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Black Music Festivals 2018

We’re highlighting some of the best African American Music Festivals in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Black Music Festivals 2018

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival & Music Festival
Tampa Bay, FL
Jan. 11-20, 2018
This ten-day celebration includes live entertainment, exciting cultural events, relevant health tutorials, business advising seminars, renowned speakers, food vendors, craft vendors, a music fest with national recording artists and more. Tampa Bay’s annual family-friendly festival commemorates the many contributions and influences African Americans have made in our society. The headliner will be David Sanborn.

Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince
Port au Prince, Haiti
January 20-27, 2018
Presented by the Haiti Jazz Foundation, this one week festival is in its 12th year.  Enjoy Jazz artists from around the world including France, Canada, the US & Brazil as well as local Haitian favorite artists such as Rutshelle Guillaume, Wesli and JohnBern Thomas.

Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival
Montego Bay, Jamaica
They took a year off in 2018, but will return in January 2019. (TBA)
More than 30,000 attend to watch jazz & blues artists along with Jamaica’s most popular bands. Past performers include Alicia Keys, John Legend, Marron 5, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Sean Paul, Shaggy & Ziggy Marley.

Jazz in the Gardens Music Fest
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
March 17 & 18, 2018
This 2 day festival will include new and old school artists including Anita Baker, Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Marion Meadows, Chante Moore & Betty Wright.

19th Cape Town Jazz Festival
March 23-24th, 2018
Cape Town, South Africa
This annual Jazz Festival at the convention center brings Jazz legends from around the world. Over 40 artists play on 5 stages over the 2 day event. 2018 performers include Alistair Izobell, Amanda Black, Corinne Bailey Rae, Nicholas Payton, and Miles Mosley.

Coachella Valley, CA
April 13-15, 2018 | April 20-22, 2018 (unofficial dates)
This festival includes many genres of music including rock, indie and hip hop.  Way too many acts to mention (over 175,) but highlights include Beyonce, Eminem, The Weekend, Cardi B, SZA, Kygo, St. Vincent, War on Drugs, Vince Staples, the Man, Migoes, HAIM and more.

Pure Grenada Music Festival
St. George, Grenada
April 13-15, 2018
Grenada is unique, and the Pure Grenada Music Festival will offer a unique experience due to its picturesque location at Port Louis Marina on the lawn, overlooking the picturesque Carenage, Grenada’s natural habor, welcoming people, going green focus while offering a variety of musical genres of excellent standard. Although you will see some Grammy winners performing, the focus is give exposure to local new artists.

Soul’d Out Music Festival
April 18-22, 2018
Portland, Oregon
In it’s 9th year, this festival features a mix of jazz, funk, electronic, fusion and hip-hop artists from around the world to Portland’s most popular venues.  The festival aspires to unite music lovers of all generations and provide a platform for new artists as well.  Enjoy Erykah Badu, De La Soul R+R = Now, Wyclef Jean, Zapp, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Noname, The Dazz Band, BJ The Chicago Kid and more.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 27th – May 6, 2018
Performers and guests alike come from all over the world to be a part of this great event. Jazz and Dixieland are the focal points, but many different kinds of music are performed. At the Jazz Fest site, there are about 10 stages and show areas and the included admission ticket allows the guest to roam between each venue at their own pace on an open-seating basis. The New Orleans Fairgrounds site is a short distance from the French Quarter.  This years performers include Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Khalid, Smokey Robinson,  Sting and Aerosmith.

Kaya Fest
Long Beach, CA
April 28-29, 2018
Reggae music festival.  Past performers include the Marley Brothers, Sean Paul Wyclef Jean, Cypress Hill, SOJA and Inner Circle with special appearance by Ms. Lauryn Hill.

SunFest 2018
West Palm Beach, Fl
May 3 – 6, 2018
Founded in 1982, SunFest is Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival. Held annually in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida the first week in May, SunFest attracts more than 175,000 visitors.  Artists cover a range of music genres. Popular performers this year include Pitbull, Rae Sremmurd, Nick Jonas, PartyNextDoor, Billy Idol, Toots & the Maytals, Living Colour &  Dafeaunito.

Saint Lucia Jazz Festival
Pigeon Island, Rodney Bay, Derek Walcott Square & Soufriere, St. Lucia
May 6-13, 2018
St. Lucia is a small, out-of-the-way island, but its annual jazz fest is often cited as one of the world’s best.  Performances take place during the day and at night, at sweeping venues and intimate spots, all around St. Lucia. Performers include Arnaud Dolmien, Avery Sunshine, Lalah Hathaway, R+R=Now, Zara Mc Farlane & more.

Miami Haitian Compas Festival
Mana Wynwood, Miami
May 19, 2018  4 pm to 3 am
In honor of May 18th 1803, creation of the Haitian blue and red flag, the Haitian CompasFestival in Miami was born. This will be the festival’s 20th year, and it has been ranked among the Best in Live Music Entertainment events by Billboard Magazine. The festival highlights different genres of Haitian music including Hip Hop, Konpa Direk, Nouvel Generasyon, Kreyol and more.  Attended annually by over 25,000 people. Performers include Harmonik, Tabou, AJAKOUT, Nu Look, Kai, Klass, ADA, DJ FMA, Gabel, T-VICE and more.

