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Best Emerging Festival (2020)

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Each year, more and more festivals join the calendar across North America. From music festivals to food festivals, these 10 events represent some of the most promising to emerge in the last five years.

  • Same Same But Different Music and Arts Festival

    Same Same But Different Music and Arts Festival
    Perris, Calif.

    The Same Same But Different Music and Arts Festival features four stages for live tunes, float parties and beach activities on the lake and more than 15 workshops covering topics like yoga, meditation, dance, painting and intentional movement.
    Photo courtesy of Same Same But Different Music and Arts Festival

  • The Lights Fest

    The Lights Fest
    Multiple Cities

    This family friendly festival, hosted in cities across the United States, includes an evening of live music, great food, dancing and the headline event, a lantern launch where festival goers release their biodegradable lanterns into the night sky. A “Leave No Trace” policy and dedicated cleanup crew means no lantern is left behind.
    Photo courtesy of The Lights Fest

  • Twin Cities Summer Jam

    Twin Cities Summer Jam
    Shakopee, Minn.

    This three-day, multi-genre music festival brings together names like Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, Third Eye Blind and Nelly in the Twin Cities metro area. The inaugural event took place in 2019, and 2020 is already looking to be bigger and better.
    Photo courtesy of Twin Cities Summer Jam

  • Powabunga Music Festival

    Powabunga Music Festival
    Lake Tahoe, Calif. & Vail, Colo.

    This new music festival combines daytime ski activities with after dark electronic music parties in two of the nation’s top ski resorts, Vail and Lake Tahoe. This “immersive alpine festival experience” will feature acts like Bob Moses, Griz, Claptone and Eli & Fur in 2020.
    Photo courtesy of Powabunga Music Festival

  • Dreamville Music Festival

    Dreamville Music Festival
    Raleigh, N.C.

    This festival from Grammy-nominated rapper J. Cole has already started attracting more than 40,000 attendees for its lineup of rap, hip hop and R&B artists. Proceeds from the one-day festival in Raleigh benefit Cole’s Dreamville Foundation and the Dix Park Conservancy.
    Photo courtesy of MadeNChynna / Dreamville Music Festival

  • Mempho Music Festival

    Mempho Music Festival
    Memphis

    Staged in the heart of Memphis at Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, Mempho Music Festival enters its fourth year with two days of live music in a beautiful natural setting. The lineup includes big names and local talent, with past performers like Beck, Post Malone and Cage the Elephant.
    Photo courtesy of Keith Griner / Mempho Music Festival

  • Buckeye Country Superfest

    Buckeye Country Superfest
    Columbus, Ohio

    This country music festival, entering its fifth year in 2020, fills Ohio Stadium with the sounds of some of the genre’s top acts. Headliners include Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown and Brett Young.
    Photo courtesy of Buckeye Country Superfest

  • Secret Project

    Secret Project
    Los Angeles

    Secret Project embraces the world of the underground – its sounds, art and culture – in the heart of downtown LA. This festival hosts DJs and music producers who are at the cutting edge of electronic music. The event also includes street art and immersive art installations and digital art.
    Photo courtesy of Juliana Bernstein / Secret Project

  • Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

    Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
    Okeechobee, Fla.

    The mantra of the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival is “Be. Here. Now.” The four-day event features multiple stages and a diverse lineup of talent, alongside immersive art installations, light shows, a beach, tea lounge and a village where festival goers can take yoga classes or shop for one-of-kind pieces of art.
    Photo courtesy of Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

  • Lost Lands Music Festival

    Lost Lands Music Festival
    Thornville, Ohio

    Lost Lands Festival invites music fans to “the filthiest three days of bass music you have ever experienced.” Festival goers find themselves surrounded by giant dinosaurs and a million watts of bass that you can actually feel. Now in its fourth year, the festival attracts a mix of headbangers and EDM enthusiasts.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / gilaxia

The top 10 winners in the category Best Emerging Festival are as follows:

  1. Same Same But Different Music and Arts Festival - Perris, Calif.
  2. The Lights Fest - Multiple Cities
  3. Twin Cities Summer Jam - Shakopee, Minn.
  4. Powabunga Music Festival - Lake Tahoe, Calif. & Vail, Colo.
  5. Dreamville Music Festival - Raleigh, N.C.
  6. Mempho Music Festival - Memphis
  7. Buckeye Country Superfest - Columbus, Ohio
  8. Secret Project - Los Angeles
  9. Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival - Okeechobee, Fla.
  10. Lost Lands Music Festival - Thornville, Ohio

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning events!

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