“Lost dreams and found dreams in America,” sung Van Morrison on his album Wavelength. He certainly found the States to be a musical melting pot and talent pool to match and feed his prodigious and diverse output. For America is the spiritual home of jazz, blues, funk, soul, bluegrass and country. You can make pilgrimages to Nashville the home of Country, The Filmore in Frisco, New York the concert epicentre of the world or the iconic Memphis with Beale Street sporting 1.8 miles of blues clubs as well as Elvis’s legendary Graceland.
And then, when it comes to festivals, from The Athabascan Old Time Fiddling Festival in Alaska to the hugely influential SXSW in Austin, Texas, you really are spoilt for choice. Since 1987 SXSW has championed the new and up and coming along with international and legendary artists every March, acts playing in bars, clubs, hotels, churches and parks or anywhere a band can conceivably play! From then on America’s musical calendar has such a wealth of high spots we can only mention a handful here.
Come April head down to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California for the massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and pick from rock, indie, hip hop and EDM in the desert. Come May head up to hear more indie, hip hop and EDM at Sasquatch! in the George Amphitheatre in Washington. June/July take your pick between The Bonnaroo Festival at Tennessee’s Great Stage Park or hop over the border to Montreal for the world’s largest Jazz Festival. Then back south again to Chicago later in July for the loopy sounding 25-year-old Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, where you can listen to alternative rock, heavy metal, punk, hip hop and EDM. In August why not revel in San Francisco’s West Coast music heritage and enjoy the line-up at the Outside Lands Festival in the city’s Golden Gate Park. This is just the tip of the iceberg – but it’s cool, cool, cool all the way down and all around.