Tailgating Tunes: The Best Songs For A College Football Party

If you are throwing a college football party, but need some ideas for songs for a college football tailgate party, look no further. 

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What Are The Best Tailgating Songs?

This list will rock your party’s socks with its upbeat tempo, popularity, catchiness, and its ability to get people moving. The list includes the greatest hits from artists like Queen and Eminem while also including popular EDM tracks from Avicii. This list will be sure to get your party rocking in no time. 

As someone who has been tailgating for many years, I can be sure to tell you which songs will get your party going. That’s because these songs are classic bangers that are timeless no matter who’s playing and what game is on.


Tailgating is an idea. An idea to have a great party with classic tunes and good food sure to get everyone ready for the game that lies ahead. 

The expression tailgating comes from the idea that everyone gets their pickup trucks together, drops the tailgate, has a seat in the parking lot, and gets excited for the game that’s about to partake. 

Mainly a football game, tailgating can apply to any sport with a stadium, a parking lot outside, and some free time. 

But tailgating parties are usually very fun with open range of the huge parking lot and a great song to accompany the current moment. 

A great tailgate party usually comes with awesome food and happens all throughout the football season. 

You can not only tailgate football games, but you can also tailgate concerts. Hell, I tailgated a Toby Keith concert just last week. 

Tailgating is a part of sports culture and is always accompanied by great songs and great people all surrounded by the idea and hope that their team may win. 

Listen to the songs that lie ahead at your next tailgate party and see how lucky your team gets. 

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The List

Tailgating parties are usually very fun and awesome. They come with great food, people, and good times. 

But what songs should you play at the tailgating party? 

Well without further ado, listen to these songs at your next tailgating party and you will notice everyone having a good time. 

  • “We Will Rock You” by Queen
  • “Jump” by Van Halen
  • “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
  • “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna
  • “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Levels” by Avicii
  • “Let’s Get It Started” by Black Eyed Peas
  • “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  • “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy

These songs will provide a great ambience for your tailgating party and truly get everyone pumped for the game ahead. 

When creating your tailgating party experience, be sure to keep the mood in mind. 

Play songs before the game with an energetic and upbeat track and during half time, keep the list lighter with some classic rock ballads. 

This will ensure the mood is smooth throughout the game whether your team is losing or winning. 

A good list of songs to play during halftime follow.

  • “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
  • “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses
  • “Dream On” by Aerosmith
  • “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick
  • “Every Breath You Take” by The Police
  • “More Than a Feeling” by Boston
  • “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi
  • “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses
  • “Imagine” by John Lennon

You can download these songs from Itunes or stream them straight from Spotify. But once you play them, watch the crowd go from bored to mellow in a matter of seconds. 

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Having playlists to support your team’s current state is key to having a good tailgate party mix.

Because if your team is losing at half time, you will want to make sure to play the correct songs in order to keep the mood light and upbeat during the downtime. 

This ensures the energy of the crowd stays even. 

If your team is up, you still want to maintain good energy for your squad by playing upbeat songs which will ensure your friends won’t checkout early due to low energy. 

Putting on one of the following songs during half time if your team is up is a great idea. 

  • “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
  • “Jump” by Van Halen
  • “Levels” by Avicii
  • “Let’s Get It Started” by Black Eyed Peas
  • “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  • “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy
  • “We Will Rock You” by Queen
  • “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna

These songs will maintain a great energy and atmosphere during halftime and keep the members of your tailgate party moving and grooving. 

Songs To Avoid

There are certain songs you’ll want to avoid during a tailgate party. 

This is because some songs are a downer and will start making the crowd you are with start to contemplate larger questions about life and existence rather than focus on having a good time by watching the game. 

Some tips for avoiding debbie downer songs are as follows.

  • Slow and depressing songs: People go to a tailgate party to have a good time and forget about their troubles. Slow and depressing songs may start to make the crowd feel sad and slow instead of pumped up and excited for the game.
  • Political and controversial songs: Avoid songs that may spark a political debate that may lead to arguments during your nice tailgating party. Political or controversial songs can detract from the festive atmosphere of a tailgate party. 
  • Songs with explicit or offensive lyrics: These songs tend to make people in a crowd feel uncomfortable as they are filled with nasty lyrics that offend people. When people become offended in a crowd, they start to become defensive and lash out at those around them. Offensive lyrics should be avoided at all costs.
  • Songs that are too long: Tailgating parties are meant to be fast paced and festive events. A song that is too long may be a debbie downer that can lead to a depressed mood. Avoid songs that are too long.
  • Songs that are too particular or niche: While you may love a song, it may not be well known or popular among a crowd. It’s best to choose songs that have a wide appeal.

Avoiding these major mistakes when making a playlist can be the difference between having a great tailgating party and a weak one. Make sure to choose good songs, with an upbeat tempo, and avoid the pitbulls outlined above.

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Key Takeaways

  • Tailgating is a party that happens before, during, or after a sports event. 
  • Play upbeat tracks in order to keep the crowd pumped up. 
  • Play mellow tracks during half time. 
  • Avoid major pitfalls when choosing songs. 
  • Make sure to make your playlist ahead of time. 

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