Back in the days before the U.S. was littered with cookie-cutter corporate music events, festival season unofficially kicked off with South by Southwest (SXSW) in March. A folks-y gathering for hipsters turned influencer juggernaut festival, the event, which just completed its 2016 installment, draws national and internationally recognized names as well as emerging bands just starting to build a following. But like many successful independently-minded gatherings, SXSW has grown to almost unwieldy proportions, with crowds overlapping for the music, film and interactive branches of the festival and corporate America flocking to take advantage of the highly-connected and influential audience.
But don’t fret: if you’re looking for a more modest setting to get yourself a hyper-dose of new music, there are a couple of great festivals you can hit on a slightly adventurous weekend getaway this spring.
Treefort Music Fest –March 23-27 – Boise, ID
Opening today, you won’t find bigger names like LCD Soundsystem or Calvin Harris here, but you will find an eclectic mixture of musicians such as Thee Oh Sees, Aesop Rock, and Wax Idols, as well as notable Boise natives Built to Spill and Youth Lagoon. Shows take place in clubs and music venues throughout downtown Boise, giving you the perfect mixture of the intimate experience of a club and the broad selection of a festival. Five day general admission passes start at $179. Book a three and a half star room in downtown Boise for as low as $95 per night and up.
Free Press Summer Festival – June 4-5 – Houston, TX
Set at the beautiful Eleanor Tinsley Park with the Houston skyline as its backdrop, Free Press has something for everyone. If dancing is your thing, deadmau5, The Chainsmokers, and Zeds Dead have you covered. If hip-hop is more your style, ASAP Ferg, Mac Miller, and Trae tha Truth will get you going. Rockers will be happy to hear Modest Mouse, The National, and Violent Femmes. Two day general admission passes start at $148.50. Grab a four star room for as little as $67 per night and up.