I knew I loved music since I was very small. I was on the band from 6th grade through high school graduation. In college, I took a music appreciation course. We had to since I attended a liberal arts college. The first day of class, the professor stated that if you had an A in class, you can exempt the final exam. I knew in my heart I would exempt. And, yes, I did. I had a perfect grade in that class. Any who, I’m a music head. So, it only makes sense that I attend all the music events that I can.
Here are my favorite music festivals in no particular order:
- Carnival: This Soca music festival began in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th Century. Many believe it was a celebration of freedom and culture. The celebration has now spread to many other Caribbean countries, cities in the US, UK, Germany, and even Japan. The festival usually lasts anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. There are several fetes (parties), J’ouvert, and the parade. Check out my Miami Carnival.
- Dreamville: Created by J. Cole, from Fayetteville, NC, and takes place in Raleigh, NC. It’s annually held in April. Dreamville artists as well as surprise guests pop up to perform for nearly forty thousand people. The festival takes place in Dorothea Dix park and lasts two days, from noon to midnight. It’s a vibe!
- One Music Fest: Similar to Dreamville, this festival takes place in Central Park in Atlanta, GA. It’s usually held in October. The guests range from Afro beats to R&B to Hip Hop. They even have some old school performances. But beware, if you plan to go to Miami Carnival, it’s the same time [insert sad face].
- Reggae in the Park: Each summer in Atlanta, Piedmont Park becomes Reggae central. It’s a free festival in August, open to the city. There is music and dancing. Vendors line the park selling things from clothes to food to jewelry. Pack a picnic blanket and a cooler because you’re going to spend the entire day outside! Everything was irie!
- Rolling Loud: Created in 2015, this festival actually has many different theaters. It takes place in Miami, California, Thailand, and Germany. Unlike the others, this festival focuses solely on hip-hop (rap) music. This festival is heavily attended, so if you go, please be very careful. Some events boast up to 75k people.
- Broccoli Fest: It is similar to Dreamville, but takes place in July. This festival takes place in DC at RFK stadium. The lineup is similar to Dreamville, as well. There is a combination of R&B and hip hop acts. Last year, it took place in May. I wonder why they moved it to July. Interesting.
- Something in the Water: This festival, created by Pharrell, began in Virginia Beach. Then, it moved to DC, but now it’s back in Virginia Beach. Previously, the city complained about the noise and the crowd. Plus, his cousin was murdered by the police. This caused friction, obviously. But, I guess they missed the money and felt bad about their misgivings, so deals were made to bring it back. The crowd is typically around 50K. The line up is a little more diverse in musical genre range than Broccoli, Dreamville, and Rolling Loud. Last year, he had Dave Matthews Band and Calvin Harris, among others.
- Roots Picnic: This festival, as it name indicates, was created by the Philly natives The Roots. It takes place in Philadelphia, PA and happens in June. It is a whole vibe. Music includes hip hop, jazz, and R&B. Definitely bring your picnic blanket and friends to chill in the park the entire day. Not only do they have music, they also have a small club (the DJs are dope) and an area for podcasts. They average between 50k to 60k guests. But, it’s still a good time.
- Beale Street Music Festival: BSMF, part of Memphis in May, takes place in May in the beautiful city of Memphis, TN and runs for three days. Like Something in the Water, the musical genre is diverse; ranging from Cardi B to Miley Cyrus. This is one of the longest running music festivals, dating back to 1990. Of course it has grown over the years. Being that this is Tennessee, make sure to pack a poncho or raincoat to attend this festival.
- Coachella: This festival, based in Indio, California takes place over two weekends in April. At this particular festival, people often camp out. It began in 1999. The biggest year, in my opinion, was when Beyonce headlined. This festival is probably the most well known in the US, which boasts an attendance of 750,000 people. That is insane! What makes this festival interesting is the installations: Ferris wheels, Instagram worthy sites, and world famous eateries.
If you ever want to see a music festival gone wrong, make sure to check out the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix. It was organized by Ja Rule and a fake investor, Billy McFarland. You will be shocked!
To watch my festival activities, make sure to check out my Youtube channel.