There’s something special about California – the golden sunshine, Hollywood glamor, delicious artisan toast…and of course, music festivals! While there are numerous festivals held across the country, California’s climate and culture lend themselves well to festival settings.
With all the music festivals that take place in California each year, it can be hard to keep track of them all. From Coachella to FYF Fest, these are the can’t-miss musical events of the year.
- 1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
- 2. BottleRock Napa Valley
- 3. Stagecoach
- 4. Outside Lands Music Festival
- 5. Hard Summer Music Festival
- 6. CRSSD Festival
- 7. Rolling Loud California
- 8. Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
- 9. Lightning in a Bottle
- 10. Splash House Festival
- Final Thoughts
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1. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Empire Polo Club, Indio
When: April (3 days)
I bet you’ve heard of Coachella – it’s only one of the biggest music festivals in the world! Every year, the festival indicates the unofficial start to summer and has also become known as a fashion mecca, where new trends are set for other festivals throughout the season.
The brown boots, cowboy hats, and cropped polo paired with shorts look might have started out as an ironic take on festival fashion but has now become de rigueur for Coachella goers.
Over the years, the festival in the desert has evolved to reflect changing trends and tastes, but one thing remains the same: it always features an incredible lineup of musical acts with REALLY popular artists.
2. BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa Valley Expo, Napa
When: May (3 days)
The festival, situated in America’s picturesque wine country, weaves together well-known songs with the refined world of wine.
Every year, the festival boasts a lineup of well-known musical acts, in addition to over twenty local wineries and a culinary stage with celebrity chefs and special guests.
If the BottleRock festival gets a little overwhelming for you, don’t worry, they have their very own spa on site. Could this music festival be any more sophisticated? Wine meets music in the perfect location, what more could you ask for?
Empire Polo Club, Indio
When: April (3 days)
Organized by the same people behind Coachella, Stagecoach is California’s answer to country music fans. A country music fest in a desert is a match made in heaven, and this event does not disappoint.
With a lineup of the biggest stars in country music, as well as some up-and-comers, Stagecoach is the perfect place to kick back and relax.
If you’re a country music fan, this is the festival for you! Plus, what could be more fun than dressing up in your best cowboy boots and Western gear?
4. Outside Lands Music Festival
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
When: August (3 days)
Outside Lands is renowned for its large variety of attractions in addition to its music, including pop-up dance clubs, art exhibitions, and a variety of local food sellers. Additionally, there are a ton of sponsored cabanas selling everything from haircuts to massages.
The line-ups for Outside Lands are always stacked with a great variety of artists, making it one of the most diverse festivals in California.
With so much to do and see, Outside Lands is the perfect festival for those who like to be entertained both day and night. And with a lineup that includes everyone from rappers to country singers, there’s something for everyone at this San Francisco fest.
5. Hard Summer Music Festival
The Speedway in Fontana, San Bernardino
When: July (3 days)
The Hard Summer Music Festival usually has electronic and alternative music, as well as new talents. Celebrating EDM, hip-hop, and everything in between, this festival is not for the faint of heart.
With past performances from heavy hitters like Skrillex, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lil Uzi Vert, you can expect nothing but the best at Hard Summer.
Picture yourself dancing the night away to your favorite pump-up songs — this is what Hard Summer is all about. If you’re looking for a festival that’s all about raving and having a good time, this is the one for you.
6. CRSSD Festival
Waterfront Park, San Diego
When: September (2 days)
Among the myriad electronic music festivals in America, CRSSD Festival stands out as one of the best. Each year, the mid-sized music festival carefully selects a roster of influential, highly regarded house, EDM, techno, and hip-hop DJs. In addition, the festival has one of the most beautiful urban settings in America.
With a beautiful setting and a carefully curated lineup, CRSSD Festival is a can’t-miss event for any electronic music fan. You’ll be sure to have a great time dancing the weekend away at this one.
7. Rolling Loud California
When: March (3 days)
There’s no hip-hop festival quite like Rolling Loud. Rolling Loud began as a one-day festival in Miami and has since exploded into a global phenomenon. This event is perfect for any hip-hop lover, as it features famous rappers as well as those who are on the rise.
If you can imagine yourself rapping along to your favorite songs all day long, then this is the festival for you. With a lineup of nothing but the best in hip-hop, Rolling Loud is sure to get you excited.
8. Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
When: November (2 days)
The brainchild of Tyler, The Creator, the festival has a more relaxed and personal feel than most festivals. It’s also very diverse, with a mix of rap, R&B, and alternative performers.
This festival has a relaxed atmosphere and features performers from multiple genres, making it the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some great music.
This festival will feel like home for any fan of Tyler, The Creator’s creative work. Furthermore, Tyler’s extensive network of celebrity friends made it possible to create an impressive line-up.
9. Lightning in a Bottle
Bradley, San Antonio
When: May (5 days)
Lightning in a Bottle was first released publicly in 2004 after just being started as a birthday celebration for the first four years. Following a few changes of location, the festival has now settled in Bradley, on the beaches of Lake San Antonio.
This is a perfect festival for those who love the outdoors and camping. With beautiful weather and a stunning location, this festival is perfect for music lovers who want to enjoy some time in nature.
10. Splash House Festival
When: August (4 days)
Are you in need of a disco escape? If your answer is yes, then Splash House is the perfect event for you! This summer festival series takes place in sunny southern California and provides attendees with plenty of house and disco fun. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people!
This is the perfect festival for those who want to let loose and have a good time. A pool party all day for two weekends? Sign us up!
So there you have it, the best music festivals in California. These events are not to be missed whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer.
With so many great options, there’s sure to be something for everyone. So start planning your trip and get ready to experience some of the best music festivals California has to offer!
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