29/05/2024

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35 California Music Festivals For Your Bucket List (2024 Edition)

28 min read
35 California Music Festivals For Your Bucket List (2024 Edition)

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Looking for the best music festivals in California in 2024? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because I’ve put together the ultimate guide to California Music Festivals for your bucket list! 

There’s arguably no better destination in the U.S.A. that can compare to the incredible production, loving communities, unique venues, and star-studded line-ups found at all these festivals in California. Being born and raised in Orange County, I’ve been fortunate to attend a lot of these festivals myself, and they truly are spectacular! From Southern California up to the Bay area, there are festivals ranging in all shapes and sizes spanning every musical genre.

So without further ado…here are what I think are the best California Music Festivals to keep you dancing, partying, and loving life all year long! 

California Music Festivals 2024


1) Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Coachella - Best California Music Festivals 2023

Coachella is my personal favorite of all the California Music Festivals!!

When: April 12-14 & April 19-21, 2024.

Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California

https://www.coachella.com/

Coachella is one of California’s oldest and most epic music & art festivals, and will certainly be a weekend experience that you’ll never forget.  Every year they bring an unbelievably stacked line-up spanning every genre, massively beautiful stage production, incredible food & drink vendors, and a really solid festival atmosphere.  While Coachella may have gotten a reputation for being all about celebrities and fashion in recent years…it’s still one hell of a party!

While I’ve only personally attended twice (in 2014 & 2018), both weekends have been so insanely fun, and I’d recommend it to every music festival addict!  Get your festival squad together, go through this music festival camping essentials checklist, and prepare for one of the best weekends of your life!

Being a favorite among the dozens of quality music festivals in California, tickets do sell-out almost instantly, so make sure your festival squad plans ahead and scoop up some tickets while you can! 

Festival Tip: Coachella is massive and you will definitely get your steps in/ sweat a lot out in the desert! Stay hydrated by picking up a Lunchbox Hydration Pack to keep yourself dancing and partying all weekend long, as well as keep your belongings safe with the anti-theft design.

Also, check out this Coachella after-movie below for some stunning footage of the festival!


2) Outside Lands Music Festival

Outside Lands Music Festival - Best California Music Festivals 2023

When: August 11-13, 2022

Where: Golden Gate Park, San Fransisco, California

https://www.sfoutsidelands.com/

Outside Lands is Northern California’s biggest and best music festival, and is definitely an event you’ll fall in love with! While it may be one of the more pricier events on the list (everything is more expensive in San Francisco), it’s worth every penny! The line-ups are always impressively diverse, the production is truly top-notch, and you’ll be blown away when you walk around the venue at night ogling at all the colorful lighting in the trees.

Check out my festival reviews from 2017 & 2018:

This annual 3-day California festival is a favorite among San Francisco locals and tourists alike, and there’s arguably no better time to visit SF because there’s so much going on! You’ll want to book accommodation in advance though, as the city (especially hotels near Golden Gate Park) get booked up quite quickly!


3) HARD SUMMER Music Festival

Hard Summer - Best California EDM Raves 2023

Credit: Doug Van Sant

When: July 2024

Where: The Speedway in Fontana, San Bernadino, California

https://www.hardsummer.com

This annual mega-festival has been a Southern California favorite for over a decade, and always manages to put together an unbelievably impressive line-up, incredible stage production, and overall stellar festival experience. 

The team over at HARD Events has been a key player in the growth of the EDM scene in the United States, and fun fact, my first massive rave in the USA was HARD Haunted Mansion back in 2009! From producing events like HARD Day of the Dead, Holy Ship, and HARD Red Rocks: attending one of their events will always impress!

While I haven’t been able to attend this epic Music Festival California favorite since they moved locations, I’ve heard great things from many of my fellow socal ravers!

Check out the amazing after movie from 2021 to get a better understanding of how epic HARD Summer really is!


4) Dirtybird Campout Westcoast 2024

Dirtybird Campout - Best California Music Festivals 2023

You’re never too old to go to summer camp!  Dust off your camping gear and calibrate your compasses, Dirtybird Campout is coming…

When: October 2024

Where: Modesto Reservoir Campgrounds 

https://www.dirtybirdcampout.com/west/

Dirtybird Campout is without a doubt one of the wildest California festivals parties ever attended!  I’ve been a HUGE FAN of the Dirtybird Label for years, and they really go above and beyond to provide an unforgettable adult summer camp/music festival experience. Dirtybird is known for it’s unique bass house sounds, and it attracts a fun-loving group of people that goes beyond a typical festival experience!

