Music fans in Utah can enjoy an impressive number of acts and artists coming through the state — either performing at a major venue or taking part in a festival or concert series.
For fans looking to go a little further afield, there are also options in Utah’s neighboring states. Some of them are in expensive ski towns, like Aspen or Telluride, and you have to factor in transportation, lodging and food — just as you would on any vacation.
Here are 10 options for those who want to make music part of their summer vacation.
Pure Imagination • Prescott, Arizona, May 21 • In its first year, this daylong festival promises “to bring diversity of sound and culture to a picturesque, inspiring outdoor setting” — namely, Watson Lake, north of Phoenix. The eco-friendly festival boasts a lineup that crosses genres, including the rock band Dawes, rapper Talib Kweli, country star Wynonna Judd, and blues/R&B performer Fantastic Negrito. Tickets and information available at pureimaginationfestival.com.
Country Jam • Grand Junction, Colorado, June 23-25 • Some of the biggest names in country music are on this event’s lineup, including Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and Eric Church. For passes and other information, go to countryjam.com.
Global Dance Festival • Denver, July 15-16 • Taking place at Empower Field at Mile High (where the Denver Broncos play), this festival bills itself as the “largest annual summer music festival in the Rocky Mountain United States.” It’s a collection of live dance music, food trucks, carnival rides and more. Artists include Vintage Culture, Champagne Drip and Blossom. For information, go to globaldancefestival.com.
Telluride Jazz Festival • Telluride, Colorado, August 12-14 • The little town in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains has festivals for many disciplines — bluegrass in June, a world-renowned film festival around Labor Day, blues in mid-September — but we’re highlighting its jazz festival because, unlike some of the others, you can still get tickets for it (as of this writing). This year’s headliners include jazz composer Terence Blanchard, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, trumpeter Chief Adjudah (formerly Christian Scott) and pop-soul singer Yola. Tickets and information available at telluridejazz.org.
JAS - Jazz Aspen Snowmass • Aspen, Colorado, September 2-4 • The event, which aims to “preserve jazz and related forms of music,” is hitting its 30th season with a sensational line-up of musicians over the Labor Day weekend — including Leon Bridges, Black Pumas, Chris Stapleton, Zach Bryan, Stevie Nicks and Little Big Town. Go to jazzaspensnowmass.org for information and tickets.
Montana Folk Festival • Butte, Montana, July 8-10 • Some of the performers slated for this event include Haitian collective Lakou Mizik, rockabilly artist Chuck Mead, Cape Breton Celtic band Beólach, Kathak dancer Fara Yasmeen Shaikh and more. The event is outdoors and free; go to montanafolkfestival.com for more information.
Electric Daisy Carnival • Las Vegas, May 20-22 • The granddaddy of electronic dance music, this festival fills T-Mobile Arena (home of the NHL’s Golden Nights) for three days and nights — with such headliners as Alesso, David Guetta, DJ Snake and Zedd. Information about tickets is available at lasvegas.electricdaisycarnival.com.
Schellraiser Music Festival • McGill, Nevada, June 2-5 • A new event on the calendar, this festival boasts 31 bands over four days in the tiny town near Ely — while raising money to restore the Nevada Northern Railroad. The lineup includes such acts as the alt-country band Old 97′s, alt-blues band Houndmouth, country singer Nikki Lane, alt-country singer Shannon Shaw and indie-rock band Broncho. Tickets and information available at schellraiser.com.
iHeartRadio Music Festival • Las Vegas, September 23-24 • Another big weekend in T-Mobile Arena, this festival — in its 12th year — continues to bring together the biggest names in music. This year’s lineup includes Lauv, Willow, Big Time Rush, 5 Seconds of Summer and Avril Lavigne — but expect some surprises. For tickets and information, go to iheart.com/music-festival.
ABQ Blues & Brews • Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 29 • The one-day event at the Sandia Resort & Casino features a wealth of blues musicians — and (as the name implies) beers, ciders and spirits from dozens of beverage makers. For information, go to http://www.abqbluesandbrews.com/.
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