After more than a year of cancelled plans, staying indoors and missing friends it looks like festivals will be back this summer both here and in the USA. It’s time to start planning and looking forward to the joy that festivals bring, to hearing live music again and to celebrating with those we have missed. Our USA clients offer an exciting mix of events and festivals embracing music, culture, cocktails and of course, barbecue. Read on for updates on events happening later this year and in 2022.
Louisiana and festivals go hand in hand. Louisiana celebrates just about every crop harvested, every indigenous dish, and every type of music that’s played. Throughout the year, music, food, history and holidays inspire over 400 festivals and events of all sizes throughout Louisiana, from north to south, east to west.
In New Orleans, excitement is already building for the return of the Satchmo Summerfest in July. This weekend-long festival (July 30 – Aug 1) celebrates Louis Armstrong’s life, legacy, and music. The festivities include a seminar series, jazz exhibits, a jazz mass and second-line parade, fantastic food and a host of star-studded performers.
Also returning in 2021 is French Quarter Festival! The largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world will be back in the streets of New Orleans between 30th September and 3rd October before returning to its traditional April date next year. Thousands of attendees from near and far make their way to New Orleans’ historic French Quarter for the annual festival. From the Riverfront all the way to Jackson Square guests can indulge in countless local bites, live music performances, and special events and activities.
Those who love classic Cajun food will be delighted to know that the French Food Festival in Larose, will be back this October (29-31). This festival celebrates the Cajun way of life, from dancing to boat building, and pays particular attention to foods from Cajun kitchens. Sample traditional Bayou Lafourche dishes, like shrimp boulettes, crawfish fettuccine and tarte a la bouilli; a custard pie.
For a full list of events and festivals taking place in Louisiana, visit https://www.louisianatravel.com/festivals-events
Returning to Las Vegas in October 2021 is the unforgettable Electric Daisy Carnival. The music festival will be back for its 25th anniversary between 22nd and 24th October and is one of the premier events in the neon capital of the world.
With such a star-studded and luxury event, even the journey to the festival can be an unforgettable one! Guests can revel in the breath-taking aerial views of Las Vegas and EDC as they fly in a luxury helicopter to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Maverick Helicopters, EDC’s exclusive provider of helicopter transfers, delivers top-notch, VIP service for Headliners who like to arrive in style. Originating from Maverick’s private terminal—where the festivities will begin prior to departure—the 15-minute flight drops guests closer to the festival grounds than any other travel service.
Williamstown Theatre Festival’s season is going completely outdoors in 2021. Summer theatre in the Berkshires never disappoints and this year, perhaps more than ever before is ripe for savouring, after the difficult circumstances faced by live events in 2021. Opening with “Nine Solo Plays by Black Playwrights” on 6th July, the season will then continue with “Row” from 13th July to 8th August at The Clark and “Alien/Nation” 20th July to the 8th August at various locations in Williamstown.
Food Truck Night in South Kingstown is returning in 2021. Starting in May and running through to September, the first Thursday of the month sees over 10 food trucks serve up delicious, local produce to hungry and thirsty patrons. There will be live music, and activities to accompany the tasty delights, with “Loyal 9 Cocktails” served up from the local bar, Trinity Brewhouse. Admission is free; therefore, visitors only have to pay for what they choose to eat and drink!
Oktoberfest at the Weekapaug Inn Biergarten is returning from 2nd July to 3rd September. Come and cheers in the Beer Garden at with ice cold brews on tap and great food on a beautiful summer night on the Pond. Originating in Munich, Germany in the 19th century, the Weekapaug Inn’s Biergarten experience is an evening en plain air with authentic German cuisine, lawn games, and live music by the Schwarze Schafe German Band.
The historic port city of Wilmington typically seizes the moment in April when azaleas burst into bloom and packs the schedule with art, music, home and garden tours, and the crowning of Queen Azalea. With COVID-19, the NC Azalea Festival organisers have modified the schedule to hold some of the bigger 2021 events this summer while anticipating a full-bloom festival for April 2022. The events will be spread across 30th-31st July and 19th-22nd August. and there will still be dancing, local delights and fireworks for travellers to get enjoy before the celebrations return in full force next year.
MerleFest, one of the finest traditional music festivals in the world, squeezes a 2021 edition into the fall calendar from 19th-22nd September before returning to its regular slot in April 2022. The late flattop guitar master Doc Watson created the four-day event in memory of his music partner and son, Merle, who died in 1985. Headliners include the crème de la crème, but this family-friendly festival’s true magic comes as much from its spirit as star names. The fall line-up will be announced in June.
For one of the most colourful festivals in the US, check out the Carolina BalloonFest on the 15th-17th October. Colour will return to the skies with mass ascensions and sanctioned competitions over the rolling Piedmont foothills. Tethered rides, pilot meet-and-greets, entertainment, children’s activities, food and craft beverage tastings fill the hours between the glories of sunrise and sunset.
Even without the music, craft vendors and other activities, people would flock to the Barbecue Festival. Fortunately, all these things will be back on 23rd October 2021. Held in the town of Lexington, whose name is synonymous with pit-cooked pork, North Carolina’s most famous heritage food is celebrated – Barbeque. However, unsurprisingly you won’t find any Eastern Style here!
The 21st annual AMERICANAFEST will take place 22nd – 25th September 2021, gathering thousands of artists, fans, and industry professionals from all over the world in Nashville. 2021 promises to once again be the must-attend event for anyone who loves the melting pot of Americana’s influences including roots, folk, country, blues and soul-based music. Each year, AMERICANAFEST brings together legendary artists, the next generation of rising stars, fans, and industry professionals for multiple days of music and education.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2021 is returning for their 20th anniversary. Scheduled to take place from 2nd – 5th September 2021, the festival features a diverse line-up of 150+ musicians, with 10+ performance stages, 4 campground party barns, and entertainment that goes all night long. Among the artists confirmed to perform include headliners the Foo Fighters, Lizzo and Tyler, The Creator. Guests can stay and camp on the farm, and at Bonnaroo, it is hardly “camping” by most definitions of the word – it’s a non-stop adventure of discovery and human connection with fellow Bonnaroovians, and a key to the one-of-a-kind Bonnaroo experience. Outside of the music, leave room for activities! From chilling out at yoga, painting water-colours with a local artist, to bringing the heat in the Eighth “First Annual” 5k, and plenty of the unexpected too.
The annual Dollywood Harvest Festival will take place from 24th September – 30th October 2021. The Harvest Festival is an all-encompassing autumn event featuring the best in live entertainment, scrumptious food and, of course, pumpkins. During the day, the park is awash with vivid colour, in keeping with surrounding vibrance of the Great Smoky Mountains, and the sounds of our award-winning rides fill the fall air with a sense of adventure. As the sun sets, Great Pumpkin LumiNights transforms Dollywood into an eye-catching display of illuminated jack-o-lanterns and harvest-themed spectacles. Catch a glimpse of the colossal pumpkins, which can grow up to 1500 lbs each, and are grown specifically for the event by pumpkin growers across the East Coast.
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