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Florida is one of the best festival hubs in the US, with tons of awesome music festivals year-round. There are so many to choose between it can be hard to pick — from smooth jazz festivals through to electronic music festivals and events with top hip-hop artists taking to the stage. We’re here to help with a roundup of the best music festivals in Florida. So grab a pen and start adding a few into your calendar!
January: South Beach Jazz Fest
Want to kick back listening to smooth jazz near to a beach? Well, the annual South Beach Jazz Fest will give you just that. The festival takes place at various locations across Miami Beach during the first week of January. Say goodbye to post-Christmas blues, and hello to a relaxing and fun start to the new year. The festival is a showcase of international jazz, here are last year’s highlights to get inspired. Most of the events during the South Beach Jazz Festival are free and open to the public — so there’s really no excuse not to go!
March: Ultra Music Festival
For many EDM fans, Ultra Music Festival is one of the year’s highlights. This epic three-day electro-dance festival brings in huge international artists, such as David Guetta, Marshmello, Afrojack, Carl Cox and many, many more. There’s also a live stage with surprise guests, so keep your eyes peeled. The festival used to be located in Downtown Miami but will be moving to somewhere else in Florida in 2019 — with the exact location yet to be announced. If it’s your first time at Ultra Music Festival, you’re in for a treat.
April: Tortuga Music Festival
Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale brings the top country, rock and roots artists to the stage. It’s one of the most popular festivals in the year, and thousands upon thousands of people descend to the festival’s beachside location. In the past, the event has brought the likes of Snoop Dogg and Brothers Osborne, and upcoming in 2019 Sheryl Crow, Flo Rida, and Maren Morris will be taking to the stage. The three-day festival has a strong focus on marine conservation — and with its white-sand beachside location, it encourages more people to think about our oceans.
May: Sunset Music Festival
Sunset Music Festival in Tampa is a favorite for many festival-goers. Every year the festival draws in huge acts, from bass, house and trance genres, meaning there really something for everyone. Past lineups have included Major Lazer, Marshmallow, and Yellow Claw. The two-day music festival is known for its wild parties — you’ll be dancing for two days straight.
Not to be confused with Sunset Music Festival, West Palm Beach plays host to SunFest, the largest waterfront music and art festival in Florida. The festival is said to attract almost 300,000 people, keen to listen to great live music and party on the waterfront. In the past, the likes of Duran Duran, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and Herbie Hancock have taken to the stage. It features music for everyone, from hip-hop to reggae to indie and jazz.
May: Welcome to Rockville
With the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, the Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age playing in the past, it’s easy to see why Welcome to Rockville Festival is one of the country’s biggest rock music events. You’ll be flinging your hair back and forth to some of the biggest acts in the rock industry. And when it’s time to unwind, the festival has fun additions, such as a wine garden and a tiki bar. The festival is located in Metropolitan Park, Jacksonville.
May: Florida Folk Festival
The Florida Folk Festival is a three-day celebration of all things folk, music, and crafts. At the festival, you’ll find everything from Irish fiddle playing to music workshops, techno artists, storytelling performances, crafting pine-needle baskets, and much more. The festival focuses on connecting with others and draws on the stories of some of Florida’s oldest communities and the things that make the Sunshine State unique. There’s also an emphasis on nature at the festival, and you can purchase locally-grown azaleas and other plants there. The Florida Folk Festival takes place annually in May in White Springs.
June: Sarasota Music Festival
For those of you that love classical music, Sarasota features an incredible lineup of international classical artists. The format of the Sarasota Music Festival is similar to that of Aspen Festival in Colorado, where you can see concerts by top classic artists and also take part in a summer music academy, where professional musicians deliver master classes and workshops. The festival takes place in various locations in Sarasota across almost the whole month of June.
November: Electric Daisy Festival
If you’re looking for a wild, carnival-like experience, look no further than Electric Daisy Festival. The festival ground is covered with trippy neon lights, artwork and dance performers. It’s an awesome EDM festival located in Orlando and the likes of Alison Wonderland and Calvin Harris have played in the past. The festival is full of fun activities, from Ferris wheels, through to glow-in-the-dark artworks and circus performers.
November/December: Riptide Music Festival
Riptide Music Festival storms Fort Lauderdale Beach in December, bringing some of the best acts in Indie-Rock to Florida’s sun-soaked beaches. Past lineups include The Jacksons, Panic at the Disco, Sublime and Collective Soul. You can listen to great music and soak up some sun at the same time, as the festival is located directly on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Who said anything about winter? It’s always sunny in Florida! Vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale tend to be popular all year round, so be sure to book in advance if you’re attending a festival.