The New Orleans area always provides music enthusiasts with a plethora of incredible music festivals of all genres. We obviously have the world-renowned Jazz Fest, but there are plenty of increasingly popular music festivals that are close to home. If you have yet to attend a music festival, you’re missing out. These festivals offer a great opportunity to meet new people, find new music interests, and experience the American, as well as international, music culture. Take a look at this list of upcoming festivals, organized chronologically, and see if you can find a lineup and experience that fits your taste.
(NOTE: Some of these music festivals have specific age requirements. Check their websites, which are hyperlinked in each section of this article, to learn more.)
BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans, LA) March 10 + 11
BUKU Music + Art Project is a growingly popular festival that takes place in the New Orleans Lower Garden District. The hip-hop, EDM, and indie-rock lineup combined with the New Orleans atmosphere, artwork, and design, creates one of the most unique festival atmospheres in the country. Make sure to get your tickets soon, as the festival is less than three weeks away! This year’s lineup consists of Travis Scott, Deadmau5, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Lil Dicky, Zed’s Dead, Lil Yachty, and more.
Festival International (Lafayette, LA) April 26-30
With over 300,000 festival goers every year, the annual festival features musical performances by artists from over 20 countries, along with workshops, exhibits, visual art, theater and other forms of performance arts. Certainly attend this festival if you are looking for something different and as far from mainstream as you can possibly get. Get a taste of outside cultures only a couple of hours away in Lafayette. And to top it off, this festival is free and open to the public.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA) April 28- May 7
Jazz Fest has become a New Orleans staple over the past few decades, and is seen as one of the best music festivals in the country year after year. Each year, bigger and better stars perform at Jazz Fest, and this year is no different. The headliners include Maroon 5, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Meghan Trainor, Kings of Leon, and many more.
Nobody Safe Tour (New Orleans, LA) Stops by Champions Square on May 6
This only non-festival event on this list is a star packed rap tour that will be stopping by Champion Square on May 6. This tour consists of Migos, Future, Kodak Black, and Tory Lanez; four rap artists that have gained massive popularity over the past year. Don’t be surprised if this costs more than your average concert, but it will more than likely be worth it.
Hangout Music Festival (Gulf Shores, Alabama) May 19-21
This beachside music festival has an incredible amount of hype surrounding their 2017 lineup. Some of the headliners include Mumford and Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, Weezer, DJ Snake, Torey Lanez, Lil Yachty, and many more. Unfortunately for St. Paul’s students, this festival falls on the weekend before exams, and it’s an 18 or older festival. This is, however, good news for the senior class, which gets out a week before everyone else, and consists largely of 18 or older students!
Bayou Country Superfest (New Orleans, LA) May 26- 28
Who could forget one of the greatest country music festivals on the planet? This year’s Superfest, for the first time, will not be in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, but rather in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. It will be interesting to see if the location change will be a positive or negative compared to its original Baton Rouge location. The lineup includes Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Brooks and Dunn, Thomas Rhett, and more.
Free Press Fest (Houston, TX) June 3, 4
This growingly popular festival is an interesting experience similar to Voodoo in New Orleans. If you’re willing to take the five hour drive to stand outside in the June Texas sun, you’ll get to see an incredible lineup, which was released last week. It consists of mostly rap, pop, and EDM. And, for all of you food junkies, the Free Press Fest is known for having some of the best festival food in the country. The headliners include Lorde, Flume, G-Eazy, Carnage, and Post Malone.
Austin City Limits (Austin, TX) October 6-8 + 13-15
Austin City Limits Festival features a diverse lineup of acts every year with eight stages and more than 110 bands. This ginormous festival always pulls a generous crowd of out-of-state music fanatics, and 2016’s massive success leaves many to believe the festival will be the biggest one yet. The 2017 lineup has not been released yet, but festival organizers are looking for even bigger and better stars than their 2016 lineup.
Voodoo Music Festival (New Orleans, LA) October 27-29
It’s never too early to get hyped for Voodoo! For one reason, the tickets prices are cheaper the earlier you buy them. But also, this New Orleans music festival has grown bigger and better every year with its unique atmosphere and incredible lineups. The 2017 lineup has not been released yet, but the 2016 lineup consisted of The Weeknd, G-Eazy, Rae Sremmurd, the Chainsmokers, and Tory Lanez. Expect an even better lineup for 2017, and let’s hope that 2017’s headliner is not arrested two days before the festival (We’re talking about you, Kevin Gates).