There are so many festivals in the U.S., it gets hard to keep track of them all. If you’re curious about a popular event and aren’t sure what to expect, here is a little rundown of some of the most popular raves and festivals in the U.S.!
Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas
Electric Daisy Carnival held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway every summer is the largest and most popular rendition of all the Electric Daisy Carnivals. The festival, hosted by Insomniac Events and Live Nation, boasted more than 400,000 attendees over 3 nights and drew in big name DJs from around the world. At EDC, all EDM genres get their own special time to shine and allows for all types to EDM fans to rage together under the electric sky. Insomniac spares no expense on this all-night festival; the production is always top notch, each year surpassing the last with awe inspiring stages, art installations, fireworks, performers, and that Vegas party atmosphere we love oh-so much. In Vegas, the party never stops and EDC fits right in with doors opening in the early evening and music bumping til the sun comes up. Insomniac is known for referring to their attendees as “headliners” and encouraging everyone to dress up in all kinds of unique, elaborate costumes. EDC outfits are a spectacle all their own. Ravers prep their EDC clothing and plan their EDC outfit ideas for months before the event. Their use of the term “headliners” implies the artists are there to supplement the party atmosphere, but are not the main focus of the event. To Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac, it is important their “headliners” are able to fully immerse themselves in the festival experience and express themselves through music, dance, and costume.
This infamous Indio Valley music and arts festival held annually each April over two weekends is known not only for its amazing line up of artists, but has also become a hub for celebrities, fashion bloggers, and stylists. It’s a festival you can’t miss if you’re in Southern California. Coachella is known for its festival fashion game and attendees plan their festival outfits way in advance. Some even take their Coachella outfits to the next level and plan out daytime and nighttime festival wear. Though it’s not just an EDM festival, its line up of artists definitely showcases some of the best the EDM scene has to offer and the list of dance music artists on the line up keeps on growing year after year. In 2015, Kaskade drew the largest main stage crowd in the festival’s history. With the variety of music genres, people, and the awesome camping experience, there’s something for everyone! Coachella’s diversity, good vibes, and amazing art installations make it one of the most talked about festivals in the nation.
Ultra Music Festival (UMF)
Miami is known for its party scene and Ultra Music Festival Miami does not disappoint. The outdoor event, held annually at Bayfront Park in mid March during Miami Music Week is the kick off of festival season and draws in people from across the globe. It started as a one day festival in 1999-2006, but grew to a 2 day festival in 2007 and quickly became the 3 day rager it is today in 2011. The festival draws approximately 160,000 over the weekend and in 2013 spanned 2 weekends. UMF Miami is the ultimate spring break festival for college coeds. Party goers here go hard and don’t skimp on their Ultra Music Festival outfits! Attendees are seen in everything from full rave attire, fluffies and all to more casual ensembles of bikini tops and denim shorts. Other renditions of Ultra are held in many different countries including Korea, Japan, Spain, Brazil, and South Africa to name a few.
Miami Music Week
Every year the city of Miami parties just a bit harder for six days straight during Miami Music Week. Dance music enthusiasts from around the world migrate to the city to party and see some of the world’s best DJs. With a staggering list of events each night, attendees have no trouble filling their itinerary and hopping from venue to venue all day and all night. Miami Music Week ends with a bang with Ultra Music Festival rounding out the long list of events.
Every Labor Day Weekend, New York City is treated to Electric Zoo, a 3 day festival held at Randall’s Island. The outdoor festival features a wide range of dance music artists both well known and underground. In years past, unfortunate weather conditions have forced promoters to cancel day 3 of the festival, but the festival still draws a huge crowd each year and brings some of the best EDM has to offer to NYC each year. One of our favorite aspects of Ezoo is the outfits! EZoo outfits are some of the wildest ensembles featuring any creature you can think of. Electric Zoo fashion lives up to the name of the festival so get your animal costumes out and get ready for 3 days of amazing music at EZoo.
Take a trip to in Rothbury, Michigan for 4 days of music and fun. At this unique festival you spend the weekend in “Sherwood Forest”. Channel your hippy side and get dressed in the your grooviest Electric Forest outfit for this festival. Electric Forest costumes generally consist of more comfortable and breathable clothes perfect for frolicking through the trees. The forest is truly a magical place to host a festival and at sunset each night, the forest is illuminated with lights and transforms into a beautiful escape. There’s always something to do at E Forest. When you’re not raging at the stages, there are tons of art installations to explore, hammocks to lounge in during the day, and even a Silent Disco. One of the stages also hosted a yoga workshop each morning. Festival attendees bring all the good vibes and with amazing music, great amenities, and tons of things to do during the day, E Forest has definitely earned its spot as one of the most popular festivals in the nation.
