Southeast music festivals offer summer entertainment

As the end of the school year draws near, students are beginning to plan out their two months of freedom. One of the more popular summer options is to attend a music festival. The Southeast does not lack in music festivals, but how can a person know which one to choose?

Most Street Cred

Bonnaroo is one of the most popular music festivals in the Southeast. The festival is located in Manchester, Tennessee and takes place June 11-14. Weekend pass tickets are for all four days. General Admission tickets for this year’s show are sold out.

Level 2 tickets are available for $324.50 plus a $32.75 service fee. VIP tickets are available, as well as payment plans, but run $810.50, according to Bonnaroo’s website.

This year’s line-up includes Billy Joel, Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes, Twenty One Pilots and 94 other bands. When it comes to accommodations, Bonnaroo wins the award for uniqueness. The festival takes place in the fields of Tennessee with 700 acres of land at its disposal. Music-goers not only use these acres for music, food and partying, but also for sleeping. Typically, attendees bring tents and camp out for the weekend, using bottles of water for showers or just not bothering. There are hotels nearby for the faint of heart and nose, but is it really Bonnaroo if you do not leave looking and smelling less than pleasant?

Best Scenery

Hang Out Music Fest is held at the public beaches of Gulf Shores, located behind the Hang Out restaurant. The festival is May 15-17 and has a line-up including Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Skrillex and Sam Smith as the title artists, and almost 100 other bands. For three-day general admission, tickets run $280.50. Accommodations for the Hang Out are much more modern than Bonnaroo, and most even include a swimming pool in addition to a shower. A variety of hotels, like the Phoenix Resorts, offer beach access. Hotel prices will increase overall expenses, though the amount will vary depending on the hotel and number of people per room.


Another contender in the Southeast is the Beale Street Music Fest in Memphis, Tennessee. The festival takes place May 1-3, and is held on the historic Beale Street. Tickets are still available; a one-day pass for Friday, Saturday or Sunday runs $49. Three-day passes increase to $104, and a VIP package is $595. Like the Hang Out, accommodations will cost extra depending on hotel choice and room. Options include Sheraton, Marriott and the well-known Peabody Memphis. The Line-up will include Ed Sheeran, The Avett Brothers, AWOLNATION, John Fogerty, Cage the Elephant, Hozier, Slash and at least 60 other bands.

Closest to Florence

The Sloss Music & Arts Fest will take place in Birmingham July 18-19. Its line-up will feature 25 bands, two of those being Alabama natives: St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Lee Gains III & the Glory Fires. General admission tickets are $148.30 in advance, but tickets can be purchased the day of the festival for $150 plus fees.