For a music lover, nothing makes a better getaway than a music festival. With the challenges amidst the pandemic, it can be tough to find music festival travel packages for 2021.
Festivals closed for 2020, but many of them are finding ways to make the event happen this year, and if you can’t wait to get back on the festival circuit, then you need to check out our list of music festival travel packages before planning your 2021 trip.
What to Know About the 2021 Festival Year
As much as you are desperate for the 2021 music festival year, the artists are even more eager to get back out there and entertain you. They’ve had a year or longer to prepare, so you can bet these shows will be simply amazing.
Esquire warns, though, the 2021 season will look much different with festivals carefully following social distancing and other protective guidelines. Despite this, many organizers are cautiously planning for one of the best years ever in festivals.
You should be aware that the details of each festival are subject to change at any time. The festivals that are still on the schedule all have tentative dates, and many haven’t yet released the lineup since things are still somewhat in the air.
Quartz explains that local health guidelines will play a large part in whether a festival goes on or cancels.
You will probably have to wear a mask the whole time, and events will have a smaller crowd to allow for distancing. Some areas may even require proof of vaccination or conduct testing on-site prior to entry.
Even with restrictions, a die-hard music festival fan, such as yourself, should still be able to immerse yourself in the fun, music, and freedom that these events provide. It can be a wonderful time that allows you to escape the frustration and fear of the past year through uplifting and inspiring music.
Prepare Properly for Your Trip
Whether this is your first music festival or not, 2021 is sure to be a year when you will need to make some preparations. You’ll not only need your typical festival gear, but also extra stuff to ensure you stay safe.
You’ll need standard items, such as wireless earbuds and a travel suitcase. Don’t forget to bring a beach blanket of some type to sit on or you can choose an inflatable hammock if you want to be more comfortable. Also, remember to bring sunscreen and a hat or umbrella.
It is also essential to make sure you think about your health and safety. Do not forget hydration. You can get a hydration pack for easy drinking on the go, and a collapsible cooler is a good idea, too. Finally, make sure to bring multiple face masks.
5 Festivals to Watch
The following five festivals have not yet scheduled their 2021 dates, but they have optimistically made statements to say they plan on having their festivals this year. You’ll notice some of the bigger names on this list.
1. Burning Man
One of the top names in music festivals, Burning Man occurs in Black Rock City, NV. It’s very artsy and features the burning man wooden statute set ablaze at the end of the festival week.
The festival is so big that it creates a temporary town every year that draws in people from all over the world. Shows, exhibits, and concerts go on continuously, so it is always alive and vibrant.
It is ideal if you love the hippie artistic vibe. People who choose Burning Man often love expressing themselves and stepping far outside the box.
The organizers say they simply do not know what will happen this year. They are waiting it out to see if the festival is possible under health guidelines closer to the anticipated date.
Lollapalooza is the Coachella of the Midwest. Held in Chicago, IL in the summer, this festival is mainly known for alternative music, but has a nice variety of artists from all genres.
The urban atmosphere is quite different from many of the other festivals that take place in open fields and wooded areas. That makes it a top choice for those who aren’t into “roughing it” and prefer staying in a hotel or other modern amenities.
Organizers of Lollapalooza have yet to make any statements on what will happen for 2021. They have also failed to release any dates, so it is very much up in the air if this festival will happen.
3. Pitchfork Fest
Pitchfork Fest happens annually in Chicago, IL. It comes from Pitchfork Media and is basically the media giant personified.
This festival is perfect for you if you have an eclectic taste in music. It pulls in artists that are just starting to make it big or right on the edge of exploding. It focuses on the music, which many of the other festivals have gotten away from. So, if you are a purist, then this is the festival for you.
Pitchfork Media is still unsure what will happen. In the meantime, it is releasing many virtual events you can check out.
4. Telluride Bluegrass Festival
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival occurs in Telluride, CO. As the name suggests, this is a bluegrass-focused festival. It is very much outdoorsy, so if camping is your thing, this is a good pick.
Organizers are not yet giving dates for the festival, but local reporters say it will go on this year. You should expect social distancing and other health guidelines. The reports say the event, which usually runs for seven days, will occur over two weekends instead.
5. Electric Forest
Usually held in August, Electric Forest occurs in Rothbury, MI. It is an outrageous festival featuring plenty of bright colors, lights, and nature.
If you embrace the offbeat, then this is a great choice. The music focuses on electronic music and jam bands, so you should enjoy that type of vibe. You should expect to camp in the forest. The festival offers a range of camping experiences you can purchase.
Organizers have made no commitment to the 2021 season. They say if it happens, it will be in August as usual.
9 Festivals on the Schedule
Now that we’ve gotten the canceled festivals and the ones that have yet to set a date out of the way, we can focus on those that have made a commitment to throw an event this year.
We have 12 music festivals for you to plan on attending for 2021.
1. Essence Festival of Culture
You can attend the Essence Festival of Culture June 25-27 and July 2-4. ESSENCE, the organizer, decided to make the event a virtual festival. The details are not completely clear, but there will be virtual concerts and other events. ESSENCE has not announced the headliners.
