Memorial Day weekend here in the United States is the unofficial kickoff of the summer festival season. We’re already celebrating at Music Festival Wizard with our annual rundown of the best festivals over the holiday.
Where: Detroit, MI
The Scene: Long before the onslaught of the modern day EDM festival scene, the Movement Festival has owned downtown Detroit over Memorial Day weekend. Running under a few different names since 2000, this festival brings in top talent to Hart Plaza and delivers an EDM urban experience far different than any other you’ll find over the summer.
More Info: Movement Detroit 2020 Guide
Where: Napa, CA
The Scene: Wine meets music when artists from around the world descend on Napa Valley just north of San Francisco. The internationally renown wine region lets it all hang out during this Memorial Day Weekend Festival, putting out one of the best West Coast lineups of the season.
The Lineup: Big Freedia, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews Band, Empire of the Sun, Jimmy Eat World, Local Natives, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Milky Chance, Of Monsters and Men, Ra Ra Riot, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Avett Brothers, Trampled By Turtles, Zedd
More Info: Bottlerock Napa Valley 2020 Guide
Where: Allston, MA
The Scene: It’s been a dry spell for Boston and music festivals until Boston Calling showed up with this downtown fest. As if making up for lost time, Boston Calling now happens twice a year. The spring version takes place over Memorial Day Weekend and has featured acts like Death Cab for Cutie, The National, Bastille, and Built to Spill.
More Info: Boston Calling 2020 Guide
Where: Lakewood, PA
The Scene: After 10 years of throwing wildly successful ragers in the big city, BangOn!NYC brings their style to the woods for a three day summer camp style party. The new Memorial Day Weekend festival features seven stages, massive art installations, and plenty of fun camp games. Grab a cabin or bring a tent to the bucolic hills of Northeastern Pennsylvania and be ready to dance.
More Info: Elements Lakewood Festival 2020 Guide
Where: Pryor, OK
The Scene: Looking for a contemplative weekend of drum circles and mellow campfire jams -- then Rocklahoma is your nightmare. The only thing more legendary than the lineup at Rocklahoma are the campground ragers. Contests throughout the weekend inspire party animals to fully trick out their campsite in creative and often, puzzling ways.
More Info: Rocklahoma 2020 Guide
Where: Chillicothe, IL
The Scene: From chilled out late night campfire jams to beat busting dance shows, the party at Summer Camp goes long past the end of scheduled performances. “Scampers” can apply to become camp counselors which means free tickets, free camping, and free beer in exchange for being an official party ambassador to the other attendees. Our resident festival expert calls Summer Camp — “The best festival of the Memorial Day Weekend.”
The Lineup: Dopapod, Emancipator, EOTO, Griz, Keller Williams, Lettuce, moe., Papadosio, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Rezz, Rival Sons, STS9, The Werks, Umphrey's McGee, Umphrey’s McGee, Ween, Yonder Mountain String Band
More Info: Summer Camp 2020 Guide
Where: Monterey, CA
The Scene: One of the largest reggae festivals in the country, Calforinia Roots delivers a cosmic blend of good vibes, true happiness, family, peace, love and joy to all who enter. The three-day festival takes place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, where Jimi Hendrix famously lit his guitar on fire in 1967.
More Info: California Roots 2020 Guide
Where: Cumberland, MD
The Scene: The legendary bluegrass artist Del McCoury curates this annual festival at the picture perfect Allegany County Fairgrounds in Maryland. Camping, dancing, and of course, plenty of bluegrass set the stage for a Memorial Day weekend of world class collaborations, special guest sit-ins, informal workshops, and late night picking sessions.
More Info: DelFest 2020 Guide
Where: Axton, VA
The Scene: Making the most out of tragedy, Rooster Walk was started to celebrate the lives of two childhood friends that passed away. With a mission to create a festival that could fund a scholarship, the Rooster Walk Music and Arts was born. A decade later, this festival for charity has become a centerpiece event of the region.
More Info: Rooster Walk 2020 Guide