Dirtybird Campout 2023 - Best Music Festivals in California

Credit: Helen Perez


Read my Dirtybird Campout 2016 Festival Review to get a better understanding of what to expect…

“Whether you went to summer camp back in the day, or found yourself at Campout over the last four years, those memories of sun-drenched hours full of outdoor activities, hazy summer afternoons, and sleepless nights under the stars, have fostered an unmatched sense of belonging and an unparalleled community for many. It is this family feel that has made Dirtybird Campout one of North America’s most celebrated and unique festival weekends.”


5) BottleRock Napa Valley

BottleRock Napa Valley Festival California 2023

Credit: BottleRock Festival

When: May 2024

Where: Napa Valley, Northern California

www.bottlerocknapavalley.com

MUSIC. FOOD. WINE. BREW | The First Taste of Summer”

Featuring one of the largest and most diverse line-ups brought to Northern California, Bottle Rock Napa Valley is an annual 3-day festival enjoying music, wine, food, and craft beer! 

80+ bands on five music stages, Celebrity and chef performances on the culinary stage, great sight lines throughout the venue, access to gourmet food from the Napa Valley’s finest chefs and restaurateurs, and dozens of wine cabanas where you can sip, savor and mingle with your favorite vintners making every festivalgoer feel like a VIP”


6) Day Trip Festival 2024

When: July 2024

Where: The Lot at Hollywood Park, Los Angeles

www.daytripfest.com

House Music All Day Long

Insomniac’s brand new Southern California festival is bringing some of the biggest and best names in house music for two incredible days of fun! Celebrate the return of festival season at a brand new venue with delicious craft cocktails, gourmet food trucks, and iconic Day Trip fishbowls. This is a 21+ event, and the perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July weekend!

With artists like Diplo, Artbat, Chromeo, and Justin Martin – this is an event all you so-cal house heads won’t want to miss!

Day Trip Festival 2021 California


7) CRSSD Music Festival

CRSSD Festival - California Music Festivals 2023

When: March 2024

Where: Waterfront Park, San Diego, California

http://www.crssdfest.com/

CRSSD is a 2-Day Festival in downtown San Diego, and happens TWICE a year! They’ve always got a star-studded line-up across three stages, in a beautiful venue, and dozens of after-hours events to choose from after the festival ends.  I’ve been once myself, and had an unbelievably fun time! It’s one of the best music festivals in San Diego, and shouldn’t be missed if you’re heading to southern-California when it’s going down!   

Read all about my experience: Two Days of Sun & Tech at CRSSD Music Festival

“CRSSD will again take-over San Diego’s idyllic Waterfront Park. Grassy lawns, ocean views, an intimate footprint and the dramatic back-drop of San Diego’s county building and the San Diego skyline make this one of America’s most singular festival experiences. Each edition sees CRSSD take over the city for the weekend, with day-time pop-ups and after-parties aplenty. 

CRSSD has established a unique vibe built around Southern California culture and dance music’s underground roots, becoming a destination for music devotés who crave the avant-garde shades of electronic music. Just minutes away from the Amtrak station, CRSSD’s grassy haven is complete with picturesque sunsets, splash friendly fountains, and three waterfront stages. CRSSD also offers craft beer, gourmet food vendors, and a full mixology program. CRSSD is a 21+ festival.”


8) Splash House Festival

Splash House - California Festivals 2023

Credit: Splash House Palm Springs

When: June & August 2024

Where: Palm Springs, California

http://www.splashhouse.com/

If Coachella Pool parties & Las Vegas day clubs made a baby…

“Splash House is what you get when you mix up fun-loving people, with some rocking pool parties, and an escape to sunny Palm Springs, California. It’s a little slice of paradise where friendships are forged as people dance to the best in house, disco, and electronica.

Splash House takes place across three hotel resorts in both June and August. Buy a ticket and you get admission to all three, plus shuttles running between all weekend. Buy a hotel package and you can enjoy a room just steps away from the stage in addition to access to all three resorts.

By night, we take flight at the Palm Springs Air Museum for our After Hours program – a pair of open air parties back-dropped by vintage aircraft and a glowing airport tarmac. After Hours admission is sold separately and may be purchased with or without a Splash House ticket.”


