Live music is the ultimate connector. Every spring and summer across the United States, hundreds of thousands of people flock to cities, farms, towns and amphitheaters to experience the spirit of music festivals. There is no genre that goes untapped and no major city skipped.
It’s never too early to start planning your pilgrimage – here’s a look at the top US music festivals that begin in early March and run through the end of July. We’ve included where to RV camp (on and off site) for each festival as well as what you need to know when you go. A few things to keep in mind for every music festival you attend: wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and sing your heart out!
Gasparilla Music Festival
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: March 10-11, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Fort De Soto Park
Music festival season is underway! Tampa’s Gasparilla is making major waves this year. The Gasparilla Music Foundation is a non-profit organization that hosts Gasparilla Music Festival in effort to support music education through its Recycled Tunes program. Come support this excellent cause while listening to some of the best indie musicians of our time – The Roots, Father John Misty and Spoon, to name a few. Gates open daily at 11:30am.
Coachella (Two Weekends)
Location: Indio, CA
Date: April 13-15 & April 20-22, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Motorcoach Country Club
Coachella is widely known for its killer lineup and proximity to LA but were you aware the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is highly committed to supporting sustainability programs in the area? You can volunteer with Global Inheritance, a non-profit that teaches individuals how to take action on global environmental and social issues, and by working with the organization you can potentially score free passes to the festival. Win, win. Gates open daily at 11:00am.
Stagecoach Country Music Festival
Location: Indio, CA
When: April 27-29, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Emerald Desert RV Resort
The Honkytonk is back with a lineup better than ever! All ages are welcome to California’s number one country music festival, Stagecoach. The venue opens at noon daily, closes at Midnight and there is no reentry to the event. All parking is free and off site RV camping is only 15 minutes from the venue. Cash and credit cards are accepted for food and beverages.
Location: Austin, TX
Date: April 26-29, 2018
Where to Stay: ?
Formerly known as Austin Psych Fest, Levitation grew by word of mouth from a small fest on a farm outside of Austin to a multi venue event in downtown Austin. The 5 Red River venues are Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Barracuda, Empire Control Room and Cheer Up Charlies and each venue has a different opening time. All event attendees must bring a valid ID and are able to come and go from the venue.
Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: April 27- May 6, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Bayou Segnette Sate Park
Jazz Fest is a 10-day cultural fest that celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans. Come enjoy the blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, Zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass and of course, jazz (both contemporary and traditional.) Make sure you grab a few local dishes at one of the numerous booths that will be selling food on the fairgrounds.
Shaky Knees Festival
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: May 4-6, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Twin Lakes RV Park
Shaky Knees is located in Atlanta’s Central Park. Doors open at 10:30am everyday with music starting at 11:45. Remember, backpacks are not allowed in the venue. Children 8 and under enter for free with a ticketed adult. Atlanta is a high traffic city so think about taking local transportation or Uber from your RV site. Gates open daily at 11:30am.
FORM Arcosanti Festival
Location: Arcosanti, AZ
Date: May 11-13, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at FORM
FORM, a creative retreat and festival, is in it’s 4th year with the three day event taking place at Arcosanti, an eco-city desert oasis in Arizona. If the otherworldly architecture and landscapes of Arcosanti aren’t enough to get you to the desert, we’re sure top names like Chance the Rapper, Beach House and Fleet Foxes will do the trick. FORM’s ongoing mission is to inspire progress through creative and inclusive community experiences. This summer festival is not to be skipped.
Location: Gulf Shores, AL
Date: May 18-20, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Gulf Sate Park Campground
Hangout Festival takes place directly on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. There isn’t much shade provided on the grounds so make sure you bring liquid sunscreen and bug spray (both in cans under 30z) as well as hats, sunglasses and an empty water container. If you want to boat to the festival you’re welcome to do so – just make sure to park 500 feet from the venue. Gates open daily at 11:00am.
Location: George, WA
Date: May 24-27, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at Sasquatch Festival
Gates open at 1:00pm daily at Sasquatch Music Festival. Founded in 2002, Sasquatch features a wide range of music genres – indie rock bands, singer-songwriters, alt rock, hip hop, EDM and this year, comedy acts! There are five stages on the grounds and endless vendors offering local dishes and cocktails. Come enjoy Washington’s beautiful summer weather.
Governors Ball Music Festival
Location: Randall’s Island, NY
Date: June 1-3, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Liberty Harbor RV
Randall’s Island is situated between Manhattan, The Bronx and Queens and is accessible by subway, bus, car or the Manhattan Ferry. Give yourself ample time to get to the island as over 100,000 people attended last years Governor’s Ball festival and be ready to see some famous faces in the audience. The event is rain or shine. If the forecast says it will drizzle, don’t forget to bring your poncho and rain boots. Gates open daily at 11:45am.
Location: Manchester, TN
Date: June 7-10, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at Bonnaroo
Bonnaroo is arguably the souths most desired camping music festival. Gates open at 8pm Wednesday, June 6 (the day before the festival starts) and closes 12pm on Monday, June 11th. The festival is notoriously crowded and HOT so make sure you bring extra water, shade and sunscreen for the four day event.
Firefly Music Festival
Location: Dover, DE
Date: June 15-18, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at Firefly
Firefly is a premier music experience set among lush wooded landscapes, featuring renowned headliners and emerging artists. Witness unforgettable performances and discover the engaging attractions nestled around every corner. Camping is first come first serve and children under the age of 8 do not need tickets. RV camping check in begins at 8:00am on Wednesday, June 13th.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Where: Telluride, CO
When: June 21-24, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at Telluride Bluegrass
Every year, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is held on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice. The 44th annual festival promises a lineup of past festival favorites and new talent with some of the biggest stars in the rootsy Americana landscape taking stage in Telluride, Colorado.
4 Peaks Music Festival
Where: Bend, OR
When: June 21-24, 2018
Where to Stay: On Site at 4Peaks
What began as a small, backyard music festival has turned into a 40 acre, 20+ bands, two stages, tents and craft vendors music festival that holds space for RV and primitive camping in beautiful Bend, Oregon. 4Peaks features top names in bluegrass who will be performing this year at the family friendly festival. Gates open at 9am every morning and the event is rain or shine so come prepared if the forecast calls for rain. Gates open daily at 9:00am.
Where: Louisville, KY
When: July 13-15, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Jefferson Memorial Camping
Founded in 2002 by Louisville native JK McKnight, Forecastle has grown from a small, community event to one of the nation’s most anticipated summer festivals. In addition to featuring some of the best indie artists around, (this years names include Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse). Forecastle prides itself on its promotion of local artists as well as spotlighting environmental activism and outdoor recreation awareness. Extra perk – RV camping is only a 15 minute drive from festival grounds.
Where: Birmingham, AL
When: July 14-15, 2018
Where to Stay: Off Site at Safe Harbor RV
Sloss Music & Arts Festival is a two-day music and lifestyle event that takes place at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. There are 44 bands, 4 stages plus craft beer & creative cocktails, arts & crafts, live iron pouring demonstrations and more. Gates open at 12:30 everyday with the first band starting at 1:30pm.