Everfest’s Top Festivals for April 2016

Beltane Fire Festival fire dancers

April showers bring May flowers Honestly though, who cares about rain when festival season is on the horizon? Spring has finally sprung, and April has major plans in store for all you festival fiends. From colorful Holi celebrations to laid back camping fests, these next four weeks promise an epic start to your springtime festivities. Take a look at Everfest’s top festival picks for the month of April, and – as always – FEST. ON.

Midwest

Repticon Reptile and Exotic Animal Convention (Milwaukee, WI)

April 16-17, 2016

exotic animal convention  2016

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Reptiles and exotic pets from the top breeders in the nation are available for purchase at this traveling animal expo. At Milwaukee’s County Expo Center, attendees can get up-close-and-personal with these scaly creatures through Live Animal Encounters. Various workshops, live animal presentations and educational seminars are offered throughout the day.

Mission Creek Festival (Iowa City, IA)

April 5-10, 2016

With a mission to promote the arts and cultural community of Eastern Iowa, this week-long springtime festival transforms Iowa City into a collaborative platform for creatives, techies, music lovers, film junkies and more. Throughout the week, the city’s cultural venues put on hundreds of comedy shows, music performances, film screenings and educational presentations for visitors and locals alike.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour US (Ann Arbor, MI) – MC

April 10, 2016

Organized by Canada’s world-renowned Banff Centre, this traveling film festival showcases the highest quality sports films to adrenaline-loving cinephiliacs all over world. These unique films depict tales of adventure and life on the edge through the lens of brave outdoor activities like base jumping, arctic climbing and slack-lining.

Baconfest Chicago (Chicago, IL)

April 30 – May 1, 2016

Come one, come all – but most of all, come very hungry. Baconfest Chicago does not mess around. These top chefs do not simply serve bacon, they celebrate bacon. You will not simply taste creative varieties of the cured pork, you will literally worship the slabs of greasy goodness. This fest is for true bacon enthusiasts – those with taste buds that’ll welcome the kookiest creative concoctions. Oh, and it’s for a good cause! A portion of this year’s proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which feeds thousands of hungry families in the area. Go bacon, or go home.

Wichita Jazz Festival (Wichita, KS)

April 10-16, 2016

For 40 years, this festival’s star-studded lineup, educational workshops and lively concerts have enriched the lives of Wichita’s young music community. In 2016, the festival’s goal remains the same: to fill the gap in jazz education so that young musicians can better utilize the resources and opportunities available to them in their professional careers. Headlining Wichita Jazz Festival this year is Joe Lavano Classic Quartet. See you there!


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Northeast

M3 Rock Festival (Columbia, MD)

April 29-30, 2016

Bret Michaels at M3 Rock Festival

Photo: WTOP

One of North America’s leading rock and metal festivals returns to Maryland for a bigger-and-better 8th edition. This April, M3 Rock Festival boasts a star-studded lineup, with Mötley Crue’s very own Vince Neil as one of the headliners. See you metalheads at Merriweather Theater for two days of headbangin’ chaos!

Holi DC (Potomac, MD)

April 9, 2016

This American reincarnation of a treasured Hindu holiday comes to DC for a day full of live music, authentic Indian food and – of course – an endless cloud of rainbow colors! On April 9, revelers will gather in Potomac, MD to celebrate new life, new growth and new beginnings with an all-out color-throwing extravaganza that’ll leave participants looking like a vibrant mural. Renowned musical performer, Guara Vani, will bring an authentic Kirtan experience to the festival grounds for this year’s entertainment.

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Timonium, MD) -MC

April 1-2, 2016

This traveling food fest might fall on April Fools Day, but believe us when we say that Maryland’s edition of Beer, Bourbon & BBQ ain’t no joke! With 60 beers, 40 bourbons and enough meat to feed an army, this two-day event is as much a party for your taste buds as it is for you and your crew. Make sure to stop by the main stage for live bluegrass music and plenty of other exciting activities!