9) Lightning In a Bottle

Lightning In A Bottle 2023 - Best Music Festivals in California

Credit: Juliana Bernstein

When: May 2024

Where: Buena Vista Lake, Kern County, California

http://lightninginabottle.org/

Lightning in a Bottle, or more commonly referred to as “LIB”, is the largest transformational music festival in California.  While it always boasts an incredible electronic line-up, there is much to more to this spiritually awakening festival.  Many friends of mine have called it their favorite festival they’ve ever attended, and it certainly can a life-changing California festival experience.

Go to some workshops, do some yoga, take a refreshing dip in the lake, watch the sunrise, and party like there’s no tomorrow! Some people have referred to it even as a “mini Burning Man”, and will be an experience that’ll keep you coming back every year!

Celebrating Art, Music, Performance, Sustainability & Life.


10) Nocturnal Wonderland

Nocturnal Wonderland - Best California EDM Raves Festivals 2023

Credit: Juliana Bernstein

When: September 2024

Where: San Manuel Amphitheater, San Bernadino, California

https://www.nocturnalwonderland.com/

Family. Community. Culture.

Gather, one and all, for North America’s longest-running electronic dance music festival! A classic favorite among EDM fans, Insomniac’s annual ode to the night brings you multiple stages of the best in dance music and cutting-edge production, as well as hundreds of costumed performers, fireworks and carnival rides. We also offer camping! It’s a fun way to extend your experience and fully immerse yourself in the Nocturnal community.

Nocturnal Wonderland Festival California 2022

Enter a world of sights and sounds as vibrant and unique as those who have come, year after year, to behold its fantastical mysteries. In this place, curious creatures of all shapes and sizes move to the vibrations of the night. What new adventures will our journey hold? Come with us and see.”

4 Days of Camping, 3 Nights of Music, Art, Family, and Culture. Carpe Noctem!


11) California Roots Festival

When: May 2024  (Memorial Day Weekend)

Where: Monterey Country Fairgrounds, Monterey | Northern California

https://californiarootsfestival.com/

Featuring some of the biggest names in reggae, rock, folk, and hip-hop in the world! 

“California Roots isn’t just a music festival; it’s a movement. It’s a way of life. It delivers a cosmic blend of good vibes, true happiness, family, peace, love and joy to all who enter. When Jimi Hendrix torched his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival in the late ‘60’s, he changed the way an entire generation looked not only at music festivals, but life itself.

It is out of this same pure energy–the energy of natural and peaceful rebellion–that California Roots was born. We discovered the ecstasy that culminates from listening to awesome music, smiling at your neighbors and dancing with strangers; California Roots is about living life to the fullest.”


12) High Sierra Music Festival

High Sierra Music Festival California 2023

When: June 2024

Where: Quincy, CA (Northern California)

http://highsierramusic.com/

“Celebrating everything we love about the sweet mountain high music that keeps us singing all year long.”

High Sierra Music Festival is one of the longest-running events in California, having just finished it’s 29th edition in 2019!  Every year they bring a wide variety of entertainment, family-friendly fun, and an epic festival camping experience.  It’s guaranteed to be a highlight your summer complete with top-notch music, fire-dancers, movement classes, colorful parades, and silent-discos!


13) Beyond Wonderland Music Festival 2024

EDM Festivals in California 2023

When: March 2024

Where: Nos Events Center, San Bernadino, California

https://beyondwonderland.com/

Insomniac Events are known for throwing some of the biggest and craziest raves in California, and Beyond Wonderland is definitely one you cannot miss!  They always deliver a world-class line-up, beautiful stage production, and a loving PLUR filled atmosphere!  Expect wild pyrotechnics, wild outfits, and pounding bass for a weekend you’ll never forget!

Embark on an adventure to the far side of the forest, exploring what exists Beyond Wonderland.”

When day breaks in Wonderland, a curious cast of characters emerges, and fantastical animals of all shapes and sizes run wild. In this place beyond our imaginations, colors shine brighter, smiles are wider, and the secrets of Wonderland come to light.”


14) Kaaboo Del Mar Music Festival

Kaaboo Del Dar Festival - Best Southern California Music Festivals 2023

Credit: Alive Coverage

When: September 2024

Where: Del Mar Racetrack & Fairgrounds, San Diego, California

https://kaaboosd.com/

“Forget what you know about music festivals. This is a music experience. A completely curated three-day sound voyage that combines rock-n-roll music and tastemaking socials into a modern wonderland on the warm shores of the Pacific. Where every detail is crafted for your enjoyment and you bask in world-class music, incredible cuisine, craft libations, comedy acts, contemporary art, dancing and premium amenities. This is your escape to the perfect weekend. So venture to the horizon with us this September in Del Mar, California. See you on the other side.”

