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Premier Music Festivals Are Just a Drive Away

dancing woman road trip to summer music festivals

Road trips and music festivals go together in perfect harmony.

Don’t miss this summer’s best outdoor live music events! Grab your tickets, mark your calendars, cue up the perfect playlist and make sure you have a safe and reliable car to get you there.

Learn about exclusive Hertz discounts for AAA members.

Newport Folk Festival

Newport, R.I.

July 28-30, 2023

Since 1959, folk devotees have been flocking to the Newport Folk Festival – and since 1985, they’ve been holding that festival in Fort Adams State Park. This historic festival is a celebration of folk music, featuring performers like Lana Del Rey, Jon Batiste & Friends, John Oates, Noah Kahan and more. Spend the days soaking up the sun and the best folk music around. Tickets are mostly sold out, but you still may be able to snag some with AAA Tickets.


Bethlehem, Pa.

Aug. 3-13, 2023

With 10 whole days of music, the super-sized Musikfest is the longest festival on the list. This festival offers a mix of free and ticketed music performances, art activities, street performers, comedians, dancers and so much more. You’ll never run out of things to do or music to hear.

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Newport Jazz Festival

Newport, R.I.

Aug. 4-6, 2023

The beloved Newport Jazz Festival has been going since the 1950s, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Head to Fort Adams State Park for three jam-packed days of jazz music. You’ll be able to catch performances by Jon Batiste, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Herbie Hancock, Thundercat and more.

Rock the Bells

New York City

Aug. 5, 2023

This is a big year for Rock the Bells, as it commemorates the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with a daylong festival at Forest Hills Stadium. Performers include LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Ludacris, De La Soul and Salt-N-Pepa.

Fans of Rock the Bells might also enjoy the one-year-only Hip Hop 50 Live festival at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 11, 2023. This special event celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop features artists like Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ice Cube and other giants of the genre.

TidalWave Music Festival

Atlantic City, N.J.

Aug. 11-13, 2023

Get a little bit country at the TidalWave Music Festival in Atlantic City. This beachside festival is set to a soundtrack of country music and crashing waves. It’s right on Playground Pier, with fast access to boardwalk amenities and the sprawling beach. Festival-goers will enjoy artists including Brooks & Dunn, Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett.

TidalWave isn’t the only country music festival in New Jersey – if you come back in 2024, you can see the Barefoot Country festival in Wildwood.

driving during golden hour - summer music festival road trip

Catbird Music Festival

Bethel, N.Y.

Aug. 19-20, 2023

Music returns to the site of Woodstock 1969 with the Catbird Music Festival. This brand-new festival has already attracted artists like The Lumineers, The War on Drugs, Tyler Childers and more. It’s great for fans of folk music, jam bands and indie musicians. Plus, you can’t beat the location.

In Between Days Festival

Quincy, Mass.

Aug. 19-20, 2023

With a mix of national talent and local Massachusetts musicians and performers, In Between Days is a great indie rock festival. Guests will enjoy artists including Modest Mouse, Lord Huron, Trampled by Turtles and more.

Beach Road Weekend

Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Aug. 25-27, 2023

Celebrate the end of summer at Beach Road Weekend, a pop rock festival on Martha’s Vineyard. Performers include Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, Leon Bridges and Regina Spektor. The live music and salty sea air are the perfect combination to finish off a summer of festivals.

Boston Calling

Boston, Mass.

May 24-26, 2024

Boston Calling might be over in 2023, but that just means there’s more time to get ready for next year. This is one of the most popular music festivals in New England, and routinely attracts top talent for its Memorial Day weekend concerts. This year’s festival featured the Dropkick Murphys, Alanis Morissette, Paramore and the Lumineers. Who are they going to feature next year? It’s anyone’s guess, but they’ll be pulling out all the stops.

Governors Ball Music Festival

New York City

June 7-9, 2024

Governors Ball is the biggest music festival in New York City, and it definitely attracts some very big stars. The lineup for 2024 hasn’t been released yet, but the 2023 festival featured Lizzo, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X, Kim Petras and Haim. You’ll see performers who are at the top of their game across multiple different genres. If you want to see some of the top talents in music, head on down to Flushing Meadows Corona Park next June.

Search for festivals and save on tickets with AAA Tickets.

No list of the best music festivals in the Northeast is ever really complete. There’s too much good music up here! Did we miss your favorite festival? Tell us about it in the comments!


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3 Thoughts on “Premier Music Festivals Are Just a Drive Away

  1. Why does CLASSICAL always get excluded? The Newport Classical Music Festival has been going on for more than half a century, and in its heyday Conte Nast Travel included it in its list of 100 Must Things to do during your lifetime. For the last 23 I can attest to the validity of that endorsement. And there are plenty of similar alternatives scattered throughout the country.

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