I am an Australian applying for a J-1 visa to go on exchange at a Uni in the US for the spring semester of 2019. This visa allows me to stay for 30 days after the program ends on the 10th of May, but I would like to go to a big bluegrass music festival takes place just outside the 30 day limit.
I have found 2 possibilities so far:
Apply for J-1, leave for Canada within the 30 days and attempt to reenter with the Visa Waiver Program (risky), see post: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/permalink/post/22902445
Apply for J-1 and B-2 visa at the same time before going to US???
As this will be a once in a lifetime experience, I would really like to make this happen. What options are there to stay for longer? I have not applied for the J-1 visa yet as I am seeking advice on this matter.