1. The Hangout Beach Music & Arts Festival
This festival is a head-bobbing beachcomber’s dream. The lineup for the inaugural Hangout included Alison Krauss and John Legend playing just days after last year’s devastating oil spill; all artists gave their profits to coastal recovery.
Gulf Shores, AL, hangoutmusicfest.com
2. Bayou Country Superfest
The Superfest takes over LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the cream of the boot-scootin’ crop, such as Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.
Baton Rouge, LA, bayoucountrysuperfest.com
3. The Blackwater Music Festival
The Blackwater Music Festival packs 3,000 fans on the banks of the Suwannee River to see rock and pop’s next big stars.
Live Oak, FL, blackwatermusicfestival.com
4. Next Big Nashville
Aspiring talent is also the theme at Next Big Nashville, with more than 150 hot new (and established) acts performing during the one week in Music City when country lends its spotlight to rock, pop, indie, and folk.
Nashville, TN, nbnsummit.com