Move over Coachella: Five U.S. Festivals to Experience in 2024

Move over Coachella: Five U.S. Festivals to Experience in 2024

Festival season officially began with Coachella which turned 25 this year. There are a number of established and emerging festivals across the USA celebrating gastronomy, theatre, art and literature, giving travellers the opportunity to immerse themselves in American culture. Visit the USA offers five alternative festivals that are lesser-known and bound to spark wanderlust. 

Picture perfect Seattle, Washington

Seattle. Photo: Visit The USA

Known as the ‘Emerald City,’ Seattle is an eclectic hotspot in the Pacific Northwest with a vibrant film scene. Immortalised on the big screen in hits such as Sleepless in Seattle and the TV drama, Grey’s Anatomy, the city is also host to the Seattle Film Festival, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, showcasing a range of independent and international films from May 9 – 19 2024.  Visitors can enjoy movie magic at the Museum of Pop Culture, which includes a collection of artefacts from some of the greatest films, musicians and figures in American popular culture.

Celebrate Black heritage and cuisine in Charlotte, North Carolina

The Charlotte city skyline viewed from West Morehead Street. Photo:

Charlotte is the epitome of warm Southern hospitality and is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures. Revel in foodie excellence at the BayHaven Food and Wine Festival, which brings talented Black chefs, winemakers, mixologists and musicians to Charlotte for four days of dinners, classes and tasting events. Taking place every October, guests can dig into mouth watering creations by the best culinary talent from Charlotte and beyond and savour the taste of Black dishes and traditions from the diaspora.

Tune in to The World’s Largest Music Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Photo: Visit Milwaukee

For one of the most iconic U.S. music celebrations, look no further than the sounds of Milwaukee’s annual Summerfest, billed as ‘The World’s Largest Music Festival’ by the Guinness Book of World Records. The event spotlights over 600 artists from some of the biggest names in the industry to emerging acts over three consecutive weekends, from June 20 – July 6, 2024. The lineup includes  Mötley Crüe, Keith Urban, Lil Uzi Vert, Maroon 5 and Muna, embracing music lovers of all genres. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is known for its German roots, so why not stop by the Old German Beer Hall for a taste of Bavaria, from giant pretzels to beer brewed in Munich? 

Artistic escapes in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis Mural Credit Visit The USA
Minneapolis Mural. Photo: Visit The USA

As the Mississippi River winds through the city of Minneapolis, find a cultural enclave blended with spectacular nature and outdoor recreation. Annually on the second weekend of August, the Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival sees the city painted in vibrant colours by the local artist community. Free for everyone, this festival celebrates and explores the worlds of visual, performing, street, craft and food arts – from chalk art and live mural spray painting, to live performances and 3D art installations. After the festival, uncover the rest of the city’s booming theatrical scene and catch a Broadway production at the Orpheum Theatre. A trip to Minneapolis is not complete without stopping by the infamous five-story-tall mural dedicated to Minnesota native, Bob Dylan, painted by the renowned street artist Eduardo Kobra.

Be transported to a fictional world in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston SC Credit Visit The USA
Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Visit The USA

Historic cobblestone streets, colourful architecture and beautiful waterfront views characterise the Southern allure of Charleston. The city’s historic significance makes it the perfect setting for The Charleston Literary Festival, an annual boutique event that will run from November 1 – 10, 2024. The festival offers an intimate setting to engage with renowned authors and discuss the ever evolving literary landscape. Previous attendees include literary legends Margaret Atwood, Paul Harding, Lorrie Moore and Richard Ford.  Take a piece of Charleston home with a purchase from King Street’s Blue Bicycle Books – a favourite with the locals where you can discover an extensive trove of over 50,000 volumes of books including used, rare and new Charleston material.

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