Music Festival Madness: Top 7 Grossing Festival Cities

The last decade has witnessed a parallel rise in two very powerful industries — music festivals and vacation rentals. While they have each developed independently and without much help from one another, today they operate very much in tandem.

AllTheRooms Analytics has produced a new study ranking the best vacation rental markets during some of the country’s top festivals. As we discovered, some areas of the United States are setting entirely new standards for the price of accommodation, making short-term rentals a lucrative industry for locals looking to capitalize on festival-related tourism.

For each market, we’ve included graphs depicting the average daily rate per listing (ADR) and occupancy rate (the percentage of listings that are booked on a given day.) Our primary ranking factor was RevPAR, or Revenue Earned per Available Room.

1. Indio, CA (Coachella and Stagecoach, April)

Coachella is undoubtedly one of the most popular music festivals in the world and it has a vacation rental market to match. Indio, which is where Coachella is based, is the most lucrative short-term rental city during any given festival period. The city also benefits from hosting Stagecoach music festival one week later, making it the top-grossing city in the US.

Indio’s RevPAR during the city’s six-day impact period (which ran on the dates April 12-14 and April 19-21, 2019) was a very high $796, with many visitors opting to rent large houses. Across the short-term rental industry the total gross revenue earned during the dates of Coachella festival was $452,303, and the total gross revenue earned during Stagecoach festival was $416,843.

2. Telluride, CO (Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June)

Telluride is one of the original vacation rental markets that has been performing since the 1970s. While wintertime is certainly its primetime season, June’s Bluegrass Festival sees a huge uptick in revenues for hosts as the prices are significantly higher for travelers. Telluride’s revenue earned per available room over the festival’s three-day period, which ran from June 20th to 23rd, 2019, was $632. Meanwhile, the city’s total gross revenue earned during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival was a high $1,030,802.

3. Gulf Shores, AL (Hangout Festival, May)

Much like Telluride, Alabama’s Gulf Shores is one of the original short-term rental hotspots. While the average revenue earned per night isn’t nearly as high as the first two cities on our list, it still experiences a significant uptick in ADRs and occupancy rates come mid-May when Hangout Festival comes to town.

Over the three-day period from May 17-19, 2019, during Hangout Festival, the RevPar was $290 and the total gross revenue earned during Hangout Festival was $1,598,399.

4. Austin, TX (South by Southwest, March)

Austin is no stranger to the festival scene. While it’s a solid destination for year-round returns, April sees the most dramatic revenue spikes. When SXSW festival is in town (which is an event that spans one full week with two bookended weekends), hosts can expect large returns.

The average RevPAR during SXSW’s nine-day impact period (which ran from March 11th to March 19th, 2019) was $254 and the total gross revenue earned during SXSW was an enormous $12,961,290 — making it one of the most lucrative short-term rental cities during a festival period in the US.

5. New Orleans, LA (Jazz Fest, April/May)

Despite recent regulations, New Orleans has remained among the most valuable vacation rental markets thanks to Mardi Gras, which runs annually in February, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, which takes place in late April and early May.

Over the city’s six-day New Orleans Jazz Festival period (which ran from April 26th to April 28th, and May 3rd to May 5th, 2019) the average RevPAR was $245. As for the total gross revenue earned during the city’s main events, the New Orleans Jazz Festival pulled in $3,032,834, and the Mardi Gras, $3,307,618.

6. Miami, FL (Ultra Music Festival, March)

Miami’s Ultra Music Festival taking place during March of each year is one of the world’s largest electronic dance festivals. Tourists flock from all around the US and the world to attend, and the vacation rental data reflect these increases in demand.

Miami’s average RevPAR over the four-day Ultra Music Festival period, which ran from March 28-March 31 2019, was $191 and short-term rentals pulled in $2,300,745 of total gross revenue during the Ultra Music Festival period.

7. Chicago, IL (Lollapalooza, August)

Because the Chicago vacation rental market is so large and diluted, we don’t see quite the same numbers come festival season as in other locations. That being said, it’s good enough to rank on our top seven list of the cities with the best vacation rental markets for vacation rentals.

Over the four-day Lollapalooza period, which ran from August 1st to August 4th, 2019, the RevPAR was $186 and the total gross revenue earned during Lollapalooza was a high $3,621,584.