As a black-owned media company, ESSENCE pulls out a festival focused on black culture and music. If this interests you, then it should be a good fit.
Of course, for 2021, you will also need to be okay with attending virtually. For those who want the whole festival experience, this may not work.
The New Orleans festival typically occurs on the July 4th weekend. It is huge with about 500,000 attendees coming to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The usual setup has vendors, activities, art, and other entertainment throughout the weekend. It is unclear how this will play out virtually.
Held in Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest usually features big names you’ll currently hear on the radio and classic favorites. For 2021, you can attend the event in September on three different dates: 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18.
If you love music and listening to all different types of bands, you’ll love Summerfest. This year’s lineup includes Guns ‘n Roses, Justin Bieber, Blink 182, and Dave Matthews Band.
When you want to attend the biggest festival in the country, this is it. You can’t get any bigger than Summerfest.
Summerfest plays out a lot like a fair more than like a festival. You still get a beautiful outdoor atmosphere by a lake, but it is not as wild as some of the other music fests.
The move to September for the festival is due to organizers hoping health restrictions will loosen up by then to allow you to have the best experience possible.
Found in Napa, CA, BottleRock is one of the only California music festivals to hang in there for 2021. Organizers have set the dates for September 3-5.
This music festival is ideal if you love rock ‘n roll and beer or fine wine. The focus is on the food, drink, and music. If you love these three things, then you’ll have a blast. The music at the festival is indie rock, so you should enjoy that, too.
The organizers haven’t made any changes so far for 2021 except moving it to Labor Day weekend. There have been no other mentions of changes due to health restrictions.
4. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
For one of the best traditional festival experiences, check out Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival September 2-5 in Manchester, TN.
The wide variety of music includes headliners Lana del Rey, Tyler the Creator, Lil Baby, Foo Fighters, Lizzo, Megan thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, and Tame Impala.
If you are a purist looking for music festival travel packages that deliver camping and all-night dancing, then this is for you.
It is a real festival experience where you will get dirty and you will be tired by the end, but you also will feel lifted up by the music and the overall vibe where anything goes.
Organizers never wavered on the 2021 dates. They have stated attendees will take on the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by attending. They also will work with public health officials to implement any health regulations required to keep you as safe as possible.
5. Electric Zoo
Focusing on electronic music, the Electric Zoo music festival will occur September 3-5 in New York, NY. Headliners this year include Duke Dumont, Alesso, Galantis, Tiesto, and Fisher.
This festival is a completely outdoor venue. It operates similarly to a fair with vendors of all types. The theme for 2021 is supernatural, so expect things to get weird. If you love odd and out of this world, then this is the choice for you.
Organizers have yet to announce any COVID restrictions for the music festival travel packages. It seems like business as usual for this festival in 2021.
6. Riot Fest
Another festival occurring in Chicago, IL, Riot Fest will happen September 16-19. The music has a focus on punk rock with some alternative and hip hop. Headliners this year include Run the Jewels, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Pixies.
This is one of the tamer music festivals, open to all ages. It is perfect for a family that wants to introduce their kids to the scene. You can still expect some wild times after dark at this festival, and the overall vibe is very much like a carnival with rides, vendors, and plenty of food.
The organizers have not yet set out any guidelines or limitations for the event. However, you can assume there will be some COVID-19 precautions.
7. Firefly Festival
Held in Dover, DE, Firefly Festival will happen September 23-26. Firefly is a traditional style festival with camping, vendors, and plenty of pop music.
This is a great festival for younger people. There are late-night parties and not a lot of amenities. So, if you are ready to rough it and have a blast listening to some of the popular artists on the charts, this is a good pick.
The organizers have not given information about health measures or any adjustments to the festival.
8. The Governors Ball
The Governors Ball is happening from September 24-26 in New York, NY. It usually occurs in the summer, but the move is in line with hopes that health guidelines will loosen by the fall.
The festival usually kicks off summer in the city with a diverse lineup of artists from various genres. It is upbeat and fun with an atmosphere that suits NYC.
If you love the city and a variety of music genres, this might be a good fit. The festival takes place on Randall’s Island and features a lot of tasty foods, which is a huge draw if you are a foodie. It also has art exhibits and vendors.
The organizers say they will follow all health guidelines as they stand at the time of the festival.
Lockn’ in Arrington, VA, will take place on October 1-3. This festival is exactly what festivals should be. It takes place on Oak Ridge Farm where you can camp and be free.
The music lineup is unique, featuring jam bands and improv acts. If this suits you and you want a hippie atmosphere, then Lockn’ can be a great place for you.
You should also love camping because it is a camping-friendly venue with various camping options to purchase as part of your music festival travel packages.
The organizers have listed headliners, including John Mayer, Brandi Carlile, and David Crosby. All the acts from the canceled 2020 festival will return for 2021.
While not every music festival will take place this year, there are plenty who are moving ahead with plans to throw an event you will remember.
Being able to escape after this past year of lockdowns and quarantines is a true gift, and what better way to do it than with music festival travel packages?
Do you plan on attending any music festivals this year? Let us know which ones in the comments below.