The Bucket List | 5 Essential Downtown Festivals

It may be hard to imagine thousands of music lovers descending upon an already busy city for a music festival. How are all those people going to fit? But it happens in major cities around the world, and each one is magical in its own way. Here are five essential music festivals that have found their place in the concrete jungle.



As the flagship event in Ultra’s growing, global empire this gargantuan festival is a major highlight for any EDM fan, attracting over 165,000 attendees to Miami Beach every year. Since 1999, Ultra Music Festival has hosted one of the largest gatherings of electronic talent anywhere on earth, featuring seven stages delivering non-stop bangers with the best production imaginable. This year’s stacked lineup includes Ice Cube, Major Lazer, Afrojack and many more. 2017 tickets are selling fast, get yours before it’s too late!

When: March 24-26, 2017   Where: Miami, Florida   Website:



For three days each summer, Chicago’s Union Park packs in more than 50,000 people of all ages for the best in new and emerging music. What makes this festival special is its dedication to supporting local businesses and promoting its city’s arts community as a whole. Pitchfork also maintains a commitment to keeping ticket prices low, making it an easy addition to your summer festival calendar. With a new satellite edition recently added in Paris, this year’s lineup is sure to feature some incredible talent from across the pond, so be sure to get your tickets asap.

When: July 14-16, 2017   Where: Chicago, Illinois   Website:



Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza always brings a stacked multi-genre lineup that never disappoints. For 25 years, Perry Farrell’s legendary event has welcomed some of the biggest names in music and this year is sure to be no different. If that isn’t enough, attendees can feast on top-notch food at Lolla’s signature Chow Town, purchase goods from local and internationally-known artisans at the official Art Market, and enjoy time with the family in the Kidzapalooza area. If you’re interested in attending this festival, act fast. Tickets to Lollapalooza always sell out quickly and without camping options, a nearby hotel is highly recommended.

When: August 3-6, 2017   Where: Chicago, Illinois  Website:



Located on the east side of downtown Montreal, Osheaga Music & Arts Festival is one of Canada’s most popular events. It originally started as an indie and alternative festival but has recently expanded to include top names in hip hop, electronic, and pop as well. The festival recently introduced Osheaga Play, an interactive area complete with carnival games and a couple of secret shows that definitely should not be missed. The lineup is usually announced in early summer, but tickets will be on sale soon for those willing to take a gamble.

When: August 4-6, 2017   Where: Montreal, Canada   Website:



Each year, in the heart of Austin, Texas, more than 450,000 fans converge on Zilker Park to sing their hearts out with today’s hottest names. Created by C3 presents, ACL is your favorite day in the park, but with good music, delicious food, endless fun, and music fans from around the world to share it with. Previous headliners have included Kendrick Lamar, Flume, M83, Major Lazer and many more. This festival comes later in the season, so expect a more relaxed vibe throughout the weekend.

When: October 6-8, 2017 / October 13-15, 2017   Where: Austin, Texas   Website: