Aerial image of the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival along Ocean Drive

Don’t Miss These Festivals In Jan and Feb

BY Fifty Grande Editors | January 3, 2024

In the festival world, winter doesn’t stall the hedonistic pursuit of sunshine. And if sunshine seems too out of reach, then festivals head to the ski slopes, where you’re just as likely to get sunburned. That’s why you’ll see a lot of California and Florida on this round-up of the primo festivals happening in the first months of 2024, as well as a few great skiing opportunities. The MusicFest, an Americana festival in Steamboat Colo., has even engineered ski-in/ski-out concerts. What’s more cowboy than apres ski? Apparently, nothing. Down south, you’ll find plenty of excuses to get out of your bulky ski suits and strip down to your skivvies, including a literal pirate invasion in Tampa and star-studded beachside events at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. For those who think the end of winter can’t come soon enough, they can join the almost religious gathering around “clairvoyant rodent” Punxsutawney Phil as he predicts when spring will begin. Trust us, Phil knows how to party. 

The MusicFest

Steamboat, Colo., January 6-11

“The Super Bowl of Texas,” as it is affectionately called by attendees, does not take place in Texas at all, but rather up in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Steamboat Springs, Colo. If you want cowboys and the best of red dirt and Americana music, you’re going to have to head to the ski slopes for The MusicFest. Now in its 38th year, the six-day music festival/ski outing has become a storied must in the Texas music scene, combining the Shiner-fueled two-steps of the Texan dance hall with the snow-covered views of Steamboat’s world-class ski resort. With over 80 bands set to perform — including Easton Corbin,  Shane Smith & The Saints, William Clark Green, and Jack Ingram and the Beat-Up Ford Band — and stages scattered throughout town, fitting ski runs in requires some serious strategizing. – Hanna Vioque


Feid in concert of Ferxxo Nitro Jam Tour, at Marenostrum on July 16, 2023 in Fuengirola (Malaga), Spain. Photo via Shutterstock.

Los Angeles, January 12-13

Calibash isn’t your typical, tent-to-tent music festival, but more of a six-in-one concert where the performers rotate through one stage, Grammys-style, giving you a better chance of seeing collaborations between your favorite artists. Tickets for each of Calibash’s two days are sold separately, with the first day serving as a showcase for Latin artists globally and the second day exclusively dedicated to Mexican artists. Calibash has hosted some of the biggest names in reggaeton in its nearly two-decade history, including Rosalía, Karol G, Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee. In 2024, the headliners will expand to include Feid, Yandel and 10 others. Day two will feature a lineup including Grupo Frontera, Edgardo Nuñez, Yng Lvcas, Yahritza y Su Esencia and Conexión Divina. And if Latin music fans miss Calibash in LA, there’s another upcoming event in Las Vegas on January 27. – Jeremiah Jenkins

Sundance Film Festival

Photo via Shutterstock

Park City, Utah, January 19-28

For filmmakers, an expensed trip to Park City, Utah right after the holidays may sound too good to be true, and snow-capped evergreens in the horizon behind the neon cinema marquees are almost too cinematic. Sundance Film Festival marries the aesthetics of the outdoors with the aesthetics of the silver screen as they put on the largest independent film festival in the United States. Après-ski aside, Sundance is the premiere U.S. film festival, often called the American version of the Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto film festivals. Among the 82 feature film’s rolling this year are “Love Me,” starring Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun, and Sundance veteran Steven Soderbergh’s “Presence,” starring Julia Fox and Lucy Liu.  – Sarah Cortina

Gasparilla Pirate Festival 

Tampa, Fla., January 27

I’ll say it. Pirates are sexy. Ever since Captain Jack Sparrow gave us androgynous, wavy hilarity in 2003, we see the potential in pirates. Enter Tampa’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2024. What’s sexier than Tampa? Many things. But that doesn’t diminish the pure joy you feel when you look out at Hillsborough Bay to see a real-ass pirate ship, the legendary Jose Gasparilla, splattered head to toe in brightly colored flags, sail in through the Seddon Channel to “invade” the city of Tampa. Surrounded by a Flotilla of water-born party people, the Jose Gasparilla docks at the Tampa Convention Center, where the mayor symbolically gives up a big fake key to the city. To celebrate their victory, the rainbow clad pirates — called the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla — throw a massive 4.5 mile parade with 100 floats of beads and pirate-themed art. Yeehaw! I mean: Ahoy, bitch. – Hannah Kent

Groundhog Day

Photo via Shutterstock.

Punxsutawney, Penn., February 1-4

Groundhog Day: a holiday that feels like a big deal if you’re Bill Murray or eight. For the rest of us, February can already feel like the same day is repeating itself again and again, but do you know what would spruce up the Sisyphean slog of winter? Watching a man in fancy dress hold up the biggest rodent ever Lion King style. While the “holiday” itself is only one day long, this festival spans over four starting on February 1, 2024. You may not gain anything from the clairvoyant rodent’s prediction (there WILL be six more weeks of winter), but no matter what the groundhog sees, the usually small town of Punxsutawney turns into a 40,000-person party. You can even book Punxsutawney Phil on Cameo, putting him right in between Kermit The Frog impersonators and George Santos on the scale of celebrity status. – Emily Frantz

Thunderdome Washington

Excision performs live. Photo via Shutterstock.

Tacoma, Wash., February 2-4

As its name suggests, Thunderdome is unapologetically in your face and unrelentingly pounding to your eardrums. Like the third Mad Max film, “Beyond Thunderdome,” you’ll enter a chamber of high-octane entertainment. But unlike the most recent movie, this thunderdome stops short of having a guy atop a monster truck, playing an electric guitar that’s also a flamethrower. Giant shooting flames will certainly be present. Taking place in the Tacoma Dome, the unique venue provides a more controlled environment in which to partake in the festival’s age-18-and-older activities — be sure to have your ID. This fifth incarnation of the festival will be headlined by big names like Zomboy, Wooli and Nghtmre, with a special b2b performance from SVDDEN DEATH and Excision on day three. A quick glance at EDM message boards and reddit threads will tell you: fans are hyped.  – Sébastien Luc Butler

Cali Vibes

Long Beach, Calif., February 16-18

Cali Vibes, a — you guessed it — Southern California festival has found a home in Long Beach, California.  Its prime location, along the waterfront at Marina Green Park, guarantees a true Golden State homage with music that ranges from rap and hip hop to reggae and folk. California weather is touted for its year round beauty, but February is quite often an exception to that rule. If you get chilly, good news: you can light a fire to keep warm. Cali Vibes is one of the largest, and first, festivals to permit cannabis consumption on site. The festival, which began in 2022, pays its respects to California beach culture. This year’s lineup includes reggae artists like Stick Figure and Stephen Marley, plus, Saturday night, amidst what we can only assume will be heavy cannabis clouds, a special performance by Gwen Stefani – Sarah Cortina

South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Miami Beach, February 22-25

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival – or SOBEWFF, for short – is an A-listers coven of convivial food experiences over five days. The secret code to join this community of bonvivants? You must love eating as much as they do — and, depending on the event, be willing to drop some serious cash.  All that enthusiasm and money can buy you entry into the elegant Matador Room for a brunch hosted by two Michelin star recipient, Jean-Georges Vongerichten or a tribute dinner honoring Italian chef Massimo Bottura. Not to alarm you, but your neighbor at the table might be Eva Longoria. Luckily, not all the events are as exclusive as they sound. If you just want to have a good time, secure your ticket for FoodieCon to meet some of social media’s most notable food personalities while grabbing a bite. – Anna Montagner