Top 7 Best Music Festivals In The US You NEED To Attend

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Top 7 Best Music Festivals In The US You NEED To Attend

By Jake Kocherhans

By Jake Kocherhans

Co-Founder of Raveraide

With so many music festivals out there, and more and more popping up by the day, this makes many festival attendees wonder, “What are the best music festivals in the US that are worth attending?”

There are so many factors that go beyond just the music when it comes to choosing music festivals. The crowd energy, the ease and accessibility of getting in and out of the festival, The foods, the venue, etc..

With the intention to help guide you to some of our favorite festivals that we deem as CAN’T MISS, here are the 7 best music festivals in the US that we know you’ll have no regrets attending.

Best Music Festivals In The US

1.) EDC Las Vegas

 Las Vegas, Nevada – May 19-21, 2023

biggest music festivals in the us

Photo of EDC Las Vegas

No top festival list would be complete without mentioning EDC Las Vegas. With an average attendance of 150,000 per night, it is the largest festival in the United States. We have attended EDC for four years now and we have learned a lot on best practices to have an amazing experience. With EDC being such a marathon of a festival, proper preparation is the differentiator between having a great weekend or being completely wiped out by the end of it.

Best Tips For EDC Las Vegas

First, if you have the ability to do Camp EDC… DO IT! The ability to enter, leave, and re-enter is such a nice convenience. Also, the ability to get a solid 8 hours of sleep is such a big game changer. You can leave the raceway at 6 AM and sleep from 7 AM until late afternoon the next day. In previous years we stayed in a house near the strip, and there were times we were getting back at 10 AM and having to turn back around by 4 PM to head back in for the next day.

Now I will say that Camp EDC is ALWAYS bumping (literally, the party never stops), so it’s wise to plan ahead and invest in some high quality noise cancelling ear muffs to help you sleep. They’ve also recently introduced something called the Turquoise lot, which is further away from the camp mesa, but also provides a little more peace and quiet throughout the day. Our group stayed there in 2022, and although it’s a slightly further walk to the venue, it allowed us to get MUCH better sleep than we did the previous year.

Second, EDC is a marathon, so make you you bring some electrolytes to keep yourself hydrated. We recommend Raveraide, as it was developed for this exact purpose. Raveraide is an all-natural hydration stick infused with nootropics that help provide mental clarity, natural energy, and neuroprotection.

You don’t realize how many nutrients your body loses over the course of walking 30 miles in a weekend, and when you combine that with sleep deprivation and everything else that goes on at a festival, it becomes that much more important to have a product that helps to replenish you and keep your body feeling good.

Each hydration stick also include a full vitamin spectrum, electrolyte cell salts, amino acids and magnesium for muscle relaxation & recovery. And unlike most other hydration drinks out there, it contains zero artificial flavors, colors, & sweeteners, and uses only 2 grams of organic coconut sugar to sweeten the product.

When I say that I cannot and will not rave without this stuff, I mean it! My rave fam and I usually put a few sticks in a hydration pack or a water bottle and sip on it throughout the night. It really helps with that fading out feeling you get at the mid point of the night, and is also our secret hack for bouncing back and feeling recharged the following morning!

2.) Electric Forest

Rothbury, Michigan – June 22-25, 2023

electric forest music festival

Photo of Electric Forest

Arguably the crown jewel of what EDM has to offer, Electric Forest is one of the most magical venue destinations on the planet. Situated inside the northwestern part of Michigan right near the shoreline of Lake Michigan, getting lost in the Sherwood Forest is one of those things that many ravers gladly make the pilgrimage to experience. Electric Forest is the culmination of connection to nature and the beauty of EDM, all colliding for a massive 4 day event. This festival undoubtedly has some of the biggest die-hard fans, and for very good reason. We waited for 3 years to go to Electric Forest due to its cancellation in 2020-2021, but it was well worth the wait. You cannot miss this festival.

