Top 5 Fall Music Festivals

The notes flow even when the leaves turn to gold. Fall music festivals may not get the press the summer festivals get, but if you think fall is the time for old Lawrence Welk reruns and stuffy lounge lizard shows, think again. There are fantastic fall music festivals throughout the country that will keep attendees grooving and enjoying genres of all sorts. Add in the crisp autumn days, leave changes and seasonal food and you get the makings of some of the best of the best for music lovers.

Here are five of the best upcoming fall music festivals around the country:


1. The Voodoo Experience – New Orleans, LA, October 26-28, 2012

The Big Easy is already established as an epicenter for jazz, Dixieland and funk. During the days surrounding Halloween, New Orleans brings in another festival that celebrates the Voodoo heritage of the city along with its rich musical history. The music fest takes place at the City Park and has numerous tents and headlining arenas. 2011’s line up included The Flaming Lips, Snoop Dogg, My Chemical Romance and such hometown familiars as Dr. John and Bonnie Raitt. Come in costume and enjoy mild weather for this autumn offering in South Louisiana.


2. Austin City Limits Fall Festival – Austin, TX, October 12-14, 2012


Capitalizing on the popular public television series “Austin City Limits”, Austin gets weird in the fall with a music festival celebrating the show. Headliners have included Stevie Wonder, Cee Lo Green, and have even had The Eagles as the main event. Have a Sheinerbach Beer and some Tex-Mex while you keep Austin weird during this autumn fest.


3. Treasure Island Music Festival – San Francisco, CA, October 16-17, 2012

This burgeoning music festival is held in the tiny community of Treasure Island area of San Francisco and goes day and night. Be prepared for the cold autumn nights as you sit and enjoy the musical offerings. Diverse and eclectic acts have included Yo La Tengo, Girl Talk, Ra Ra Riot and Surferblood. If you need to ask what else to do, see, eat or experience when in San Francisco you have been under a rock for a few years. However, if you need a few hints, be sure to head to the Haight and visit ground zero of the hippy movement and then take a trolley car down to the Wharf for the best seafood this side of Alaska.


4. CMJ Music Marathon, New York, NY, October 16-20, 2012

West coasters don’t get to have all the fun during the fall. The city so great they named it twice hosts the CMJ Music Marathon in late October. This one is a little different than standard style fests as DJs and spinmasters are invited to stream live during four days of live shows and coordinated Internet streaming. At this fest you can go to a club, catch a hot DJ, go to a show and then download it all post show in your hotel via the Internet. Be sure to grab some real New York style pizza and stroll the city people watching. As an added bonus, the leaves in Central Park are at their peak color changes, making for an explosion of reds, oranges and golds.


5. Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival, Joshua Tree, CA, October 12-14

It is hard to find a more beautiful setting for a music festival than the desert and chaparral environment of Joshua Tree in Southern California. In late October the desert daytime temperatures are mild and warm and the nights are downright chilly. Under the desert rock formations enjoy three days of live music and shows with artists such as Sean Hayes, Uber Kid, Anders Osborne and Earl Thomas. Acoustic, Americana, Roots and traditional country are all genres to be expected at this fall festival. Rock climbers need to bring their gear, as Joshua Tree is one of the premier climbing areas of North America. Camp, climb and enjoy roots music in the beautiful Sonoran-style desert.

Ashley Coxx contributed this guest post on behalf of where you can download songs for free. Ashley is a freelance writer who has worked extensively as a tour manager. Her articles mainly appear on music blogs.