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Cool down from summer with these 10 fall music festivals

Summer is winding down and that usually means the music festival season is coming to a close.

But there are some amazing festivals that occur during the fall. Some are a short drive --  to places like Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. For the others, you probably will need to take a plane. And for one, you’ll need a passport. Here are my picks for the top 10 fall music festivals.

1. Decibel Festival September 23-27 - Seattle, Washington

This is a multi-day electronic music festival and conference in the heart of Seattle. It features some of the the best and rising electronic musicians from around the world. Decibel also hosts a conference featuring panels and workshops for aspiring artists.

Artists performing: Autechre, Eskmo, Dan Deacon, Julio Bashmore, Nicholas Jarr, Natasha Kmeto, Taylor McFerrin, Thievery Corporation, and more.


2. Afropunk Festival Atlanta October 3-4 - Atlanta, Georgia

Afropunk Festival Atlanta is the counterpart to Afropunk Festival Brooklyn. This is the first year of the Atlanta festival, which will be held in the city’s Central Park. Afropunk is considered one of the country’s most multicultural festivals. From punk to hip hop, to rock and dance, this festival has something for everyone. Afropunk Atlanta will also host after-dark parties throughout the city.

Artists performing: D’Angelo, Flying Lotus, Santigold, Tyler the Creator, Death Grips, Public Enemy, Danny Brown, Benjamin Booker, Suicidal Tendencies, Big Freedia and more.

3. Austin City Limits Music Festival October 2-4 & October 9-11 - Austin, Texas

Austin City Limits is one of the last big festivals of the year -- and one of my favorite “big” festivals. (One reason: it’s in Austin, where I can get some amazing BBQ, like Franklin’s.) If you don’t like summer festivals where you constantly sweat, this is a perfect time to visit Austin. Just like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits hosts after late night shows throughout the city.( You can catch acts like Billy Idol, Lord Huron, Sylvan Esso, TV On the Radio in more intimate spots after the festival ends for the night.

Artist performing: Foo Fighters, ALT-J, Hozier, The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, The Decemberists, Chance The Rapper, Father John Misty, Run The Jewels, Glass Animals and more.

4. Treasure Island Festival October 17-18 - San Francisco, California

I have always loved festivals held near water and Treasure Island has one of the best views on the list. You can enjoy some amazing music with a view of the San Francisco Bay. Unlike most festivals, there are no overlapping sets here. The Treasure Island Festival will also host several late night shows throughout San Francisco, featuring artists like Hundred Waters, Albert Hammond Jr, Yacht, and more. (

Artists performing: The National, Deadmau5, The War on Drugs, Azealia Banks, CHVRCHES, Run The Jewels, Panda Bear, Jose Gonzalez, Hudson Mohawke, Cashmere Cat, and more.

00000184-c387-d511-ada5-ffdf5f670000?5. Landmark Music Festival ?September 26-27 - Washington, DC

How about a festival with a view of the Washington Monument, Smithsonian and the Capitol?  The Landmark Music Festival gives you just that. Held in West Potomac Park, this festival is a benefit for The Trust for the National Mall -- with proceeds used to restore and maintain the mall.

Artists performing: Drake, The Strokes, alt-J, CHVRCHES, Chromeo, Miguel, Band of Horses, TV On The Radio, George Ezra, Twin Shadow, Wale, Houndmouth, Dan Deacon, Rhiannon Giddens, Ex Hex, and more.

6. Midpoint Music Festival September 25-27, Cincinnati, Ohio

If you don’t want to travel too far, get in a car and drive to Cincinnati for the Midpoint Music Festival. Unlike the other festivals that are held in one place, Midpoint artists perform at 11 venues throughout Cincinnati. This festival is for those who want to discover new music.

Artists performing: Purity Ring, Iron & Wine, Sylvan Esso, Tune-Yards, Heartless Bastards, Zola Jesus, Bully, K.Flay, Strand of Oaks, Cathedrals, Mild High Club, and more.

7. Pygmalion Music Festival September 23-27, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

If Cincinnati is too far, maybe the Pygmalion Music Festival in Illinois is close enough. Just like the Midpoint Music Festival, artists perform at a variety of venues throughout the city. In addition to music, Pygmalion added a tech component that features panelists, speakers, demonstrations and more.

Artists performing: Run The Jewels, Sylvan Esso, Tune-Yards, Patrick Watson, Zola Jesus, Caspian, K.Flay, Psalm One, Bully, Sarah Jaffe, and more

8. Roots N’ Blues BBQ Festival September 25-27 - Columbia, MO

The Roots N’ Blues BBQ Festival features artists representing the genres of roots, blues, gospel, country, folk, bluegrass, rock, and soul. During the festival, you also can enjoy some of the area’s finest BBQ. The festival includes a kick-off event Thursday night, a ½ marathon and 10K on Saturday morning, and a Gospel Celebration on Sunday.

Artists performing: Dwight Yoakam, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Guy, NEEDTOBREATHE, Dr. John, Lucinda Williams, Punch Brothers, G. Love and Special Sauce, Robert Cray, Charles Bradley and more.

9. Iceland Airwaves November 4-8 - Reykjavik, Iceland

If you have a passport, this festival is for you. The Iceland Airwaves festival has been on my bucket list for a few years now. The festival offers affordable, all-inclusive packages starting at $785.  Artists perform throughout Iceland’s scenic captial. Performers come from around the world, but there are quite a few from Iceland, as well.

Artists performing: Beach House, Curtis Harding, East India Youth, Future Brown, Hot Chip, Perfume Genius, Skepta, and more

10. Fun Fun Fun Fest November 6-8 - Austin, Texas

This is the second Austin festival on the list.  Not only you can see some amazing music, but you can catch comedy, action sports, poster art, and more.

Artist performing: D’Angelo, Jane’s Addiction, Wu-Tang Clan, Chromeo, Cheap Trick, NOFX, Future Islands, Gogol Bordello, Schoolboy Q, Grimes, ODESZA, Rae Sremmurd, MSTRKRFT, Hudson Mohawke and more.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee