Music is the universal language, and whether you are a rock-n-roller, a country western warbler, a pop fanatic or a sultan of swing, you are very fluent in this tongue. Unfortunately, many of us live far from the places of our favorite music’s origin, but just because you don’t live there, doesn’t mean you can’t visit. Since music brings people together and is best enjoyed in a live setting, why not mesh your passion for music with a fun trip?
Group travel to festivals can be exciting and fun, especially if you pack the right supplies and migrate with the right flock of people. Take a road trip with your favorite groupies, and check out these music scenes around the country.
South by Southwest
Rapidly becoming the premier music festival of the year, this annual event sets up shop in Austin, Texas, every March. South by Southwest books some of the hottest up-and-coming contemporary artists to perform and also invites the audience to take the stage at the five day event, which features about 2,000 performers at 80 different Austin venues. In conjunction with the music guests, the festival hosts acclaimed speakers, trade shows, discussion panels and networking events.
This is a seriously lively and interactive event, so one of the best ways to take to the festival streets is on a party bus. Bring your party hats, favorite tunes and portable speakers so your group can listen to music on the go without having to hassle with wires.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Held once a year in Indio, California, Coachella always presents many of the top performers in the alternative music scene. It’s a two weekend event that has hosted the likes of Morrissey in 1999, Muse in 2014 and countless alternative music acts in between. To date, Coachella has expanded its line-up to include music acts of all genres and is regarded as one of the most eclectic music festivals in the States. The event has also expanded in size and has steadily gained acclaim from fans and music aficionados.
Coachella usually takes place in mid-April, but you might want to choose one of the two weekend shows and then move on because there’s not much else to do in Indio. Accommodations consist of crowded hotels or on-site camping, so pack a tent and sleeping bag if you and your group want the full festival experience.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
Usually held in May, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is commonly known as Jazz Fest. Held in the heart of the Big Easy, this event celebrates the music, arts, crafts and food of the Cajun Creole, French and southern flavors that collide in New Orleans. What began in 1970 as a festival focused primarily on local music artists has grown to welcome some of the best jazz musicians around. With 12 music stages, two food stages and various tents lining the event, it is a must-see for any culture lover.
While in New Orleans, there is no shortage of sights to behold including: Jackson Square, the Garden District and Marie Laveau’s House Of Voodoo. Pack minimal provisions for this trip. Crescent City will supply you with all the gourmet food, libations and fun you can handle.
CMA Music Festival
Transpiring in one of the most musical cities in American history, theCountry Music Association Festival turns Nashville, Tennessee, upside down every June. The four-day festival, originally dubbed Fan Fair, books some of the most sought after country acts in the business. Both young and old, contemporary and classic, these musical guests have rocked audiences down to their cowboy boots since 1972.
For this extravaganza, you would do best to splurge on a hotel near Music Row or the Grand Ole Opry to be close to the music and nightlife.
If you’ve got a love for music and an itch to travel, team up with some like-minded aficionados and follow the beat wherever it takes you.