Lots of things have changed since we last published a festival season preview. Vaccines have become widely available, concert safety precautions have been implemented, and live music has slowly crept back to the forefront of our cultural calendars as a result. With a stacked slate of music festivals set to take place throughout Florida and our neighboring states through the end of the year, why not give it another shot?
The key now is to keep an eye on which of these events take place without running into trouble–between tropical weather-related cancellations and issues and coronavirus issues, lots of this year’s marquee music festivals (Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and more) have been called off. Here’s hoping for clear skies and a lack of COVID complications for these festivals throughout the Sunshine State and the Southeast U.S.
October 22-23 in Miami, FL
In just a few short years, III Points has grown from a musical blip in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood to become–arguably–South Florida’s defining music festival. That’s no knock on Ultra Music Festival and Rolling Loud, but III Points has–for our money–the most eclectic, expertly curated lineup in the whole state. Headliners include Wu-Tang Clan and the resurgent Strokes’ first South Florida performance in more than 15 years, and lower-tier critical darlings like Moses Sumney, Alex G, and Yves Tumor represent some of the most intriguing and exciting bookings the region has seen in years.
October 22-24 in Atlanta, GA
This Atlanta staple has become a perennial contender for the country’s best pure rock festival–mostly indie-rock, to be specific–and this year spreads its wings for the first time to include hip-hop acts like Saturday headliner Run the Jewels and undercard gem Jay Electronica. Its impressive 2022 lineup also includes perhaps the biggest rock band in the world, Foo Fighters, pinch-hitting for Stevie Nicks, and NYC icons The Strokes. Not to mention the fact that the crisp October weather in Atlanta’s Central Park should be a pleasure compared to the typically sweltering May dates.
October 28-31 in Luve Oak, FL
The pride of North Florida and one of the country’s most beloved jam and electronic festivals, Hulaween returns this Halloween weekend–in its normal spot on the calendar–with a typically blissed-out lineup of improv-heavy guitar acts and bass-thumping electronic artists. Attendees should keep their eyes peeled for a potential crossover between headliners Khruangbin and Leon Bridges following their 2020 collaborative record Texas Sun, along with what’s sure to be a typically blistering set by My Morning Jacket, which will be performing just a few days after the release of its upcoming self-titled studio album.
The Fest 2021
October 29-31 in Gainesville, FL
This Gainesville institution, which takes place at venues throughout the bustling North Florida college town, returns for its 19th iteration this October. This year’s lineup, as per usual, is an inimitable smorgasbord of punk, emo, and hardcore bands. Gainesville heroes Hot Water Music will headline two different nights, and scene-favorite acts including Frank Turner, Baroness, The Wonder Years and many more round out the bill.
Welcome to Rockville
November 11-14 in Fort Lauderdale, FL
While it’s not every music fan’s cup of tea, Welcome to Rockville’s annual assembly of hard-hitting rock-with-a-capital-R bands is sure to make serious head-banging fans of the genre salivate. Headlined by three of hard rock’s most enduring acts, including two unique sets by genre icons Metallica, this year’s edition of Florida’s biggest rock festival is sure to draw serious crowds to its new home in Daytona Beach.
Tortuga Music Festival
November 12-14 in Fort Lauderdale, FL
This Fort Lauderdale staple is once again bringing together some of country music’s biggest acts for a weekend on the water, with this year’s headliners including a trifecta of certified superstars in Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, and Tim McGraw.
Bonus: Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
March 3-6 2022, Okeechobee, FL
Okay, we know–Okeechobee Music Festival’s return isn’t slated for this year. But Florida’s preeminent camping music festival just announced its highly anticipated 2022 lineup this week, and it features a doozy of a top headliner: indie-psych superstar act Tame Impala leads the pack this year, with a lineup rounded out by some of the biggest acts in electronic, hip-hop, and rock music. It’s never too early to get excited for this one.
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