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Pick a Carolina Festival to attend in the Twin States

Though not your typical pyrotechnic multistage music madness, a Carolina festival has its own charm, and picturesque surroundings to boot! Besides taking a smaller energy toll, they also cover quite a broad spectrum of genres – from country and bluegrass to badass all-genre bashed at Dreamville. So make the trip, and see our list of festivals for something to write home about!


As one of the premier music festivals in the country, MerleFest celebrates traditional music, with an add-on of many genres. These include classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, Americana, classic rock, and more. This eclectic take on traditional sounds was dubbed “traditional plus”.

The fest itself is a tribute to the late son of music master Doc Watson, Eddy Merle Watson. Merle was added to the NC Music Wall of Fame in 2019, and the festival continues to celebrate his memory. The diverse mix of artists perform across 13 stages over the course of the four days.

The 2024 line-up includes the Grammy-awarded Old Crow Medicine Show, the Turnpike Troubadours, The Teskey Brothers, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, The Earls of Leicester, and many more.

Hopscotch Music Festival

With more than 120 bands, this annual three day event is renowed for its daring lineups, fan-friendly ambience, and worth-it performances. Hopscotch’s musical schedule sees an incredible diversity of genres each year – rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental, and more.

The unique multi-venue setup of Hopscotch gives festivalgoers the chance to experience a multitude of vibes and musical takes across the city of Raleigh. The main stage in City Plaza ensures a surreal experience as attendees throw down to the beats right next to the towering corporate buildings. Moreover, city-wide day bashes, free of charge, give attendees an excuse to replenish at the food vendors.

Dreamville Festival

This annual bash is hosted by rapper J. Cole and is built on the values of community, creativity, and diversity. The expansive city of Raleigh is home to this eclectic North Carolina festival that features both established and upswing artists. Showcasing nearly every genre on the spectrum from hip-hop and R&B to soul, the demographic canyons are vaulted over and all cultural backgrounds are represented.

In addition to the diverse musical lineup, there’s also pop-up shops, food vendors, and interactive activites and art installations to ensure there’s never a dull moment! Attendees attest on social media that they’re ready for the next Dreamville Fest mere months after the last one. A general description deemed fitting was a big, people-packed experience mixed with a family cookout. On short, EVERYONE is welcome and there’s something for everyone!

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance

This family-friendly North Carolina festival is a joint effort between the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center and the GrassRoots Festival Organization. Community, family, and freedom to be yourself takes center stage. Additionally, there’s food, workshops, dance, camping, discussions and yoga to add to the family fun and well-rounded experience.

Over four days and four stages, more than 50 bands ensure a musical paradise featuring bluegrass, country, folk rock, psychedelic, reggae, and more. Of the multiple stages, The Outpost was designed specially for teens to ensure every age group gets the most out of this magical, all-inclusive event.

High Water Festival

International musicians come together at the beautiful Riverfront in South Carolina. Two stages alternate their performances to ensure you’ll miss nothing at this musical paradise. Featuring folk, Americana, indie rock and other alternative genres, it’s a journey of discovery alongside the beautiful Cooper River.

The most tantalizing tastes of Charleston are available at the local food vendors and breweries. Stay in the zone and out of the sun between the ancient mossy oaks that cover the landscape. And when you need a breather to balance the fun, relax at The Refuge, nestled between Spanish Moss-covered trunks.

Carolina Country Music Fest

This outdoor South Carolina festival takes place in Myrtle Beach and claims 18 coastal acres – from the boardwalk to Ocean Boulevard. Over 35,000 people attended in 2023, and it was nominated forthe Academy of Country Music’s festival of the year award!

If you’re looking for more live music aside from the country climaxes at the fest, head to the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet. And of course, you have to exploit the water scene! From wet waterparks and jet ski joys to the good old sandy beach, cool off with a splashing adventure! And check out the local breweries in the area while you’re at it – cold brews on the beach is a must.

Charleston Bluegrass Festival

As you harmonize with nature in the breathtaking, relaxing surroundings of Givhans Ferry State Park, the twang of the humble banjo and fiddle transports you into nostalgic, soulful Americana. Plush camping options, food and craft vendors complete this rejuvenating experience.

To take complete advantage of the beautiful surroundings, several outdoor activities are hosted. These include instructor-led easy yoga flows, a kayaking meet-up, and an all-ages group bike ride.

Continue the festive vibes!

Inge Strauss