Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails during a live ...

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If you're a true music lover, you're not waiting for the day the best musicians in the world come perform at your VFW hall. Instead, you are willing to travel to the best events in the world for your chance to be part of music history.

So, before you ascend your own stairway to heaven, here are six concert events you absolutely must attend.


Is it a music festival, a technology expo, or both? SXSW in Austin, Texas, has the coolness of Woodstock mixed with the nerdiness of a Star Trek convention; in fact, it's held at the Austin convention center. At SXSW the best indie rock bands perform, while leading innovators in technology lecture.

2. Lollapalooza

Over 100 bands performing on a dozen stages, all under the skyline of one of the country's coolest cities: Chicago. The three-day music event of Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park is perfect for the music lover that never sleeps.

Bands start playing as early as 11 in the morning, and each day finishes at night with multiple headliners. Then there are the after shows at bars that don't close until 4 or 5 a.m.

3. Bonnaroo

The spirit of Woodstock lives on at this four-day music and arts festival where attendees camp on site for the night, if they decide to sleep at all. However, at Bonnaroo there's more than free-loving folk music. While classic '60s acts like Bob Dylan do frequently perform, you'll also see the latest in hip-hop and techno.

4. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

If you decided to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you picked the wrong week. Spanning 10 days, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is just as much of a party, but with the best music you can find.

On top of the greatest jazz musicians in the world, you can see popular rock and hip-hop acts like Arcade Fire and Lupe Fiasco.

5. Bumbershoot

The biggest North American music and arts festival happens on the fall streets of Seattle. For Bumbershoot, musicians perform at indoor venues, as well as outdoors, so bring a poncho and see a variety of music from around the world.

6. Movement Electronic Music Festival

Detroit is the birth place of techno, and you'll find the best the genre has to offer at this annual three-day festival. However, after Hart Plaza closes, the party is just beginning as DJs, both world-famous and unknown, spin until early morning at the city's bars and clubs, and then do it all over again the next day.

Each year these music events put on a show of a lifetime with some of the biggest acts from the past and present.

Which one are you just dying to see?

Guest post by Jayson James. Monday, he's a foodie. On Tuesday, he's a clothing designer. On Wednesday, he sleeps… for an hour. Thursday thru Sunday, I'm a dog-owner, art student & writer. Today he's a music blogger. You can find him on Twitter.

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