It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s the perfect time to map out your travel plans for 2016. If you’re itching to see some of your favorite country stars live in concert but aren’t really sure where to start, we here at Wide Open Country have you covered. Here’s our list of the ten country music festivals you need to attend this year.
Jan. 22-26, 2016 in Riviera Maya, Mexico
If you’re looking for a last-minute retreat to the beach with some of your favorite country acts, consider heading south for Luke Bryan‘s Crash My Playa concert extravaganza. This year, the four-day event will feature performances from Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell, Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Brett Eldredge, Chris Stapleton and Craig Campbell. Vacation packages, which include lodging and tickets to the event, are almost sold out, so book your trip ASAP.
March 15–20, Austin, Texas
April 15-17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
This year, Tortuga Music Festival has expanded to three days, which means there’s more time for great music. Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett are just a few of the stellar artists hitting the beach this April. Plus, you’ll get an extra bit of joy knowing that a portion of proceeds raised from ticket sales will go toward ocean research and conservation organizations.
April 29-May 1, 2016 in Indio, Calif.
The sister festival of the beloved alternative music fest Coachella has another strong lineup this year. Aaron Watson, Chris Stapleton, Mo Pitney, Sam Outlaw and the Turnpike Troubadours are set to take the stage this year, along with a host of others.
May 27-29, 2016 in Daytona, Fla.
For the first time ever, country music and NASCAR are uniting to create an event to remember. Country 500 will be the first large-scale music festival held on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway. With headliners like Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Willie Nelson, this new festival will likely be one for the record books.
June 9-12, 2016 in Nashville
Every year, the Music City is taken over by country fans from across the globe during the annual CMA Music Festival. Although the lineup has yet to be announced, passes for the massive nightly concerts are already sold out. Still, you have plenty of opportunities to see your favorite stars play free showcases on stages scattered throughout the downtown area.
June 10-12, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
If you’d rather skip the CMA Fest chaos for some fun in the sun, considered heading to the Carolina Country Music Festival. This year sports a strong lineup, with appearances from Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Cole Swindell and many more to be announced in the coming weeks.
June 17-19 in Randall’s Island Park, NY
Country fans in the Big Apple can make their way to Randall’s Island for a little taste of the south during the FarmBorough Music Festival. Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kip Moore and Randy Houser will be joined by Charlie Worsham, Wade Bowen, Brandy Clark and more during this three-day fest.
June 24-16 in Dover, Del.
After an incredibly successful first year, the Big Barrel Music Festival is back with a bang. Sam Hunt, Eric Church and Brad Paisley are the nightly headliners this year, but there’s something for every type of country fan. Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Lera Lynn and Parker Milsap are a few of the alt-country favorites who will also scheduled to perform.
July 1-3, 2016 in Talladega, Ala.
Just like the Country 500, Dega Jam will combine the energetic atmosphere of a NASCAR race with the festival experience in Talladega. Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Toby Keith headline alongside Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock and many others.
Sept. 20 – 25 in Nashville, Tenn.
Nashville’s other major music festival puts a spotlight on artists that push the boundaries of what we call country music. It’s too early to know who will be the breakout artists of this year’s festival, but its definitely the place to go to discover some of the best and brightest new stars.