It’s no great surprise that most of the annual festivals in Tennessee revolve around music. This state has more music events than any other, with some real standouts like Bonnaroo and Riverbend. In fact, between the spring and fall, there seems to be something fun happening every weekend in this easygoing state. Tennessee’s festivals are an ideal way to experience the local culture and add some genuine flavor to your visit.
Tin Pan South
This five-day Tennessee extravaganza of songwriting and singing takes place in March each year in the music-happy city of Nashville. Every venue and every genre of music is covered extensively during the festival, as dozens of musicians, both famous and aspiring, come to town to perform and share their love of music.
River City Brewer’s Festival
Memphis turns on the taps and lets the craft beer flow at its pleasant Handy Park each March for a long weekend of beer enjoyment. Every year, around 75 different breweries from around the country converge on downtown Memphis for this popular event that kicks off the spring season. The park is located right off of Beale Street, ensuring the party always spills over into the bars for live music and after-hours drinking.
Beale Street Musical Festival
Kicking off the incredibly popular month of May in Memphis is this red hot music event. It runs for three days at the end of April, featuring some of the best bands on the market, playing four different stages within Tom Lee Park. Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River watching legendary musicians is the ideal way to ring in the spring season.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
Evoking lost memories of Woodstock, this annual music festival is held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, attracting hundreds of thousands of people and a strong line-up of the hottest bands around to Tennessee. The mix of music runs from electronic to alternative rock, supported by a beer festival, comedy club, theater, and other fun artsy features. This is one of the country’s top music festivals, held every June.
Chattanooga’s big event happens each June, when a half million people crowd into the city’s riverside park for nine days of incredible live music. They need six stages to handle the 100 or so artists who play, and the schedule runs solid from morning to night. This is one of the premier music festivals of the year in Tennessee.
Tennessee State Fair
The Tennessee state fair is the highlight for many folks here. The State Fairgrounds outside of Nashville hosts a 10-day jamboree of music, carnival rides, unhealthy food, and endless family fun every September. Tennessee does a superb state fair, so be sure and spend a day mingling with the locals and enjoying a memorable time with the family.