Atlanta is the biggest city as well as the capital of the state of Georgia. Beginning as a small railway center, it has now grown into a place known for its music and film industries, pop culture, and important contribution to the fight for civil rights. It is also a shopping haven, has a great food scene and some beautiful parks and greenspaces. Getting here is easy – Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world so you have no excuse to not come for a vacation!
If you are a fan of music, you will be pleased to hear that Atlanta hosts over 30 annual festivals and it is a fantastic place to see your favorite bands perform in person. If you are planning a vacation to Atlanta sometime soon, check to see if there are any music festivals happening while you are here! Then, read our guide on getting around Atlanta to easily make your way from concert to concert.
Below we've listed some to look out for in 2022. And remember not to lug too much gear into the festival. Stow your large backpacks and extra bags at a luggage locker in Atlanta. Travel light and dance the day away!
The Best Music Festivals in Atlanta in 2022
Shaky Knees Music Festival
This is one of the biggest and most anticipated music festivals in Atlanta this year. Shaky Knees is set to happen from the 29th of April until the 1st of May, 2022 and usually attracts up to 40,000 attendees! Since 2013 it has been one of the most exciting events for rock lovers around the world.
Performances will be done by both popular musicians as well as up-and-coming artists so you can see your favorite artists and maybe even find some new ones. Look out for names like Billy Idol, Death Cab for Cutie, Nine Inch Nails, My Morning Jacket and Green Day. An average of 60 bands make the lineup so there are lots to see.
SweetWater 420 Fest
The SweetWater 420 Fest is happening at the same time as the Shaky Knees Music Festival so you might be able to visit both on the same trip! The dates for this festival are from the 29th of April to the 1st of May but there is also a pre-party happening on the 28th of April. It is more than a music festival and also celebrates culture, art and entertainment. The venue is at the Centennial Olympic Park.
Aside from amazing live music this festival also hosts some comedy performances. The music lineup includes groups like Dirty Heads, Snarky Puppy, Big Something, Town Mountain, Little Stranger, Certainly So, Too Many Zooz, The String Cheese Incident and so many more.
Funk Fest Atlanta
Every year in May, the Wolf Creek Amphitheatre in Atlanta becomes one of the best venues for music lovers during the Funk Fest Atlanta event. This festival is always one to remember thanks to its colorful setting and friendly atmosphere that is enjoyed by everyone.
The lineup for 2022 is teasing big R&B names like Tweet, Mar J Blige, Trina, Jazmine Sullivan as well as Anthony Hamilton, Silkk the Shocker, Raheem DeVaughn, Jodeci, Master P, Mystikal, Carl Thomas and Mia X. Don't miss out; dates TBD!
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Everyone is excited about the Atlanta Jazz Festival which will be happening this year from the 28th to the 30th of May. The biggest events happen on Memorial Day Weekend but there are actually concerts going on during the whole month and many of them are free to attend. You will find performances happening in various museums, art galleries and rooftop bars but the main festival is going to happen in the beautiful Piedmont Park.
This is often considered to be the biggest event of its kind in the country so you know that the lineup will be good. Some of the great artists performing include Kebbi Williams and the Wolfpack, Masego, Tia Fuller's Intersections, Rhonda Thomas, Joe Alterman, Julie Dexter, Kenny Barron Quartet, and Kathleen Bertrand, just to name a few.
Candler Park Music Festival
Keep your calendar free for the 3rd and 4th of June, 2022 because this is when the Candler Park Music Festival is happening! Of course, this festival is always held in Candler Park and is an event that you will definitely want to attend. Aside from musical artists, you can find food vendors and craftsmen set up at around 100 booths in the area.
The performers this year include The Orange Constant, Yonder Mountain String Band, Grace Potter, Cha Wa, Webster, Trouble No More, The Disco Biscuits, CBDB, Twiddle and Andy Frasco & The U.N. This festival is always a big hit for jazz music enthusiasts so grab tickets as soon as you can.
Imagine Music Festival
September brings the Imagine Music Festival from the 15th to 18th which not only features live music but also circus-like performances all happening at the Kingston Downs in Georgia. The venue is beautiful with some gorgeous nature trails that you can explore during the festival. It is said to be one of Atlanta's best EDM music festivals and lots of people are excited about it. This year the event is water themed, so get ready to see mermaids and sea creatures joining you for the music!
There are some great names promising to show up this year and you will definitely want to be there. Some of the bands performing are Kaskade, Excision, San Holo, Sam Wolfe, Niko the Kid, Planet of the Drums, Deadman, Devious, Blunts & Blondes, Peekaboo, Morgin Madison and Tsu Nami alongside so many other talented music makers.
