As more people get vaccinated, massive music festivals are finally returning to Florida with events featuring some of the top country, rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, blues and electronic acts set to entertain sweaty, fun-loving crowds across the Sunshine State.
Beginning this weekend in Miami and continuing through December in Bradenton, we’ve rounded up our picks for the biggest and best festivals coming to Florida through the remainder of 2021. We’ve also included information on where to obtain tickets and passes for these destination events.
Florida music icons:Southern rock to Miami sound: A look at Florida’s most influential musicians
Rolling Loud Miami
- 1 Rolling Loud Miami
- 2 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
- 3 Country Thunder Florida
- 4 Sing Out Loud Festival
- 5 Warlando Metal Fest
- 6 Rebel Rock
- 7 Gasparilla Music Festival
- 8 Clearwater Jazz Holiday
- 9 Reggae Rise Up
- 10 III Points
- 11 Suwannee Hulaween
- 12 Fest 19
- 13 Welcome to Rockville
- 14 Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival
- 15 Bradenton Blues Festival
Friday (July 23)-Sunday (July 25); Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
The three-day hip-hop music festival features many of today’s biggest names in the genre performing, with headliners A$AP Rocky (“Praise the Lord (Da Shine),” “Everyday”), Travis Scott (“Sicko Mode,” “Goosebumps”) and Post Malone (“Rockstar,” “Sunflower.”) Other performers will include fellow rap stars like this year’s Best New Artist Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, as well as some of Florida’s own such as Rick Ross, Rod Wave, T-Pain and City Girls.
How to get tickets: currently sold out; rollingloud.com to join waitlist
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
Sept. 3-5; Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach
One of the biggest country music acts of the 1990s, Brooks & Dunn (“Neon Moon,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”) launch their first major tour in over a decade in September, with one of the earliest performances taking place at Gulf Coast Jam. Chris Stapleton (“Tennessee Whiskey,” “Parachute”) and Old Dominion (“One Man Band,” “Written in the Sand”) are the other headliners, with the lengthy lineup of Nashville stars also including Gary Allan, Chris Janson and Scotty McCreery.
How to get tickets: gulfcoastjam.com/tickets-laborday
More on Gulf Coast Jam:Get ready to rock for a second time this year! Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam announces fall lineup
Country Thunder Florida
Sept. 10-12, Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee
Country music superstar Eric Church – who performed the national anthem with R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan at the Super Bowl this year at Raymond James Stadium – returns to Florida’s I-4 corridor to headline Country Thunder on Sept. 11, following the release of his hit triple album “Heart & Soul,” featuring the No. 1 country single “Hell of a View.” Country Thunder’s other headliners are Old Dominion Sept. 10 and Dierks Bentley (“Drunk on a Plane,” “Somewhere on a Beach”) Sept. 12.
How to get tickets: countrythunder.com/fl
And then he plays Tampa:Eric Church to perform at Amalie Arena in 2022
Sing Out Loud Festival
Sept. 10-12, 17-19, 23-26; St. Augustine
The multi-week music festival features a variety of both ticketed and free concerts at St. Augustine Amphitheatre and other venues. Notable performers include R&B group TLC performing a “celebration” of their 1994 multi-platinum album “CrazySexyCool,” joined by their contemporaries Bone Thugs-n-Harmony; British singer-songwriter and Best New Artist Grammy nominee Yola; and New York City indie rockers Parquet Courts, ahead of the release of their new album “A Sympathy For Life” in October.
How to get tickets: singoutloudfestival.com
Warlando Metal Fest
Sept. 11, Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando
One of the most popular and influential heavy metal bands, Judas Priest presents and headlines this festival as part of their 50th anniversary tour. The band’s current lineup includes lead singer Rob Halford, heard on such classic albums as “Sad Wings of Destiny” (1976), “British Steel” (1980) and “Screaming for Vengeance” (1982). However, the band is touring with replacements for famed guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing. The Warlando Metal Fest also includes Sabaton, Soulfly and many more metal acts.
How to get tickets: warlandofest.com
Sept. 24-26; Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando
The inaugural festival features a lineup blending rock, metal and rap including Machine Gun Kelly, a hip-hop artist who made a successful pivot to pop-punk with last year’s No. 1 album “Tickets to My Downfall,” and Limp Bizkit, the Jacksonville-formed group that was one of the key figures of the nu metal/rap-rock era. The two headline Sept. 24, while rockers Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch top the bill the following night and Warped Tour mainstays The Used and Rise Against headline the concluding day.
How to get tickets: rebelrockfest.com
Gasparilla Music Festival
Oct. 1-3; Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
The 10th annual music festival held in Curtis Hixon Park along Tampa Riverwalk will take place in the fall, with an extra day this year, rather than its usual spring dates, due to the pandemic. The lineup was not available by press time, but past headliners have been a genre-blending assortment including Brandi Carlile, The Roots, Erykah Badu and Modest Mouse. You can also find standout performers on the smaller stages – some attendees were lucky enough to watch future four-time Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers play to a crowd of dozens in 2017.
