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Festival Mania: Discovering America’s Most Celebration-Oriented States

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States' Festival Obsession
Image source: Lyte Magazine, Jones Around The World.

As the spring festival season approaches, fans across the country are eager to attend live performances by their favorite artists. The entertainment industry is experiencing a surge in demand for its services. Live Nation, a leading entertainment company, reported outstanding results in 2022, and the trend continues in 2023, showing no signs of slowing down. However, festival interest varies by state.

1. Wisconsin

According to recent research conducted by online fashion retailer Boohoo, Wisconsin has the highest festival enthusiasm.

Wisconsin tops the list with the most festival-obsessed residents. It is renowned for its diverse and vibrant festival culture, with events celebrating music, food, culture, and the arts. These events draw large crowds from across the state and beyond. From Summerfest in Milwaukee, the world’s largest music festival, to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the world’s biggest aviation event, Wisconsin offers a range of exciting festival experiences for all tastes and interests.

The world’s largest music festival, Summerfest. Credit: Katie Klann / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Using Google Trends data from the past year, Boohoo analyzed search terms commonly used by festival attendees to determine the degree of festival obsession in each state. Each state was given a total score based on the combined search terms to identify the country’s most and least festival-obsessed states.

The study found that Wisconsin ranked as the most festival-obsessed state, with a score of 602, 40% higher than the national average. This is due to the high number of searches for festival-related terms, such as ‘festival’ and ‘festival near me,’ indicating a greater interest in festivals among Wisconsin’s population than in other states. Additionally, Wisconsin ranked eighth for the search term ‘summer festival.’

2. Ohio

Ohio is truly a festival lover’s paradise, and it’s no wonder it is ranked as the second most festival-obsessed state in the USA. With a remarkable total score of 594, Ohio achieves the highest proportion of its population eagerly searching for ‘festivals’ and ‘festivals near me.’ Its residents also display their passion for festivals by frequently searching for the phrase ‘festival,’ which ranks as the fifth-most searched term in the country.

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio. Credit: Ed Balint

But that’s not all; Ohio has an impressive lineup of festivals that attract visitors from far and wide. From the Ohio State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the nation, to the Columbus Arts Festival, which showcases an array of visual and performing arts, Ohio has something for everyone. Other notable festivals include the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Cincinnati Music Festival, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. With such a diverse and vibrant festival scene, Ohio is a state worth visiting for all the festival enthusiasts out there!

3. Louisiana

Well, look at that! Louisiana sure knows how to get down and party. It’s no wonder it’s the third most festival-loving state in the country, with an impressive score of 587! And get this, folks, Louisiana has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR searches ranking in the top two nationwide.

That’s right, Louisiana takes the cake for the highest number of searches for ‘festivals 2023’ and comes in at a close second for ‘festivals’ in the whole country. Plus, Louisiana’s festival-goers are some of the most stylish around, as evidenced by their second-highest search levels for ‘festival outfits.’ Now, while Louisiana might not be searching for ‘fall festival’ and ‘summer festival’ as much as some other states, you can bet your bottom dollar they know how to throw a party any time of year!

2022 Essence Festival. Credit: Essence

In July 2022, the Essence Festival held in New Orleans featured primarily African American musical acts. It also featured speakers and seminars on social and cultural issues. Some famous performers who have played at Essence include Beyoncé, Prince, Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson, Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, and Usher.

Watch a clip of Nicki Minaj’s performance at the 2022 Essence Festival below:

4. Illinois

Illinois stands tall in the national rankings, securing the fourth spot with an impressive score of 549, a staggering 28% higher than the national average. The Prairie State has established itself as a prime destination for those seeking to quench their thirst for fun and entertainment. This is evident from its inclusion in the top ten list for most search terms. Notably, ‘Music festivals’ and ‘festivals near me’ hold a prominent seventh rank on the national level, further emphasizing the state’s allure for festival-goers.

A music festival in Chicago, Illinois. Credit: Choose Chicago

But it doesn’t stop there! Illinois also boasts a commendable third and fifth rank for statewide searches for ‘festivals’ and ‘summer festival,’ respectively, adding to its already impressive reputation as a hub for cultural events. But it’s not just about attending festivals. Residents also take pride in their fashion sense, as is evident from their fourth ranking for ‘festival outfits’ searches. This further accentuates Illinoisians’ fashion-conscious nature.

