Here Are the 2021 Festivals You Should Know About

A number of multi-day festivals are going ahead with a 2021 return to semi-normalcy after a painful year away from the live music experience.


Image via Getty/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival


For those of us who make live shows a central part of our existence, the total absence of them over the past year has added an extra layer of gloom to the abysmal pandemic experience.

The industry-wide move to pause or outright cancel music festivals and individual artist tours, of course, was an inarguably necessary step as COVID-19 started to take (and maintain) a hold across the States and beyond. And while initial optimism during the early days of the pandemic era had some convinced that shows would come back with a vengeance as soon as late 2020 or even early 2021, such optimism was fairly quickly put out to pasture.

With the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being formally declared a global pandemic now getting farther and farther in the rearview, however, several festival organizers have stepped up with plans for artists to return to the stage later this year.

In early March, for example, the team behind the (usually annual) three-day Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival announced a planned return for this fall. But the weight of doing such a thing isn’t lost on organizers.

“As we prepare to produce the 2021 festival, we feel a heightened sense of responsibility to our staff, partners, performers, and attendees, and continue to work closely with local and state officials to ensure a safe return to live music,” Lauren DelFrago, Festival Director of Life is Beautiful, told Complex via email. 

Over the past year, a number of forward-thinking artists have stepped up with relief for show-starved fans by crafting live virtual experiences of varying formats. While some have stuck to one-off tour-emulating specials, like Justin Bieber’s NYE stream, others—ranging from The Weeknd’s augmented reality take to more intimate productions like punk band MXPX’s practice space sessions—have elected to experiment with a format that may very well remain a fixture in the industry even post-pandemic.

Still, it’s nice to see a glimpse of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel regarding the eventual restart of in-person shows of all sizes.

Below, we’ll be keeping up a continually updated list of notable music festivals slated for a 2021 return.

Rolling Loud Miami

Rolling Loud Miami



HARD Summer

HARD Summer

Lyrical Lemonade's Summer Smash

Lyrical Lemonade



Made in America


Pitchfork Music Festival


J Balvin's NEÓN Experience


iHeartRadio Music Festival


Life Is Beautiful


Music Midtown

music midtown



Governors Ball


Broccoli City


Lost in Riddim


Shaky Knees


Outside Lands


Day N Vegas


Once Upon A Time In LA


Lights All Night

Lights All Night

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