National Harbor Wine & Food Festival (Fort Washington, MD)

April 23-24, 2016

The waterfront at National Harbor is the ideal setting for this world-class culinary event, where local foodies gather to treat their taste buds to the savory creations of top-tier chefs. Where there’s great food, there’s great drink – and that’s why this festival offers 150 international and local wines, beers and spirits for guests’ all-you-care-to-taste enjoyment. This is a foodie affair you don’t want to miss!

NYC Holi Hai (New York, NY)

April 30, 2016

Celebrate the coming of spring with a festival as colorful as the season itself. Organized by NYC Bhangra, Holi Hai welcomes all ethnicities and nationalities to participate in chaotic color-throwing festivities. Although commemorated in a different spirit, the NYC rendition of the Hindu holiday still celebrates life’s beauty and promotes a positive outlook on what the future has in store.

Pacific

Coachella (Indio, CA)

April 15-17, 2016

Coachella april 2016

Photo: Bisous Magazine 

For two weekends in April, a slew of music lovers, fashion moguls and generational icons will make their way to California for one of the most well-known and sought-after music festivals in the world. Year after year, Coachella’s hugely diverse lineups set the bar high for other festivals aiming for universal recognition. With past appearances by stars like Daft Punk, Radiohead and Prince, Coachella has earned its reputation as the place to see and be seen.

Color Fun Fest 5k (Sacramento, CA)

April 9, 2016

This traveling 5k is at the intersection of EDM’s heart-pumping excitement and Holi’s world of explosive color. Sort of like a fitness-fueled dance party, the Color Fun Fest 5k makes a springtime stop in Sacramento with both daytime and nighttime activities to keep the fun alive. After the race is over, head to the Color Carnival for a true EDM festival experience complete with DJs, light shows, circus performers and more.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (Los Angeles, CA)

April 9-10, 2016

At it’s core, this event is a gathering place for readers and writers to share in their love of literature. However, what the LA Times Festival of Books offers to its guests stretches way beyond the boundaries of your typical book fest. For two days in April, USC’s campus is overtaken by a slew of live bands, poetry readings, chef demos, cultural entertainment, photography exhibits, film screenings and more. With over 150,000 people in attendance each year, this festival is one of the largest creative platforms of its kind in the US.

Fiesta Broadway Cinco de Mayo Festival (Los Angeles, CA)

April 24, 2016 

Every year, Los Angeles’ signature Cinco de Mayo event draws over 300,000 people to the heart of downtown LA. Fiesta Broadway – coined “The Superbowl of Festivals” for its massive attendance and product branding opportunities  – fills the streets with Latin American music and authentic cuisine. Carnival rides and games will keep the little ones entertained!

Emerald City Comicon (Seattle, WA)

April 7-10, 2016

One of the leading pop culture and comic book conventions in the United States returns to the Washington State Convention Center for three days of comic books, movies, TV, videogames, toys, anime and more. With celebrity guest appearances by some of the brightest stars in the industry as well as educational panels and seminars, this is is a festival you don’t want to miss! Come get your Cosplay on!

Rockies

Vegas Uncork’d (Las Vegas, NV)

April 28 – May 1, 2016

Vegas Uncork'd

Photo: Vegas Seven

Hosted by Bon Appétit Magazine, Vegas Uncork’d is a top-tier culinary event where master sommeliers, illustrious chefs and seasoned foodies gather to celebrate the gift of sweet and savory. Guests can enjoy lively cooking demonstrations by culinary innovators as they wine and dine at some of the city’s most deluxe venues. This April, Vegas Uncork’d celebrates its 10th Anniversary with an event that promises to exceed expectations. Sin City is waiting – your taste buds will thank you.

Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival (Las Vegas, NV)

April 16-17, 2016

The soft, green grass of Government Amphitheater makes it the perfect venue for this laid back musical event. For two days, families and friends will post up with chairs and blankets while some of the biggest names in jazz and R&B take the stage. Considered the “Crown Jewel of Picnic Festivals,” Las Vegas City of Lights is an ideal destination for a relaxed weekend getaway. Featured performers at this year’s festival are Norman Brown, Ledisi, Boney James, Eric Benet and many more!

