Fifty-odd years ago, Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts put on what has come to be arguably the best-known music festival of all time: the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Advertised as three days of peace and music, the event attracted some 400,000 attendees (twice the expected 200,000 maximum) who were entertained by 32 acts. While Woodstock certainly wasn’t the first music festival to be held in the U.S., it changed the course of the industry from community-run and just-for-fun to commercial and competitive.
READ MORE: What Was The First Music Festival?
From Bethel to Major Cities Across the States
About 32 million Americans attend music festivals each year, according to Billboard. Almost half of these are millennials, who place a lot of value on experiences and travel. Organizers, recognizing the generation’s priorities and massive spending power, have started making their events not just parties but destinations. Rather than running festivals in rural areas like Bethel, New York, many of the country’s biggest events are now held within a few hours of the biggest cities.
Roadtrip for the Best Music
In light of that, Vivid Seats compiled data on which metros are the closest to the most music events. More than 500 U.S. music festivals in 2023 were considered that have the highest ticket sales on Vivid Seats or are among the events that have the highest past attendance. Metros are ranked by the most music festivals within a one-hour drive. Any ties were broken by festivals within a four-hour drive. Drive times were acquired from the location platform Here.
Read on to see where your home base should be if you plan to hit up a festival or two this year.
Metros With the Most Music Festivals Within a One-Hour Drive
Gallery Credit: Stacker
15 Most Disastrous Music Festivals in History
Here are some of the most disastrous music festivals in history, many of which proved unacceptably arduous for attendees, but a handful of others that unfortunately turned tragic. You might remember many of these instances — others you may not know about yet. Keep reading to find out.
Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp