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15 Best Summer Outdoor Festivals of 2023

The summer season is prime time to enjoy music and art in the great outdoors. Whether you prefer to kick back with a cold beer, jam and dance all night, discover new and unusual art or explore a bit of nature, there’s an outdoor festival made for you. 

From your usual suspects like Bonnaroo and Burning Man to the lesser known, we’ve rounded up more than a dozen of the best outdoor festivals taking place this summer, from June thru September. So get ready to rock on, camp out and dive into adventure!

1. Fort Desolation Fest

Image by Fort Desolation

Where: Torrey, Utah

When: June 8–10

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: Enjoy three nights of live music from Ben Harper, Shakey Graves, The White Buffalo, Morgan Wade and more at this music and adventure travel festival. You don’t have to camp, but you’ll get the full experience if you do, complete with campsite cook-offs, after-hours jam sessions and cocktail hours. It all takes place at Cougar Ridge Resort in Torrey, Utah, right outside of Capitol Reef National Park where you can spend the days hiking, biking, rock climbing and fly fishing.

2. GoPro Mountain Games

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Where: Vail, Colorado

When: June 8–11

Onsite camping?: No

What to expect: The non-profit Vail Valley Foundation is celebrating its 21st year of the GoPro Mountain Games, packed with adventure sports, music, art and overall good vibes amongst the Rocky Mountains. Cheer on the athletes during the exciting sports competitions during the day, then enjoy a concert each night from the likes of Local Natives, Orebolo and Brothers of a Feather.

3. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

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Where: Manchester, Tennessee

When: June 15–18

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: A summer festival staple, this year’s Bonnaroo is serving up big headliners in Foo Fighters, Odesza and Kendrick Lamar. Other performers include Paramore, Lil Nas X, Zeds Dead, Big Freedia, Korn, Rebelution and others  that span electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock and alternative genres. Onsite accommodation options include everything from basic to luxury camping, plus RV parking and hookups, too.

4. Beyond Wonderland at The Gorge

Image by Beyond Wonderland

Where: George, Washington

When: June 17–18

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: Marshmello, Afrojack, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus and Said the Sky are just some of the top artists scheduled to perform across three curious nights “down the rabbit hole” in Wonderland. Located in a rural Washington town between the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River, there are several different camping options to immerse yourself in the full experience of this electronic music festival.

5. Rock Fest

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Where: Cadott, Wisconsin

When: July 13–15

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: The largest rock and camping event in the U.S., this year’s Rock Fest near Eau Claire, Wisconsin features five stages and more than 70 bands, including headliners Pantera, Slipknot, and Godsmack, Papa Roach and Ice Cube. Best of all, there are 7,500 campsites to accommodate attendees, so you can rock out all night if you like, for all three days straight.

6. Under the Big Sky

Image by Under the Big Sky, Scott Campbell Featuring Big Mountain

Where: Whitefish, Montana

When: July 14–16

Onsite camping?: No

What to expect: Set on Big Mountain Ranch in northwestern Montana, this rodeo and music fest boasts a lineup packed with country and folk artists, including Hank Williams Jr., Zach Bryan, Caamp, Whiskey Myers and Elle King, plus Ryan Bingham and Luke Grimes (that’s everyone’s favorite guitar-slinging ranch hand on Yellowstone and Kayce Dutton himself). There’s no camping on site, but there are lots of opportunities nearby. Plus, it’s only about a half-hour drive from the western entrance of Glacier National Park, so you can spend your days exploring its greatness.

7. Country Jam USA

Image by Country Jam USA

Where: Eau Claire, Wisconsin

When: July 19–22

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: One of the longest-running festivals in the states, Country Jam USA has been going strong since 1990. It’s back at it again this year with headliners Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley and Lee Brice, among other top names in country music. The new festival grounds in Eau Claire, Wisconsin offer several ways to camp on site, from rustic tent camping to electric hookups. It takes place just days after and a few miles from Rock Fest (above), so if you’re a cross-genre fan, you could make an awesome trip out of it.

