Country music festivals not only bring you nearly face to face with the artists you love, paired with fresh talent that you’re sure to fall for, but they are also an endless platform for fun, relaxation, new friendships, and more! There are hundreds of country music fests throughout the year, but if you’re looking for top-notch, you’ll want to check out our Top 12 suggestions.
1. CMA Fest
It’s quite possibly the largest gathering of country music fans in festival form. The thing that CMA Fest rookies don’t understand is that predominantly everything – sans the Nissan Stadium, Fan Fair X, and certain VIP parties – is completely FREE. That’s right! Four full days of non-stop FREE shows by fresh faces and country megastars alike, down the lovely strip of Broadway in downtown Nashville. It’s something unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced, and the only way to fully grasp the concept is to GO!
2. Country Thunder
This four-day festival has staked its ground in Wisconsin and Arizona for the past 23 years, and as of last fall, has also added Calgary, Alberta to the list! Attendees can camp out in RV’s and experience an all-day continuous lineup of all-star artists, or take a break to enjoy rides and special vendors with the music blasting in the background.
3. Windy City Smokeout
One thing Chicago does well is a good ole BBQ Smokeout. Combine the most elite BBQ Restaurants and competitors with a vast assortment of beers, and of course, some of the biggest names in country music, and you have the Windy City Smokeout! Nestled in the city, backed up against the Chicago River, you’ll have an incredible backdrop, a few stages to enjoy country music all day for three days, and all kinds of tasty treats.
4. Tortuga Music Festival
This large-scale, beach-front festival spans three days and includes over 30 artists every year. Besides keeping the party alive with music and ice cold beverages, Tortuga Music Festival also houses an area named Conservation Village, which contains about 12 organizations dedicated to education about marine research and conservation with activities and interactive experiences. Music festivals can be messy after the crowd departs, so Tortuga encourages festival goers to collect waste left behind at the festival in exchange for appropriate rewards.
5. Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa
Although this festival has only been going on for three years now, it has quickly become one of the most buzzed about, and for good reason. When you attend Crash My Playa, you’re signing up to go on a four-day tropical vacation to a Mexican paradise at an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya! You’ll get to bum it all day around the resort area, with chances to bump into country music celebrities in their beach wear, plus special shows and an incredible lineup featuring none other than multi-year CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, Luke Bryan!
6. Stagecoach Festival
California can tend to get overlooked when it comes to country music, but don’t count it out just because it’s not part of “The South.” Since 2007, Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California, has brought the hottest lineup in country music artists to California for a three-day festival. Commute, stay at a local hotel, or Camp RV-style to keep the party rolling with friends all night. In the past, there have been attractions such as off-roading with professionals, live Clydesdales, line-dance lessons, Ferris Wheel and much more!
7. Route 91 Harvest Festival
Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, you’ll want to trade your high heels for some cowboy boots and escape those city lights for three days of country music. The festival takes place right off of Las Vegas Boulevard, so if you’re a thrill seeker, you can take a ride on the Vertigo Swing and enjoy breath-taking views of the Vegas Strip while relaxing to country music’s hottest artists.
8. Country Jam Festival
Enjoy country music legends, current megastars, and rising stars alike in this four-day festival. Scenery can make or break a festival, and in this case, breathtaking scenery is what sets it apart from festivals of the same caliber. Located in the heart of Western Colorado, this four-day festival in the red rock mesa, high-desert provides unmatched scenery. With nearly 80,000 attendees on average, this fest is certainly doing something right!
9. Taste of Country Festival
This is the only multi-day country music festival in the Northeast, so it is always a blast of a lineup and something to be celebrated. Besides the typical festival lineup of country artists, Taste of Country Festival also allows you the opportunity to take it all in while riding up on the ski lift. With a beautiful backdrop of the Northern Catskills, and just a few hours away from New York City, this is definitely one festival you’ll want to check off your bucket list!
10. Toadlick Music Festival
The general tone of Toadlick can best be described as small-town charm with big-name bands. The three-day festival located in Dothan, Alabama, is family-owned and operated and is going on its fifth year as a fest. To gain the most out of your three-day Toadlick festival experience, you’ll want to camp out. You never know who you’ll bump into on-site. Southern rock meets country music in the pulse of The South, creating a lineup that not only appeals to country music lovers but those who like to TOADALLY ROCK OUT!
11. Gulf Coast Jam
Panama City Beach is a popular destination for Spring Break, but the three-day Gulf Coast Jam over Labor Day Weekend in PCB is a fest you have to experience at least once in your lifetime. Imagine yourself closing out the summer by taking a not-so-typical beach vacation on Florida’s pristine Panama City Beach, with country music blaring and a cold beer in your hand.
12. Jamboree in the Hills
This four-day Belmont County, Ohio Festival prides itself on not only providing a continual country music concert but also cultivating the “Ultimate Country Music Experience.” One of the perks to this festival is getting to bring in your own cooler, and another enticing feature is that on the Monday prior to the fest, there are all kinds of thrilling contests and activities at the on-site campground. Gather your crew, get a camper, reserve your spot, and we’ll see you in the hills!
What’s your favorite festival? Tweet us #FavCountryFest + #Cmchat + @Tierabolt
Author: Tiera Bolt
Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that’s me.