If you are already in town for the Imagine Music Festival then you should also save a day for the Music Midtown event which is Atlanta's premier festival. This is when some of the biggest names in the music industry gather to perform for you at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. They always go all out and it is really a fun event to attend. This year's dates are the 17th and 18th of September.
The venue is quite big with four stages and you can take a ride on the Ferris wheel in the park to get a birds eye view of the area. Music Midtown features up to 30 talented artists from a variety of music genres which is what makes it one of the best Atlanta music festivals since everyone can attend. This year's lineup includes Jack White, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Keshi, 2 Chainz, Louis the Child, A Day to Remember, Conan Gray, Alec Benjamin, and Baby Tate as well as a few other great names.
Sweet Auburn Music Fest
A favorite event among locals and tourists is the Sweet Auburn Music Fest which is entirely free to attend and always offers a great time. The dates this year are the 24th and 25th of September so start planning your trip soon! All sorts of musical genres are included. You can enjoy concerts of every style, from hip hop music to gospel and R&B to alternative.
An event like this needs a diverse lineup and that is exactly what you will get. There is no official list of performers but we guarantee that the live performances will make you want to sing and dance along. On-site, there is also a children's area, food court and some stalls selling all sorts of items.
Tunes from the Tombs
This is definitely one of the most unique events in Atlanta. The Tunes from the Tombs annual festival is held in the Historic Oakland Cemetery so you can jam out to some great music alongside gravestones and it is a way that living citizens connect with those who have passed on. This year it will be happening on the 25th of September and tickets are very affordable so come see what it's all about if you get the chance.
The headliner is a great indie band named SUSTO and they will be playing alongside some very talented groups like Sweet Auburn String Band, Nate Helfrich and Sailing to Denver. Some other artists will treat you to pop-up performances as well so you never really know what will be happening. Food trucks, craft beers and a market are also included!
The 8th and 9th of October is when you can attend the incredible ONE MusicFest which was previously held at the Centennial Olympic Park, although the venues for this year have not been confirmed yet. This festival features a diverse lineup ranging from hip hop to modern pop, rap and rock. On average over 50,000 people come to the event every year!
You are sure to see some of your favorite bands performing on stage for you this year. In the past, we've seen names like Three 6 Mafia, Gucci Mane, Jill Scott, Outkast, Kendrick Lamar and lots of others. Over 35 different food vendors also join the party. Try some of the city's best dishes while enjoying the live dance music.
Atlanta Pride Festival
Piedmont Park is once again the venue for another amazing festival in Atlanta, in 2022 the dates are October 7-9. Much more than just a music event, the Atlanta Pride Festival brings people together in a safe and accepting place to enjoy live performances, participate in learning programs and explore exhibits. It usually takes place in early to mid October near National Coming Out Day.
The festival ties in with the Pride Parade which is also incredible to be a part of. While you are here make sure to support community members at the Pride Marketplace! Every year attendees leave feeling empowered and encouraged. Some great artists perform for nearly 300,000 attendees including names like Big Freedia and Todrick Hall.
A3C Festival & Conference
The A3C Festival & Conference is a much anticipated yearly event and although dates have not yet been released for this year we are hoping to get more information soon. In the past, it has been held in October at the Georgia Freight Depot and is always one of the best events of the year.
Not only is there great live music, but the festival usually invites guest speakers to take to the panel to conduct interviews and talks while the music concerts take place at night. Keep your eye out for news on the festival and to see who will be attending this year!
Another of the Atlanta music festivals we are hoping to see return in 2022 is the Afropunk Festival which is often held at Windsor Street Southwest. This festival began as a small event but now it is any indie rock lover's dream where people from all sorts of cultures and ethnicities come together to celebrate music. It usually happens in October so keep checking regularly for any updates.
Come listen to some of the best artists from hip hop, R&B, as well as other musical genres, perform for you on stage. Some of the most recent guests have been Tyler the Creator, Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae.
Planning to Stay Some More Days in Atlanta?
Much of the summer months in Atlanta are filled with world renowned acts at special events and music festivals, and they are part of what makes the city so attractive and fun to visit. However, the musical artist market is not the only great thing about this city and if you stay for just a couple extra days you can learn a lot more about what makes Atlanta so incredible.
Want to see all of the city's best sights? Check out a 3 day itinerary that can bring you to all of the best tourist attractions in the city. If you would rather explore the city on your own then you will find lots to do in Downtown Atlanta, including some fantastic museums and endless options for street food trucks and eateries. Either way, we recommend reserving a couple more days for your vacation since once you arrive in Atlanta, GA you won't want to leave!
If you're planning to stay longer in Atlanta, take a look at our other Atlanta guides for other fun activities!