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8 Must Visit Cities in America with Popular Music Fairs

As we all know, traveling the open road opens up a variety of opportunities both physically and mentally. Solo travelers are especially able to test their boundaries and try things they might have never considered before. When you’re putting together an itinerary, it’s sometimes nice to do it with a focus. America is the home of so many popular music festivals in the world, so why not take advantage of that and visit as many venues as possible in the major cities.

You’ve seen these places on TV and watched YouTube videos of your favorite acts playing there…so why not visit them for yourselves? Here are some of the famous music destination to help you get the ball rolling…

1. Nashville, Tennessee

They don’t call Nashville Music City for nothing! With the Grand ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium at the heart of the city, the country and western music is inescapable in Nashville, truly a big city for a couple of  popular music festivals.
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 The main Broadway is fully packed with Honky Tonk bars, and you’ll be amazed at the unsigned acoustic talent that plays live in nearly every bar.

Close to the main action, in nearby East Nashville, you’ll find awesome indie bars and a more rock and roll scenes — well it is the home of Jack White after all!

It’s all bright lights, fried food, and friendly folk and everyone leaves with a smile. Definitely, a destination not to miss.


2. Memphis, Tennessee

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 A short 6-hour drive from Nashville will find you in the home of Elvis Presley and, more recently, Justin Timberlake.
As the home of the Blues, you feel the soul running through Memphis almost as soon as you hit it. Make sure to visit the famous Beale Street for the most prolific live music venues.

If you’re in the mood for some opera, take a trip to Overton Park’s Levitt Shell and if Jazz is more your thing then stop by The Cove. Of course, you can’t go to Memphis without a trip to Elvis’ home Graceland. Expect unique artifacts, show-stopping details and more than one pair of blue suede shoes.

3. Seattle, Washington

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 When you say Seattle, it’s hard not to think about 90s rock band Nirvana. Cool kids have become synonymous with Seattle.

Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix and more recently, Macklemore, call it their home and there are an abundance of bars for you to rock out in today.

Head to Capitol Hill and if possible swing by Bumbershoot Festival when it’s on in September – the atmosphere is unique. If you’d like to take in some of the local histories, make sure you visit the Experience Music Project and keep on dancing at the museum’s Sky Church.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

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 Music is an inescapable component of Sin City. It’s the home of long-standing performers such as Celine Dion and Britneys Spears and many other top rated Vegas concerts.
A musical interlude offers the perfect anecdote to a night at the many casinos. For less Razz-Ma-Tazz and a smaller, more intimate venue you could visit the Hard Rock Cafe or the Brooklyn Bowl. There are also plenty of nightclubs for you to enjoy as well.

5. New York

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 Every inch of the city that never sleep has some music history attached to it, and New York is one of the center of it.

From hip hop to punk to SKA down to straight-up rock; New York has a little bit of everything. Countless talent has heralded from the big apple including, KISS, Madonna, Sonic Youth and Jay-Z.

There’s a venue for every occasion too. Make sure you check out who is playing at Madison Square Garden when you’re in town and don’t miss out on the new Terminal No 5 venue.

There isn’t a musician who hasn’t dreamed of playing in New York so make sure you do a little in-depth research before you leave. You wouldn’t want to miss out on some crucial history from your favorite act in one of the most popular music festival locations in America.

6. Portland, Oregon

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 This quirky city is leading the parade in terms of new and cool music venues. It also plays host to some excellent free music festivals such as PDX Pop Now!, which happens in the summer.

It really is a relax music atmosphere with acts like The Dandy Warhols and She & Him heralding from there. There are also more record shops than you’ll know what to do with here!

If you thought of taking the trip to the music store which was outdated; you won’t think like that after a trip to Portland. 

If dancing is your thing, be sure to check out the famous floating floor at McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom – it’s pretty special.

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

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 Music is undoubtedly at the heart of New Orleans. Known worldwide as the birthplace of Jazz, folk flock from miles to hear the sounds of the street acts and funeral bands.

And it’s not just Jazz you can expect to hear; you’ll also hear some wonderful blue sounds that will entertain you for hours.

Make sure you head down to Bourbon Street to experience some of the bigger music clubs that are offered. If you’re visiting in the springtime, go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Also, make sure you take a trip to the famous venues, Siberias and Tipitina’s to hear a selection of music from other popular genres.

8. Chicago, Illinois

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 The city’s blues roots are never more evident than when the Chicago Blues Festival is playing. And it’s not just about the blues. Rappers are emerging thick and fast from Chi-Town; Kanye West, Chance the Rapper and much more were all born there.

Of course, visitors relish the opportunity to visit when the great Lollapalooza is on. It truly is a spectacular and international event. If you’re there for the smaller more iconic venues, The Green Mill could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Also take a trip to Kingston Mines for an eclectic array of sounds to enjoy. 

All in all, there is so many music destinations in the USA that you’re guaranteed to enjoy. We couldn’t possibly name them all but Austin, Athens, Denver, LA and Washington all come highly recommended too.

Just do a little research behind the music of your favorite band and let that be your guide! It’ll be an adventure you won’t ever forget.


The United States of America is a country that has proven to the world its worth in the industry of Music. You can visit a dozen of location where the most popular music festivals are held. You can visit the hometown of the famous music artists. But before embarking in your musical journey, be sure to research the place where you’re going.

***Disclaimer: This post has some contributions from an outside organization

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