10 road-trip-worthy NYE festivals to dance away 2016

This year sure has been something, hasn’t it?

Whether you’re trying to celebrate or forget all that 2016 has brought upon the world, here’s a rundown of some of the best road-trip-worthy (okay, maybe flight-worthy) dance music festivals happening around the country.

And cheers to new beginnings in 2017!

1. Decadence: City of Dreams – Denver, Colo.


Dec. 30-31; Denver Convention Center; 18+
Decadence has quickly grown into one of the most sought after NYE events in the country. Featuring two massive arena-style stages, performers include Bassnectar, Big Wild, Bob Moses, The Chainsmokers, Disclosure, Eric Prydz, Flume, Griz, Kasbo, Keys N Krates, Marshmello, Phantoms, RL Grime vs Baauer, Snails, Tiesto, Zeds Dead, and more. Two-day and single-day Decadence tickets are available here.

2. Lights All Night – Dallas, Tex.

lights all night 2013 lasers

Dec. 30-31; Dallas Market Hall; 18+
Lights All Night is by far the largest gathering of dance music fans in the southern US. The lineup for the eighth annual event includes deadmau5, Above & Beyond, Zedd, A$AP Ferg, NERO, RL Grime, Tchami, A-Trak, Cazzette, Feed Me, Kill the Noise, Loudpvck, 12th Planet, Crizzly, Felix Cartal, and more. Two-day and single-day Lights All Night tickets are available here.

3. Reaction NYE – Chicago, Ill.


Dec. 30-31; Donald Stephens Convention Center; 17+
React Presents — producers of Spring Awakening, Mamby, North Coast, and countless club shows year-round — bring you Chicago’s biggest NYE dance festival. The diverse lineup includes Zeds Dead, Flume, Dillon Francis, Tchami, Manic Focus, and more. Reaction NYE tickets are available here.

4. Snowglobe – South Lake Tahoe, Calif.


Dec. 29-31; Lake Tahoe Community College; All Ages
The lone three-day festival of the bunch, Snowglobe is especially unique because it’s an outdoor festival. While there are some heated areas, most of the festival stages are uncovered, with nighttime temperatures dipping into the teens. So don’t forget to bundle up as you head out to dance among the snowy mountains and ski lifts while The Chainsmokers, Flume, Major Lazer, Odesza, RL Grime, Big Gigantic, Lido, Snails, Big Wild, Party Favor, and many more provide the soundtrack. Snowglobe tickets are available here.

5. Resolution – Seattle, Wash.


Dec. 31; WaMu Theater; 18+
We think everyone’s New Year’s resolution should be to to worry less and dance more. And this year you can get a head start on that goal at the Northwest’s biggest New Year’s party. Produced by USC Events (who brings you Paradiso festival each June), Resolution NYE will feature music by Above & Beyond, Adventure Club, Yellow Claw, Tritonal, Botnek, Brillz, Eptic, Party Favor, Sound Remedy, and more. Resolution tickets are available here.

6. OMFG! – San Diego, Calif.


Dec. 30-31; Valleyview Casino Center; 18+ 
We all lose track of time sometimes, especially when a casino is involved. An evening on the dance floor after hours at the blackjack tables will surely have you yelling “OMFG! It’s 2017?!” when the clock strikes midnight. Performers for LED’s annual event include Adventure Club, DJ Snake, Jauz, Slander, Bro Safari, GTA, Anna Lunoe, Brillz, Kill Paris, Branchez, and more. OMFG! tickets are available here.

7. Insomniac Countdown – San Bernadino, Calif.


Dec. 30-31; NOS Event Center; 18+
EDC producers Insomniac Events expands their Southern California year-end celebration to two days this year. Musical talent includes A-Trak, Alesso, Baauer, The Chainsmokers, Deorro, Diplo, Grandtheft, Kill the Noise, Morgan Page, NGHTMRE, RL Grime, Seven Lions, Showtek, Steve Aoki, Zedd, Zomboy, and more. And since it’s an Insomniac event, you know the production and special effects will be top notch. Countdown tickets are available here.

8. Minimal Effort NYE – Los Angeles, Calif.


Dec. 31; LA Center Studios; 21+
Dig deeper with the NYE edition of LA’s Minimal Effort Festival. With a focus on techno and house, Minimal Effort features three indoor and outdoor stages with a finely curated billing of live and DJ talent from across the international dance music community. The lineup includes Recondite, Simian Mobile Disco, Stephan Bodzin, Matthew Dear Audion, &Me, Francesca Lombardo, Henry Saiz, and more. Minimal Effort NYE tickets are available here.

8. Snowta NYE – Minneapolis, Minn.


Dec. 31; Minneapolis Convention Center; 18+
Snowta NYE is a brand new festival promising to be a revolutionary musical experience. The debut lineup features Big Gigantic, Tipper, Waka Flocka Flame, PROF, Infected Mushroom, Hippie Sabotage, Bobby Raps, DJ Abilities, and Beak Nasty. In addition, attendees will enjoy a ferris wheel, a professional skateboard contest, a giant slide, and art galleries. Snowta NYE tickets are available here.

10. Lights All Night – El Paso, Tex.


Dec. 31; El Paso Convention Center; 18+
The little sister of the flagship Dallas edition of Lights All Night, this one-night celebration is new for 2016 and features Deadmau5, RL Grime, Excision, Felix Cartal, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and more. Lights All Night El Paso tickets are available here.

Bonus: BPM Festival – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


Jan. 6-15; Various Venues; 18+
Want to avoid the NYE crowds altogether? Take an extended vacation and head south to the warm sandy beaches of Mexico for BPM Festival. This ten-day event — an absolute must-do for any house and techno fan — showcases some of the best international electronic music talent both day and night across multiple venues. The near-endless list of performers includes Carl Cox, Art Department, Victor Calderone, Seth Troxler, Loco Dice, Guy Gerber, Steve Lawler, Dusky, Hot Since 82, Marco Carola, Umek, Skream, Mark Knight, and many more. Three, seven, and ten-day BPM Festival tickets are available here.


Kent Otto

Kent is founder and editor-in-chief. He's always had a love and passion for music of all types, but didn't discover the music festival scene and community until moving to Southern California during his early post-college years. He returned to his roots in the Midwest in 2011 and has since been determined to share the magic and beauty of the music scene with as many as possible. Email kent@edmcalendar.com. Connect with Kent on G+.

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