Best Tips For Electric Forest

First, Do NOT be lazy with your preparation for this festival. You really will pay the price if you’re lackadaisical about planning, or if you simply decide to wait until the last minute to get everything ready. This is by far the hottest festival we have been to, and also the one that required the most walking. Just getting to the furthermost stage is a solid 3-4 mile walk one way when you are in GA. Prioritize creating shady areas to relax, and do not over exert yourself when you do not need to. With it being essentially 5-6 days with early entry, this is one of the more challenging, yet rewarding festivals you will ever attend. If you have the means to – I’d recommend getting Good Life or upgraded camping/early entry. The closer you can be to the entrance the better. You’ll thank us later!

Second, and I know I have mentioned this so many times but, hydrate and bring something to keep yourself cool! Day two of Electric Forest in 2022 was the hottest day at a music festival we have ever experienced. You can buy these things called Cold Snap cooling towels that are honestly a game changer. Bring a fan or electric fan if you can, lots of ice, some sort of electrolyte powder. Once again, we highly recommend Raveraide over other alternatives such as Pedialyte or Liquid IV. Call us biased, but when you compare apples to apples, Raveraide just gives you way more bang for your buck (and personally I think it tastes way better too).

We had a couple of people in our group who were really struggling by day three, and keeping them in the shade/replenishing them with food & Raveraide is what helped them power through the final nights. Once the sun goes down, the weather is perfect. But that daytime heat exposure is extreme, even when cloudy. 

3.) Ultra Music Festival

Miami, Florida – March 24-26, 2023

ultra music festival

Photo of Ultra Miami Music Festival

Ultra is the undisputed king of the East Coast festivals for those who seek out the biggest and best of what EDM has to offer. Ultra always brings one of the most stacked lineups of the festival season, and pretty much every Florida festival that we have been to has the ultimate party vibes. If you are a festival attendee that loves smaller and more intimate festivals, this may not be your tip pick. But this is one that we definitely recommend checking out at least once.

Best Tips For Ultra Music Festival

First, be sure to have your travel in and out of the festival coordinated well. With Miami being a population dense place, it takes some time to get to and from where you are needing to go the weekend of the festival.

Second, coordinate meet up spots with your group to ensure nobody gets lost. Ultra is a pretty massive festival with over 150,000 attendees, and cell reception is basically non-existent (unless you’re lucky). As with any big festival, find designated meet up spots and create a plan for how you will link back up with your group members if you happen to get split up.

 

4.) Lost Lands

Legend Valley, Ohio – September 23-25, 2023

lost lands music festival

Photo of Lost Lands Music Festival

Lost Lands, otherwise known as Dubstep Disneyland is the home of thousands of the most hardcore and devout bass music fans. An event curated by Excision, Lost Lands is known for bringing all the power and bass that the heart could desire. As a 4 day music event including one of the most high production & epic pre-party’s out there, Lost Lands is a top tier event that many travel across country for. If dubstep and bass music is your niche, then you will be more than at home amongst the Dino’s.

Best Tips For Lost Lands

First, don’t forget the ear plugs! lol Excision is no stranger to bringing the biggest and loudest sound systems in all of EDM. The production continues to surpass itself year over year and it has been impressive to see the festivals growth trajectory over the years. With that said, it’s important to make sure you invest in some high fidelity ear plugs like Eargasm, that help to protect your ears without compromising the awesome sound quality.

Second, pack for all weather conditions. In previous years there has been rain storms that have made the festival grounds muddy, creating less than ideal conditions. As with all camping festivals, we always advise that you prepare for all weather conditions, both with your clothing as well as your camping gear.

5.) Life Is Beautiful

Las Vegas, Nevada – September 22-24, 2023

Photo of Life is Beautiful Music Festival

Life is Beautiful is one of those festivals that flies under the radar as a top festival in the country. What makes this festival so cool is that it is situated right off of Fremont Street in the heart of Las Vegas. So there is this really cool element of being inside the actual city while attending a multi-genre music festival. You also never know who you will run in to. In 2019, I ran in to Robbie from Louis the Child in the hotel elevator before night one of the fest!

One thing that I love so much about Life Is Beautiful is the interactiveness beyond the music festival. It’s one of those fests where you can get lost for a whole night, not see a single set and still have the time of your life. They also do an incredible job at curating the lineups, so they are very balanced and give you a great opportunity to see amazing artists. For us, Tash Sultana in 2019 was the surprise set that we never saw coming!

