A Dozen Music-Festival-Inspired Names for Your Baby

Does live music all day light up your soul? Give your baby a name that’s just that joyous.If you love attending music festivals — strategically planning your days and your outfits the way you’d plan a vacation — you can use that passion to inspire you on your hunt for a great baby name. If you go this route, the name might be a little on the flower-child side because, after all, nearly every music festival is reminiscent of the 1969 “Aquarian Exposition” that later became known as Woodstock. Modern-day fests are just larger, louder, better-organized, and well-promoted grandbabies of that landmark event, complete now with food trucks that let you tap a credit card to buy sushi or tacos plus hard seltzer.If you’re good with a hippie name with a bohemian feel, and you not-so-secretly hope your child will grow up to be your future concert buddy, consider a name inspired by a popular song or any of these dozen festival-inspired baby names.SongThis beautiful name has Chinese and Korean origins. To Americanized ears, it’s also evocative of artistry, like the names Story and Poet. But while Story and Poet might lean toward the feminine, Song is a solidly gender-neutral choice. And it’s also perfect for a music lover and festival fanatic who has been waiting a long time to hear their favorite tune played live.PeaceThis is full hippie, obviously, but a real statement name that’s on par with Hope, Grace, and other virtue names like Faith and Mercy. Hopefully you’re not tempting fate, naming your baby Peace and then getting a little Rebel. I say it’s worth a try. What teacher won’t welcome a little Peace in the classroom?RockwellStick with me here: This name might sound like a hedge-fund manager or bank executive, but it can also flip the other way and be the kid who rules the Rock Academy. It’s less peace and love and more guitar solo. It’s also most often a surname, but it does appear in first-name lists for boys — just well out of the top 1000. That means your kid will likely be the only Rockwell in high school and college.JourneyThough this name is more often used with girls, it’s given to boys as well — Megan Fox’s third son is named Journey. It’s meaningful to any parent who has felt they had to travel a long path to parenthood. But it’s also evocative of travel and appropriate to anyone who makes the trek or, some would say, pilgrimage to a favorite concert spot every year.HendrixNaming your child after one of the original Woodstock performers is the ultimate tip of the hat. Jimi Hendrix was the top-paid musician at that original music festival and the man who ended the event with his unique rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Other names of Woodstock musicians include Levon (for Levon Helm) and Janis (for Janis Joplin). Dylan, though currently the 41st most popular boy’s name, doesn’t so much tie back to the Woodstock festival because Bob Dylan was not there — but he was living in the town of Woodstock in that era, and it’s still a cool musician-inspired name.MelodyThis sweet musical baby name is the most loved it’s been in 40 years, currently ranked 109th most popular for girls by the Social Security Administration (SSA). I love that Melody can be Mel if she wants something a little less girly, or she can stick with Melody and wear flowers in her hair when she heads out for a festival. And if “Replay” was big for you back in 2010, the name Melody might get stuck in your head and have you “singing like Na-na-na-na every day” like you’re iPod’s stuck on replay. (Or am I the only person with that Iyaz song still ringing in my ears?)Bonnie or EllaIf you and your partner met at one of the biggies like Bonnaroo or Coachella, it would be fun to give your baby a name that traces back to that. It’s harder to come up with a masculine version — I’m not sure Coach would ever read like a musical name. But Ella works well with nearly any surname, which is perhaps why it’s been in the top 25 girl names for some years. Bonnie was bigger back in the ’80s and is a little rarer now, making it a throwback, nostalgic pick. (Remember Bonnie Bell?!)April, May, June, July, or AugustIf your go-to festival is in the same month each year — like Napa’s Bottlerock is always in May, New York’s Governors Ball is always June, and San Francisco’s Outside Lands is always August — you can use that month as your baby name. The short spring-to-summer months are the ones that seem to lend themselves best to first names. Not sure what you’d do with October, but if that month’s Joshua Tree festival happens to be your thing, then at least there’s the obvious Joshua.SummerSince summer is high festival season, this is a perfect festy name — and it evokes the freedom and sunshine that comes with the weeks when all your favorite bands are on tour. It can also be a reference to Summer of Soul, the phenomenal 2021 documentary that showed what was going on music-wise in Harlem the same summer that the hippies hit Woodstock. Summer is currently in the top 200 names for girls, according to the SSA.LyricThe pretty name Lyric is more popular than you might think — in the top 500 for girls, says the SSA — and it speaks to when a set of words from a songwriter really touches you. What festival-goer hasn’t scream-sang some favorite lyrics during a particularly fantastic set? Or tattooed a set of lyrics on their body? Use Lyric as a baby name to recognize how profound words can be.DJFor some festival fanatics, the DJ set is the main draw, along with the inevitable dance party. Though DJ is often a nickname, it is also sometimes given as the entire name for a kid, usually a boy. Or you can give your baby a first name that starts with a D and a middle name that starts with a J, like Darrell Jason, then use the DJ nickname.CarmenI know, you’re like, what? One of my most festival-loving friends named her daughter Carmen and only as I was working on this story did I learn that it, too, means Song, from its original Latin root. So, circling back to our initial suggestion, you can name your baby song, but by way of the name Carmen, so it’s more mature and less trippy. Carmen, too, is perfectly gender-neutral and easy to pronounce, and your grandpa can think it evokes opera even if, to you, it’s all about music festivals.

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