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A Guide to California's Annual Music Festivals
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A Guide to California's Annual Music Festivals

Are you on the lookout for all the music events that are not-to-miss? Here’s a guide to California’s music festivals.

Palig Dzadourian

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6 min read

August 08, 2022

California is a place that does not settle down for long, and you will be able to find any type of event at any time of the year. Some of these events may be more known than others and attract different crowds of people. California Music Festivals are part of the best events the Golden State has to offer. Filled with mind-blowing performances, great vibes, fashion, and amazing music, these festivals are without a doubt worth it. Let’s have a look at some of the most note-worthy music festivals in California, shall we?

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 

Coachella is the ultimate festival for you and your friends to create lasting memories over.

Location: Indio.

Whether you live in California or not, Coachella isn’t something unheard of. As one of California’s oldest and biggest music festivals, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is definitely an event you have come across on social media. This festival has grown to not only be one of the most influential festivals in California and also in the world. It is the unofficial official opening of the season of festivals, and most fashion trends appearing at Coachella will be trending throughout the year. This celebration of fashion and music brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the California desert every year; it is one heck of a party!

Bottlerock Napa Valley 

BottleRock Napa Valley is a must for anyone wanting to attend the party of a lifetime.

Location: Napa Valley.

Napa Valley is famous for a lot of things, notably the scenic vistas, gorgeous landscapes, and amazing events happening year-round. One of those fun events is the music festival BottleRock Napa Valley, the first large-scale music event of the region. Featuring one of the most diverse lineups, prepare yourself for three days filled with incredible musical performances, immaculate vibes, and delicious food and beverages.

More than just a California music festival, BottleRock Napa Valley also introduces newcomers to the wonders of the Napa Valley, their specialty beverages, and so many other fun activities. One of them is a spa tent consisting of a few booths offering different things such as hennas, massages, face glitter, and even haircuts!

StageCoach

Discover the best Country Music performances ever at StageCoach.

Location: Indio.

Welcome to StageCoach, the world’s biggest country festival. Organized by the same people behind the magic of Coachella — also being set in the same location — StageCoach is a country music lover’s dream. It is usually hosted the weekend after Coachella ends and makes use of the same stages and production, so it is guaranteed to be a blast. This California festival may be Country but they are not limited to the genre, such as rock, bluegrass, and folk music.

Desert Daze 

A festival with one of the prettiest lakes in California as the backdrop? Yes, please.

Location: Lake Perris.

One of the most impressive California music festivals is definitely Desert Daze. With incredible lineups every year, and scenic views of Lake Perris as the backdrop, Desert Daze is sure to become one of the majority’s favorite music events. While it may seem like it only caters to all weirdos out there, it actually encourages anyone and everyone to participate in this crazy celebration of music and performances. Unlike other Los Angeles County festivals where you cannot possibly be present for every single performance, Desert Daze's specially curated and more put-together schedule makes it very manageable for attendees.

HARD Summer Music Festival

Location: San Bernardino.

One of Southern California’s favorites, HARD Summer Music Festival always manages to impress the crowd with amazing lineups, awesome performances, and incredible stage productions. HARD aims for a mix of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and underground music and has grown to include genres such as hip hop. The festival takes place regardless of the type of weather, and the staff recommends checking it to appropriately prepare for it. Whether it rains or shines, HARD Summer Music Festival will get your adrenaline pumping.

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival 

Get ready to have an absolute blast at the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival.

Location: San Francisco.

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival is San Francisco’s main event when Golden Gate Park turns into a giant party stage. This is one of the festivals in C.A. that has found a balance in both critical and commercial success in their lineups. Although pop stars aren’t what you’ll find here, the artists that do show up are ones who have stolen the hearts of many.

San Francisco is also known for its quality food, and Outside Lands is the ideal place to try different kinds of foods from famous restaurants. There will be vendors and food trucks at the Taste of the Bay Area, where your senses will awaken.

California Roots Music & Art Festival 

Location: Monterey.

Reggae, reggae rock, folk, and hip-hop acts are all part of what makes the California Roots Festival what it is. Shake it up with lineups featuring the top performers in the genres, and get inspired by live painting acts on stage. The California Roots aims to show its audience true enthusiasm for an experience that stimulates all the senses through all kinds of creativity. Always in tune with the trends, this music festival in Monterey will bring music lovers more than just stage performances, but also a mind-blowing experience you will never forget. 

DirtyBird Campout

Partying at a campout is definitely something everyone should experience!

Location: Modesto Reservoir Regional Park.

A summer camp full of adults is as fun as it sounds, and DirtyBird Campout knows how to get the fun going! The young at heart has never let go of the playful times spent at summer camps, and being able to relive it as responsible adults makes it all the more special. Dive back into those carefree days with games, sports, great company, and incredible live music. This independent festival is known for its unique bass house sounds, attracting fun-loving groups of people and providing awesome things to do in Modesto, making it one of the most wholesome yet wild events in the state.

CRSSD Music Festival 

Location: San Diego.

CRSSD Music Festival is quite unique, as it takes place twice a year in San Diego , unlike most annual California music festivals. Get ready to turn it up at a breathtaking venue, with an awesome lineup performing across three stages. There are also dozens of after-hours events to participate in, so the party will not end after the festival ends. CRSSD is one of the leading dance music events in the States, with genres like indie rock, techno, EDM, and house-making appearances throughout.

Splash House Festival 

Pool parties are exactly what you need to feel refreshed in this warm weather.

Location: Palm Springs.

Splash takes place in everyone’s favorite desert playground over multiple weekends in Palm Springs. This summer festival happens at three different resorts in the area. A getaway at this California music festival is sure to become part of your best memories yet! Enjoy refreshing pool parties while housing, disco, and electronica music blasts in the background. Purchasing a ticket will grant you access to all three hotels, and there are shuttles available to make your commute easier.

If the festivities of the morning aren’t enough to satisfy you, the After Hour programs that take place at night will definitely do the trick.

Nocturnal Wonderland

Location: San Bernardino.

Formerly known as the Nocturnal Festival, Nocturnal Wonderland in San Bernardino County is the longest-running electronic dance music festival in North America. EDM fans have this California festival as one of their favorites, with multiple stages of dance music and cutting-edge performances. While you are at Nocturnal Wonderland, you may also get to experience exciting carnival rides, bright fireworks and so much more!

Camping is also an option at this California music festival, enhancing your party experience and making the immersion easier.

Lightning in A Bottle 

Location: Buena Vista Lake.

Commonly referred to as LIB, Lightning In A Bottle is the largest transformational music festival in California. The incredible electronic lineup will get your blood pumping. Lightning in a Bottle is way more than just an independent festival, many actually refer to it as a spiritually awakening experience — or even a life-changing California festival.

Participate in a plethora of workshops and even yoga sessions available at this festival. A few of the best things to do here are watching the sunrise, and taking a dip in the lake.

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