The 10 Best Music Festivals in North Carolina

North Carolina is home to many great music festivals, ranging from big-name headliners and local favorites alike. Here are the 10 best music festivals in North Carolina that you won’t want to miss out on!

1. MerleFest

Wilkesboro, North Carolina

When: April (four days)

MerleFest is one of the most iconic music festivals in North Carolina. It’s held every April and has a great lineup that includes both local and national acts. Genres such as folk, country, banjo, bluegrass, Americana, and more can be heard throughout the festival.

Kids under 12 are free, and the festival offers camping options as well. It’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life while still enjoying some great music.

2. Dreamville

Raleigh, North Carolina

When: April (two days)

If you’re looking for a great urban music festival, then Dreamville is the one for you. It brings some of the hottest urban acts around right into downtown Raleigh. From hip-hop to R&B and beyond, it is sure to bring a great vibe to the city.

J. Cole is the mastermind behind this festival, so attendees can rest assured knowing that the lineup will be nothing short of amazing and diverse. If you’re in North Carolina and are looking for an urban music experience unlike any other, look no further than this event.

3. Hopscotch

Raleigh, North Carolina

When: September (three days)

Hopscotch Music Festival is one of the top music festivals in North Carolina. Over 120 performers take the stage at this festival, with genres such as rock, electronic, folk, hip-hop, metal, and more.

4. Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

Pittsboro, North Carolina

When: May (four days)

The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival is a great way to enjoy some of the more eclectic music in North Carolina. With over numerous musical acts, this event has something for everyone. Genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and more can be heard throughout the weekend.

5. North Carolina Music Festival

Huntersville, North Carolina

When: May (two days)

The North Carolina Music Festival is a great way to see some of the best musical acts in the state. It features genres such as rock, bluegrass, Americana, country, and more that can be heard throughout the weekend. Camping is available, and there are also lots of food and beverages to enjoy.

6. Breakaway

Charlotte, North Carolina

When: May (two days)

Breakaway Music Festival is a great way to experience some of the best electronic, hip-hop, and pop music in the state.

Raving, dancing, and singing along to your favorite songs will be second nature at this event. With over 30 artists performing, it’s sure to be an event that you won’t soon forget.

7. Cold Mountain Music Festival

Canton, North Carolina

When: August (one day)

Music festivals for family and friends await you at the Cold Mountain Music Festival. Live music of mixed genres is sure to delight you.

The festival also has games and activities to keep the kids entertained. If you’re looking for amazing food, drinks, and music then this is the event for you in North Carolina.

8. Beats n Bars Fest

Durham, North Carolina

When: September (one day)

If you’re looking for a hip-hop festival in North Carolina, then Beats n Bars Fest is the one for you. This event features some of the best local and national artists in the game. This event is free, so you can bring your friends and family and take in some of the best hip-hop music in the state.

9. That Music Fest

Durham, North Carolina

When: June (two days)

That Music Fest is another great music event in North Carolina. This festival features hip-hop, EDM, and indie rock artists that come together to provide a unique experience for attendees.

With over 25 musical acts and various activities and merchandise, this festival is one that you don’t want to miss.

10. Ocean City Jazz Festival

Jacksonville, North Carolina

When: July (two days)

Summer isn’t complete without attending the Ocean City Jazz Festival. Jazz music is the star of the show here, but there will also be blues and more genres that you can enjoy throughout the event.

Local and international artists come together to make this one of the most popular music festivals in North Carolina.


Whether you’re looking for a folk festival, hip-hop event, or an all-genre event, North Carolina has some of the best music festivals in the country. With events ranging from small and local to large and international, there is music for everyone to enjoy.

Make sure to check out these amazing music festivals if you’re in the area!

MerleFest Featured Image (Top) by: WilkesccMFWC, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Hopscotch Music Festival Featured Image (Bottom) by: Bz3rk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons