Liberal Nevada is a thriving state of contradictions, energy and constant surprises. People from all walks of life reside here, with great freedoms existing alongside conservative religion. The landscape also holds stark contrasts, with dry deserts encased within the same borders as snowy peaks. Perhaps most famous for the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Nevada holds more than just casinos and cash – and that includes a great many festivals throughout the year.
The Vegas vibe is of course on offer in the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekend, which is considered to be the biggest Rockabilly event in the world. It’s four huge days of rock, burlesque, parties and unbridled and eventful fun - and serves as the absolute epitome of the Vegas atmosphere.
Reno Jazz Festival is one of the biggest jazz festivals in the states, and has been running for over fifty years. In this event, loads of jazz professionals and students perform the very best of their music to hundreds of thousands of avid fans. The event also features competitions, clinics, workshops, masterclasses, discussions and more, and prides itself on educating attendees and students on the history and impact of the genre.
Reno also hosts the Reno Rodeo, a nationally-televised ten days full of cowboys, horses and all the tradition of the wild west. It’s one of the most iconic rodeo events in the USA, and features a huge range of bareback riding, team roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, cattle drives and more historic events. Many more rodeos and county fairs take place throughout the year in Nevada, so it’s a perfect destination for fans of ranches, saddlebags and ten-gallon hats.
The cult favourite of the Nevada festival scene is undoubtedly Burning Man, one of the most famous counterculture events in the world. Indefinably different, it’s an experimental, surreal and dreamlike experience dedicated to self-expression and self-understanding. In the heart of the Black Rock Desert, bohemians and others come together to explore and express a number of unusual art forms and styles, and indulge in the atmosphere of absolute freedom and liberation. The culmination of the event is the burning of a huge wooden effigy, an event which forms the origin of the festival’s name.
Other Nevada festivals celebrate food, films, pop culture and music, in addition to many more quirky and quaint offerings. Come along and join the fun!