Soul Beach Music Festival
May 23rd-29th, 2018
The 18th Annual Soul Beach Music Festival will offer a unique combination of excitement and sophistication nestled in an intimate setting, all on the beautiful island of Aruba. Be part of the action, because our festival is sure to amaze you with sultry day and night events, the hottest internationally renowned performing artists in music and comedy, all in one jam packed weekend of music, fun and sun!  Past performers include Usher, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Faith Evans, DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Chubb Rock.

Hot 97 Summer Jam
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
June 10, 2018
Last years performers include Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Trey Songz,  Fat Joe & Remy Ma, Migos, Joey BADA$$ and more on the main stadium stage.  On the festival stage they also feature emerging artists such as Young M.A, A Boogie, Don Q and Lil Yachty.

St. Kitts Music Festival
June 27th – July 1, 2018
By blending exciting music with exhilarating performances, The St Kitts Music Festival is now the most diversified musical show in the Caribbean.  Performers include Nu Vybes & Small Axe, Spice, Destra, Sizzla Kalonji, Fetty Wap, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Patti Labelle, Byron Messia and Wayne Wonder.

Haitian Cultural Music Food Festival
June 30th, 2018
The Haitian Cultural Music Food festival..its a family event to promote & appreciate the Haitian Culture. Hosted by JoJo & Supa Cindy, performers include Gabel, Klass, Sweet Micky, Nu-Look, T-Vice & Zeke Don.

Essence Festival 2018
New Orleans
July 5th – 9th, 2018
For the past 24 years Essence without a doubt is one of the top black music festivals.  Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Miguel And More Headline the 2018 Essence Festival. Janet Jackson and newly minted Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige are among the headliners announced for the 2018 Essence Festival

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
Brooklyn, NY
July (final dates to be announced)
Established in 2005, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event that showcases the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture by highlighting Hip-Hop’s legacy as an agent of artistic progression, community building and social change.  In the last ten years, the Festival has achieved a number of memorable milestones with an impressive roster of Hip-Hop acts that include Grammy winner Lupe Fiasco, the front man of Jimmy Kimmel’s late night band Black Thought of The Roots and VH1 Hip-Hop Honoree Big Daddy Kane.

Reggae SumFest 2018
Montego Bay, Jamaica
July 15-21, 2018
Jamaica’s Premier Reggae Festival.  Its organizers intended for Reggae Sumfest to be a testament to Jamaica’s indelible impact on music in international genres like R&B, hip-hop, soka, and reggaeton. Today, the event has no problem attracting elite performers and tens of thousands of attendees and from all over the world. Past performers include Beyonce, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott and Akon. 2017 performers include Alkaline, Mavado, Tory Lanez, TJ, Sizzla, Mystery Star and Deep Jahi.

Dream Weekend: Jamaica’s Premier Independence Music Festival
Negril, Jamaica
Aug 2 – 6, 2018
Dream Weekend is Jamaica’s #1 and most anticipated music festival held on the white sand beaches of Negril, Jamaica. Enjoy 5 days of parties with high energy genres of music, inclusive or liquor and food.  Appleton Rum is the main sponsor and the parties for Dream Weekend include Yush, Twisted Spiritz, Igloo, Daydreams, Dream Live and other events.

OVO Fest (Drakes Event)
Toronto, Canada
August 2018 (final dates not announced)
Every summer, hip hop megastar Drake curates, hosts, and performs at the OVO Fest, hands-down the biggest rap festival north of the border – and with headlining acts like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Machel Montano, Future, and Beenie Man.

Houston Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival
Downtown Houston
August 11th & 12th, 2018
The annual Houston Black Heritage Festival is a Texas-sized African-American cultural celebration that takes place in the heart of Downtown.
Gammy award winner Monica will perform as well as Blushhh Music, Brian Jack, Endurance, DeeSmuve and H.I.S.D. The event also emphasizes empowerment and features highly-regarded speakers and discussions on topics like education, health, wellness and economic literacy.

AFROPUNK: The takeover
Harlem, NY
Aug. 2018
Described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” the word AFROPUNK itself has become synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming and an unconventional community, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music. Performers this year include Gary Clark Jr., Michael Kiwanuka, Kaytranada, Sza, Soul II Soul and Macy Gray.

Breakaway Music Festival
Columbus, Ohio
August 24-26, 2018
The Breakaway Music Festival highlights EDM, indie, pop and hip-hop music. Artist lineup coming soon.

Made in America
Ben Franklin Parkway in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
September 1st & 2nd, 2018
Created & curated by Jay-Z and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, this annual music festival is a massive musical celebration.  Rihanna, ColleGrove, Chance the Rapper, FKA twigs, DJ Khaled, Travi$ ScottColdplay and several other acts will perform this year.

Atlanta, GA
September 8th & 9th, 2018
ONE Music Fest is the Southeast’s largest annual urban progressive music festival featuring a diverse range of music that includes everything from classic and next generation hip-hop, and soulful R&B, to alternative and rock.  Now in it’s 7th year, ONE Music Fest pulls together the best in progressive music for an eclectic mix of talent that expands the boundaries of the urban genre. Past performers include SZA, The Roots and Janelle Monae. 2017 performers include Ice Cube, Big Boi, Cee Lo, Erykah Badu and Busta Rhymes.

Music Midtown 2018
Piedmont Park – Atlanta, GA
September 2018 (final dates not announced)
Hip hop, electronic, pop and indie rock festival held in downtown Atlanta.  This year it will feature more than 30 artists on 4 stages.