BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (
) -- There are some who argue that if Woodstock were to happen again, it would barely register among all of today's international music festivals. Top concerts that often spread out over several days and sometimes weeks around key regions of the U.S. have become lucrative tourism models that seem to only get bigger and more expensive with each passing year.
In Miami, the music season gets its kickoff with the arrival of
Winter Music Conference
. Launched in 1985, the now nine-day event starts Friday and offers musicians and artists a platform of promoted events, workshops, parties and seminars that envelope South Beach. A flurry of DJ pool sessions and late-night parties include the cutting edge of dance music as well as more organized music seminars. Tickets are still available to the general public for upward of $395 per person.
|The annual South by Southwest melds the world of independent film, music and interactive technology into a sexy and free-spirited festival in Austin, Texas.
Starting March 23 in Miami you'll find the
Ultra Music Festival
, one of the world's top electronic music events, where a series of sold-out concerts center on the downtown Bayfront Park. Some of the world's biggest names in electronic and indie-rock music are taking part in the event, including Tiesto, Fatboy Slim, Kaskade, Armin van Buuren and David Guetta. Given the recent infiltration of electronic dance music into the U.S. pop mainstream, Ultra Music Festival enjoyed its biggest year ever in 2011, with more than 150,000 attendees, and even more are expected this year.
Until Sunday in Austin, Texas, you'll find
South by Southwest
, which melds the world of independent film, music and interactive technology into a sexy and free-spirited festival that includes intimate to large outdoor concerts, film screenings, a proper convention and downtown street fair extravaganza. The festival is divided into segments, with interactive arts on the first four days (with tech-minded visitors mixing organized events and soirees at sponsored lounges by companies such as
) and film extending through most of the festival, overlapping with the ever-popular music portion that dominates the city for five days and remains the aspect for which SXSW is widely known.
In April, a two-hour drive from Los Angeles toward Death Valley is where you'll find the
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
, which offers an annual lineup of some of the most famous and varied performers in the industry -- including Paul McCartney, Jay-Z and Coldplay -- for a star-studded concert event that many consider the best in the U.S. This year, to accommodate the festival's enormous success, Coachella will play out over two weekends from Friday through Sunday beginning April 13 and 20.