The Best and Biggest Music Festivals for EDM in the U.S. | Coachella, EDC Vegas, Lollapalooza, and More!

By Jillian Conway |

  | Jul 17, 2019  /  Announcements |

Calling all shufflers, headbangers and festiheads! If you’re looking for more places to live the P.L.U.R. life, then we’ve got your back. 

If you’re a shuffler, you're likely to be a HUGE house music fan! If you’re looking for artists like Fisher, Claude VonStroke, Walker, and Royce then you’ll want to check out EDC Vegas and Electric Forest.

If you usually need a neck brace after a rave, I feel your pain. Excision, NGHTMRE, Slander, Whipped Cream, and DJ Diesel will be attending Lollapalooza, Lost Lands, HARD Summer, and many more festivals this year. 

For those of you who go to EDM festivals for the atmosphere and to mingle with your fellow ravers, any of the festivals mentioned in this article will be a great fit for you. So check out my list of the best festivals for EDM all over the U.S.

Coachella - Coachella Valley

Image Courtesy of Unsplash. 

Attention Instagram models and influencers who make BANK off of posting images of their lifestyle! I’m sure you see pictures of fellow Influencers attending Coachella each April. People attend this festival for a variety of reasons including the food, music, and instagrammable atmosphere.

However, those of us who love EDM will attend for their all-star lineup of DJs that head to the Valley each year. This past year, Bassnectar, Chris Lake, Dillion Francis, Diplo, DJ Snake, Fisher, Jauz, Kayzo, Ookay, Walker & Royce, and Zedd all took over the festival drawing such large crowds that they were beating out pop icons for the most packed sets.

Bass god, Kayzo, drew the same size crowd as pop icon and most followed person on Instagram, Ariana Grande! It was quite an accomplishment for the EDM community! Get ready for Coachella 2020, April 10-12 and 17-19 because these all-star DJs are coming back for more! 

EDC Vegas - Las Vegas Speedway

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

For most members of the EDM Community, EDC Vegas is the ultimate festival that they want to cross off their bucket list. From dusk to dawn, the P.L.U.R. people party at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway has the largest lineup of DJs all year long play until 5 a.m.

EDC Vegas draws the largest crowd for U.S. Festivals as almost 500,000 patrons listening to their favorite music enjoy each other's company. Not only do they draw the most people, but they also have the most intricate setting as the festival holds more than nine stages, thousands of performers, and 250 artists each year.

Alongside the stages, performers, and entertainers they also have a small city built within the speedway with 11,600 firework displays, spark sprinklers, mines, comets, Roman candles, water falls, strobe pots, and more. EDC 2020 will be the 29th year this festival has brought joy and love to Vegas, so grab tickets here and see it for yourself! 

Burning Man - Black Rock City

Image Courtesy of Unsplash. 

Burning Man is the only event on this list that does not consider themselves a festival because it's more than just that. This year it will take place from August 25 through September 2 in the Black Rock City of Nevada.

Black Rock City is a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience. It's a city that's created each year and dedicated to art and community. Their tag line is, “A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers.”

Participation thrives in Black Rock City because it's the heart of the event; the organizers, who are also participants, come together to experience something like they may never experience again. The only limits (other than basic public safety) are the bounds of the imagination.

Each year on the last night of the experience, a giant wooden man structure is burnt while the participants of Black Rock City watch. This symbolizes “a physical and ethical guidepost for 50,000 people during at least one week of the year." So if you’re made of money and want to experience Black Rock City in all of its glory, get your tickets now and head to the desert on August 25! 

Lollapalooza - Chicago

Each August, music-lovers from all different parts of Chicago come together to celebrate their love of unifying under the Chi-Town skyline. Grant Park, located on the water of the Monroe Harbor, hosts a four-day all-genre music festival that hosts some of the EDM community's biggest names.

This year, they plan to have the biggest pop icon of 2019, Ariana Grande, headline alongside two of the EDM community's most popular artists, Flume and the Chainsmokers. This is going to be an extremely important performance from Flume as it's his only live show in America planned for the entirety of 2019.

The Chainsmokers have had a big year coming out with Top 100 Billboard hits left and right like “This Feeling” with Kelsea Ballerini and “Who Do You Love?” with Five Seconds of Summer.

Other EDM artists that the EDM Community of Chicago is eager to see are RL Grime, Gud Vibrations (NGHTMRE and Slander), DJ Diesel (Shaquille O'Neal), and Louis the Child. Louis the Child is made up of Robby Hauldren and Frederick Kennett, who are two Chi-Town boys excited to return home for Lollapalooza.