Best Tips For Life Is Beautiful

First, if you want to make things as easy as possible for yourself, get a hotel right on Fremont Street. It isn’t necessarily the most wholesome place we’ve been to haha, but it’s amazing in the fact that we were literally a 5 minute walk away from the front gate of the festival. There is something about the fact that you are able to go from catching the final set of the night, to being in your bed within 15 minutes that makes all the difference for us 25+ year old festival goers. Less coordination, less stress, and more fun for all.

Second, go play and explore! There are so many fun things to do at Life Is Beautiful, like optical illusion rooms, old arcade games, and amazing art installations that really add to the overall experience.

6.) Imagine Music Festival

Kingston Downs, Georgia – September 15-17, 2023

Photo of Imagine Music Festival

Imagine Music Festival is another one of those fests that has really taken the cake for us over the years. The grounds themselves are absolutely gorgeous and there are zero issues with dust and debris in the air compared to a lot of other festivals out there. Located just a couple hours north of Atlanta, the secluded venue is surrounded by a beautiful forest of trees, which brings an amazing natural element to vibes of the festival. While there certainly were some growing pains in 2022 with them relocating to their new home, we see so much opportunity for this Imagine to be a top tier festival in the years to come.

Best Tips For Imagine Music Festival

First, if you are able to, definitely upgrade to VIP or bring an RV/Camper. The walking distance from GA to the gate is quite long and it is definitely worth it to be in closer proximity to the entrance. Your legs will be thanking you later!

Second, this festival is a hot one during the day, but can also get pretty chilly and wet at night. The Georgia heat and humidity can really drain you if you don’t take steps to stay hydrated throughout the weekend. On that same note, you definitely want to bring extra warm clothes and blankets for the night time. The dew from the air at night can soak your stuff, so be sure to cover anything you don’t want to get wet!

7.) Bass Canyon

The Gorge, Washington – August 18-20, 2023

bass canyon music festival

Photo of Bass Canyon Music Festival

Another iconic event curated by Excision, The Gorge Amphitheater is an ultimate destination spot for music enthusiasts of all kinds. Situated on the edge of a massive gorge, there is not a more breathtaking venue in the country in our humble opinion. The acoustics and production are top notch, and are a dubstep and bass music enthusiasts dream! This venue is truly something that you need to experience for yourself in order to really take in how incredible of a place this is.

Best Tips For Bass Canyon

First, plan to arrive early so you can get a good spot in line for the camp entrance. It can be a pretty effortless experience if you’re one of the first few cars in line, but if you arrive late, expect to be sitting for up to 8-15+ hours to get in. We got into camp early Thursday morning, and were amazed to see people were STILL trying to get in on Friday. The line to get in seemed to be never ending, however the promoters for Bass Canyon acknowledged the long wait times and have stated that they will be implementing new strategies to get patrons in quicker and in a safe manner.

Second, prepare for all weather. With the venue being on the edge of a gorge, the wind patterns are sometimes unpredictable. In 2021, there was a night where it was extremely cold due to wind and rain, and in 2022 it was one of the hottest fests of the year, with some days hitting over 100 degrees. With that said, just be prepared for anything. Also, this is another festival where it pays to be as close to the entrance as possible, as the walk back to GA camping is a bit of a trek. Although the walk is scenic, it can be a bit long, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!

We hope you found this list helpful! There’s so many incredible music festivals out there, and it’s hard to fit them all into one post. However, these are the best music festivals in the US that we would strongly encourage any EDM loving festival-goer to check out!

While you’re here, be sure to check out some of our favorite hacks recovering & bouncing back faster after music festivals. (you can thank us later)

This post was all about the top 7 best music festivals in the US.

Jake Kocherhans
Jake Kocherhans

As one of the co-founders of Raveraide, Jake has spent the past 6 years of his life as both a health coach and marketing consultant for small businesses. He began attending music festivals in 2018, and is incredibly passionate about sharing both his love for health & fitness, as well as his love for the EDM community. His favorite EDM artists are Subtronics, Seven Lions, LSDREAM, and Blanke. Follow him on Instagram @jakekocherhans

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