North Dakota Has The Lowest Festival Score

While music festivals are a beloved pastime for many Americans, North Dakota seems to be lagging behind the rest of the country in festival enthusiasm. In fact, the state has the lowest festival score in the nation, at a measly 189 points. That’s 56% lower than the national average!

North Dakota residents aren’t as interested in searching for festival-related terms as their counterparts in other states. Regarding phrases like ‘festivals,’ ‘festivals 2023’, ‘summer festival,’ ‘festival near me,’ and ‘festival outfits,’ North Dakota scored a big fat zero – the only state to do so.

Iando Live is a music festival in North Dakota that occurs every July. Credit: North Dakota Tourism

Despite these lackluster results, there is one area where North Dakota does show some interest – music festivals. While it may not be the state’s top search term, ‘music festivals’ still ranks a respectable 21st overall. Perhaps some exciting music festivals are happening in North Dakota worth checking out!

5. Indiana and Kentucky

As we go along, let me enlighten you about this amazing entail. Indiana and Kentucky are not only neck and neck in their total score of 546, but they are also home to some of the most spectacular music festivals in the country! Indiana and Kentucky both landed in the top ten for the search terms ‘festivals’ and ‘festivals near me.’

However, both states scored similarly on each analyzed term. Indiana and Kentucky rank first and third in searches for ‘fall festival.’

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Three Rivers Festival is located in downtown Fort Wayne Indiana. Credit: Indy’s Child

Now, hold on to your hats, folks, because Kentucky is the place to be for music lovers! With the second-highest proportion of the population searching for ‘music festivals,’ you know you’re in for a treat. And let’s not forget about the fashionistas out there. Kentucky residents are on point with their festival outfits, ranking eighth compared to Indiana’s eighteenth place.

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Bourbon and Beyond Festival in Kentucky. Credit: Jones Around The World

Wait, there’s more! These festivals are not just ordinary gatherings. They feature some of the biggest names in entertainment, folks! So, get ready to jam out to your favorite artists while also taking in the vibrant festival atmosphere in Indiana and Kentucky.

6. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state that takes festivals very seriously and is known for its vibrant festival culture. According to recent rankings, Pennsylvania is the sixth most festival-obsessed state in the country, with a score of 541, which is 26% higher than the national average. It’s no wonder the phrase ‘festivals near me’ is one of the most commonly searched terms in the state, ranking third nationally.

Additionally, Pennsylvania is a popular destination for fall festivals. It ranks fifth in national searches for the term ‘fall festival’ and seventh for the general search term ‘festival.’ With such an intense festival scene, it’s clear that Pennsylvanians know how to have a good time and celebrate life’s joys with enthusiasm and style.

The Roots Picnic

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the most electrifying events in the music industry – The Roots Picnic! Held annually by the iconic hip-hop band The Roots, this festival has taken the world by storm since its inception in 2008. Music fans from far and wide gather in Philadelphia to witness an unparalleled experience of pure musical ecstasy. With a lineup that spans a myriad of genres, ranging from the smoothest R&B to the soulful rhythms of hip-hop, The Roots Picnic is undoubtedly the ultimate celebration of music!

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Artists and podcasters will be in the 2023 Roots Picnic, set to take place from June 2 – 4. Credit: The Roots Picnic

This event has welcomed numerous prominent musicians and even celebrities over time. One such instance was in 2015 when Canadian R&B and pop sensation, The Weeknd, gave an unforgettable performance that displayed his exceptional vocal abilities. In 2016, R&B legend Usher delivered an energizing set, captivating the audience and getting them to sing and dance along. Singer Solange also put on a fantastic show in 2017 at The Roots Picnic, exhibiting her exceptional blend of R&B, soul, and funk.

Check out The Weeknd’s full concert at The Roots Picnic in 2015 below:

Made In America Music Festival

The Made In America Music Festival is an annual event held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by renowned rapper and music mogul Jay-Z curated. The festival was first launched in 2012 and has since become a staple of the Philadelphia music scene, attracting some of the biggest names in hip-hop, rock, and pop.

The festival is held on Labor Day weekend and takes place on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a scenic area in the heart of Philadelphia. It features multiple stages and is known for its diverse lineup, with various artists taking the stage.

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Made In America Music Festival in Philadelphia. Credit: The Philadelphia Parking Authority

Over the years, the festival has featured performances by some of the biggest names in music, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, J.Cole, Tyler, the Creator, Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. In addition to music, the festival also features a variety of food vendors and other attractions, making it a true celebration of American culture.