Las Vegas Pirate Fest (Las Vegas, NV)

April 8-10, 2016

Yo, ho ho! Batten down the hatches, for Las Vegas Pirate Fest is just around the corner! Gather the whole family and your greatest pirate, steampunk and faerie garb before entering this fully themed universe. Don’t miss out on live entertainment, craft vendors, games, and – of course – the famous Cardboard Regatta Race! Adults – there’s a craft beer garden calling your name. Aye!

Pure Aloha Festival (Las Vegas, NV)

April 14-17, 2016

Experience the spirit of Polynesian culture and tradition with Pure Aloha Festival, Las Vegas’ annual springtime celebration of all things Hawaii. Held at the Silverton Casino Hotel, this colorful festival features a large carnival, authentic cuisine, retail vendors and live Polynesian performances. You’ll be saying “Aloha” in no time!

First Friday Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)

April 1, 2016

Add this festival to the long list of reasons why we love our Fridays. On the first Friday of every month, locals and tourists alike gather in the heart of downtown Las Vegas to enjoy live music and peruse the work of local artists. FFLV is a family-friendly event and is a perfect example of how festivals can bring a community together. Hungry? Fear not! Plenty of food trucks and local vendors will be on site serving up their tastiest treats.

Southeast

Welcome to Rockville (Jacksonville, FL)

April 30 – May 1, 2016

welcome to rockville april 2016

Photo: Harry Reese via Screamer Magazine

Metalheads, rejoice! Jacksonville’s premier metal festival returns to Metropolitan Park for another year of craziness, and this time the lineup is more stacked than ever. Get down to the sounds of 3 Doors Down, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Shinedown and many more. Unique to this festival is their unconventionally delicious #GourmetManFood. Give the Knuckle Sandwich a try – and report back.

SweetWater 420 Fest (Atlanta, GA)

April 22-24, 2016

What do Ludacris, Kid Rock, Bastille, Atmosphere and the Disco Biscuits all have in common (aside from their shared awesomeness)? They’re all making their way to Atlanta this April to wow the crowds at SweetWater 420 Fest! Hosted by Atlanta’s beloved SweetWater Brewery, this fest offers a dynamic mix of live music, comedy, food, beer, art, culture and fitness. Now in its 12th year, the festival continues to honor its roots as an eco-friendly celebration of our beautiful Mother Earth.

Spring Festival on Ponce (Atlanta, GA)

April 2-3, 2016

Spring Festival on Ponce celebrates the work of local artists in a park considered by many to be its own creative masterpiece. Designed by Frederick Olmsted, one of our nation’s most renowned landscape architects, Olmsted Linear Park is the ideal setting for this two-day family craft fair. Guests can check out over 125 displays of fine art, folk art and “outsider” art as well as various food and drink vendors.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival (Atlanta, GA)

April 8-10, 2016

Since its inception in 1936, Atlanta Dogwood Festival has grown into one of the most prominent art festivals in the country and continues to be a staple event in Georgia’s art scene. Hundreds of artists from all corners of the country come to display their creative masterpieces in the Fine Artist Market, which includes photography, jewelry, sculptures, pottery, paintings and much more. Aside from its artistic appeal, the festival’s setting in Piedmont Park makes it the perfect place to view the blossoming Dogwood trees. In line with previous years, the 80th Anniversary of the event will incorporate lots of live music and delicious food throughout the grounds.

Amazing Pet Expo (Tampa, FL) – MC

April 30 – May 1, 2016

Is your four-legged friend itching for a day out on the town? Treat your cuddly companion to a weekend outing just for him – an event where he is the star of the show. Traveling to dozens of cities around the US, the Amazing Pet Expo makes its springtime stop in Tampa for a weekend of pet exhibits, obedience demonstrations, adoption opportunities and more. The main highlight of the weekend is the Pet Costume Contest, so plan accordingly!

