Best US music festivals 2020: News, lineups and tickets
We have rounded up the biggest and best US music festivals of 2020 - enjoy a trip across the Atlantic this year!
From the Nevada desert to New Orleans, indie to immersive EDM, there’s a US music festival for everyone. So if you’ve always wanted to visit America and party like a local, 2020 should be the year you cross that off your bucket list.
When there are so many amazing options, from the legendary Coachella to the more laidback New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, we have put together the best US music festivals 2020 — from sea to shining sea.
Keep reading to see our list of the best US festivals 2020 in the order they happen, or start shopping tickets here:
Top 10 US Festivals 2020
Ultra Music Festival 2020
- Where: Miami, Florida
- When: 20-22 March 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: Flume, Major Lazer, Afrojack, Gesaffelstein, Zedd…
- Be there: Ultra Music Festival 2020 Tickets
Ultra Music Festival 2020 kicks off the electronic music calendar year and this is sure to be a big one. Set in the heart of Miami, this three-day festival promises to transport attendees to a musical dimension with each stage. The Ultra Music Festival 2020 headliners include Flume, Major Lazer, Afrojack, Zedd and Gesaffelstein, though more will surely be announced soon.
For Ultra Music Festival 2020, DJ Martin Garrix's STMPD RCRDS imprint will once again take over the UMF Radio stage, with last year’s sets including Julian Jordan B2B Brooks, Justin Mylo, Dubvision B2B Raiden, Cazztek and Van Duo. If you’re an electronic music fan, this is a jaw-droppingly good festival that needs to be experienced to be believed.
2020 SXSW Music Festival
- Where: Austin, Texas
- When: 16-27 March 2020
- Festival line up highlights: Kokoroko, Quinn Christopherson, Beabadoobee, AKA, Cassper Nyovest, HTRK, Baker Boy, Wire, Otoboke Beaver, Alex Somers, Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan, Nasty Cherry, Algiers, Walshy Fire, Basia Bulat, Weeping Icon…
- Be there: 2020 SXSW Music Festival Tickets
The organisers of South By Southwest’s 2020 SXSW Music Festival pride themselves on finding the most exciting, compelling and diverse list of acts from all corners of the globe. Amplifying emerging talent, this is where careers are careers are launched — and it’s the perfect event if you love knowing about the biggest artists before they go mainstream.
“In the continued spirit of discovery, we’re pleased to give the world a glimpse of what it can expect to see next March; a genre-spanning and defying lineup of artists you’ll undoubtedly be hearing about in the future,” says James Minor, head of SXSW Music Festival.
Add into the mix the incredible array of screenings, performances, seminars and presentations from leading figures in the worlds of film, culture, music and technology and you’ve got an event that will leave you inspired, exhilarated and at the cutting edge of what’s happening everywhere.
— Coachella (@coachella) January 3, 2020
- Where: Indio, California
- When: 10-12 and 17-19 April 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Flume, Lana Del Rey, Thom Yorke, Lil Uzi Vert, Run the Jewels, FKA Twigs, Disclosure, Fatboy Slim, Lil Nas X, slowthai, Megan Thee Stallion, BigBang…
- Be there: Coachella 2020 Tickets
Arguably the most famous festival in the world, Coachella 2020 will once again bring some of the hottest bands on the planet and Hollywood A-Listers to Indio in California. This year’s lineup will be led by Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean on the main stage. Officially known as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and spread across two weekends, Coachella 2020 will see the inclusion of K-pop superstars BigBang and virtual internet star Hatsune Miku will be performing.
Notably, this is the first Coachella since 2016 not to have a female headliner, with Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Ariana Grande being the most recent. That said, it is still inclusive of female talent — with Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs and Megan Thee Stallion among the top vocalists to perform this year.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2020
- Where: New Orleans, USA
- When: 23-26 April and 30 April to 3 May 2020
- Festival lineup highlights (2019):
- Be there: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2020 Tickets
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is an event that rivals even Mardi Gras in the Big Easy — and it’s easy to see why! Launched in 1970, it brings together some of the largest talents in blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass and beyond for two weekends across the end of April and beginning of May.
Though the New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival 2020 lineup has yet to be announced, past performers include Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Max Roach, B.B. King, Dave Matthews Band, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Youssou N’Dour and many others. There is also a huge focus on community, with homegrown acts being the real heart and soul of this festival and it shows. If there’s anywhere you’d want to get a taste of that spicy local flavour, it’s New Orleans.
- Where: Great Stage Park, Tennessee
- When: 11-14 June 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: The 1975, Miley Cyrus, Bassnectar, Grand Ole Opry, Flume, Oysterhead, Lizzo, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, Tenacious D, Run the Jewels, Tool, Vampire Weekend…
- Be there: Bonnaroo 2020 Tickets
Ranked in 2003 by Rolling Stone as one of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll and voted one of the 10 best festivals by GQ, Bonnaroo celebrates a huge array of musical styles. The 2020 lineup includes 2019’s breakout star Lizzo as well as other megastars like Miley Cyrus, The 1975, Tool and more.
