Best 2023 Summer Music Festivals in America

Summer is fast approaching and if you love music, don’t you really want to attend a music festival? After all, it’s one of the best things to do in the summer and you get to see some of your favorite recording artists. Indeed, with so many summer music festivals it really doesn’t matter whether your …

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American rapper Jack Harlow performing last year at Outside Lands Music Festival in SF

Summer is fast approaching and if you love music, don’t you really want to attend a music festival? After all, it’s one of the best things to do in the summer and you get to see some of your favorite recording artists. Indeed, with so many summer music festivals it really doesn’t matter whether your music preferences is country western, hip hop, EDM, jazz or rock. In you haven’t yet made plans, tickets are available for most every major music festival this summer. That may be because of the country’s lingering inflation, with prices remaining high on most everything. On the other hand, in previous years, you couldn’t get tickets to many festivals because of high demand. With all this in mind, here are just 10 of the best summer musical festivals this year in America. If you notice one of your favorite summer fests is missing, it’s because there wasn’t enough information at the time of publishing.


Great Stage Park
1560 New Bush Branch Road
Manchester, TN  37355

Dates: June 15-18, 2023

Attendance last year was surprisingly way down from its peak of 90,000 music lovers. However, with COVID-19 cases significantly down, there’s a good chance the numbers will be better in 2023. What’s more, festival organizers will bring in some of the biggest names in the music industry to its 700-acre farm in Manchester. For example, you can see the headliners Kendrick Lamar, Odesza and Foo Fighters on the final three nights. That’s not to mention additional top acts like Lil Nas X, Korn, Sheryl Crow, Marcus Mumford, Alesso and Paramore. Despite a large of high-profile music artists on the schedule, general admission and single day tickets remain available. Of course, if you attend all four days of this annual musical festival, you should camp or bring your RV.

CMA Fest

Nissan Stadium
1 Titans Way
Nashville, TN  37213

Dates: June 8-11, 2023

It’s the 50th anniversary of the CMA in Nashville and as a result, you know it’s going to be extra special. With this in mind, among the headliners you can see are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. That’s not to mention Eric Church, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Megan Moroney, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce and Rita Wilson Of course, there will be several up and coming acts not only at Nissan Stadium but Ascend Amphitheater. In all there will be over 260 country music acts at this year’s CMA Fest, along with special appearances from Reba McEntire, Dierks Bentley and more. Four-night and single night tickets are available and includes admission to Fan Fair X inside Music City Center.

Related: Best American Music Museums

ESSENCE Festival of Culture

Caesars Superdome
1500 Sugar Bowl Drive
New Orleans, LA  70112

Drawing a half-million attendees, the ESSENCE Festival is America’s largest festival celebrate African American music and culture. While last year’s event drew music icons like the Isley Brothers, Janet Jackson and Patti LaBelle, this year may be just as good. For example, Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill are headliners, along with Megan Thee Stallion. In addition, there are other notable acts like Ludacris, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Jermaine Dupri, Big Boi and Gucci Mane. Also on hand at the festival is the free ESSENCE Food & Wine Festival at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Plenty of tickets, including VIP packages are available for all three evening concerts. While there will be public transportation available to the convention center and Caesars Superdome, many third-party vendors are offering transportation.

Governor’s Ball

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway
Queens, NY  11375

Dates: June 9-11, 2023

With headliners like Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar and Odesza, you’re bound to enjoy a full weekend of live music. What’s more, there is a large number of supporting acts that include Haim, Diplo, Lil Baby, Sofi Tukker and Lil Nas X. That’s not to mention the great food that will be available from many popular local vendors. For instance, The Hallal Guys will be there, as well as Gordon’s Cantina, Milk & Cream Bar and Frites Artois. Of course, several signature beverages will also be available, including Barcardí’s Governor Ball Punch and Chateau Ste. Michelle wine. This time around, the Governor’s Ball will be held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. In order to get to the music festival from Manhattan, you can take the subway route 7 or the Long Island Railroad. If you take the subway, you can get off at either 111 Street or Mets-Willets Point. Single day and three day tickets are still available.

Life is Beautiful

Fremont Street
Las Vegas, NV  89101

Dates: September 22-24, 2023

What could be celebrating the official end of summer than at the Life is Beautiful music fest? And in Las Vegas no less! Covering 18 blocks in downtown Las Vegas, Life is Beautiful will bring some familiar names back to the stages. For instance, Kendrick Lamar and Odesza, who seem to be everywhere this summer are headlining the final two days. Furthermore, Las Vegas’ own rockers The Killers are closing the Friday night show. That’s to say nothing of other top acts like Khalid, The 1975, Nelly, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kim Petras. Together with the musical acts will be Las Vegas-style performances from the Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, Meow Wolf and more. Plenty of tickets are available including single day, 3-day, shuttles and hotel packages.