Southwest

Euphoria Music & Camping Festival (Austin, TX)

April 7 -10, 2016

euphoria stage carson creek ranch

Photo: The Six Thirty

Only in Austin can such an intimate festival make such monstrous waves. In mid-April, Euphoria makes its grand return to the beautiful Carson Creek Ranch with a lineup that’s as eclectic as it is explosive. The 2016 bill has been turning heads since it dropped, which comes as no surprise when you throw names like Bassnectar, STS9, Eric Prydz and Above and Beyond into the mix. Accompanying the epic musical performances will be yoga workshops, live art demos and an endless supply of positive vibes. See you out there, fam!

iHeartRadio Country Festival (Austin, TX)

April 30, 2016

On April 30, country music lovers from near and far will gather at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin for a full day of live performances from some of the genre’s biggest stars. This year, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, the Zac Brown Band and more will take the stage and make for another memorable event.

102.1 KDGE Edgefest (Frisco, TX)

April 30, 2016

Hosted by Dallas’ alternative rock radio station,102.1 KDGE, Edgefest brings a full day of top radio hits to Frisco’s Toyota Stadium. This year’s impressive lineup features a wide range of artists, such as Cage the Elephant, CVRCHES, Foals, Blue October and Good Charlotte (yes, they’re still around!). Rock on, y’all.

Something Wonderful (Dallas, TX)

April 23, 2016

The massive Texas Motor Speedway is a fitting venue for this equally gargantaun lineup, which includes many of the big boys and rising stars of electronic music. Tiesto, Dada Life, Markus Schulz and more will keep EDM lovers smiling and dancing all night long. Something Wonderful is coming to Dallas – get out there and experience the magic for yourself!

Austin Urban Music Festival (Austin, TX)

April 1-2, 2016

Set along Austin’s beautiful Auditorium Shores, this two-day event celebrates the rich culture of the Afro-centric musical experience. Now in its 11th year, Austin Urban Music Festival inspires community participation and an appreciation for the local urban music scene. Performers this year include Maze, Frankie Beverly, Dru Hill and much more!

International

Jinhae Gunhangje (Changwon, South Korea)

April 1-10, 2016

cherry blossom festival april 2016

Photo: Changwon City

What began in 1952 as a small ceremony honoring a Korean naval hero has grown over the years into one of the largest and most cherished festivals in South Korea. For 10 days in early April, Jinhae Gunhangje brings two million locals and visitors to Changwon to experience the beauty of hundreds of blooming cherry blossoms. Aside from the breathtaking sight of a city blanketed in pink and white flowers, live performances, food vendors and light shows provide additional entertainment for visitors.

Snowbombing (Mayrhofen, Austria)

April 4-9, 2016

From April 4-9, Austria’s winter wonderland destination transforms into an electronic utopia for music lovers and adrenaline junkies. This week-long festival combines the best of both worlds – hiking and snowboarding by day, dancing and partying by night – all with the breathtaking snow-capped mountains of Mayrhofen as the backdrop. This year’s lineup boasts some of the biggest pioneers in house and techno music, such as Jamie Jones, Fatboy Slim and Oliver Heldens.

Koningsdag (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

April 27, 2016

Koningsdad – or King’s Day – is a national holiday celebrating the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Every April, millions of people flock to Amsterdam to partake in the world-famous traditions surrounding the holiday. During the daytime, the city is taken over by a sea of orange as revelers enjoy various street carnivals, parades, boat rides, food fairs and the the famous open-air free market. At night, the festivities continue with outdoor concerts and all-night dance parties organized by the hottest clubs in Amsterdam.

Beltane Fire Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland)

April 30, 2016

Rooted in ancient Gaelic tradition, Beltane Fire Festival is a unique, community-wide celebration marking the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer. The festival starts with a massive procession lead by May Queen and the Green Man and their crew of spirited drummers and dancers. Afterwards, revelers gather around a luminous bonfire to continue the festivities with live music, drinks and delicious food.

St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (Gros Islet, Saint Lucia)

April 29 – May 8, 2016

Now celebrating its 25th year, the Caribbean’s premier cultural festival returns to the idyllic island of St. Lucia for a 9-day run of local art, cuisine and top-shelf entertainment. This year’s diverse lineup includes legendary classics like Kool & The Gang, George Benson, Air Supply and more. Come experience a slice of St. Lucia’s rich culture and bustling arts scene. See you there!


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