11 Can't-Miss New York Music Festivals in 2024

New York State is a diverse hub with different populations, cultures, and tight-knit communities. So, it should come as no surprise that the music festivals in New York are equally as varied, with genres spanning everything from dance music and hip-hop to jazz and alternative rock.

Spring is right around the corner and that means it's time to start planning for music festivals. New Yorkers have access to tons of music events that continue to grow and improve each year. Here are eleven music festivals in New York taking place this festival season:

1. Governors Ball

governers ball
Who's it for:Those who appreciate a mixed-genre music lineup and who enjoy discovering new artists along with seeing big names perform live

Governors Ball is among some of the most sought-after music festivals in 2024. Set to take place June 7th to June 9th, this festival boasts stellar lineups each year, with this year set to feature music industry heavyweights like SZA, Post Malone, The Killers, and many others.

The three-day event will once again take place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which offers ample space for food vendors and attendees to spread out and enjoy the atmosphere. Even better, the venue provides many transit options, including the 7 train and the LIRR.

2. E-Zoo

e zoo
Photo Credit: Electric Zoo Festival
Who's it for:EDM fans who are looking to combine their love for music with the vibrant energy of one of the world's most exciting cities.

Electric Zoo, also referred to as E-Zoo, holds the title of one of the most well-known dance music festivals in New York following EDC NY's departure in 2016. In recent years, the music festival was acquired by NYC's premier music entity and venue, Avant Gardner, and takes place at Randall's Island Park each year.

Offering four stages and an immersive audio-visual experience, the festival is a sensory hub for all things eccentric and free-spirited. This past year, E-Zoo featured dance music headliners like Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix, and DJ Snake, accompanied by some of the hottest up-and-comers in EDM.

3. Borderlands Festival

borderlands festival
Photo Credit: Visit Buffalo Niagara
Who's it for:Fans of Americana, folk, bluegrass, and roots music, families, and anyone looking to enjoy a weekend filled with vibrant live performances and a community-oriented atmospher set against the backdrop of beautiful natural scenery.

Beyond NYC, music festivals like upstate New York's Borderlands Music Festival offer a refuge for festival lovers outside the city. Just 15 minutes outside Buffalo at Knox State Farm, the three-day festival features a mix of country, jam bands, Americana, and local acts. And like many outdoor music festivals taking place outside the city's hustle and bustle, Borderlands offers local tent camping for those itching for the entire music festival experience.

Fantastic lineup aside, the festival offers fun activities like ax throwing and opportunities to explore the various local food trucks, artisans, and brewers. Borderlands takes place in mid-September each year, and it's an excellent way to close out the summer with family and friends.

4. Afropunk Festival

afropunk festival
Photo Credit: j-NO
Who's it for:Individuals who celebrate diversity, cultural identity, and the pioneering spirit of the Afrocentric music and arts community.

Brooklyn's Afropunk Festival is where Black culture and musical talent meld together. The festival celebrates some of the most renowned acts in Black music and the community's significant fashion and artistic influence. Each year has a theme that aims to emulate Black creativity and expression, with last year's theme of "Circus of Soul" drawing in eccentric exhibitors and attendees.

The multi-faceted music festival occurs over two days yearly at the end of August. This past year, the NYC music festival moved from its former venue of Commodore Barry Park to Skyline Drive-In. Here, the festival will be able to accommodate the festival's many attractions, such as the Spinthrift Market bazaar for artisan crafts and the Bites' n Beats food truck and restaurant pop-up event.

5. Great Blue Heron Festival

great blue heron festival
Photo Credit: Great Blue Heron Festival
Who's it for:Enthusiasts of Americana, country, folk, and bluegrass music. It's a family-friendly event, appealing to attendees of all ages who enjoy not just music but also camping, outdoor activities, and community gatherings in a scenic, natural environment.

The Great Blue Heron Festival has been around since 1992, and each year, the music festival draws in thousands of attendees from the surrounding Western New York area. Over three days, attendees can jam out to traditional genres like Americana, bluegrass, funk, reggae, zydeco, and even more contemporary bands.

With over 300 acres of land and three stages, the Great Blue Heron Music Festival provides a collaborative and interactive space where celebration and self-expression are encouraged among attendees. The event takes place the second week of July and has space for camping and family-friendly activities throughout the festival grounds.

6. Mountain Jam

mountain jam festival
Photo Credit: Mountain Jam
Who's it for:Fans of rock, jam bands, indie, and folk music. It's designed for those who appreciate live performances in an outdoor setting, offering a mix of well-known artists and emerging acts.

Mountain Jam has been continuing Woodstock's legacy since 2005 as one of the largest rock music festivals in New York. Though the festival took a four-year hiatus following the pandemic in 2020, Mountain Jam made its highly anticipated return to eager rock music enthusiasts and festival goers this past summer.

The festival, previously held at Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills, now occurs at the original Woodstock venue in Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The legendary location is a perfect fit for the three-day festival, which hosted four stages with over 40 artists this past year.

7. Head in the Clouds

head in the clouds festival
Photo Credit: Bryan Kwon
Who's it for:Fans of Asian pop culture and music, particularly those interested in the vibrant scene of Asian hip-hop, R&B, and pop acts.

88rising's Head in the Clouds is set to debut at the historic Forest Hills Stadium in New York. The NYC music festival is perfectly befitting for the cultural epicenter, as it is one of the only music festivals of its kind to celebrate Asian/Pacific heritage. Its lineup comprises mostly artists of AAPI heritage and even has Asian food vendors and unique art installations.

