5 Country Festivals To Mark Your Calendar For In 2016

1.         Tortuga Music Festival  

What’s better than the beach? How about a 2-day country music festival on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with 75,000 of your closest friends? Tortuga Music Festival 2016 will take place April 16-17. Tortuga features live- country music from 10am until midnight each day on the beach. Blake Shelton has already been announced as one of the headliners for next year with many more to come. Notable artists who have performed in the past at Tortuga include Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Jake Owen, and Zac Brown Band. Tortuga is sponsored by Rock the Ocean which is on a mission to raise awareness for ocean conservation including sea turtle rescue, saving sharks, and coral reef rehabilitation.

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 2.         Taste of Country Music Festival

 The fourth- annual Taste of Country Music Festival is set for June 10-12, 2016 in Hunter, New York. Kenny Chesney has already been announced as next year’s headliner with more to come. Kenny Chesney has over 30 million albums sold worldwide, 22 #1 songs, 8-time Entertainer of the Year, and one of my personal favorite artists. Chesney is one artist you do not want to miss.  From noon until almost 1am, there is non-stop dancing, singing, and live country music. This past year’s festival, drawing 50,000 people, took place June 12-14, 2015 with Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Toby Keith headlining each night. Other artists playing throughout the weekend included Billy Currington, Eli Young Band, and Easton Corbin. There are several ticket packages available ranging from general admission, camping, pit access, and VIP sections.

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3.         ACM Party for a Cause

The Academy of Country Music is hosting the fourth-annual ACM Party for a Cause April 1-3, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV. ACM Party for a Cause is a gigantic three- night music festival, taking place in the heart of Las Vegas at the MGM Resorts Ground. The ACM Party for a Cause benefits ACM Lifting Lives, which is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.  ACM Lifting Lives has given more than $6 million since 2008 to over 100 charitable causes. Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, and Kenney Chesney will headline the 2016 Party for a Cause. The festival will include multiple stages with ongoing live music performances, games, a market place, and vendors.

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4.         Stagecoach- California’s Music Festival

Can you imagine 225,000 people in one place all listening to the same live country music? If so, then check out Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California. The 2016 festival will take place April 29- May 1. The lineup for 2016 has not been announced yet but Stagecoach 2015 features so many incredible acts including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Kip Moore, Dierks Bentley, Parmalee, and the Band Perry. The festival provides many ticket opportunities including on-site camping, standing pit area, reserved seating, and general admission. Not only was there non-stop music, but there were also dance lessons, Clydesdales, Toyota Off-Road Challenge, a ferris wheel, countless food vendors, and merchandise booths.

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5.         CMA Music Festival

Saving the best for last- the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, TN. CMA Fest is the ultimate country music festival taking place in the heart and homeland of country music. CMA Fest is a four-day music festival taking place June 9- 12, 2016 hosted by the Country Music Association. Visitors for this festival come from all 50 states and even 40 different countries! I went to CMA Fest in 2014 as my high school graduation present and it was the best four days ever. It was non-stop live country music and fan fair attractions. I got to meet so many of my favorite artists at the Fan Fair X taking place each day at the Convention Center, as well as seeing them live at the Riverfront Stage, Hard Rock Café, HGTV Lodge, and numerous stages set up throughout downtown each day. There’s more… For four nights festival ticket holders have access to the nightly concerts at LP Field. These nights feature the biggest names in country music, including: Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, and so many more.

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- Abby Kanfer