8. Rock the South

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Where: Cullman, Alabama

When: July 20–22

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: Eight-time Grammy winner Chris Stapleton headlines alongside Zach Bryan, Cody Johnson, Riley Green and Bailey Zimmerman at this Southern rock and country music festival. Touted as the “biggest party in the South,” this festival—located about halfway between Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama—offers RV and tent camping opportunities on site so you can keep the party going all weekend long. Plus, it’s all for a good cause! The festival has given back over $600,000 to local charities since 2012 when it was started to celebrate Alabama’s recovery from the previous year’s devastating tornadoes.

9. Lollapalooza

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Where: Chicago, Illinois

When: August 3–6

Onsite camping?: No

What to expect: Now a global phenomenon spanning seven countries, Lollapalooza returns to its flagship location for this annual fest, this year featuring Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, Odesza, Karol G, The 1975 and Tomorrow X Together. It takes place in the heart of Chicago at Grant Park, sandwiched between gorgeous skyline views and the Lake Michigan shoreline—just don’t plan on camping out there or anywhere nearby.

10. Hinterland Music Festival

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Where: Saint Charles, Iowa

When: August 4–6

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: Bon Iver, Zach Bryan and Maggie Rogers headline this three-day music festival in the Iowa countryside highlighting alternative, indie, rock, bluegrass, and folk artists. You can get a one-day pass or go all in for the weekend—and if you opt for VIP tickets, you can camp out right next door to all the action. There’s even an after-hours Campfire Stage to keep the party going.

11. Elements Music & Arts Festival

Image by Elements Music & Arts Festival

Where: Long Pond, Pennsylvania

When: August 11–14

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: This immersive, car-camping festival in eastern Pennsylvania is a celebration of electronic music, interactive performances, large-scale art installations, unique craft vendors, games, yoga and so much more. (Dare we say it’s like the Burning Man of the Northeast?) The eclectic lineup spans three days and is set to include dozens of artists and music producers, such as Chris Lake, Skrillex and Porter Robinson. There will also be plenty of healthy and organic local food available, including vegan and gluten-free options.

12. Refuge Outdoor Festival

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Where: Carnation, Washington

When: August 18–20

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: Though it’s open to all, this three-day campout in Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley is centered around celebrating, uplifting and building community amongst Black, indigenous, and other people of color in the outdoors. Now in its sixth year, it aims to be an inspiring, respectful, and invigorating event for outdoorsy folks of color and BIPOC allies, including those who have an interest in the outdoors but aren’t sure where to start. The schedule is filled with informative workshops, holistic activities, art and performances. There are also several levels of camping accommodations available to suit attendees’ comfortability.

13. Beach Road Weekend Music Festival

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Where: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

When: August 25–27

Onsite camping?: No

What to expect: Set on Martha’s Vineyard, this year’s seaside alt-rock and pop festival is headlined by Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver and Leon Bridges, with performances by Japanese Breakfast, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Regina Spektor, Gary Clark Jr. and more. Between the gorgeous outdoor location, incredible tunes and presumably endless lobster rolls, this fest is quintessential New England summer.

14. Burning Man

Image by Burning Man

Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada

When: August 27–September 4

Onsite camping?: Yes

What to expect: No list of outdoor summer festivals would be complete without the mention of Burning Man, which has risen rapidly in popularity since its launch in 1986. Less about big-name music arts and more about the art of the experience, tens of thousands of “burners” will converge on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to interpret this year’s theme of Animalia. It’s sure to be an incredible celebration of animals—whether real, mythical or completely imagined.

15. Sea.Hear.Now Festival

Image by Sea. Hear. Now

Where: Asbury Park, New Jersey

When: September 16–17

Onsite camping?: No

What to expect: The Killers, Foo Fighters, Greta Van Fleet, Sheryl Crow, Weezer, The Beach Boys and a ton of other top acts are set to perform at this surf, music and art festival in the sand on the Jersey shore. East coast surf legends will compete between the stages along the iconic Asbury Park Waterfront as spectators enjoy all the best eats from New Jersey, NYC and Philly—a perfect way to close out the summer.

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  1. Hardly strictly bluegrass, the first weekend of October in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA is the definitive concert… Free of charge!

    I suspect if you haven’t already got $500 plus tickets to burningman that it’s already too late… Burning Man is sort of the opposite of a premium camping experience…. It is all about the people and the art.

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