With COVID vaccinations rolling out in mass, live music fans can finally get excited for the return of a beloved concert past time: Music Festivals.
Not all music festivals will come back this year—Stagecoach and Coachella have already been postponed to 2022. But the recent announcements of Bonnaroo and Country Jam 2021 lineups have boosted our optimism. At least the summer will have partial normalcy. At least live events will be happening, ending the entertainment industry’s long halt. With a few more protocols to keep people safe–masks, distancing, sanitation stations–music festival organizers are gearing up for the comeback of the century.
Fans, get ready. Get ready to look up at your favorite artists on stage, get ready to dance, because there are plenty of U.S music festivals returning in 2021. Here are the best U.S music festivals coming back this year. Stay updated with us as summer nears. We anticipate that even more summer music festivals will announce their return in 2021.
Made In America
Made In America Festival Dates: September 4-5, 2021
This summer, Philly residents and visitors will be able to attend the Jay-Z-curated Made In America Music Festival. Finally, the fest will be able to celebrate its 10th anniversary of bringing some of the leading hip-hop and rap talent to the masses. This year’s Made In America Music Festival lineup includes: Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, Roddy Ricch, Tinashe, and more. Made In America is bringing it this year, their tenth anniversary, and any fan lucky enough to get a ticket may be attending the best rap music festival of the year.
Riot Fest Dates: September 17-19, 2021
We can’t think of a bigger rock music festival on the horizon than Chicago’s Riot Fest. Scheduled to take over Douglass Park in September, this year’s Riot Fest promises some of the most iconic and influential rock musicians we have today. The 2021 Riot Fest lineup includes: Nine Inch Nails, Run the Jewels, Smashing Pumpkins, Machine Gun Kelly, Coheed and Cambria, and more.
Governors Ball Festival Dates: September 24-26, 2021
This year, Governors Ball will finally get to celebrate its 10th Anniversary in Citi Field. At the end of September, Governors Ball will host hundreds of fans and several chart-topping musicians to celebrate the return of Gov Ball, music, and life as we knew it. NYC tough, there will be no crowd more joyous, fabulously dressed, and fanatic, than this year’s Gov Ball crowd.
Headlining this year’s Governors Ball is Billie Eilish, A$AP Rocky, J Balvin, and Post Malone. Filling out the rest of the incredible Gov Ball lineup is Leon Bridges, Dababy, Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Portugal the Man, 21 Savage, and more.
Pitchfork Festival Dates: September 10-12, 2021
The little sister to Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, is set to return in September. And the lineup looks traditionally diverse, iconic, and beautifully arranged. Headlining this year’s Pitchfork festival is Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, and Erykah Badu. Rounding out the bill of hip-hop, R&B, experimental, and indie acts are Big Thief, Animal Collective, Angel Olsen, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and more. Looking to ease back into the music festival scene? We think the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago’s Union Park would be a perfect way to dip your toes back into big, live music audiences.
Bonnaroo Music Festival Dates: September 2-5, 2021
The legendary Manchester, Tennessee music festival Bonnaroo is returning to holy grounds September 2-5, 2021. And we can’t believe how stacked this lineup is. Reflecting some of the critically acclaimed music we’ve seen come out since the pandemic, in addition to recruiting festival veterans, the 2021 Bonnaroo headliners are absolutely insane. Megan Thee Stallion and Foo Fighters (Friday). Tame Impala and Lizzo (Saturday). Tyler, the Creator and Lana Del Rey (Sunday). You can check out the full lineup, celebrating “20 years of magic on the farm,” here. If you have one big summer music festival in you this year, Bonnaroo, as always, makes a great case for itself.
Hard Summer Music Festival
Hard Summer Music Festival Dates: July 31- August 1, 2021
The EDM and rap music festival Hard Summer is returning this year in a new location. The 2-day SoCal festival will take place at NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, on July 31 and Aug. 1. Leading the dazzling lineup of DJs and rappers is Future, Lil Durk, Kaytranada, DJ Snake, Dillon Francis, 2 Chainz, Don Toliver, and more. For ticket sale info, check out the Hard Summer website.
Country Jam Festival Dates: June 24-26, 2021
For three days in Grand Junction, CO, country fans will travel from across the world to attend the storied, star-studded Country Jam music festival. The legendary country music festival will take place from June 24-26, in one of the most idyllic live venues in the country. The 2021 Country Jam performers include: Luke Combs, Tanya Tucker, Kip Moore, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, and more. After a year without country music concerts, there is about to be a rager in Grand Junction this June.
Barefoot Country Music Fest
Barefoot Country Music Fest Dates: August 19-22, 2021
Country music listeners and concert lovers. If you think you want to attend a country music festival this summer, we think you should aim for Wildwood’s Barefoot Country Music Fest set to take place from August 19-22. The fest will bring the biggest acts in country to New Jersey for four days. The artists announced include Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band, Jon Pardi, Lynard Skynard, and more. According to festival organizers, Barefoot Country will total to over 30 performers.
