Spring will be upon us in two weeks, and since winter is a sub-optimal time for outdoor events, it officially marks the beginning of music festival season. Yes, the festival bubble is bursting, but some local festivals have managed to stick around and impressively withstand the test of time. If you’re in the market for a massive concert experience, below are eight festivals that will get you through spring and summer.
NSFWkndWednesday-Sunday, March 18-22, at Deep Ellum
Headliners: The Frights, Yumi Zouma, Part Time, Devourment
What else you should know: Every year, thousands of artists from all around the world travel to Austin to play South by Southwest, and because Dallas is right around the corner, many of them frantically try to get shoehorned into a Dallas show at the eleventh hour. NSFWknd (fka, South by South Flesh, Bro Fest and Spillover) has grown to be the most tenured of all area festivals designed to satiate this overwhelming artist demand (RIP 35 Denton). At this point, it’s technically not even a festival anymore, just a long string of shows taking place at clubs like Three Links, Club Dada, Blue Light and Deep Ellum Art Co.
Ubbi Dubbi FestivalSaturday-Sunday, April 18-19, at Globe Life Park in Arlington
Headliners: Kaskade, Illenium, Adventure Club
What else you should know: Any other festival that would place itself within a one-mile radius of another major festival scheduled to take place at the exact same time would be signing their death warrant, but somehow, Ubbi Dubbi managed to sell out in its 2019 installment despite this exact thing happening with Fortress Festival. Based on last year’s success, they are relocating to Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Fortress FestivalSaturday-Sunday, April 25-26, at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth
Headliners: Diplo, Miguel, Cuco, Big K.R.I.T.
What else you should know: Unlike its aforementioned competitor, Fortress Festival didn’t sell out its 2019 go-around, but it still proved quite successful with a formidable trifecta of headliners in the form of Leon Bridges, CHVRCHES and Rae Sremmurd. This was in no way an anomaly, as previous lineups have included other heavy-hitters such as Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Run the Jewels, Chromeo, Purity Ring, De La Soul, Flying Lotus and others.
JMBLYAFriday, May 1, at Fair Park
Headliners: A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti
What else you should know: As we correctly predicted, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Tjay are playing this year’s JMBLYA festival, but the unthinkable happened: we guessed incorrectly on some of the lineup additions. Still, JMBLYA is making good on its tradition of bringing quality headliners and a cutting-edge undercard.
Wildflower FestivalFriday-Sunday, May 15-17, at Galatyn Park in Richardson
Headliners: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Collective Soul, Charlie Daniels
What else you should know: Every once in a while, Wildflower Festival delivers in bringing some decent heritage acts, but it’s also the place where music careers go to die. Even then, this year has proved to be a greater haul than usual, even if we can’t help but feel that Sister Sledge and the Wailers deserve better billing.
97.1 BFDSunday, May 24, at Dos Equis Pavilion
Headliners: Disturbed, Chevelle
What else you should know: Every year, 97.1 KEGL partners with Live Nation to bring some of the biggest names in post-grunge, alternative metal, nu-metal and hard rock for this festival (whose name is an acronym for “Big Fucking Deal”). True, those genres are a bit passe, but who among us is truly above smashing a Monster Energy drink and reliving the glory days of Ozzfest?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Exodus FestivalSunday, May 24, at Toyota Music Factory in Irving
Headliners: Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary
What else you should know: Every year since 2018, famed Gospel singer Kirk Franklin has put together this annual shindig on one of the last Sundays of May. This year’s openers include Donnie McClurkin, Le’andria Johnson and Anthony Brown.
Camp NowhereSaturday, June 20, at Dos Equis Pavilion
Headliners: Bassnectar, Rezz
What else you should know: Last year, Camp Nowhere came out of (heh) nowhere with a lineup announcement that included Odesza, Gryffin and Chelsea Cutler, but now it seems that the EDM festival (which takes place in Dallas and Austin every year) is here to stay, as this year’s affair includes a stacked undercard in the form of Jai Wolf, Said the Sky, Dabin and William Black.