Best Music Festivals to Attend in 2023

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

June 15-18, 2023 (Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee)

Radiate Positivity at the Coachella of the Midwest/South

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival holds a special place in our heart as it is our “local festival.” Manchester is about an hour and a half south of Nashville, Tennessee and we have been following the evolution and blossoming of this festival from the start.

This year’s line up boasts headliners Kendrick Lamar, Odesza and Foo Fighters, a really well rounded top 3 for fans of each genre. It’s undercard lineup is pretty stacked to with artists including Lil Nas X, Paramore, Tyler Childers, Portugal. the Man, and Charley Crockett all on the bill. Other performers include Louis the Child, Griz, Three 6 Mafia, My Morning Jacket, Sheryl Crow, Marcus Mumford, Jenny Lewis, Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and Nineties nu-metal titans Korn. The annual late-night highlight, the Bonnaroo SuperJam, is set for Saturday, June 17.

Bonnaroo is unlike any other festival in that for the week of the festival – and yes we say a week because you can arrive as early as Tuesday and stay thru Monday morning – the grounds of Bonnaroo, fondly known as “the farm” are transformed into a little community that is a home away from home for many. Bonnaroo is creole slang meaning a really good time all true Rooers in the community follow a creed, which is called the “Bonnaroovian Code” with some of the main goals being to radiate positivity, take care of each other and the environment too.

Bonnaroo is probably one of the most eco-friendly and sustainability-conscious festivals around – in 2011, A Greener Festival recognized Bonnaroo’s efforts for the previous three years with an award. The things that they have done for the environment through their Bonnaroo Works Fund and Planet Roo. Take a break in Planet Roo, a haven for sustainability, wellness, and global consciousness. With representation from a diverse group of non-profit organizations, this space is an opportunity to learn, relax, and get inspired to take impactful action.

Each year, festival goers have the opportunity to participate in the 5K Roo Run. The legendary Roo Run, benefiting the Bonnaroo Works Fund is sponsored by Dunkin’ From start to finish, Dunkin’ will be on-site helping to make the 5K loop around The Farm your personal best.

Centeroo is where the stages, ferris wheel, water slides (Splash-a-roo), village market vendors, Broo’ers festival and mroe happen. Centeroo is then surrounded by the campground which is broken down into Plazas and is a whole experience. Plazas host next-level activities unlike any other festival you’ve been to. Expect secret shows, celebrity surprises, late night (early morning?) parties, parades, unique music & art experiences, yoga-roo, and more.

We saw the return of Bonnaroo in 2022 after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic and flooding from Hurricane Ida. It was also the first year the festival was held under the full ownership of Live Nation. There were a few bumps along the way with the transfer of teams, but the overall experience vibes and positivity that only Bonnaroo brings was present and we are confident that the kinks will be worked out for this year. Anytime a new venture is taken on, there is a learning curve but the true Bonnaroovians are more than happy to assist in making it a cohesive transition.

Bonnaroo kicked off in 2002 and continues every year in Manchester, Tennessee. Though the festival started with an emphasis on folk rock and country, it has evolved to include a wide variety of musical styles. Bonnaroo has firmly cemented its place as one of the most influential festivals in North America. USA Today has referred to Bonnaroo as “The culmination of a musical movement.” CNN described it as: “Music and subculture melted together into a pot of creative bubbling energy.” In 2008, it was named “Best Festival” by Rolling Stone magazine, calling it “the ultimate over-the-top summer festival.” The New York Times said “Bonnaroo has revolutionized the modern rock festival” in 2012, and Spin called it the “Best festival of the summer.

Tickets: Starting at $175 (1-Day); $340 (4-day)

Electric Forest

June 22-25, 2023 (Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan)

One of the Most Unique Festivals in the World

Electric Forest is a ritualistic gathering. The experience of Electric Forest is one that caters to the group; reacting to its perpetual nature. The trees have over a decade of songs and stories to share. The Hanger, one of the festival’s stages, is a perfect illustration of the festival’s attitude it actually is a whole space with a 1940’s themed that has services like a barbershop, tattoo parlor, massage parlor, gaming area, an E-Forest “travel agency”, poetry brothel and more. There are also numerous interactive exhibits, secrets and adventures to be had within Sherwood Forest, late-night RV campground jam sets

The headliners are particularly stacked with internationally renowned artists like ODESZA, Jamie xx, ILLENIUM, Lane 8, Zeds Dead, Above & Beyond, and REZZ. The bassheads will be plenty pleased with a good list of neck breakers including Kai Wachi, SVDDEN DEATH Presents VOYD, and Zingara. There are also plenty of returning favorites such as Gorgon City and iconic band The String Cheese Incident who will be joined by Forest first-timers 070 Shake and ISOxo.

A few changes should be considered, including the price and Loyalty ID system, if any festival lover is considering this gorgeous Insomniac camping festival. It usually sells out before the end of January.

Electric Forest, created first in 2008 as a jam band/ rock festival under the name Rothbury Music Festival and later in 2011 re-born as Electric Forest, an electronic festival is designed around the idea that attendees will be completely immersed from start to finish without interruption. With its astonishing and unparalleled integration of music, art and community, Electric Forest delivers “The ultimate festival experience.” From the carefully curated musical lineup, to the jaw-dropping Sherwood Forest, to the festival’s unprecedented participatory spirit, to the site’s incomparable features and amenities – Electric Forest creates a vibe so thick with “camaraderie and freedom…it must be experienced to be appreciated.”

Tickets: Starting at $485

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