Lollapalooza is Chicago’s biggest festival of the season. The 4 day multi genre festival draws in more than 160,000 people and features one of the most diverse line ups with over 170 musical performances. The festival was started in 1991 and is held at Chicago’s Grant Park on 115 acres between Downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. It features a variety of delicious food vendors and arts, crafts and apparel vendors. Lollapalooza also helps promote non profit organizations by gathering Chicago area non profits so attendee can engage and learn more about great causes within the community.
This annual 4 day music festival hosted by Superfly Presents is one of the biggest festivals in the midwest. Though it’s largely influenced by art rock concerts, dance music has made its way onto Bonnaroo’s line up in recent years. The multi genre festival is held at Great Stage Park on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee and hosts over 189 bands throughout the weekend including a few comedians to add the their already diverse line up. What makes Bonnaroo unique is the variety of activities throughout the weekend. Not only can attendees listen to great music, enjoy amazing art and food, and be a part of a sustainable festival, they can also participate in Roo Run, a 5K race and costume party.
HARDfest is a national music festival, music cruise “Holy Ship!”, and concert brand headed by Gary Richards and Live Nation. The brand is best known for its HARD Summer tour across the states and HARD Day of the Dead event most recently held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Attendees at HARD Music Festival definitely amp up the edge in their HARD Summer outfits! Leave your kandi and fluffies at home for this event and prepare to spend the day raging at each of the impressively curated stages. The festival boasts some of the best line ups featuring a variety of electronic acts, hip hop acts, and emerging artists. In 2015, headliners Jack U brought special guests AlunaGeorge, Fly Boi Keno, Justin Bieber and 2NE1’s CL. Jack Black even made an appearance during Die Antwoord’s set. With such perfectly curated, diverse line ups, it’s a festival that keeps you coming back for more despite the lack of arts and vendors other festivals may have.
What sets Holy Ship! apart from other festivals is that it’s held at a unique kind of venue - a 4,000 capacity cruise ship which takes partiers on a 4-day, 3-night escape from the Port of Miami to the Bahamas. The event is held twice a year sailing once in January and then again in February. Attendees are treated to non stop music on the way to the Bahamas where they dock on a private island for a full line up of DJs including a surprise act flown in by helicopter. After a full day of partying on the island, attendees head back on the ship where they party the whole way home. It’s definitely a more intimate and sought after event as there is only room for a 4,000 people, a small fraction of what most festivals allow. Here, DJs are known to party with attendees too as there’s no easy way for them to leave the venue after their sets. Holy Ship! Is definitely a once in a lifetime experience every dance music lover should have at least once.
The Governors Ball
This New York City music festival features a variety of genres including rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie, americana, folk, and more. The 3 day festival also takes place on Randall’s Island and hosts an array of of top food and drink vendors and even features many activities including a Silent Disco, ping pong, photo booths, and lawn games. Though it is only a few years old, the festival has grown in popularity and is known for bringing some of the top names in music. Since it’s inaugural year in 2011, Governor’s Ball has has been going strong.
Held at the site of the infamous 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York, Mysteryland, is the longest running electronic music, culture, and art festival. Mysteryland focuses on culture, art, talent, creativity, and sustainability. The 3 day festival draws some of the biggest names in EDM and is limited to those 19 and over, and only offers camping at “Holy Ground” for those who are 21 and over. For those who are under 21, but still want to camp there are camping spots available at Lander’s River.
Detroit’s Movement Festival is held over Memorial Day Weekend annually at Hart Plaza. Paxahau consistently delivers more than 100 amazing music acts that make the festival a must if you’re in the Detroit area. What makes Movement Festival so special? Detroit is seen as the birthplace of techno and the festival continually contributes to the thriving music scene. What better place to check out some of the best dance music has to offer on Movement’s 5+ stages?
Austin City Limits
This multi-genre Texas festival does it big with up to 8 stages and an attendance of approximately 450,000 over 2 consecutive weekends. In addition to stellar music, the festival also offers some of the best local food and drinks, an art market, Austin Kidde Limits - a safe area for kids and families, and ACL Cares which brings charitable organizations and causes to the festival. The festival was started in 2002 and has been a major success since its first year.
Held at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheatre, Paradiso is the Washington’s most anticipated festival of the summer. The dance music festival draws 25,000 people over 2 days and is known as the largest EDM event staged in the Pacific Northwest. The Gorge hosts 3 stages and a variety of amusement park rides The festival also offers camping adjacent to the amphitheatre. Festival goers dress in Paradiso outfits as lively and colorful as the event itself. Paradiso clothing includes everything from casual tees and crop tops to ravey fluffies and wrap around tops. Paradiso is a relatively new festival at only in it’s fifth year, but is definitely one not to miss.
