The Top 5 Folk and Country Music Festivals in the U.S.

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


There’s nothing quite like a good folk or country music festival. Check out our list of the top 5 festivals in the United States.


Welcome to our guide to the top 5 folk and country music festivals in the United States! If you’re a fan of either genre, or just good music in general, then these festivals are definitely worth checking out. From the world-famous Newport Folk Festival to the up-and-coming Americanafest, there’s something for everyone. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Newport Folk Festival

The Newport Folk Festival is an annual music festival that takes place in Newport, Rhode Island. The festival was founded in 1959 by folk music impresario Alan Lomax, jazz critic George Wein, and record producer John Hammond. The event is widely considered to be one of the most important events in the history of folk music, and has been credited with helping to revive interest in the genre. The festival features a wide range of musical acts, from traditional folk musicians to contemporary artists. The event is held every summer and attracts tens of thousands of music lovers from all over the world.


Pickathon is an annual music festival held in Portland, Oregon. The festival features a mix of folk, country, and bluegrass music, and has been described as “a cross between a family reunion and Woodstock”. Pickathon has been held every year since 1998, and takes place on the first weekend of August.


Americana is a musical genre that incorporates elements of folk, country, blues, and other styles. As the name suggests, AmericanaFest is a celebration of this unique genre of music. The festival takes place every September in Nashville, Tennessee and features some of the biggest names in folk and country music. If you’re a fan of Americana music, this is one festival you won’t want to miss.

Some of the past performers at AmericanaFest include Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and many more. In addition to musical performances, the festival also hosts workshops, film screenings, and other events.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is an annual free music festival held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The festival was founded in 2001 by Warren Hellman, a businessman and bluegrass fan. The event is now run by Hellman’s daughter, Sarah, and her husband, Jonathan Moskin.

The festival has been held every year since its inception, and has grown to attract an audience of over 750,000 people. It is the largest bluegrass festival in the world, and features a wide range of musical styles, including folk, country, rock, and blues.

Notable acts that have played at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass include Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, John Prine, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Jerry Garcia.

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