12 Best Hip Hop & EDM U.S. Music Festivals

Originally written for Power 106, L.A. #1 Hip Hop Music Station. Photo courtesy of Kareem Gwinn

Hip Hop, R&B and even hip hop fused with EDM festivals are everywhere. It’s hard to know what’s worth attending. We’ve created our list of our favorites so you don’t have to do all the legwork to find something hot to attend or spend your day digging through Music Festival Junkies trying to discern what’s hip and what’s not.


Taking place in Tennessee, Bonnaroo is replacing Coachella as the festival to be at. In 2014, Wu-Tang, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pusha T, Ice Cube, Lauryn Hill and R.Kelly were amongst the best performers. The best part about Bonnaroo? It’s still under 100,000 attendees and reasonably priced for a multi-day pass.


In 2013, Jay Z partnered with Budweiser to create a two-day music festival called MADE IN AMERICA. The festival was originally held in Philadelphia only. It expanded to Los Angeles this year and featured Meek Mill, Kanye West, Drake, Iggy Azalea, YG, Nipsey Hussle, and Hit-Boy, Chance the Rapper, DJ Mustard and many more.


While on Hiatus this year, Rock the Bells is a staple in hip hop. The four-city event started 10 years ago and only supports hip hop music artists. Drake, Jay Z, OutKast, Lauryn Hill and many others have performed in the past. Hopefully it’ll return in 2014.


Held In Atlanta, Georgia, A3C is in its 10th year of supporting the hip hop, R&B, art and culture surrounding music in the dirty south. This year, I LOVE KAKONNEN, Ca$h Out, 2 Chainz,  Casey Veggies, Juvenile, Kevin Gates, Mystikal, Scareface, Problem, Trinadad Jame$, Talib Kweli and many more took the stage. What’s best, it’s also a small venue with only 25,000 attendees in 2014.


Started in 2005, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is New York’s largest cultural hip hop event. Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival is committed showcasing the music genre’s legacy and also furthering its role in social change and community building. Year after year, over 20,000 fans have gathered to see performances from Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Monie Love, Redman, Drizzy Wright, Raekwon and many more.

Brooklyn’s own @skyzoothewriter. #BHFAlum at @a3cfestival

A photo posted by Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (@bkhiphopfest) on


Also held in Atlanta, Georgia, Counterpoint featured OutKast, J. Cole, Major Lazer, Krewella and Janelle Monae this year. While heavily EDM, the show is starting to cross into Hip Hop and R&B with performers.


This year, the Uforia Music Festival brought together the best of the Latin and Hip Hop worlds in LA. Performances included La Arrolladora Banda El Limon, Ludacris, Nelly, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa and many more.


Pitchfork Music Festival is a must attend hip hop-focused festival in the Midwest. Held in Chicago, this year’s line up featured Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Pusha T, ScHoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, and  Isaiah Rashad. Over 50,000 people attended this mMURSidwest music mecca.


Held In San Francisco, Outside Lands featured a killer hip hop lineup that included Kanye West, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Atmosphere, and Run The Jewels.


Founded in 2006, by Murs, Paid Dues is an all-day, 10-city outdoor live music event packed solely with underground hip-hop acts. Paid Dues was unable to happen in 2014, but Murs ended up curating the Sunset Strip Music Festival as an extension of his original show. Murs says Paid Dues will return 2015.


Beale Street Music Festival started 38 years ago as a blues festival. But in decade, it’s gained traction in the hip hop space. Lupe Fiasco, Big Boi (Outkast), The Roots, Nelly, Wiz Khalifa, Public Enemy, Bone Thugz & Harmony, Project Pat and Snoop Lion have all participated. More than one million people attend the show in Memphis, Tennessee.


The Sasquatch! (yep, named after Big Foot) Festival started in 2002. It’s a three-day event that features a wide variety of music but the notable hip hop performers makes it a heavy hitting festival for the Pacific Northwest area. ScHoolboy Q, Mos Def, OutKast, Kid Cudi, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, The Knix, Shabazz Palaces, Drake and many more have take the stage more than once.

Tents as far as the fisheye can see. ? by @geeneeus_ideeot! #Sasquatch2014

A photo posted by Sasquatch! Festival (@sasquatchfestival) on

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