Atlanta has always been a music city, and while there are plenty of clubs around town to find live music, the best way to get your groove on is by oscillating between stages on a sunny afternoon at one of the many Atlanta music festivals.
The headliners may sell the tickets at these events, but for me, the true thrill comes from finding up-and-comers to add to my Spotify playlist.
From classic rock to dance music, hip-hop to jazz, there are music fests for every taste, and as you’ll see, one for every season too. Each event has its own personality. We’ve pulled together metro Atlanta’s best, and have the scoop on what you can expect.
In addition to Atlanta Music Festivals, we’ve added a round up of summer concert series’ in the metro area. These (mostly) free events are like mini-music festivals and are located in all corners of the state, so you are sure to answer the question, “Where is a music festival near me?”
WHERE THE SOUTHEAST REGION COMES TO JAM
SWEETWATER 420 FESTIVAL
SweetWater 420 Festival in Atlanta blends music, entertainment, art, and culture, all while respecting Mother Earth and has grown and evolved each and every year since 2004. Yes, 12 years ago this baby was born, at SweetWater Brewery as a small celebration and has evolved to the weekend-long, jam-packed Fest you know and love today at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. If you get hungry there are food trucks with some of the best foods in Atlanta.
The music festival features well-known names and up-and-comers. Perfect for lovers of all musical genres.
Get the day started with a 5K, followed by a beer tasting. After all, Sweetwater is Atlanta’s most successful microbrew.
Shaky Knees is the perfect weekend annual festival with over 60 bands and renowned acts for hipsters and fans of alternative music. Lesli even took her kids to this Atlanta music festival!
Skip the VIP pass and go all the way to platinum. You’ll be doing it upright with a private open bar, shaded lounge seating, air-conditioned restrooms and of course private entrance and all access to this outdoor music festival.
TUNES FROM THE TOMBS
If you haven’t been to Oakland, it truly is a treat for the living. Get the RIP pass for special access to three stages of great talent, and be sure to take in at least one of the mini-tours where you can learn about Oakland’s ‘residents’.
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL
Considered one of the largest free jazz fests in the country, the Atlanta Jazz Festival always brings an impressive line up of legends, as well as up-and-comers.
The festival is Labor Day Weekend. The 44th Atlanta Jazz Festival will entertain and educate music lovers of all ages in Piedmont Park.
Music Midtown is where you can see all the stars. If the act is popular, either in the past or present, no matter what genre, they are at Music Midtown. Are you a rock lover? Pop lover? This festival is for you!
Music Midtown features a diverse lineup of over 30 artists across 4 stages, and has been Atlanta’s premier festival for music lovers of all kinds since 1994.
This Atlanta music festival held at Piedmont Park is truly for everyone!
IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Imagine Music Festival (IMF) is electronic dance music and immersive art festival that will be held in a new location in 2022 — Kingston Downs, GA.
In addition to top electronic musicians, DJ’s and bands, wander through a fantastic atmosphere filled with mind-bending circus performers, mermaids, sea creatures, and art installations.
Atlanta Fest is the oldest and largest Christian music festival in the South and attracts some big names.
In addition to musical acts, Atlanta Fest also features motivational speakers.
Part hip-hop music festival, part music business conference, the AC3 Fest is the place to be to enjoy the music, but also learn about the music industry.
Business tracks cover topics for the budding artist to the seasoned pros.
WIRE AND WOOD SONGWRITER’S FESTIVAL
Downtown Alpharetta comes alive with the stories behind the music at this outdoor songwriter’s festival.
The Wire & Wood Alpharetta Music Festival takes place at multiple venues throughout downtown Alpharetta, making this a beloved, family-friendly, FREE weekend event.
Wire and Wood was selected as one of the Top 20 Events in October 2015 by the Southeast Tourism Society.
LOCAL ATLANTA MUSIC FESTIVALS ON OUR BUCKET LIST
THE THOMAS A. DORSEY BIRTHPLACE FESTIVAL
A celebration to commemorate hometown boy Thomas A Dorsey, this Atlanta music festival is a free, two-day gospel, blues and jazz event at the MILL Amphitheater in Downtown Villa Rica.
THE LAKE SHOW
John Jarrard Foundation celebrates the life and music of Gainesville, Georgia native and Georgia Music Hall of Fame member John Jarrard with an outdoor concert on the shores of Lake Lanier. Come by car or by boat.
ALPHARETTA BREW MOON FEST
An annual beer festival in Downtown Alpharetta that also includes local entertainment.
Great food, beer, and live entertainment — what could be better than that?
BLUESBERRY AND BEER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Norcross has got the blues—in a good way! The Bluesberry and Beer Festival is held each Summer in Betty Mauldin Park.