Watch Tyler, the Creator’s performance at the 2022 Made In America Festival below:

7. Maryland

Maryland has secured the seventh position in festival participation, with a remarkable score of 540. The state has the third-highest level of online searches for ‘festival near me’ and the fourth-highest for the generic search term ‘festival.’

Moreover, Maryland ranks seventh among all states when searching for summer festivals, reflecting the community’s love of seasonal celebrations. What’s more intriguing is that Marylanders are not just festival-goers but also fashion-forward individuals who take their festival outfits very seriously. This is evident from the fact that searches for ‘festival outfit’ in Maryland rank eighth highest in the country.

Maryland Renaissance Festival. Credit: Judy McGuire from the Maryland Renaissance Festival

Maryland is a hub of festivity, culture, and fashion, with its residents actively participating in festivals and displaying a strong interest in festival-related searches.

8. Vermont

I’ve got some fascinating information to share about the festival scene in Vermont. It turns out that Vermont is the eighth most festival-obsessed state in the United States, scoring an impressive score of 534. That’s right, Green Mountain State takes festivals seriously. Vermont possesses the highest percentage of searches for both ‘music festivals’ and ‘summer festival’ in the country.

As searches for ‘festivals 2023’ and ‘fall festival’ were also among the top ten, ranking fifth and ninth highest, respectively. Clearly, Vermonters are always looking for the next big event to attend.

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Street performers on Church Street in downtown Burlington, Vermont, at the 2017 Festival of Fools. Credit: The Charlotte News

Interestingly enough, despite the high search levels for festivals, Vermonters did not seem to show much interest in ‘festival outfits.’ Vermont was the only state in the top ten to display such a lack of interest.

9. Michigan

Well, well, well, let’s dive into the magnificent state I call home – Michigan! Coming in strong at ninth place with a score of 532, Michigan is a state that has a lot to offer. Speaking of offerings, its residents and visitors choose to indulge in the plethora of summer festivals the state offers, making it the fourth most popular search in the state.

It is no surprise that festivals, in general, are a massive hit in Michigan. ‘Festival’ is the second most searched keyword in the state, ranking eighth place. Besides these, Michiganders also enjoy exploring music festivals and searching for nearby festivals, ranking ninth and tenth, respectively. Transitioning from festivals, Michigan boasts diverse activities and attractions that will undoubtedly leave you wanting more!

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Common Ground Music Festival in Michigan. Credit: Michelle Roberts

One major music festival held in Michigan is The Common Ground Music Festival. This event features a variety of performers from different genres of music and attracts music lovers from all over the state and beyond. The festival typically takes place over several days in July and has been running since 2000.

Over the years, the festival has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Weezer, Jason Mraz, and many others. The lineup for the festival changes each year, with a mix of established and up-and-coming artists.

Check out Snoop Dogg’s 2015 performance at the Common Ground Music Festival below:

10. Colorado

Wow, how exciting is this? We have made it to the end of the list, and coming in at number ten is none other than the beautiful state of Colorado! It is worth noting that Colorado achieved an impressive score of 528, which is higher than the national average.

When it comes to searching for festivals, Colorado ranks third in the nation in terms of the proportion of its population searching for ‘festivals.’ The state also contains the fourth-highest percentage of searches for ‘festivals 2023’ and ‘festival outfits’ in the country. But wait, that’s not all, folks! As Colorado couldn’t get any cooler, the state’s residents also searched for ‘music festival’ and ‘summer festival.’ These queries ranked sixth and ninth-highest, respectively, in the entire country!

Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Credit: CU Presents

The Most Festival-Obsessed States: Boohoo Spokesperson Weighs In

According to a spokesperson for Boohoo: “United States residents search over five million times a year for the terms analyzed. The study reveals Wisconsin as the most eager for the 2023 festival season.

Louisiana residents search most for ‘festival outfits’ in the top ten. This finding suggests they are the most fashion-conscious in the study.

States known for partying, such as Nevada, Texas, and Florida, didn’t make the list. These states have well-known festivals, so there’s less need to use search or travel.”

Written by Nikiya Biggs | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | LinkedIn

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Experienced, dedicated, and goal-oriented writer with a flair for producing informative and captivating content. Experience spanning 5+ years in writing includes correct grammar, fact-checking, and adaptability. Throughout my life, I've been exposed to many opportunities. I have played the piano, participated in many recitals, and won numerous awards throughout my life. I have been honing my writing skills for years in my spare time. As an example, I have completed writing exercises and created my own stories in this regard.

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