With two stages and a diverse lineup featuring artists like Illenium, Dabin, Balming Tiger, and many others, Head in the Clouds promises a rich intercultural experience for attendees in addition to ethereal music and immaculate vibes.

8. Blue Note Jazz Festival

blue note jazz festival
Photo Credit: Blue Note Jazz Festival
Who's it for:Jazz aficionados, casual fans, and newcomers curious about the jazz genre, offering performances by legendary artists, emerging talents, and innovative collaborations in venues across New York City.

Dive into the heart of New York City's jazz scene with the Blue Note Jazz Festival, a celebration that's as vibrant and dynamic as the city itself! Imagine a month-long party where the streets, clubs, and hidden corners of NYC come alive with the sultry sounds of saxophones, the cool rhythms of drum sets, and the soulful melodies of pianos. This festival isn't just a series of concerts; it's an invitation to strut through the diverse venues of the Big Apple, from cozy, dimly-lit clubs to grand, bustling stages, all pulsating with the spirit of jazz. Picture yourself mingling with fellow jazz enthusiasts, a cocktail in hand, as you're serenaded by the crème de la crème of the jazz world, from legendary giants to the fiery up-and-comers setting the scene ablaze.

The Blue Note Jazz Festival doesn't just stick to one flavor of jazz; it's a melting pot of styles, from bebop to fusion, smooth jazz to avant-garde. Each venue becomes a gateway to a different universe, where every performance is a new story, and every note tells a tale of love, life, and the freedom of expression. So, jazz cats and kittens, grab your fedoras and your fancy shoes, because this festival is an all-access pass to explore the myriad sounds and sights of jazz in the city that never sleeps. Whether you're a jazz aficionado or a curious newcomer ready to dip your toes into the musical waters, the Blue Note Jazz Festival promises an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of New York's jazz scene.

9. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

bric brooklyn music festival
Photo Credit: WFUV Public Radio
Who's it for:Diverse audiences who love live performances, encompassing fans of indie music, world music, jazz, pop, and everything in between. It's especially suited for those who appreciate outdoor concerts in a vibrant community setting.

Step right up to the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, where the grass is greener, the beats are sweeter, and the summer nights in Prospect Park turn magical. This isn't just any festival; it's a decades-old tradition that brings the best of music, dance, and film under the starry Brooklyn sky – all for free. It's where emerging talents rub elbows with seasoned artists.

Picture this: a warm summer evening, a picnic blanket spread out, and a buzz in the air as the bandshell lights up with performances that reverberate throughout the park. From world music that transports you across continents to indie bands that have you swaying under the moonlight, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is where memories are made. And let's not forget the food trucks, offering a smorgasbord of delights to fuel your festival frolics. It's more than a festival; it's a Brooklyn state of mind, where music lovers of all ages come together to celebrate the vibrant tapestry of sounds and stories that make this borough so unique.

10. Taste of Country Festival

taste of country music festival
Photo Credit: Timmermans
Who's it for:Individuals of all ages looking for a weekend filled with performances by some of the biggest names in country, alongside emerging artists, set against the scenic backdrop of the great outdoors.

The Taste of Country Music Festival is a good time, where the rolling hills of Hunter Mountain, New York, transform into a little slice of Nashville. This is where cowboy boots meet the green grass of the Northeast, offering fans an immersive country music experience complete with star-studded performances, laid-back campsite jamming, and all the line dancing you can handle. It's more than just a music fest; it's a country fair under the open sky, where the aroma of barbecue mingles with the twang of six-strings.

Year after year, this festival corrals some of the biggest names in country music, setting the stage for legendary sing-alongs, heart-stirring ballads, and boot-stomping beats. Amidst the music, festival-goers can wander through an array of craft and food stalls, partake in country-themed games, or simply lay back on a blanket and soak up the good vibes. From the first note under the afternoon sun to the last encore under the stars, the Taste of Country Music Festival wraps you in a warm, folksy embrace that's all about community, celebration, and the love of country music.

11. Rochester International Jazz Festival

rochester international jazz festival
Photo Credit: Visit Rochester
Who's it for:Anyone with a taste for jazz in its many forms, including traditional, contemporary, and experimental. The festival features a diverse lineup of international and local artists, making it a perfect event for those who appreciate the rich, eclectic nature of jazz music and enjoy discovering new sounds and talents in a vibrant, communal setting.

And last, but certainly not least, the Rochester International Jazz Festival. The festival is a nine-day extravaganza where the city's heart beats in sync with bass lines and snare drums, and jazz lovers throng the streets, moving from one venue to another as if carried by the very notes wafting through the air. This is where legendary jazz maestros and fresh faces on the scene come together to create a mosaic of melodies, turning Rochester into a canvas of musical innovation.

As the festival blooms each year, it's not just about the music—it's about the experience. The city's downtown metamorphoses into a carnival of soulful sounds, where every nook and cranny has a story humming in jazz tones. From intimate club settings where you're up close and personal with virtuoso performers to grand stages where the lights and riffs soar high, the Rochester International Jazz Festival is a jubilant journey for the senses. It’s where you’ll swing, you'll sway, and you'll remember why life, like jazz, is best when it's a little improvised.

Use Ckord to Find Concerts & NYC Music Festivals in 2024

Who's it for:Everyone 😉

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