Newport Folk Festival offers the most delicious seafood eats with beautiful seaside views and a most impressive folk lineup. Acts like Feist, Justin Townes Earle, and Father John Misty are a few of the fierce musicians that you can watch. Eat anything from lobster rolls and oysters to more standard festival fare like burgers and hot dogs. Check out the vegan soft serve from Like No Udder Vegan Soft Serve Truck – you’ll be surprised that there’s no dairy.
July 26 to 28, 2013
The Governors Ball is located on Randall’s Island, and it brings the best of New York City to a music festival without all the city traffic. From a diverse array of top-notch food trucks like Luke’s Lobster and Mexicue, to an impressive musical lineup, this is a smaller but manageable and tasty festival experience for lucky ticket-holders. Catch acts like Kanye West, Beach House, and Animal collective here (wow).
June 7 to 9, 2013
While Austin City Limits might not stack up to the vastness of SXSW, the music and food still holds up quite nicely, but on a smaller scale; it’s about quality not quantity. Many festival-goers have been deeply impressed by the food, so if you’re not big into BIG, try ACL for a smaller, but quality, food experience. ACL’s signature food is its Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cone from The Mighty Cone, among many other gluten-free and healthier options. Eat away at your chicken cone while watching bands like Grimes, Toro y Moi, and Depeche Mode perform.
Oct. 4 to 6, 2013 and Oct. 11 to 13, 2013
Embedded in the desert of Southern California, Coachella has always been on the map for its stellar music lineup, which ranges from electronica to rap to alternative megastars. And recently, the food has been increasingly impressing audiences. With more healthy and ethnic options than ever before, festival-goers often walk away feeling very pleased and satiated. You might have to weed through some just-OK places, but when you find a good truck it is really, really good. Go to the Lime Truck, order ahi tuna poke nachos, and you will be in ecstasy.
Be on the lookout for next year’s festival that will take place over two weekends: April 11 to 13, 2014 and April 18 to 20, 2014
Bonnaroo’s cuisine experience is a food truck oasis, featuring gourmet trucks from all over the country — Miami’s gastroPod, New York City’s Crif Dogs, and Brooklyn’s famous Roberta’s Pizza have all been featured here before. Satisfying food could not be more important while festival-goers battle the heat, humidity, and nonstop musical performances (Paul McCartney will be one of the headliners this year). Bonnaroo's food is a little on the pricey side, but there are many delicious options available (vegetarian, vegan, carnivorous, etc.).
June 13 to 16, 2013
Telluride Bluegrass Festival food vendors have to be invited to sell at this festival, and the event has amassed a loyal, local group of businesses who provide out-of-this-world dishes to attendees. Not only is the food special, but the location is unbeatable, making for a truly unique experience. Stay cool with handmade ice cream or fill up with delicious shrimp po'boys. Solid acts like Emmylou Harris and Mumford & Sons will be performing at this fest this June.
June 20 to 23, 2013
Austin, Texas, where SXSW takes place, is a cultural hotbed for musicians and artists alike, and the food follows this city’s experimental nature accordingly. Try James Beard Award-winner Paul Qui’s amazing Kara-agé Kimchee Yakisoba and you’ll see just the kind of food diversity SXSW has to offer. This sprawling festival not only has a wide array of options, but for the first time this year hosted its own Food Crawl, bringing together local chefs and top food personalities to share their ideas and local fare recommendations. Did we mention Tribe Called Quest opened for Prince this year? Yeah...
Be on the lookout for SXSW from March 7 to 14, 2014.
Go to Outside Lands, located in San Francisco, for a nice break from the hot weather that usually comes with these spring and summer. Between the cool temperatures and the amazing “Taste of the Bay Area” lineup with menus ranging from organic homegrown coffee to delicious, award-winning Mexican food to 100 percent grass-fed hot dogs, this festival is sure to impress. The festival is also known for Wine Lands and Beer Lands: two outlets that will highlight local wineries and breweries. Not to mention you will be blown away by the roster of musicians. Matt and Kim, Yeasayer, and The National are just a few examples of what this alternative music fest has to offer.
Aug. 9 to 11, 2013
New Orleans is by far one of the best places for authentically diverse Creole and Southern cuisine, and Jazz Fest does it right. Be sure to try the peasant, quail, and Andouille sausage gumbo from Prejean’s Restaurant and catch a free food demo or two, as this place takes pride in offering its tasty delights to the crowds. As its name suggests, Jazz Fest celebrates jazz and folk music, as well as the culture of Louisiana and the artists range from local acts to big-time musicians such as The Black Keys and Frank Ocean.
This year’s event has already passed, but be sure to check out next year’s festival from April 25 to May 4, 2014.