How to get tickets: gasparillamusic.com
Clearwater Jazz Holiday
Oct. 14-17, BayCare Ballpark, Clearwater
Leaving its longtime Clearwater home of Coachman Park due to renovations there, Clearwater Jazz Holiday will make its debut in October at BayCare Ballpark, which is the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Kool & the Gang, which recorded such 1970s funk classics as “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging,” as well as the 1980s pop smashes “Celebration” and “Get Down on It,” headlines Oct. 14. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, one of the biggest swing revival bands to emerge in the 1990s, headlines Oct. 15. Gloria Gaynor, singer of the disco anthem “I Will Survive,” headlines Oct. 16, with instrumental jam group Snarky Puppy topping the bill Oct. 17.
How to get tickets: clearwaterjazz.com
Reggae Rise Up
Oct. 21-24; Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
Billing itself as the largest reggae festival in the country, Reggae Rise Up returns for four days of music in St. Pete’s Vinoy Park. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, who’s won multiple Best Reggae Album Grammys and is the youngest son of the genre’s most famous artist, Bob Marley, serves as a headliner along with San Diego favorites Slightly Stoopid and Tribal Seeds and fellow Californians Dirty Heads.
How to get tickets: reggaeriseupflorida.com
Oct. 22-23, Mana Wynwood, Miami
The music festival held in Miami’s colorful Wynwood neighborhood features headliners The Strokes, the New York rockers who broke through with 2001’s “Is This It” and won this year’s Best Rock Album Grammy for “The New Abnormal,” and Wu-Tang Clan, the rap group whose 1993 debut “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” cemented their spot in hip-hop history. Other notable performers include producer and The xx member Jamie xx, Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia and bassist extraordinaire Thundercat.
How to get tickets: iiipoints.com
Oct. 28-31; Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground, Live Oak
This festival is hosted by jam band The String Cheese Incident but typically features a wide array of genres, and this year looks to be no different. Along with three nights of The String Cheese Incident, headliners include hugely popular EDM musician Skrillex (with fellow electronic music favorites Zeds Dead also holding a Deadbeats label takeover), Grammy-winning soul singer Leon Bridges and rock group My Morning Jacket, which broke through with standout ’00s albums like “It Still Moves” and is still going strong today.
How to get tickets: currently sold out; suwanneehulaween.com for updates
Oct. 29-31; Gainesville
The annual punk music festival that’s held in multiple venues throughout Gainesville, and draws bands and fans from across the globe, returns this year. Gainesville’s own Hot Water Music performs two nights, playing their album “A Flight and a Crash” that turns 20 this year in full, along with an all-fan request set. Also headlining are British singer-songwriter Frank Turner, whose prior gigs include playing the 2012 Summer Olympics festivities in London, and Chicago punk favorites The Lawrence Arms.
How to get tickets: currently sold out; thefestfl.com for updates/single-show tickets
Welcome to Rockville
Nov. 11-14, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
Held in Jacksonville from 2011 through 2019 and canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Welcome to Rockville makes its Daytona debut with a fierce lineup headlined by heavy metal heroes Metallica, which will issue a 30th anniversary deluxe edition of their iconic “Black Album” on Sept. 10, along with a 53-track covers album titled “The Metallica Blacklist.” The Rockville lineup also includes fellow ’90s stars Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Stone Temple Pilots and hip-hop fave Cypress Hill (“Insane in the Brain”) as well as many more notable rock/metal acts like Disturbed, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Social Distortion, The Offspring, Staind, Lamb of God, Mudvayne, Chevelle and Mastodon.
How to get tickets: welcometorockvillefestival.com
Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival
Nov. 12-14, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Billed as “three big days of country music, beachin’, and marine conservation,” the Tortuga Music Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale Beach in November with a lineup featuring a couple of today’s biggest country music stars – Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert – as well as Tim McGraw, one of the biggest country stars of the past three decades, who had another Top 10 hit last year with the single “I Called Mama.” While Nashville acts dominate the lineup that also includes Jon Pardi, Cole Swindell, Billy Currington and Kip Moore, among others, there are some interesting outliers. Most notably, superstar rapper and Miami native Pitbull, and one of the best alt-pop bands to emerge in the ’90s, Barenaked Ladies. Looking for more ’90s nostalgia? Another South Florida son, Vanilla Ice, is also on the roster, most likely to lead the crowd in a shouted, and likely slurred, singalong of “Ice Ice Baby.”
How to get tickets: tortugamusicfestival.com/passes
Bradenton Blues Festival
Dec. 4, LECOM Park, Bradenton
Held on the Bradenton Riverwalk from 2012 to 2019, Bradenton Blues Festival relocated to LECOM Park in 2020 to make more room for attendees due to COVID-19 and will return to the spring home of the Pittsburgh Pirates for its 10th anniversary event in December. Grammy-winning Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush, who can be seen playing himself in the acclaimed 2019 film “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy, is the headliner. Other musicians on the lineup include Montreal singer Dawn Tyler Watson, who won last year’s Blues Album of the Year Juno Award, this year’s Blues Music Award-winning saxophonist/singer-songwriter Jimmy Carpenter and BMA-nominated soul-blues singer Terrie Odabi. Luther Allison’s son Bernard Allison, a gifted guitarist, and “Blues Been Good to Me” artist James Armstrong are also set to perform.
How to get tickets: bradentonbluesfestival.org
More Bradenton Blues:Bradenton Blues Festival announces 2021 lineup, return to LECOM Park
Wade Tatangelo, the Herald-Tribune’s entertainment editor, may be reached by email at [email protected] Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing.