Who doesn’t love listening to music, and what better way to enjoy it than at a live music festival? The world is full of large and small music gatherings, so we have enlisted Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com to share some of his favorite lesser-known music festivals that he has experienced along his road trip travels.
There are so many amazing music festivals around the world and many like Coachella, Burning Man, Bumbershoot, South by Southwest and Lallapalooza are nearly household names, but I have selected several unique music festivals that you may not be familiar with that should be on your proverbial music festival bucket list.
Quebec City Summer Music Festival
One of my favorite cities in the entire world hosts one of the largest music festivals… Festival d’été de Québec is located in Northeastern Canada in Quebec City. This year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary and have some huge acts scheduled. From The Who, Pink, Muse to Metallica, Lady Antebellum, Lisa LeBlanc and Nick Jonas, there is a style of music for everyone. The Quebec City Summer Music Festival runs for 11 Days on 10 different stages and will feature over 300 acts. The best part, tickets for the entire festival are only $95. There is no better music festival value than that!
One of the things I really enjoyed about this festival was being introduced to a whole lot of new music and the venues vary dramatically. The main stage venue can probably accommodate nearly 100,000 people, while some of the smaller club venues might only accommodate 100. The stages are spread throughout the city, so you concert goers get to experience many different areas and aspects of Quebec City.
2017 Quebec City Music Festival Dates: July 6th to the 16th
Juke Joint Blues Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi
Admittedly, before visiting Mississippi, I was not a huge Blues fan. That all changed, however, when I attended the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, ground zero, if you will, for Blues music. All the downtown streets of Clarksdale are blocked off and Blues musicians are set up on every street corner and every Juke Joint, including Ground Zero, which is owned by none other than Morgan Freeman.
There are 13 stages set up around town with 20 evening venues and over 100 acts and over 100 food, arts & crafts vendors.
If you’re not familiar, Clarksdale is where Blues greats Son House, John Lee Hooker, Junior Parker, Ike Turner, Eddie Boyd, Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Earl Hooker, Lil Green, Big Jack Johnson and many, many others once called home. It’s the land of the Crossroads! And, it’s just a couple hours south of the Memphis International Airport.
2017 Juke Joint Blues Music Festival Date: April 20th to April 23rd. Main festival day is April 22nd. Tickets are just $20, but individual Juke Joints may charge a fee for entry.
The Gathering in Newfoundland
One of the most unique and intimate music festivals I’ve ever attended was “The Gathering” in Burlington, a rural town located in the Canadian province of central Newfoundland and Labrador. The Gathering is more than a music festival; it is a kindred social creative conclave that incorporates fire, food and music, with a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure.
The Gathering was the brainchild of Shaun Majumder, one of Canada’s most well-known comedians and actors. While Shaun spends most of his time in L.A., one thing he has worked hard at is to represent and foster the place he spent his most formative years, his hometown of Burlington.
Lodging near Burlington is scarce, so most people who attend The Gathering camp out in an area dubbed “Tent City.” The first day of the festival is dedicated to the comedians, which are some of the best in Canada. The next two days are all about food and music. Shaun brings in some of the best chefs and musical talent Newfoundland and Labrador have to offer. During the day there are side excursions such as the Brooke Picnic or the Chef’s hike, if you go, don’t miss these events. Wonderful food is prepared in the elements while live music is performed at some very scenic areas surrounding Burlington. Chefs also prepare food at the main stage, which is situated next to an idyllic harbor.
The Gathering 2017 will take place August 24th to the 26th. Premium Pass tickets are $225 and include all the entertainment and food (does not include drink or special events as mentioned above).
Sounds of the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel
Under a canopy of stars, against the breathtaking backdrop of Jerusalem’s Old City, dozens of live shows are performed by stars who dominate Israel’s music charts as well as many independent artists who have gained followers on social media.
The alleyways, streets and squares in the four quarters of the Old City are brought to life with sounds emanating from the culture of the quarter, with ensembles and bands peppering the area, playing everything from Armenian folk music to country, rock, traditional Arabic and cultural Jewish music.
Vendors throughout the Old City offer food, snacks and drinks. The best part is that this four-day music festival has no admission fees.
Sounds of Old City Jerusalem will be held in March, 2018 (exact date TBA).
If you’ve attended a unique or memorable music festival, please leave a comment below.
Mike Shubic is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Gnomads, visit Travelocity Gnomads.
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