Suwanee Fest takes place in September and is an annual two-day celebration of the community. Held each year at Town Center Park. At Suwanee Fest, you will find dance groups, acrobats, solo artists, bands, and other exhibition groups with very diverse backgrounds.
In addition to the Lake Show in June, the John Jarrard Foundation celebrates the life of their namesake in September with a singer/songwriter event that brings in the best and brightest from Nashville, under the stars on the lawn at Brenau University.
THE COWBOY FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM
HAMPTON PORCH FEST
Come sit a spell and listen to a variety of musicians and genres while rambling through Hampton’s neighborhoods for PorchFest.
Each porch that you visit will have performers for up to an hour, so plan to roam around town or pick a few of your favorites and hang out on the front lawn.
20+ SUMMER CONCERT SERIES ATLANTANS LOVE
NIGHT MARKET PEACHTREE CITY
When: April – November
Mark your calendars for this monthly market held at night in Peachtree City.
Each month there is a new musical act, plus food, artists and entertainment.
GLOVER PARK CONCERT SERIES
When: May – October
The Glover Park Concert Series features local and national acts on the last Friday of the month, April through September.
The concerts are free but there are a limited number of front row seats for purchase. Those seats sell out quickly, so if you’re interested, mark your calendar to call for reservations at 8 a.m. the first working day of each month.
ALIVE IN ROSWELL
When: April – October
Alive in Roswell is a free, family-friendly festival with live music, held every third Thursday of every month April – October.
The festival is held concurrently on Historic Canton Street, Roswell Antique and Interiors Lot, and Historic Roswell Town Square. Free regular trolley service connects the free parking at Roswell City Hall and the Historic Town Square. Even your dogs are welcome at this one!
AVALON NIGHTS LIVE
When: April – October
Unwind after the work week with live music in The Plaza at Avalon every Friday from 6 PM until 8 PM. Dancing encouraged.
BUFORD COMMUNITY CENTER TOWN PARK
When: May – August
The city of Buford hosts a free summer concert series on the sprawling lawn of their Town Park each summer from May – August.
NORCROSS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
When: May – September
Enjoy the “sweet sounds of summer” in downtown Norcross, at the free summer concert series, which runs May through September in Thrasher Park.
Grab a chair, a cooler (no glass, please) and a few friends and come enjoy downtown Norcross and the sweet sounds of summer!
LOGANVILLE’S GROOVIN’ ON THE GREEN CONCERT SERIES
When: May – September
Get your groove on at Loganville’s summer concert series. This series is held on the 3rd Friday of each month with different bands headlining each event.
Food vendors will be on site and those interested in attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Beer and wine are permitted at the event.
LAWRENCEVILLE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
When: May – September
SUNDAYS ON THE RIVER CONCERTS
When: July – September
Wrap up the weekend under the stars listening to live music with friends on the 2nd Sunday from July to September.
MARGARITAVILLE AT LANIER ISLAND
Can’t make it to the ocean this summer? Lake Lanier Islands in partnership with Margaritaville has live music along the beach each weekend.
ROSWELL RIVERSIDE SOUNDS CONCERT SERIES
When: August – October
The first Saturday of the month, August – October come out to Riverside Park for free concerts in Roswell.
CITY OF FLOWERY BRANCH BLOCK PARTIES
Each one of these family-friendly block parties in Flowery Branch has a different theme and something for everyone. Look at the music schedule to find when your favorite genre of music is playing. Oh, and did we mention they have a beer garden too?!
CITY OF STONE MOUNTAIN TUNES BY THE TRACKS
When: September – October
Tunes by the Tracks is a free concert series held each Friday night in September and October from 7 PM – 9 PM in Stone Mountain Village. Concerts will be held in the Municipal Parking lot and will feature a number of well-known artists. Beer and wine will be available for sale. Bring a lawn chair!
VILLA RICA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
When: June – August
Free concerts at the MILL Amphitheater in Villa Rica all summer long.
WEDNESDAY WIND DOWN CONCERT SERIES
When: June – August
Bring your lawn chair and enjoy smooth jazz, R&B and blues music each Wednesday for Wednesday Winddown during June, July & August at Hunter Memorial Park in Douglasville.
DULUTH SUMMER STAGE CONCERT SERIES
When: June – September
Grab your blankets, chairs and picnic baskets for this summer concert series on the Duluth Town Green.
HOME BY DARK CONCERT SERIES
When: Union Hill Park concerts are 7:30 PM May – October
Check out Alpharetta’s event website for summer concerts at Brooke Street Park and Union Hill Park. Check site for Brooke Street Park dates.
When: Select Thursday from June – September
For 2022, their limited and timed admission process will allow for an intimate and socially distanced evening on their Great Lawn and covered outdoor pavilion. This program is BYOC (bring your own chair) and picnic dinner.
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