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Top festivals and entertainment during your studies abroad

Entertainment in America is not in short supply. If you have adequate transportation and some money to spare, interesting things to do in the States are relatively easy to access. Aside from day to day activities such as arcades, amusement parks, paintball, comedy shows and all the year round activities, there are the popular music festivals that people all over the states travel to see. These festivals are a great way for international students to get a dose of popular American culture through music and social interaction outside a professional or school environment.

List of festivals
Here is a list of a few of the festivals that you may find near you.
- AFROPUNK FEST Brooklyn: Brooklyn, New York -  The Afropunk Festival is an arts festival that is celebrated annually and unifies the cultural milestones of AFROPUNK or african american culture through music, film, skate, and art.
-Electric Forest: Rothbury, Michigan - Electric Forest Festival is an eight-day, two-weekend, event with a focus on electronic and jam band genres, which takes place in Rothbury, Michigan, at the Double JJ Resort.
-Made In America: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Budweiser Made in America Festival is an annual music festival held in Philadelphia, which was formerly held simultaneously in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
-Electric Zoo: Randall's Island, New York - Electric Zoo is an annual electronic music festival taking place over Labor Day weekend in New York City on Randall's Island.
-Austin City Limits Music Festival: Zilker Park, Austin, Texas - The Austin City Limits Music Festival is an annual music festival taking place in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas on two sequential three-day weekends.
-Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas: Las Vegas, Nevada - Electric Daisy Carnival, known commonly with its initials EDC, which is one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world and is held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.
-Sasquatch! Music Festival: Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Washington - Sasquatch! Music Festival is a music festival held annually at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington. In previous years, it has taken place on the Memorial Day weekend, running for three to four days.
-Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival: Great Stage Park, Tennessee - The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day music festival held in Tennessee featuring a wide variety of genres.
-Ultra Music Festival: Miami, Florida - Ultra Music Festival is an annual outdoor electronic music festival that takes place in March in Miami, Florida which puts on an exciting and memorable show.
-Lollapalooza: Grant Park, Chicago - Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring popular music of a variety of genres such as alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and electronic music, dance and comedy performances guaranteeing an exciting and eventful experience.
-The Governors Ball Music Festival: Randall's Island, New York - Governors Ball Music Festival is a music festival taking place in Randall's Island, New York City, USA with musical entertainment for anyone into almost any genre of music.
-Pitchfork Music Festival: Union Park, Chicago - The Pitchfork Music Festival is an annual summer music festival focusing primarily on alternative rock, rap & hip-hop, electronica, and dance music for many big names and local artists.
-Burning Man: Black Rock Desert, Nevada - Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City and is a unique experience based on self-expression where the entertainment stems from the community itself rather than big name bands.
-South By South West: Austin, Texas - South by Southwest is an annual film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that found in mid-March in Austin, Texas.
-Coachella: Indio, California - The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (well-known as Coachella) is an annual music and arts festival featuring many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music, in addition to art exhibits displaying sculptures amongst other forms of art.

If these specific festivals do not appeal to you, do not worry. There are many more. All you have to do is a quick google search of: “festivals in _____”. (Insert the State you are interested in)  

While you will see the biggest names in music at these music festivals, they are expensive. In addition to being expensive, you may be looking forward to seeing one performer in particular. These festival are not the only places these performers play. There are concerts played in most major US cities where you can see the famous musicians live, that are expensive, though not as expensive as festivals, since you are only seeing one musician. If you look for them via search engines online and on major ticket sites such as ticketmaster and StubHub, you will find them.Do not forget to make sure they are performing near you. You do not want to pay all this money for a ticket for a show in Florida if you are in California.

During all major holidays you can find some popular concerts and amusement parks that will be great for celebrating American culture. It is important that you try to experience american   
Holidays such as 4th of july, thanksgiving and halloween in traditional forums. After you go to a thanksgiving dinner, set off some fireworks at a barbeque and attend a costume party you can use the rest of that time to experience the unique festivals that are customized to be themed around holidays, such as fright fest at Six Flags Great America for halloween.

Festival accessibility
Most of popular music  festivals are found in major cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago. So if you are planning on attending a school in a rural area, you are going to have to travel a bit to attend these festivals. Though a road trip with some friends can be an exciting experience in itself.

Music, comfort and expenses
These popular festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza feature the biggest names in American music in all genres. These events are usually three day long events with a wide price range depending on your budget. It is important to be aware that this three day event will be costly, however how much will depend on you. Admission tickets in themselves run in the hundreds of dollars. If you can afford it, do not let the prices deter you, because these kinds of events are part of the American experience and it may be a once in a lifetime experience for you.

It is possible to find good entertainment on a budget, though if you are trying to make memories, you may have to spend some money every once in awhile. Also do not miss out on celebrating American holidays which can be celebrated in a wide variety of ways. So try to have some fun during your time abroad.     

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