred to as Jazz Fest.  The event celebrates arts, crafts, and food in addition to music.  The festival began in 1970 and in the early years focused specifically on local music artists.  George Wein, producer of the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival, was hired to produce the initial festival.  There are 12 music stages and tents along with two additional food stages.

Top Artists for 2014:

New Orleans jazz and Heritage Festival Official Site

Sasquatch! - May 23-25, 2014

Sasquatch! 2014 Lineup
Courtesy Sasquatch!

The Sasquatch! Music Festival takes place over Memorial Day weekend in the Gorge Amphitheatre at George, Washington.  The event first took place in 2002.  Original plans were to expand Sasquatch! to two weekends for 2014, but Independence Day weekend plans have been cancelled. The music at Sasquatch! tends to lean in an alternative direction

Top Artists for 2014:

  • Foster the People
  • Haim
  • M.I.A.
  • The National
  • OutKast

Sasquatch! Festival Official Site

Governor's Ball - June 6-8, 2014

Governor's Ball Lineup 2014
Courtesy Governor's Ball

Governor's Ball was launched in 2011.  It is a three day festival that takes place on Randall's Island in New York City.  Heavy rains made the 2013 event difficult.  Governor's Ball has quickly grown to be one of the country's top music festivals.

Top Artists for 2014:

Governor's Ball Official Site

Warped Tour - June 11 - August 3, 2014

Warped Tour 2014
Courtesy Vans Warped Tour

Warped Tour is a touring festival setting up shop often in parking lots or fields to entertain crowds ranging from 10,000 to 30,000. Sponsored by skateboard shoe manufacturer Vans, the Warped Tour has given national exposure for a wide range of rising pop punk, emo, and hardcore bands. The tour has operated each year since 1994 and most concerts take place in June, July, and August. A sister tour, A Taste of Chaos, was launched in 2004 and operated in the winter through 2010. Among the Warped Tour alumni are Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, and My Chemical Romance.

Top Artists for 2014:

  • All Time Low
  • Breathe Carolina
  • Mayday Parade
  • Of Mice and Men
  • We the Kings

Top 5 Warped Tour 2012 Discoveries

Warped Tour Official Site

Bonnaroo - June 12-15, 2014

Bonnaroo 2014
Courtesy Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a 4 day event held 60 miles outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It began in 2002 and has quickly grown to be one of the country's premier festivals. Traditionally the focus has been jam bands with a fair sprinkling of bluegrass, folk, alternative rock and pop. In recent years the lineup has branched out a bit and now also includes hip hop and R&B artists as key elements of the festival.

Top Artists for 2014:

Bonnaroo History

Bonnaroo Official Site

Summerfest - June 25-29 and July 1-6, 2014

Summerfest 2014
Courtesy Summerfest

Summerfest is also known by the nickname "The Big Gig." The event runs for 11 days along the Milwaukee, Wisconsin lakefront and attracts approximately 1,000,000 people. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Summerfest as the world's biggest music festival. The event had its beginnings in 1968 and has been held in the same location each year since 1970. Performances take place on 11 different stages and include over 700 bands. Summerfest takes place every year in late June and early July. This year Summerfest will be closed on June 30, 2011 and reopen the following day.

Top Artists for 2014:

Summerfest History

Summerfest Official Site

Lollapalooza - August 1-3, 2014

Lollapalooza 2014 Lineup
Courtesy Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza began as a touring festival, much like Warped Tour. Organized in 1991 by Perry Farrell, lead singer for Jane's Addiction, the first Lollapalooza leaned to alternative music but deliberately included a wide range of musical styles. The festival tour folded in 1997, but returned in 2003 with moderate success. It rose again in 2005 as a 2 day event on the Chicago lakefront. The festival was successful enough to expand to 3 days in 2006 and signed a 5-year contract with Chicago beginning in 2007. Lollapalooza celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011.

Top Artists for 2014:

Top 10 Pop Artists at Lollapalooza 2013

Lollapalooza Official Site

Made In America - August 30-31, 2014

Made In America Music Festival
Courtesy Made In America Music Festival

The Budweiser Made In America festival launched in 2012. It was founded by rapper Jay-Z as an effort to mix music and culture.  The first two years the event was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  For 2014 the festival will be held simultaneously in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, California.

Artists TBA

Made In America Official Site

Austin City Limits - October 3-5 and October 10-12, 2014

Austin City Limits Festival
Courtesy Austin City Limits

An outgrowth of the venerated PBS television program Austin City Limits, the Austin City Limits Festival first began in 2002, and, in a very short period of time, has become one of the country's top annual music events. Like its namesake show, the festival embraces a wide range of musical styles with the primary focus being rock. The 2010 event will take place over 3 days from September 16-18, 2011.

Top Artists for 2014:

Austin City Limits Official Site

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