Each summer, Seattle is treated to 5 days and nights of electronic music talent with Decibel. Decibel, an electronic music and digital arts festival, was started in 2004 by Sean Horton. This festival sets itself apart from most other electronic events as it not only offers an array of live electronic music performances, but also offers commissioned work, film screenings, and a professional section featuring panels, lectures and workshops. The festival is held at various venues around Since 2004, Decibel has brought in over 750 artists and attracts approximately 30,000 attendees annually.
Beyond Wonderland is an Insomniac festival that is held in March at the San Manuel Amphitheater and is often the explosive start to festival season on the West Coast. Beyond boasts a magical and theatrical feel that encourages its attendees to take a trip down the rabbit hole and let out the whimsical characters that we all seek to be. Insomniac treasures its devoted family, or "headliners" as founder Pasquale Rotella prefers, and relies on them to create the artistic energy that is found inside the venue, as well as in the campgrounds. At Beyond, only half the experience is attending the event. Arts and crafts, yoga, food trucks, showers, and the silent disco all can be found inside of the beautifully crafted, elaborately decorated campgrounds. Festival attendees go all out and come dressed in their best Beyond Wonderland outfits. As the theme of the festival is Wonderland, many come in Beyond Wonderland costumes featuring all of the classic Wonderland characters. Beyond perfectly blends the festival experience with the exciting and communal camping adventure.
Euphoria is held at the Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas. The venue is spacious with two 20 acre pastures, separated by Carson Creek in the banks of the Colorado River. The venue sets the mood for the festival as a whole; Euphoria hosts a relaxed, good vibes feel that brings all of its attendees closer to nature and the beauty of the physical world around them. As a festival that is increasingly gaining popularity, Euphoria packs a bigger punch year after year in terms of lineup and overall festival experience. Each year the growing festival aims to bring better stage designs and improved visuals to ensure that attendees keep coming back for more. Along with an unforgettable musical experience, festival goers also have morning yoga, meditation, and day concessions to return to in the campgrounds. Euphoria brings out the free-spirited, grounded individuals that we all have inside of us.
Lights All Night
Lights All Night is a New Year’s Eve festival that is held in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Market Hall. In true Texas form, Lights All Night aims for big production, an explosive lineup, and boisterously creative attendees. The goal is to ring in the new year with a bang, and Lights All Night certainly exceeds that goal every year; there is certainly no shortage when it comes to lights, lasers, sound, and stage design. One thing Lights All Night recognizes is that the festival is only as good as the people who attend. They encourage you to be exactly who you want to be and where whatever you want to wear, as long as you're prepared to dance all night and have a blast doing it.
Imagine Music Festival
Imagine Festival is held in Atlanta, Georgia, and made its debut in 2014. Despite all of the competition in the EDM festival business, Imagine was a huge success and continues to thrive. Imagine creates an ethos that isn't seen anywhere else: an aquatic fairytale that allows all attendees to be the underwater creatures they truly want to be. Priding itself on costumes and theatrical experience, Imagine creates a colorful canvas for its attendees to paint their energy and creativity all throughout the festival. Offering a diverse lineup from mainstage acts to the underground, Imagine turns no festival goer away.
Nocturnal Wonderland, another Insomniac festival, is held at the San Manuel Amphitheater on Labor Day weekend each year. What sets Nocturnal apart from Beyond is simple: size. Nocturnal is a three day festival that boasts four large stage designs and massive production, as well as a powerful lineup featuring an array of artists and genres. Nocturnal is Insomniac's longest running festival, which means the festival continues to grow in monstrous ways year after year. Throughout the venue, "mystical creatures" and theatrical performers can be found parading around the fantastical forest that San Manuel becomes for the weekend. Not only are the performers dressed to the nines in costume, attendees channel their creativity and make some of the most elaborate Nocturnal Wonderland outfits each year. Many Nocturnal Wonderland outfits feature the magical characters from Alice in Wonderland. After a wonderful night of dancing, headliners return to the magical campgrounds to decompress at the silent disco, and wake to morning yoga and arts and crafts. For over 20 years, Nocturnal Wonderland has been a safe haven for all of us mythical beings to dance home to.
Global Dance Festival
Global Dance Festival is a Relentless Beats festival that is held in Chandler, Arizona and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. A widely popular festival, Global Dance always hosts a stacked lineup that makes tickets go fast each year; the festival always books the biggest names in EDM, as well as the hottest up-and-comers. With immense stage designs and unforgettable production, Global Dance is one you don't want to miss.
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