Country music does festivals right. The artists are often seen sipping cold beverages and hanging with fans in the parking lots, tailgating, of course, or relaxing at campsites. Parties go late into the night, while great music plays all day. The best festivals deliver A-list talent, scenic outdoorsing and a clean, quiet space to get away for those who aren't into the bugs and mud.
This is the first year for the Faster Horses Festival, set to take place just outside the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Camping is available on the infield of the race track in addition to several offsite venues. Look for Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean to headline a lineup of 20 artists over three days. Tickets are a flat $170 -- a middle-of-the-road in comparison to other festivals. It's a new festival, so there's bound to be some bumps and awkward rules, but the lineup looks stout.
A nice bonus at the Country Stampede is the two separate stages for when you'd like to get out of the sun and enjoy a quieter scene. Of course, the most well-known acts are still playing the big stage -- headlining this year are Miranda Lambert, Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean and Little Big Town. Tickets are just $135 for the four-day pass (camping is extra). The festival at Turtle Creek State Park has been going strong since 1996.
Since 1981 country stars have come to Ohio for an event simply and confidently known as Country Concert. This year's lineup finds those like Little Big Town, Jake Owen and more opening for Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. Tickets for the three-day fest are $218, but a nice perk is that you can bring in a fairly good-sized cooler and sip your own beverages, or buy reasonably-priced fluids on site.
Country Thunder Wisconsin is sold out! That's bad news, unless you've already got tickets for the four-day late-July festival. Twin Lakes, Wisc. is a pretty good place to be when the weather heats up in the south, and country stars agree. Both Country Thunder concerts draw top talent, including Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen in 2013. As much as any festival, artists seem to enjoy hanging with fans at this summer party.
Call us biased, but this is one you can't miss. The first-annual Taste of Country Music Festival combines an exciting lineup of superstars within the perfect venue to see live music. For three days, you can camp in the heart of the Catskills Mountains before waking up to watch Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson, Trace Adkins, Hunter Hayes and more perform in 2013. Hotels are available nearby if you're not the outdoorsy type.
Will you be celebrating country music in the great outdoors this summer? No other genre does music festivals quite like country music... Let us know which fest you've got marked on your calendar, and check back with Taste of Country for more information on all of them.