From casual fans to die-hard music snobs, nothing beats a full, fun line-up of bands taking the stage on one jam-packed day. As we enter peak music festival season, it’s important to appreciate the ones we don’t need to travel for. New Jersey has tons of massive concerts hitting the festival grounds in the coming weeks and months, right in our backyard. Here’s a list of the best upcoming festivals in NJ this weekend and beyond!
TidalWave Festival (Aug. 11-13 Atlantic City, NJ)
Calling all country fans! Several of country music’s biggest stars, like Thomas Rhett and Jason Aldean, are hitting the AC boardwalk for three days of non-stop summer fun. Exchange your flip-flops for cowboy boots and make your way to the beach this weekend.
One Love: Caribbean Music Fest (Aug. 19 in Newark, NJ)
This festival transforms historic Newark into a Caribbean getaway, infused with the native culture’s music, dance, and food. Headlined by Caribbean artist RAE, the nine-hour festival unifies the local spirit with island fun. So skip the flight, and instead revel in an epic celebration of Caribbean culture.
Canal Day Music and Craft Festival (Aug. 19 in Wharton, NJ)
Canal Day is a historic celebration honoring the Morris Canal, and all it’s done to help further develop its surrounding communities. The day showcases live performances from several acclaimed local musicians, such as Bootleg The Band and COLBURN & CO. Enjoy hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, free kayak rides, and even a full boat tour of the Morris Canal.
Live & Local Music Festival (Aug. 19 in Oceanport, NJ)
This festival celebrates the vibrant music scene that stretches along the coast of the Jersey Shore. Live & Local is headlined by The Eddie Testa Band this year, and is known as one of the most truly local festivals on the NJ circuit.
All Things Music Festival (Aug. 19 in Woodstown, NJ)
Hosted by comedian Turae and WDAS FM’s Patty Jackson, the first-annual ATM Festival has live performances from War, After 7, and Average White Band. Grab your lawn chairs and enjoy a day of esteemed vendors, food trucks, and DJs.
Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival (Sept. 1-3 in Woodstown, NJ)
Celebrating over fifty years of music, the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival is located on the scenic Salem County Fairgrounds. This Labor Day weekend, jam sessions take over South Jersey farmland as summer’s last hurrah.
MMRBQ (Sept. 16 in Camden, NJ)
Presented by 93.3 WMMR, this festival boasts big-name headliners like Billy Idol and Shinedown. Located just outside of Philly, the ‘RBQ celebrates a night of rock n’ roll comradery for friends, family, and headbangers alike.
Annual House Music Festival (Sept. 16 in Plainfield, NJ)
Plainfield’s Annual House Music Festival is not just a day of top-tier live DJ performances, but it’s also an opportunity for the community to give back to NJ’s health awareness initiative. Known as “New Jersey’s Biggest Party That Saves Lives,” HMF raises awareness for prostate cancer and other diseases that affect Black and Brown communities.
Sea Hear Now Festival (Sept. 16-17 in Asbury Park, NJ)
Rock music takes over Asbury’s historic boardwalk this fall with the nationally-recognized Sea Hear Now Festival. Featuring several A-listers such as Foo Fighters, The Killers, Weezer, and Greta Van Fleet, this weekend in the sand is unlike any other. Boasting art galleries curated from performers’ own work to surfing competitions along the Atlantic from East Coast legends and emerging pros, there’s no question Sea Hear Now has something for everyone.
XPoNential Music Festival (Sept. 22-24 in Camden, NJ)
WXPN presents XPoNential Music Festival, a weekend of various artists from established mainstays to up-and-coming acts on the Camden waterfront. The festival celebrates thirty years of letting off steam with your favorite bands.
Hudson West Fest (Sept. 23 in Jersey City, NJ)
Located in the gorgeous up-and-coming Downtown Jersey City neighborhood, this urban festival promises a diverse array of musical offerings, from folk and gospel to New Orleans jazz and traditional Celtic music. The artists play beside a backdrop of original artistic creations, inspired to move and entertain all attendees. The festival serves homemade food outside the traditional variety, including Afghan and Eritrean.
Rock the Farm (Sept. 23 in Seaside Heights, NJ)
This festival celebrates the work of various dedicated cover bands, honoring artists such as ABBA, Van Halen, Nirvana, Coldplay, and more. To complement the night of high-energy concert-going, Rock the Farm offers a “Zen Zone” schedule, equipped with yoga classes and group-led meditations.
Submersion Festival (Oct. 6-7 in Hammonton, NJ)
Taking place in the heart of autumn, Submersion Festival is located on the Paradise Lake Campgrounds. The festival offers a vast range of musical artists, with two main stages lining both the sandy lakes and ever-engulfing forest. The two-day excursion encourages overnight camping, offering various options from quiet-area to RV.