This was a tough list to write. We took almost two weeks to settle on our final list. We tried to focus on festivals that offer a truly unique experience that is hard to come by. We think the festivals listed below stand out because of their original concepts, production value, and overall festival-goer experience. We hope you like them!
-The writers at Run The Trap
Field Day – Sydney, Australia
Field Day is a strong competitor for Australia’s best festival. Hosted annually on New Years Day right in the middle of Sydney, it’s literally the first Australian festival of the year, and it sets the bar high for other festivals to follow. The single day festival draws massive Australian and international acts, with Flume, Baauer, DJ Snake and Golden Features headlining. What an incredible way to start the new year!
And here’s Dillon Francis doing a shoey at last year’s Field Day. Aussie Aussie Aussie!
Sun City Music Festival – El Paso, Texas
I traveled ten hours for Sun City Fest these past two years. There’s nothing quite like the journey to El Paso for Sun City. From the food to the insane lineups, dancing in the middle of the desert while Skrillex rocked my world and fireworks lit up the sky is one of my favorite memories.
The stage design at Sun City is always top notch.
Electric Zoo – New York, New York
Electric Zoo was the first festival I ever went to, and was the first time I got to see electronic music performed live, so it holds a really special place in my heart. Situated on Randall’s Island in the middle of the East River in NYC, the New York skyline is in full view of the festival’s attendees. The festival’s production is consistently stellar, and the lineup is thoughtfully constructed with every genre represented, and represented properly. 2018 will be the 10th year of the Zoo, and it’s definitely worth going to.
This is just too good of a picture to not include. Bring more dogs to festivals.
BUKU Music and Art Project – New Orleans, Louisiana
In a short amount of time, NOLA’s BUKU Music + Art project has built itself up as one of the premiere musical experiences the south has to offer. Whether it be their eclectic lineups, unique branding or captivating stages, the Big Easy fest has fostered a really unique environment and truly stands to serve its attendees lucky enough to attend.
BUKU’s Graffiti Wall serves up some eye candy for festival goes as they move between stages.
Moogfest – Durham, North Carolina
Moogfest is one of the coolest festivals in the US. The festival completely takes over Durham – there’s only one actual stage, the rest of the performances are in venues in the city. The festival aims to showcase electronic music innovators – Flying Lotus, SOPHIE, and Odesza appear on their lineups. They also have daily keynote speeches by music industry legends like Michael Stipe. Last year Hannibal Buress did a surprise stand-up set that included an impromptu theremin performance. It’s an incredible experience.
Moogfest attendees also get access to the Modular Marketplace – an on-site store where everyone can try out some serious modular synths. Perfect for your gear obsessed friends.
Hangout Music Festival – Gulf Shores, Alabama
Hangout is every college kid’s dream festival. Gulf Shores is a fabled spring break destination, and Hangout does an incredible job of capturing that vibe. Their lineups are nothing short of massive, with Kendrick Lamar headlining, plus RTT favorites like San Holo, Lil Pump, Getter, and Cashmere Cat also playing. It’s one hell of a trip to the beach
Electric Forest – Rothbury, Michigan
South By South West – Austin, Texas
SXSW is an awesome musical kaleidoscope of people from the music industry roaming the streets of downtown Austin for an entire week. From artists to bands, producers, singers, songwriters, media, pr reps and music label heads, everyone is there and ready to connect and build or throw down the craziest show you’ve ever seen. With every opportunity to discover new music and even get your own music heard, it’s definitely a week you don’t want to miss.
Austin’s streets get absolutely flooded by festival goers.
Splendour In The Grass – Byron Bay, Australia
Splendour is one of Australia’s crown jewels. The three day camping festival is nestled in the North Byron Parklands, the festival has a great forest-y backdrop that makes for a true camping experience. Several Run The Trap Favorites have played here in recent years, like RL Grime, Enschway, and Peking Duk. This is definitely a festival you don’t want to miss.
What festivals did we miss? Which has been your favorite festival experience of 2017? We love hearing from you, lett us know in the comments!
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All photo credits to the festivals’ and artists’ Facebook pages.