You Must Go To Top 10 Small City Music Fests Across The US

Summer music festivals can be found all over the U.S., and these smaller cities have ones that can rival the biggest.

Summer music festivals have entertained crowds of all sizes for decades. Sure, you’ve got your massive festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachellas and Bumbershoots, but there are dozens of alternatives in your neck of the woods. Don’t miss out on the fun at these festivals:


1. Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tenn., June 9-12, 2016

Photo via Bonnaroo facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Pearl Jam, Dead & Company (2 sets), LCD Soundsystem

With 10 stages, more than 80,000 people spread out on 700 acres for music, fun and culture. Be sure to check out the Silent Disco, comedy theater, or watch a movie at the 24-hour Bonnaroo Cinema tent.


2. Taste of Country Music Festival, Lanesville, N.Y., June 10-12, 2016

Photo via
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Kid Rock

In its fourth year, this is the only multiday country music festival in the northeast U.S. Take the SkyRide over the crowd, stop by the petting zoo, or try your luck with a bull ride.


3. What the Festival, Dufur, Ore., June 17-20, 2016

Photo via
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Thievery Corporation, Bonobo (DJ set), Lettuce

The signature stage is the Splash Stage, where party-goers splash and dance to live acts, creating the northwest’s largest pool party. Other must-try activities include the Oasis Spa and Sauna and the Illuminated Forest.


4. Telluride Blugrass, Telluride, Colo., June 16-19, 2016

Photo via planetbluegrass facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Dave Rawlings Machine, Ryan Adams, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

This festival has showcased the best of Telluride Bluegrass for more than 40 years. Attendees can gaze into San Juan Mountain views, and be sure to check out the signature workshops and band contests.

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5. Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Boonville, Calif., June 17-19, 2016

Photo via Nevada World Festival facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Toots & The Maytals, Beres Hammond, Alpha Blondy

For more than 20 years, this fest has brought the best in reggae and world music to two stages. The Festival Village features food and craft vendors, and night owls can groove in the Jamaican-style dancehall.


6. Electric Forest, Rothbury, Mich., June 23-26, 2016

Moments in the dark spark bright dreams. Photo via Electric Forest facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]The String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR, Major Lazer

Music and colorful lights set the energetic vibe at this summer party. The stages, tents, booths and even forest glow as people dance, eat and play the weekend away.


7. Rock USA, Oshkosh, Wis., July 14-16, 2016

Photo via Rock USA facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Slipknot, Alice in Chains, Disturbed

Party like a rock star with some of the biggest metal bands for four days of music, camping and food. Attendees can buy band memorabilia or browse vendor booths for accessories.


8. Summer Meltdown, Darrington, Wash., Aug. 11-14, 2016

Photo via Summer Maltdown facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Griz, Gramatik, STS9

This 15-year-old festival blends atmospheres, music and relaxing on the river. Kids have their own meltdown zone, complete with derby car races and a create-your-own costume center.


9. Bayfront Blues Festival, Duluth, Minn., Aug. 12-14, 2016

Photo via Bayfront Blues Festival facebook page
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Jennie Devoe, Southern Hospitality, Scotch Hollow

This blues fest is one of the largest outdoor events in the upper Midwest. For 27 years, more than 500 blues and blues/rock performers have performed on the Bayfront Festival Park’s two stages.


10. Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, July 22-24, 2016

Photo via Newport Folk Festival by Addam Kissick
[button style=’yellow’ icon=’iconic-play’]Headliners: [/button]Flight of the Concords, Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne

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Bob Dylan made this festival famous in the ’60s when he showed up with an electric guitar instead of his usual acoustic. These days it’s still bringing in big-name acts, as well as a slew of other easily recognizable smaller acts. It also may be one of the most picturesque festivals, taking place at the historic Fort Adams State Park, right on Narragansett Bay. Be ready for great music, beautiful sunsets, and the occasional pirate ship floating by.


This feature originally appeared in Livability.


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