Here's a list of the remainder of EDM artists planning a performance at Grant Park from August 1-4: Rufus Del Sol, Fisher, Alesso, Gryffin, San Holo, Snails,Boombox Cartel, Matoma, Whethan, Party Favor, Loud Luxury, Ducky, Svdden Death, Ducky, Crizzly, Yultron, Cray, Whipped Cream, and more. Buy tickets here for a four-day adventure in Downtown Chicago

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival - Manchester, TN

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day music festival that allows camping and has recently highlighted many of the upcoming EDM artists of the 21st Century. Since the festival's first year in 2002, the event has grown immensely and hosts more than 80,00 attendees each year at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee.

Bonnaroo is held each June and this year it was from June 13-16 in beautiful and sunny Tennessee. Superfly Presents and AC Entertainment invited EDM legends like Griz, RL Grime, Odesza, Zhu, and Illenium. And, that was just the headliners!

They hosted more than 20 EDM artists who played all different genres from house to headbanging riddim music. But they also host big names from other genres like Phish, Childish Gambino, Post Malone, and Cardi B. From 7 a.m. on Thursday to 12 p.m. on Monday, the party is going, and the music is playing throughout the festival and its surrounding camping areas.

Bonnaroo is known for the mouth-watering good food that they bring in from fish tacos and grass-fed beef burgers to fluffy and delicious donuts. They have something to satisfy every taste bud throughout the festival grounds. Even vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters can find a variety of options at Bonnaroo.

The venue holds 10+ stages and entertainment to keep you energized for the long party ahead. Start saving up early next year because tickets go on sale as early as January 10! And check back on the EDM Community on 615area for all the details when the lineup is announced. 

Hangout Music Festival - Gulf Shores, AL

Hangout Festival is a festival unlike many others because of its gorgeous oceanfront location on the Gulf Shores in Alabama. This beachside festival has been on my bucket list for a long time because of the chill and carefree vibes its attendees give off each May.

Through the picture-perfect Instagrams from both the artists and the festival-goers during this huge three-day music festival, I can tell it’s one every EDM lover needs to attend at least once in their life. This past May, they invited artists like Kygo, Diplo, and Griz to take center stage during the warm and humid summer days by the beach.

Alison Wonderland, Hippie Sabotage, Elohim, Loud Luxury, Two Friends, and Loud Luxury also performed at Hangout Festival and drew some of the event's largest crowds.

Resident DJ and classified Bad B*itch, Cray, played multiple sets throughout the weekend that kept the festival energized during the long summer days. She spent the weekend checking out the festival with other performers like Dr. Fresch, who was also a big hit for shufflers during his set.

This year, the festival was held from May 15-17, but they’ve already selected dates for next years so ready… get set.. mark your calendars for personal days on May 14-17 of 2020!

Ultra Music Festival - Miami

Image courtesy of Unsplash. 

Ultra Music Festival, which is held at the end of Miami Music Week each March, has been one of the largest festivals in the U.S. since its start in 1999. It was held in Bayfront Park up until 2019 when it suddenly moved to Key Biscayne, about 6 miles from Downtown Miami.

Though the festival, as always, had a kickass lineup, there were issues on Friday around 2 a.m. when the attendees all wanted to go back to Downtown Miami all at once. It was all up to the shuttles the festival planned to provide to move more than 100,000 people on a two-lane highway back to Downtown at one time.

The festival learned a lot from their issues on the first night and was able to fix the issue on the second and third nights of the festival. However, for their 2020 show, they've chosen to find a new venue for Ultra Miami 2020.

The lineup had all of the largest names in EDM including Marshmello, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Tiesto, Gud Vibrations, Zedd, Zeds Dead, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack and more.

There's no doubt in my mind that Ultra Miami will be back on top of the EDM community's bucket list after they find a new location for the event in 2020. Stay tuned for news on the new location on the 305area EDM Community.

Electric Forest - Rothbury, Michigan

If you go to music festivals for the experience of walking through the grounds with your friends and getting lost in each moment, Electric Forest is likely already a part of your plans for next summer. Each June, the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Michigan turns into a four-day multi-genre music festival with camping sites outside of the immediate grounds.

Electric Forest puts a lot of emphasis on EDM music, and if you combine that with the rather magical surroundings, you’re bound for one memorable weekend. Or if it was 2017 or 2018, maybe two weekends, but we’ll try to forget that it was once a two-weekend festival.

This year's Electric Forest 2019 ran from June 27-30, and some of the biggest names invited were Odesza, Kygo, Bassnectar, and Zeds Dead. As headliners of the forest, these gentlemen brought the vibes from Thursday to Sunday night as they closed out the venue each night.

Some other big names included Alison Wonderland, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Ganja White Night, Gud Vibrations, and Snails. One of my favorite artists as of late is Tokimonsta, a female DJ that plays really heavy bass music. She inspires many women trying to break into the industry alongside Whipped Cream and Alison Wonderland, so Electric Forest was feeling the all women wubs this year!

