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The top 8 music festivals to sweat your ass off at 

From Charlotte to the farmlands of Tennessee

Whether it's a short drive down the road or a multi-day camping experience, festival season is upon us. From Jason Isbell performing beside the rushing rapids of the U.S. National Whitewater Center to Billy Joel closing out four days on the farm at Bonnaroo, there truly is something happening for everyone. With more than 20 festivals going on regionally, we decided to pick the eight worth sweating your ass off in the spring and summer heat. Stay hydrated and make travel arrangements for:

Jason Isbell - MICHAEL WILSON
  • Michael Wilson
  • Jason Isbell

TUCK FEST

WHEN: April 17-19

WHERE: U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte

TICKETS: Free

WHO'S PLAYING: Jason Isbell, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, JJ Grey & Mofro, Tea Leaf Green, Hiss Golden Messenger and more

WHAT ELSE: Mountain biking, obstacle courses, trail running, whitewater and flatwater events and more

WHY?: A fantastic merger of music and sporting events as the rapids rush by and the sun beams down.

MORE INFO: tuckfest.org

ExHex - JONAH TAKAGI
  • Jonah Takagi
  • ExHex

PHUZZ PHEST

WHEN: April 17-19

WHERE: Downtown Winston-Salem

TICKETS: $25-$70

WHO'S PLAYING: Foxygen, Ex Hex, Futurebirds, River Whyless, Caleb Caudle and more

WHY?: A short drive north can land you in the midst of three evenings/nights full of music by bands and artists you oughta know.

MORE INFO: phuzzphest.com

The Avett Brothers - M SHAWN CRAHAN
  • M Shawn Crahan
  • The Avett Brothers

MERLEFEST

WHEN: April 23-26

WHERE: Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro

TICKETS: $45-$180

WHO'S PLAYING: The Avett Brothers, Dwight Yoakam, North Mississippi Allstars, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Robert Earl Keen, The David Mayfield Parade, Jim Avett, Time Sawyer and more

WHY?: For the finest array of country, folk and bluegrass (and everything in between) artists all in a sprawling, alcohol-free, family-friendly setting.

MORE INFO: merlefest.org

Slipknot
  • Slipknot

CAROLINA REBELLION

WHEN: May 2-3

WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway

TICKETS: $89.50-$139

WHO'S PLAYING: Slipknot, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Sammy Hagar, Scott Weiland, Breaking Benjamin, Suicidal Tendencies and more

WHAT ELSE: Pig Out Village featuring a variety of N.C. barbecue

WHY?: If metal's your thing, this should be your annual pilgrimage for a variety of old, new and classic metal bands.

MORE INFO: carolinarebellion.com

Tame Impala - AVIVA KLEIN
  • Aviva Klein
  • Tame Impala

SHAKY KNEES FESTIVAL

WHEN: May 8-10

WHERE: Central Park, Atlanta

TICKETS: $99-$599

WHO'S PLAYING: The Avett Brothers, Wilco, The Strokes, Tame Impala, Mastodon, Ryan Adams, Clutch, Neutral Milk Hotel, Built to Spill, Dr. Dog and more

WHY?: From laid-back to laid-out, it's worth the trip to Atlanta for three days of a wide range of music that leans away from the overly commercial artists.

MORE INFO: shakykneesfestival.com

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
  • Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

NORTH CAROLINA BREWERS AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

WHEN: May 8-9

WHERE: Rural Hill

TICKETS: $16-$42

WHO'S PLAYING: The Steep Canyon Rangers, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Sol Driven Train and more

WHAT ELSE: More than 25 breweries

WHY?: Just a stone's throw north of Charlotte lies the historical area of Rural Hill — you can camp out under the stars away from home without actually being too far from home.

MORE INFO: ncbrewsmusic.com

Kendrick Lamar
  • Kendrick Lamar

BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

WHEN: June 11-14

WHERE: Manchester, Tennessee

TICKETS: $324.50-$ 1,524.50

WHO'S PLAYING: Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence & The Machine, Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes, D'Angelo, Gary Clark Jr., Sylvan Esso and more

WHAT ELSE: Art, food trucks, a comedy tent, film tent, vendors, yoga and so much more

WHY?: Aside from all the stellar music, Bonnaroo affords music fans the opportunity to camp out in a city of sorts for four days that just might be one of the highlights of your life. Where else can you listen to live music from noon to 4 a.m. or later and do it all again the next day?

MORE INFO: bonnaroo.com

Grace Potter
  • Grace Potter

FLOYD FEST

WHEN: July 22-26

WHERE: Floyd, Virginia

TICKETS: $205-$1160

WHO'S PLAYING: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Drive-By Truckers, Shovels & Rope, First Aid Kit and more

WHAT ELSE: Mountain biking, disc golf, hiking, workshops, panels and more

WHY?: Want to take baby steps toward a massive festival like Bonnaroo or Coachella? Floydfest caters to 10,000-15,000 attendees who are looking for a memorable weekend that includes music and outdoor activities.

MORE INFO: floydfest.com

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