Ever wondered what Bonnarroo means? Heavily influenced by the legendary rock concerts of the 60s, the event’s organisers wanted to honour the rich New Orleans music tradition they enjoyed and named it after the Creole slang word for ‘having a really good time’. Originally focused on jam bands and folk rock, Bonnaroo 2020 has grown into a four-day, 10-stage spectacle that celebrates talent across genres.
- Where: Milwaukee, United States
- When: 24 June to 5 July 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: Ozzy Osborne, Justin Bieber, Marilyn Manson, Halsey, Chvrches, Omar Apollo…
- Be there: Summerfest 2020 Tickets
Set on the shores of Lake Michigan and attracting half a million fans across 11 stages and over 1000 different performances, Summerfest 2020 is truly an iconic US festival — hosting some of the biggest names in the world. This year’s lineup includes massive names in music including current comeback kid Justin Bieber as well as Ozzy Osborne, Halsey, Marilyn Manson and more coming to the American Family Insurance Amphitheater.
Summerfest was conceived after former Milwaukee mayor Henry W. Maier visited Oktoberfest in Munich in the 1960s and wanted to create a festival in the city that rivalled his experience in Germany. Officially credited in the Guinness Book of World Records as ‘the world’s largest music festival’, it seems Henry’s vision has been more than realised. Past Summerfest performers also include Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Lady GaGa.
Pitchfork Music Festival 2020
- Where: Union Park, Chicago
- When: 17-19 July 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: TBC
- Be there: Pitchfork Music Festival
Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 is celebrating the multi-genre event’s 15th anniversary this year. Though the new lineup has yet to be announced, last year’s included the likes HAIM, Charli XCX, Whitney, Khruangbin, Pusha T, Mavis Staples and Belle & Sebastian. The event has also expanded internationally with the first-ever Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin, running 8-9 May 2020.
Attracting over 50,000 fans, this three-day event showcases a real melting pot of different musical genres — from rock to hip-hop to jazz through to punk. In the height of summer, Pitchfork Music Festival is not to be missed, especially given you can also sample the best the world-famous Chicago food and drink scene has to offer.
- Where: Grant Park, Chicago
- When: 30 July to 2 August 2020
- Festival lineup highlights (2019): TBC
- Be there: Lollapalooza 2020 Tickets
Lollapalooza was originally launched in 2003 by Jane’s Addiction singer Peter Farrell as a farewell tour for his band and has since turned into one of the largest and most iconic music festivals in the world. There are now seven editions including the OG in Chicago as well as Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; São Paulo, Brazil; Stockholm, Sweden; Paris, France; and Berlin, Germany. Though the Lollapalooza 2020 lineup is still TBC, last year’s featured The Strokes, the Chainsmokers, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, J Balvin and Ariana Grande.
Lolla Chicago is one of the biggest Festivals in North America for breakthrough artists, with over 170 performances in Grant Park — right in the middle of gorgeous summertime Chi-town. By providing a platform for political and non-profit artists and groups as well, it’s grown from just music into a movement.
Burning Man 2020
- Where: Black Rock City, Nevada
- When: 25 August to 2 September, 2020
- Be there: Burning Man Tickets
Burning Man is certainly not your average music festival. In fact, it’s not even a music festival. What it is remains open for debate, but it’s described as a temporary metropolis dedicated to art and community. With incredible art installations, Rio Carnivale-worthy costumes and endless partying in the Nevada desert, Burning Man largely defies explanation and is something that you just need to experience.
Bringing together a community of creators called Burners, some of the biggest names in music perform magical sets in what is an otherworldly setting. In the 23 years since it started, Burning Man has become one of the most remarkable things you could attend this year and likely your life. Is 2020 the year you cross it off your bucket list?
Austin City Limits Music Festival 2020
- Where: Zilker Park, Austin
- When: 2-4 and 9-11 October 2020
- Festival lineup highlights: TBC
- Be there: Austin City Limits Music Festival 2020
They say everything is bigger in Texas and the Austin City Limits Music Festival 2020 will be no exception. Held over two weekends in October and effectively wrapping up the American festival season, it will host over 100 bands across eight stages and more than 500,000 fans. There will plenty of (lone) stars this year, including Childish Gambino, Cardi B, Guns N’ Roses and Billie Eilish.
Inspired by the KLRU/PBS music series of the same name, and produced by the same company behind the legendary Lollapalooza events, ACL 2020 is perfect end to a Texan summer. The festivals offers food and drinks stalls to match and is a great event for the entire family, with a dedicated ‘Austin Kiddie Limits’ space for little cowboys and cowgirls.