North Coast Music Fest
North Coast Music Fest Dates: September 3-5, 2021
The beloved Chicago EDM festival North Coast Music Fest will return for its eleventh year Labor Day Weekend 2021. The North Coast Festival lineup boasts performances and sets from KaskadeGRiZ, Zeds Dead, Louis the Child, Diesel (aka NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal), and more. The campus (SeatGeek Stadium) has been newly renovated to host a post-pandemic live music event. With multiple stages and new ventilation systems, the North Coast Music Fest is one of many festivals doing their best to provide a good, but safe, time to music fans this summer.
Lost Lands Music Festival
Lost Lands Music Festival Dates: September 24-26, 2021
Bass, drum, trap. So many sub-genres of EDM annually gather for the Lost Lands Music Festival, an event created by Excision (aka Jeff Abel). This year, the Lost Lands Music Festival will take place September 24-26 in Legend Valley, Ohio. According to a press release, fans and festival goers are encouraged to abide by a prehistoric theme, and to “escape the confines of the world outside and and find yourself in an immersive environment environment surrounded by dinosaurs, beats and bass.”
Electric Zoo NYC
Electric Zoo NYC Festival Dates: September 3-5, 2021
Granted, all of the music festivals returning in 2021 are gearing up for epic comebacks. But we think Electric Zoo NYC could throw one of the most phenomenal, trippy, EDM-fueled festivals in 2021. This Labor Day Weekend, E Zoo will make its way back to Randall’s Island Park for “Electric Zoo Supernaturals.” The EDM fest will feature acts such as Alesso, Adventure Club, Bruno Martini, Cosmic Gate, Claptone, and more.
Austin City Limits
ACL Dates: October 1-3 & October 8-10, 2021
Though tentatively announced, the iconic Austin City Limits music festival will likely return to Zilker Park this year—especially, now, with the releases of more and more music festival lineups. On the official ACL website, organizers promise to see fans in the fall, with the two-weekend festival scheduled for Oct. 1-3 & 8-10. ACL has not released their 2021 lineup, but we think that news is coming soon.
Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival Dates: October 29-31, 2021
This Halloweekend, fans have the opportunity to attend the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. We can’t believe the incredible lineup this year’s Outside Lands has planned. But after a year without live music, it seems that the premier CA music festival wants to come back in a big way.
The 2021 Outside Lands music festival lineup includes: Kehlani, J Balvin, Tame Impala, Lizzo, The Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, and more. Truly, there are fewer better places to be this Halloweekend than Golden Gate Park, where Outside Lands will put up their best entry for live music event of the year.
Tortuga Music Festival
Tortuga Festival Dates: November 12-14, 2021
This year, thousands will finally get to flock to South Florida to attend its premier live music event, the Tortuga Music Festival. Scheduled with plenty of time for the masses to get vaccinated, Tortuga is set to take place November 12-14. The 2021 Tortuga festival will be headlined by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Tim McGraw. The lineup also includes Jon Pardi, Billy Currington, Cole Swindell, Rita Wilson, Lee Brice, and more.
Rolling Loud Miami
Rolling Loud Miami Dates: July 23-26, 2021
From July 23-26, fans are welcome back at the Miami Gardens for the return of Rolling Loud Miami. At the Hard Rock Stadium, rappers and musicians including A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, and Post Malone will serve as headliners. Filling out the rest of the incredible lineup is Megan Thee Stallion, Kodak Black, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Gucci Mane, Swae Lee, Rick Ross, and many, many more. If you only have the chance to attend one or two music festivals in 2021, we think Rolling Loud Miami should rank among the highest of your options.
Life is Beautiful Festival
Life is Beautiful Festival Dates: September 17-19, 2021
To conclude our banner of good news, we’ll boast the return of Downtown Las Vegas’ Life is Beautiful Festival. The 2021 Life is Beautiful Festival lineup is one of the best, leading with Billie Eilish, Green Day, Tame Impala, and A$AP Rocky. Supporting the rest of the bill is Haim, St. Vincent, Young Thug, Glass Animals, and more.
Firefly Music Festival
Firefly Festival Dates: September 23-26, 2021
Last year, the 2020 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware was cancelled due to stay-at-home orders. Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Halsey, Diplo, Khalid and Rage Against the Machine were among the acts scheduled to perform. Though Firefly festival organizers have yet to announce a lineup, the website is now showing new dates and a new location, signaling the event’s return in 2021. So far, we know that the 2021 Firefly Festival will (tentatively) take place September 23-26 at “The Woodlands.” Organizers urge fans to frequent their website for updated information.