Be on the lookout for Electric Forest news on 616area’s EDM Community page. 

Lost Lands - Legend Valley, OH

One of the filthiest bass artists of our generation has created an EDM and mainly heavy bass music experience like no other. His name is Excision, and the experience is called Lost Lands.

Excision created this terrestrial-themed experience back in 2017 when his fans reaction to his dinosaur-themed visuals inspired him to give them a full three days filled with similar vibes. Perfectly fitted to the theme, the camping festival is located in Legend Valley, Ohio.

During the festival's first two years, they had great success in bringing headbangers together under the bright shining stars and giant dinosaur sculptures in the forest. Excision usually plays a set each day at the festival.

The first day, he plays a two-hour Excision Set, and the second and third days he plays an Excision Detox Set and a back-to-back with one of his good friends. This year, he has chosen to go back-to-back with Illenium, which honestly surprised and excited me because they play very different music, and it's bound to be a unique set.

Other artists that are set to play Lost Lands 2019 are Black Tiger Sex Machine, Dion Timmer, Flosstradamous, Ghastly, Kayzo, NGHTMRE, Slander, Zeds Dead, and more.

One artist I was excited to see on the lineup is Whipped Cream, a superstar female DJ who has burst into the spotlight during 2019. She played Electric Forest, Ultra, Coachella, EDC Vegas, and is going to be playing Lollapalooza in a couple of weeks. I'm excited to see what she has in store for the rest of the year, including her performance at Lost Lands from September 27-29. Get tickets for the festival today before they’re sold out! 

Imagine Music Festival - Atlanta, GA

Though Imagine Festival just began last year, it already has become one of the biggest festivals in the U.S. as it takes up the entirety of the Atlanta Speedway for three whole days in September. Imagine has taken place of TomorrowWorld, which used to be held in Atlanta each year but shut down in 2015.

The theme of Imagine is “an aquatic lifestyle,” and the entertainment really makes you feel like you’re swimming under the sea. For three days, the Atlanta Speedway fills with world-renowned artists, underwater performers, and ravers of all kinds.

If you and your friends want to take a road trip, the festival offers both tent and RV camping, so come take a trip into the deep blue sea. This year, the festival takes place on September 20-22 and features headliners like Diplo, Rezz, Matoma, Above & Beyond, Alison Wonderland, Zeds Dead, Mrshmello, Alan Walker, and Seven Lions.

Is Atlanta even ready for this much EDM music?! They’ve also invited Ghastly, Louis the Child, and more artists that are due to be announced next week. Get tickets now to avoid paying more than you need to because Imagine got close to selling out last year and, after their quick success, it’s bound to happen again! 

HARD Summer - Downtown LA

The first HARD Music Festival was owned by the Hard Brand and founded by Gary Richards, who you may also know as Destructo. The first HARD Summer Music Festival was held on December 31 in Downtown LA and featured artists like Justice, Peaches, and 2 Live Crew.

Though EDM Culture has greatly influenced the festival and its lineup, they still invite hip/hop and R&B artists like Kid Cudi who plans to headline the first night of the festival on August 3. The second night of the festival will be headlined by Major Lazer, who plan to bring lots of energy and live performances like Diplo’s Fortnite dance moves that we’ve all grown to know and love.

HARD Summer 2019 is bringing some of the hottest back-to-back performances of the year to the forefront of highlights on the lineup with Excision b2b NGHTMRE, Flosstradamus b2b 4B, and ZHU b2b Tchami. Ookay plans to play a live set, likely the one he perfected during his Wow! Okay! Cool! Tour earlier this year.

You can still grab tickets to this event and if you have the means, do it for those, like me, who can’t!

Electric-Zoo - New York City

New York is known for partying all night and having their underground raves not end for days, so it should come as no surprise that they have a huge EDM music festival each fall. It helps keep them warm until Gov’s Ball in the spring (sorry, I live in Florida, I had to!).

But since the end of EDC New York in 2016, E-Zoo has quickly gained traction and become the largest music festival Randall's Park sees each year. This year from August 30 through September 1, Randalls Island will be taken over by ravers from all over the Northeast itching to see some of the industry’s most famous artists in the city they call home.

Diplo, Excision, Kaskade, BenniBenassii, Borgore, Diesel, Zedd, Dogs Blood (Skrillex and Boyz Noise), Armin Van Bureen, and Gud Vibrations are just a few of the all-star artists expected to bring the noise to New York for Labor Day weekend.

Some other names that you should check out if you plan to attend are Nitti Gritti, Bounts & Blondes, Riot Ten, and 1788-L. Just a tip from a seasoned raver: be sure to grab tickets soon because the earlier you buy, the cheaper the tickets!

For more info on upcoming festivals, EDM news, and the most recent trends in the EDM culture, join the EDM Community on MyAreaNetwork.