The American Southeast is known for many things, including its contributions to the American music scene. Several genres of music that now span the globe were born in and/or innovated upon in the Southeast, and the region is rightfully proud of its heritage in this regard.
So, it should come as no surprise that there are several different annual music festivals in the Southeast; here are a few that should be on your radar when you head out for a Southeastern RV road trip in 2023.
Music Festivals in the Southeast You Need to Attend in 2023
With so many music festivals in the Southeast each year, narrowing down the list can be hard — but here are some of the best ones to check out on your next RV road trip.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival - New Orleans, Louisiana
Given that the Big Easy was the birthplace of Jazz, no compendium of music festivals in the Southeast would be complete without mentioning the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Usually held in late spring (April/May), the Jazz and Heritage Festival is one of Louisiana's best-known festivals outside of Mardi Gras and draws in musical heavy hitters to take part each year (2023's lineup includes Ed Sheeran, Herbie Hancock, and dozens upon dozens more artists).
It is highly recommended that you buy tickets beforehand; single-day tickets are $85 in advance, and $95 on day-of (if even available), with tickets for children considerably cheaper at $5. Weekend packages are available, so check out the details here!
Pilgrimage Festival - Franklin, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee is known as "Music City," and for good reason, having contributed to the development and innovation in country, bluegrass, gospel, and rock music. And, each September, the Pilgrimage Festival is held about thirty minutes to the south of Music City in Franklin, Tennessee — a wide-ranging, two-day celebration of music!
Tens of thousands of guests make their own pilgrimage to the Pilgrimage Festival annually to see past lineups featuring Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews Band, and the Foo Fighters; this year's lineup has yet to be announced, but keep checking the site for updates!
Tickets will run you anywhere from $219 for a Tier 1 2-day package to $249 for a Tier 3 level pass; children 10 years or younger get free entry with any pass-holding parent, so bring your young ones, too!
Beale Street Music Festival - Memphis, Tennessee
Another Tennessean city with a celebrated musical heritage is Memphis, and you shouldn't miss the chance to experience the 3-day Beale Street Music Festival, held as part of the city's annual "Memphis in May" celebration.
While blues used to dominate the scene, the Beale Street Music Festival has really expanded its horizons since its inception in 1977, now featuring an eclectic mix of artists and genres each year (2023's lineup includes Earth, Wind & Fire, Greta Van Fleet, Live, Dru Hill, and Ziggy Marley).
Tickets can range from $80 to $95 per day, depending on the tier you buy and when you buy; 3-day passes are also available, though cheaper tiers sell out fast — and once May comes, your only option is a single-day pass.
Hangout Music Fest - Gulf Shores, Alabama
Ever been to a music festival on a beach in Alabama? Well, if not, it's time to rectify that and head on down to the Hangout Music Fest, held annually (May 19-21, in 2023) in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Past musical guests at Hangout have included Post Malone, Halsey, and Tame Impala; this year's stellar lineup includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lil Nas X, Paramore, and Skrillex (among others).
As for tickets, 3-day passes start at $349 for each attendee, with slight discounts if you bundle things up. When not listening to the music, head out to Hangout on the beaches of Gulf Shores, with so much to enjoy!
The Underwater Musical Festival - Florida Keys, Florida
The Underwater Music Festival in the Florida Keys is one of the quirkiest music festivals you'll ever attend.
Founded to help bring awareness and protection to North America's only living coral barrier reef, the Underwater Music Festival features a curated playlist streamed through underwater speakers as locals in scuba or snorkeling gear "play" instruments underwater for guests enjoying the undersea sights and sounds.
Where Can I Stay in an RV for These Music Festivals?
Most of these music festivals in the Southeast are held in urban areas, so you won't be able to park your RV near the stage. Still, the Southeast is renowned for its RV-friendliness, and every city and venue has multiple RV campgrounds nearby. If you're planning on attending any of these music festivals in an RV, be sure to check out the many different campgrounds available for your stay!
Attend Music Festivals in the Southeast with Cruise America
The music festivals in the Southeast listed here are just the tip of the iceberg; even if you only attend one of 'em each year, the changing lineups mean every festival brings the potential for a new and fantastic musical experience.
One of the best ways to go to music festivals in the Southeast is in an RV, and Cruise America has just the vehicle you need to make the most of your journey. Before you look up the lineups at this year's Southeastern music festivals, be sure to check out this year's lineup of the best RVs for road trips from Cruise America!