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Three Music Festivals Worth A Road Trip

Updated on June 12, 2020
Chad Claeyssen profile image

Chad is an avid traveler who loves to share his tips and experiences to help others get the most out of their travels.

Montreal International Jazz Festival

The Montreal Jazz Festival is held each June in Montreal, Canada. Music fills the streets of the Francophone city for ten days. Several blocks of Montreal are closed to traffic and the area is turned into a concert venue. Stages are set up in the streets as well as stands selling food, beer, and souvenirs. Many of the concerts are free and the music lasts from noon until midnight everyday.

The Montreal Jazz Festival is the biggest jazz festival in the world and performers represent over thirty countries. Some of the big name acts who have performed at the Montreal music event include Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Sting, and Prince to name a few.

What also makes the Montreal Jazz Festival great, besides the music, is the vibrant host city of Montreal itself. Check out this article about Montreal for more information about the city.

Montreal Jazzfest 2009
Montreal Jazzfest 2009

Mountain Jam in New York State

Mountain Jam is a music festival held at the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. It's held the first weekend after memorial day. Mountain Jam started as a one day music event in 2005 and has grown to be a four day music festival. Festival-goers can camp right at the ski resort, stay in the lodge, or get a hotel room at a nearby town.

Mountain Jam was started by Warren Haynes (of the Allman Brothers and Government Mule) in connection with the local Radio Woodstock/WDST. Performers have included Phil & Friends, Steve Windwood, MMW, Grace Potter, Michael Franti, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ratdog, Keller Williams, Umphrey's McGee, and of course Government Mule, as well as many others.

UPDATE: In 2020 the festival was scheduled to be moved to Bethel, New York, site of the original Woodstock Festival.

Micheal Franti on stage at Mountain Jam
Micheal Franti on stage at Mountain Jam

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bonnaroo is a huge, four day music festival held on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. This music event started in 2001 and includes a vast array of musical genres. There are multiple stages and tents with many things going on at any given time. There are vendors selling water and food, a comedy tent, and a movie tent to name a few.

Some musical acts that have played at Bonnaroo include Bob Dylan, The Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, and Eminem.

Most people attending the concert camp at the farm. Once you're parked it's almost impossible to leave. Bring everything you might need and plan well. Most of the area is open fields devoid of trees. It's highly recommended that you bring cover from the sun.

Visit the official Bonnaroo website for more information.

Bonnaroo entrance
Bonnaroo entrance
Our makeshift camp to keep us out of the sun
Our makeshift camp to keep us out of the sun
Bob Dylan at Bonnaroo 2004
Bob Dylan at Bonnaroo 2004

Have you been to any music festivals? Was it worth the road trip? What's your favorite music festival? Let me know in the comments.


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