The essential music festivals in Florida this spring

Looking for music festivals in Florida? Spring brings Ultra, Tortuga and more opportunities for under-the-sun dancing.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tortuga Music Festival/Marc Serota
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Typically, music festivals find their temporal home in the warm days of summer. But when you live in Florida, those days are not just warm—they’re brutally, scorchingly hot. And so springtime is the season for the best music festivals in Florida. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Miami Beach that will get your head banging, or the biggest dance events in Miami (hi there, Ultra), there is a music festival in Florida this spring with your name on it. Who needs Coachella when you’ve got beats blaring from the sands of the best Miami beaches?

RECOMMENDED: See the full coverage of Miami nightlife

Best music festivals in Florida this spring

1
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
Photograph: Terry Beeman
Music, Music festivals

Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival

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Like options? Well, at Florida's own Bonnaroo-esque campout fest you can see rock bands such as Arcade Fire and the Flaming Lips, rap acts Travis Scott and Denzel Curry, and pop stars Khalid and Halsey—plus electronic music from Tycho and Bassnectar. Did we mention all the camping, yoga and community programming at the four-day event? Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave, Okeechobee, FL. 

2
Gasparilla Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Gasparilla/Anthony Martino
Music, Music festivals

Gasparilla Music Festival

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Two big names dominate the lineup on this year’s Tampa-based music festival: Father John Misty and the legendary Roots crew. Either one is reason enough to drive over to the west coast of Florida, but when you add in Spoon, Warpaint and dozens more (plus music and good ol’ Tampa beer) this fest becomes hard to refuse. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL.

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3
Ultra Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Ultra/Philippe Wuyts
Music, Music festivals

Ultra Music Festival 2018

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Miami Music Week’s biggest event—the longest-running dance festival in the U.S.—celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Expect three days of DJ sets, performances and plenty of Instagram-worthy moments and celebrity appearances. This year’s lineup includes Afrojack, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Carl Cox, Steve Aoki, Porter Robinson, John Digweed and so many more. The live stage has some surprises too, including the highly problematic but very talented Azealia Banks. And reggae fans are no doubt jumping in their sandals over the addition of the Wailers featuring Julian Marley. Bayfront Park, 301 North Biscayne Blvd.

4
Tortuga Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tortuga Music Festival/Marc Serota
Things to do, Festivals

Tortuga Music Festival

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Sing along at Fort Lauderdale’s sixth annual Tortuga Music Festival, a three-day party featuring country, rock and roots favorites. Thousands pour onto Fort Lauderdale’s beachside to watch 2018 headliners Keith Urban, Snoop Dogg, Brothers Osborne and more. The festival benefits the Rock the Ocean Foundation, which works to increase public awareness about issues impacting the world’s oceans. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale.

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5
Wanee Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Wanee Music Festival/Jason Koerner
Music, Folk, country and blues

Wanee Music Festival

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Wanee is a jam-fest in the woods of northern Florida. It’s be a road trip for sure (about seven hours in the car from Miami) but loyal fans of the festival happily make the trek. This year’s lineup includes Widespread Panic, As the Crow Flies, Dark Star Orchestra and more. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, 3076 95th Dr, Live Oak, FL.

6
Welcome to Rockville
Photograph: Courtesy Welcome to Rockville/Scott Uchida
Music, Music festivals

Welcome to Rockville

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If the name didn’t give it away, Welcome to Rockville promises two days of heavy-duty, fling-your-hair-back rock. But “rock” at this Jacksonville fest comes in many forms. This year, some absolute legends arrive, spanning different eras and tastes of rock history: Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol and many more to ensure you leave with a sore neck. Metropolitan Park, 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd, Jacksonville, FL.

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7
SunFest
Photograph: Courtesy SunFest/Chris Salata
Music, Music festivals

SunFest

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This waterfront West Palm Beach festival always brings a dizzying array of eclectic acts—think classic rock, hip-hop and indie gems all playing at once. The 2018 lineup will be announced in late February but you can rest assured it will have something for every single musical taste you can dream up. Downtown West Palm Beach, on Flagler Drive, between Banyan Boulevard to Lakeview Drive. 

8
Sunset Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy SMF/Drew Ressler
Music, Music festivals

Sunset Music Festival

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This is Tampa's answer to Ultra Music Festival. Expect EDM madness, pounds of glitter and all the raving madness one sees at major EDM fests. Though the lineup hasn't been announced yet, you can assume it'll include most of the major EDM DJs working today. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL.

See the best music festivals in the U.S.

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