One of the most amazing aspects of going to college is the availability of new experiences for students. Through on-campus organizations, leadership opportunities, classwork, and events, colleges aim to help broaden students’ horizons. Many colleges across the country throw festivals as a way to celebrate all of the hard work that their students do. Over time these festivals have grown from picnics with maypoles to massive, all-out music festivals with big-name artists.
Here are the 10 best college music festivals from coast to coast:
Towson University – Towson, MD
Four stages, two days, and over 3,000 people made up last year’s Tigerfest. The festival takes over campus and not only has notable headliners like Krewella, but local bands making it a true community event.
9. Ivies Weekend
Bowdoin College – Brunswick, ME
You may never have heard of Bowdoin College, but you have probably heard of the bands that have headlined their Ivies Weekend. This “weekend” is more like an extra week-long spring break on campus and previous headliners include Mac Miller and Reel Big Fish.
8. Spring Fling
Yale University – New Haven, CT
Contrary to what you may believe about Yale University, this Ivy League school is not only top-ranked in academics. Each year the Yale College Council organizes their Spring Fling. Thousands of students, faculty, staff, and alumni attend. Macklemore, the Ying Yang Twins, Lupe Fiasco, and many many more amazing musicians have headlined the annual festival.
Washington University – St. Louis, MO
Held twice each year, Walk In Lay Down, lovingly referred to as WILD is a day of music unlike any other. Blow up couches (yes like the ones you had in your room growing up) are set up and students get to relax in comfort as some of their favorite bands and DJs serenade them. Last springs lineup included Mac Miller and DJ Clockwork so we can’t wait to see who graces the stage October 23rd for 2015 Fall WILD.
6. Movin’ On
Penn State – State College, PA
With over 40 years of history and a process that allows the students to choose the lineup of performers, Movin’ On is one of the most anticipated events at Penn State. Headliners have ranged from OAR and Little Big Town in 2011 to Big Gigantic and Big Sean in 2015, which means there is something for everyone. Oh, and did we mention that it’s all free and open to the public?
USC – Los Angeles, CA
It isn’t surprising that USC made our list of top college music festivals. With well over 300 days of sunshine a year, the USC campus is practically begging for a festival. The annual daylong music festival is free, and in 2015 the performers were kept a secret until the day of the festival. With 2 Chains rounding out the night of amazing performers including holy child and WALLA, students agreed that it was definitely worth the wait!
4. Rites of Spring
Vanderbilt University – Nashville, TN
The Rites of Spring annual festival at Vanderbilt University is two weekends of pure music bliss in Nashville, “Music City USA”. Although Nashville is considered by many to be the capital of country music, headliners have ranged from Kid Cudi to Sara Bareilles and everything in between.
3. Dillo Day
Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
Since 1972, Northwestern University caps its month-long Mayfest celebration with a day on the Lake Michigan shore known as “Dillo Day.” Named by a group of students from Texas, where the armadillo is a common sight, the day is filled with an amazing concert, games and copious amounts of food. In 2014 there were over 9,000 people in attendance and the list of performers read more like a Grammy nomination list. The lineup included big-name artists OK Go and 2 Chainz.
2. Sun God Festival
UC San Diego – San Diego, CA
A celebration of music and arts that regularly boasts attendance numbers in the thousands each year, the Sun God Festival is definitely the most anticipated day of the year at the University of California San Diego. Sponsored by the college, for over 30 years, this festival is definitely a special treat for students. The 2015 festival lineup had performers ranging from Snoop Dogg to DJ Demon.
1. Slope Day
Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
Slope Day has been a tradition at Cornell University since the early 1900s. The festival is a celebration of the end of that year’s classes as well as the college itself. This festival started off with activities like float parades and mock bullfights. It has since gained recognition across the country as one of the best college music festivals out there. With past performers like Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Neon Trees, and Ludacris, we have to agree!