Music Festival Season By The Numbers: An Early Guide to Festival Ticket Buying in 2016

For those who love live music, the start to a new year means time to start planning for an overload of music festival possibilities. Although music festivals are a fairly new trend, the influx of events spanning across the country have become seemingly endless each year, as more names and cities have posted up spots for the next best thing. A handful of longtime festival staples like Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Sasquatch! continue to draw large crowds with competitive ticket prices, while younger festivals like Governors Ball and Shaky Knees are pushing to the forefront of discussion. Below is a preliminary guide to the top music festivals across the country, with ticket data provided by TicketIQ.

Coachella | Indio, California | Average Price: $816 | Get-in Price: $525

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a two-weekend annual music festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Inland Empire's Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. The festival got its start in 2002, and has since become one of the most popular festival destinations in the world. This year’s headlining acts include Guns N' Roses, LCD Soundsystem, and Calvin Harris. Tickets for Coachella are currently averaging $816 for both weekends, but the cheapest pass can be purchased for $525.

Governors Ball | New York City | Average Price: $497 | Get-in Price: $350

While music festivals originally got their start in rural environments like Woodstock, Governors Ball is one of the more recent events that proved that urban festival sites are just as popular. Gov Ball, which is held annually at Governors Island in New York City, got its start in 2011, and has since featured some of the biggest acts in music including Kanye West, Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, and Florence + The Machine. This year’s festival will take place over three days from June 3-5, and headliners for 2016 include Kanye West, Beck, Robyn, The Killers, and The Strokes. 3-day passes aren’t cheap, as Governors Ball tickets are currently averaging $497, with the cheapest pass going for $350.


Bonnaroo | Manchester, Tennessee | Average Price: $529 | Get-in Price: $357

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will launch this year on June 11 - June 14 at the Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee. The four-day festival will feature Pearl Jam, Dead and Company and the recently-reunited LCD Soundsystem. Bonnaroo is certainly not one of the newbies, as the festival will be celebrating its 15th year. Bonnaroo passes for 2016 are currently averaging $529 on the resale market, with the cheapest pass going for $357. Although the festival is known for its more “rugged camping setup, 2016 will take the festival to new heights with 400 toilets, hundreds of showers, and additional water filling stations.

Lollapalooza | Chicago, Illinois | Average Price: $451 | Get-in Price: $451

The funny thing about big festivals like Lollapalooza is that regardless of who ends up at the top of the lineup, fans will buying tickets fast. Last year’s festival sold out in just 45 minutes, so fans can expect a similar ticket-buying explosion once the big names are announced. On the primary market, 4-day passes are going for $335, while the Lollapalooza passes on the secondary market are averaging $451.

Electric Daisy Carnival | New York City | Average Price: $546 | Get-in Price: $400

If jam bands and folk music seems a little too mellow for your music taste, EDM festival powerhouse Electric Daisy Carnival might be more up your alley when it comes to buying a festival pass this summer. EDC’s lineup this year will feature David Guetta, Zedd, Madeon & more at its new location in Queens, New York at Citi Field. The two-day event will launch on May 14 and 15, and Electric Daisy Carnival tickets are currently on sale. Two-day passes are pricier than most three or four day events, and are averaging $456, with the cheapest pass priced at $400.

Shaky Knees | Atlanta, Georgia | Average Price: $308 | Get-in Price: $259

Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, Georgia is one of the babies of the bunch, but the impressive lineup certainly doesn’t indicate it. Shaky Knees, which will run from May 13-15, will be a top pick this summer, especially for those who love rock. The festival’s third consecutive run will feature huge names like Florence + The Machine, My Morning Jacket and Jane’s Addiction at the top of the bill, as well as 72 other bands including At The Drive-In, The 1975, Deftones, The Decemberists, Explosions in The Sky and Walk the Moon. Three-day Shaky Knees passes are currently averaging $308, with the cheapest pass priced at $259.

Okeechobee | Sunshine Grove, Florida | Average Price: $430 | Get-in Price: $256

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival is the one first timer on the list of festivals, and it most likely won’t be the festival’s last. Held in Sunshine Grove, Florida from March 3–6, the festival is already making a name for itself as Florida’s biggest ever camping festival, with an extraordinary multi-genre bill boasting more than 80 artists, bands, and DJs. Headliners for the festival include Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, and more. A three-day Okeechobee pass is averaging $430, with the cheapest pass priced at $256.

Sasquatch! Music Festival | George, Washington | Average Price: $599 | Get-in Price: $125

Sasquatch! Music Festival is coming back for its 15th year on Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-30). The festival will be held at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington and features acts like The Cure, Sufjan Stevens, M83, Grimes, Florence & the Machine, Caribou, Four Tet, Disclosure, Major Lazer, and A$AP Rocky. Sasquatch! tickets on the secondary market are currently averaging $599 for a four-day pass, with the cheapest pass going for just $125.

Below is an infographic taking a quick look at the majorscheduled festivals with lineups for the 2016 season:


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