Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016
If it’s spring, it’s festival season on campus. That means lots of food, fun, games, and, obviously, great music. (And did we mention they’re usually totally free?)
Across the nation, colleges celebrate in their own ways through annual music festivals showcasing not only newfound talent but top recording artists—and sometimes even their own students.
Here’s a look at four of those college music festivals, plus their 2016 dates and major performers and a list of even more college festivals. So if you go to one of these schools, or if you have a super nice and generous friend who does, try to get yourself there. And since they’re annual events, you can always check them out next year too!
Walk In Lay Down, aka WILD Week: Washington University in St. Louis
Walk In Lay Down, also known as WILD, is a popular weeklong event for the students of Washington University in St. Louis. Held twice a year since its beginning in 1973, this event showcases various musical acts as well as performances from many of the school’s own musical ensembles. Blow up couches are set up for the students and faculty to come and relax as they please and listen to their favorite tunes played by DJs and bands. It is a relaxing event full of music, food, and friends that students look forward to from the beginning of each new semester.
April 24–May 2, 2016, featuring The All-American Rejects and The Knocks
Spring Fling: Yale University
Spring Fling is Yale’s annual spring concert at its biggest event of the year. The festival is held on the first day of “Reading Period” and features well-known artists and musicians from across the country as well as bands and other musicians from the school itself. Every year the event draws over 4,000 students and faculty to “Old Campus” for a full day of fun and music.
April 30, 2016, featuring Janelle Monáe, Vince Staples, and A-Trak
Rites of Spring: Vanderbilt University
The Rites of Spring is an annual music festival held for the students, faculty, and community around Vanderbuilt University. The festival is one weekend long, full of fun, games, food, and, of course, live music from local artists, school ensembles, and some of the newest and brightest musicians in the business. This really isn’t a surprise, though, since Vanderbilt is located in Nashville, Tennessee—aka “Music City, USA”! But despite Nashville being the country music capital of the US, the music genres at Vanderbilt’s festival stretch from country to rap. There is a little bit of everything, and tickets are required.
April 15–16, 2016, featuring Future and Porter Robinson
Tigerfest: Towson University
Although it was previously only a one-day event, Tigerfest is now a weekend-long celebration of music. Day one starts with tons of events, food, and stages set up in two separate areas on campus with live music playing throughout the day. Day two is much the same as day one, with more live musical groups and fun activities for everyone in attendance and one huge concert at the end of the day, usually featuring a well-known musician. The concert also raises thousands of dollars for the school. Students as well as local bands showcase their talents throughout the two days. The event is free to the public and successfully brings the community together for a weekend of fun and music culture.
April 16, 2016, featuring 3OH!3, Rae Sremmurd, and DJ GRiZ
Other college music festivals worth checking out:
- Art Attack XXXIII, University Of Maryland: May 6, 2016, featuring T-Pain and Lil’ Dicky
- Dillo Day, Northwestern University: May 21, 2016, Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals
- Movin’ On, Penn State University: April 29, 2016, featuring WALK THE MOON, Nelly, and X Ambassadors
- Revelry, University Of Wisconsin: April 30, 2016, featuring iLoveMakonnen, Hudson Mohawke, and WebsterX
- Slope Day, Cornell University: May 12, 2016, featuring R. City, Cash Cash, and WALK THE MOON
- Sun God Festival, University Of California, San Diego: April 30, 2016, featuring Miguel, Niko & Vinz, and Great Good Fine Ok