Related: Europe’s Best 2022 Summer Music Festivals 


Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL  6060

Dates: August 3-6, 2023

Of all the many summer festivals happening in Chicago, Lollapalooza is the best known and by far the largest. This year, you can expect a similar crowd, especially with mega-stars appearing on all four days. In fact, Billie Billie Eilish and Karol G are the headliners on Thursday night, along with other popular acts like Diplo and Carly Rae Jepsen. On Friday, you’ll have Kendrick Lamar and The 1975, with Odesza and Tomorrow Together headlining on Saturday. The final evening is just as impressive, with Lana Del Rey and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers closing out the show. Other familiar acts to appear in Grant Park are Thirty Seconds to mars, The Revivalists, Afrojack and Louis the Child. 4-day, single day and hotel packages all remain available online.

Newport Jazz Festival

Fort Adams State Park
80 Fort Adams Drive
Newport, RI  02840

Dates: August 4-6, 2023

In terms of numbers, the Newport Jazz Festival doesn’t draw nearly as many fans as the Montreal Jazz Festival. On the other hand, it’s one of America’s most important and most famous jazz festivals. After all, it’s the oldest of its kind in the country and is known as the “grandaddy of all music festivals”. What’s more, it has brought in many of the most prominent arts of the blues and jazz music genres. This includes Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Weather Report. This summer, the Newport Jazz Festival will feature headliners Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Jon Baptiste, Herbie Hancock and Diana Krall. In addition, will be performances by Kamasi Washington, Christian McBride, Charles Lloyd and Samara Joy. Also happening at the same venue in July is the equally iconic Newport Jazz Festival.

American rock band Green Day onstage at Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco
Green Day, Outside Lands (credit: Randy Yagi)

Outside Lands

Golden Gate Park
1232 John F. Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA  94121

Dates: August 11-13, 2023

Music artists like Kendrick Lamar, Zedd and Janelle Monáe could all be headliners for a major summer music festival. However, in this case that’s who you can see on just the first day of the 2023 Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park. The lineups for Saturday and Sunday are just as impressive, making it worthwhile to purchase a three-day festival ticket. As for Saturday, you’ll have the Foo Fighters, along with Lana Del Rey and Maggie Rogers. Closing out the show on Sunday is the EDM act Odesza, in addition to The 1975, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Yachty. Not only can you see over 90 musical acts, you can enjoy gourmet food, craft beer and premium wines. All levels of tickets are still available, including single day tickets and VIP tickets. Please note that there is no overnight camping and there is limited parking. Information about tickets for shuttle buses are not yet available.

Related: Top Things to Do on Mother’s Day 2023 in San Francisco

Rolling Loud Miami

Hard Rock Stadium
347 Don Shula Drive
Miami Gardens, FL  33056

Dates: July 21-23, 2023

Playboi Carti, Travis Scott and A$AP Rock are the headliners for the top hip hop festival this summer. However, there will be over 100 hip hop artists to entertain you and 250,000 other music fans. In fact, these other acts may be among your favorites like Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Glorilla, Rae Sremmurd and Don Tolliver. That’s not to mention special guest appearances by Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert and more. All tickets levels are available including general, VIP and essential parking shuttle passes. In addition, you can book your Miami hotel directly through Rolling Loud Miami.


Henry Maier Festival Park
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI  53202

Dates: June 22-24, June 29-July 1 July 6-8, 2023

Celebrating its 55th year, Summerfest will be bringing several top name acts to Milwaukee. Not that you need any convincing, but among the music acts to appear are Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Dave Matthews Band, Imagine Dragons, James Taylor and Odesza. Equally important are other high-profile acts like Cheap Trick, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Cypress Hill, Earth, Wind & Fire, Smokey Robinson, Smash Mouth and Vanilla Fudge. In all, 100 acts are in this year’s lineup, performing across seven stages and two pavilions. Of course, there will be popular food and beverage vendors at spots like Miller Lite Oasis and Water Street Brewery. Among the world’s largest music festivals, Summerfest has a perfect setting along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Related: America’s Best 2023 Spring Music Festivals

About the Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across over 20 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget,, and He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.