Originally Posted On: https://www.attendee.com/magazine/festival-lookout-march-2020/

 

Festival season hasn’t officially begun yet, but that means we’re in the most important part of the process—planning for festival season. As we pointed out in our more broad look at the year in festivals, there are more than a few to pick from and it will take some strategy on your part.

And, to help with that strategy, we thought it’d be a good idea to take a closer look at which festivals you should attend on a monthly basis. March marks the beginning of the season, so there are plenty of small-to-midsize shows definitely worth checking out (along with one giant exception).

Each month, we’ll pick one or two must-attend festivals for the month, along with some more-than-worthy selections for those who have a more specific taste. Without further ado, here’s your festival lookout for March 2020.

The Headliner

SXSW 2020

March 16-22
Austin, TX

If you’ve never been to SXSW, it’s definitely one to cross off of your bucket list. It’s not your traditional music festival by any means. In fact, the Film and Interactive tracks of the experience are just as well-known as the Music track.

Running for an entire week, the city of Austin explodes with flocks of creatives, industry insiders, tourists, music fans, you name it. While some locals may feel a bit overwhelmed by the inflow, there may be no better time to get a heavy dose of everything Austin has to offer.

From a music standpoint, this is maybe the best festival you can attend to catch artists before they break big. Most of the major names—like Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and 50 Cent—are reserved for speaking engagements and panel discussions.

But, this festival thrives in the unknown. We could list some must-see acts, like Justin Townes Earle, Caroline Rose, Frances Quinlan, Algiers and Weeping Icon, but we think you should discover something new for yourself. There are hundreds (literally) of artists hosting showcases around the city, so you’re not going to be short on options. These artists are hungry, and they’re going all out to show their best side to Austin.

Plus, you get to experience the best venues Austin has to offer as well. Be sure to check out:

To get your tickets to SXSW 2020, click here. You may get a bit of sticker shock looking at the price, but think of it this way: You’re getting a full week of incredible shows and experiences, with hundreds of each to pick from. Not to mention access to some of the best taco shops in the world. We’ll see y’all down south.

Supporting Acts

Innings Festival

February 29–March 1
Tempe Beach Park, Tempe, AZ

Talk about a great idea. Tempe, Arizona, is best known for the home of MLB Spring Training for many teams, so someone out there had one hell of an ‘aha’ moment when they came up with the Innings Festival. This two-day festival is the perfect marriage of baseball and music, featuring appearances from legends on both sides.

Seriously, though. Just check out the lineup. You’ve got Portugal. The Man, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Death Cab for Cutie, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Dr. Dog and many more playing two different stages. Not to mention, appearances from baseball icons like Ryan Dempster, Jim Thome, Jake Peavy and more. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, this seems like a hidden gem worth anyone’s time.

 

Okeechobee Music Festival

March 5–8
Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee, FL

If there’s a spring music festival in Florida, that’s a pretty reliable bet for a good time. The Sunshine State is known for its consistent weather, and spring may take the cake. But, cool breezes aside, Okeechobee Music Festival is quickly becoming a go-to among the midsize festival circuit. In fact, it’s flirting with the big time.

For proof, just look at their 2020 lineup. Running Thursday through Sunday, you’ve got Bassnectar, Vampire Weekend, Haim, Clairo, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Blood Orange and dozens more. This festival has a great mix of genres, so it’ll be a crowd-pleaser for anyone in your group.

 

Campfire Gathering 2020

March 16-18
Camp Lucy, TX

Remember we mentioned some locals may get overwhelmed by SXSW? Well, Campfire Gathering may be the antidote to that. Set conspicuously during the same week as the massive festival/conference, this low-key event is located on a rustic ranch in beautiful Dripping Springs, Texas. It’s advertised as more of a summer camp than a music festival, but we think it’ll fit in on this list nicely.

The lineup is killer for anyone looking for an introduction to Texas music, and the next generation keeping “real country” alive. Headliners include Shakey Graves, Margo Price, Colter Wall, Orville Peck, Delta Spirit, Deer Tick and more. If you’re looking for solitude, country swagger and a Texas experience unlike any other, definitely check it out.

 

If March is an indicator of the festival season, it’s going to be a very good year. Keep in touch with the latest from Attendee for details on festival lineups, announcements and more:

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