Also, some exciting news, KAABOO Del Mar will celebrate its sixth festival event with a move to America’s number one ballpark (Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres) and its surrounding venues, and will feature a variety of headlining music hitmakers and legends of varying genres, and offer an unrivaled level of entertainment throughout the weekend.


15) Joshua Tree Music Festival

JTMF - Best California Music Festivals 2023

Credit: Vivian Lee

When: May 2024

Where: Joshua Tree National Park, California

http://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com/

Desert is Freedom. Music is Power. Community is Crucial

JTMF is a resource-generating powerhouse of passionate creativity, community empowerment, and arts education for all ages.  A family inclusive global music experience in the magical Mojave.  Committed to radical inclusion, this three day (and four night) funky desert-style festivals create experiences where passion, purpose, family, and friends come together, and the boundary between performer and patron is blurred. The music is diverse and eclectic, from dance-world-electro-funk’n groove to soulful global-ethno melodies. 

Joshua Tree Music Festival promotes personal growth through a variety of multidisciplinary workshops, such as yoga and movement, visual arts, music, and myth. A robust schedule of Kidsville activities makes JTMF one of the top family-friendly festivals in the country.  Magnificent art installations and a world market further inspire, intrigue, and invite festival-goers. Our mission is to foster social interaction on a deep level, creating positive life-changing moments.”


16) Stagecoach Music Festival

Stagecoach - California Country Music Festival 2023

When: April 2024

Where: Empire Polo Club, Indio, California

http://www.stagecoachfestival.com/

California’s Premier Country Music Festival

If you’re a fan of country music, then there’s arguably no better festival in the entire world than Stagecoach.  It’s hosted the weekend after Coachella ends, and has all the same stages & production, so it’s definitely an experience to check-out.  While I haven’t personally attended Stagecoach, I’ve heard from tons of people (who don’t normally listen to Country) that it’s truly an amazing event!

If you’re a fan of country, take a read through this article on the Top 25 Country Music Festivals in the U.S.A!


“The five-day transformation from the massive Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival into Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival by the Los Angeles-based Goldenvoice company is always shocking to people who go to both events. 

Instead of surreal and sometimes psychedelic installation art of Coachella, there are giant cowboy boots and a bronze bucking horse. The attire morphs from flower crowns and H&M branded fashions to red, white and blue everything – including shirts, pants, bandannas and long flowing sashes bearing the U.S. flag. Held at Indio’s Empire Polo Club, this festival celebrates new and established country music artists.”


17) Groove Cruise West Coast

Groove Cruise - Music Festivals in California 2023

When: October 2024

Where: Catalina Island, California

www.GrooveCruise.com

Groove Cruise is truly an experience that you need to attend to understand its pure magic. When people ask me what my favorite music festival is, Groove Cruise instantly comes out of my mouth! It’s a nautical rave adventure unlike any other, and the loving “GC Fam” is truly something special. While there are some really awesome music festival cruises in the world, Groove Cruise is the OG festival cruise, and will be an unbelievable experience!

I’ve attended three different GC’s, so read all about them below:


18) Lucidity Festival

Lucidity Festival California 2023

Lucidity is one of the most unique California Festivals on this list!

When: April 2024

Where: Live Oak Campground, Santa Barbara

https://lucidityfestival.com/

Sound baths, acro yoga, dance workshops, fire breathers, circus performers, food vendors, fashion stalls, blacklight tea parties, cacao ceremonies, art galleries, epic DJs, live bands, crazy costumes, and an incredible amount of Oxytocin filled hugging. I had an unbelievably magical experience at Lucidity Festival, and think the world would be a better place if everyone attended it once in their life.

It’s truly one of the most unique, colorful, and intimate community-oriented camping festivals I’ve ever attended!  

Check out my review article about my experience here:  Ludicity Festival – Rising Dawn | Top 12 Festival Highlights!  I, unfortunately, I couldn’t make it back for the 2019 edition since I was traveling through Spain, but I’m really hoping to make a return for 2020!


19) Northern Nights Music Festival

Northern Nights - California Camping Festivals 2023

Credit: Peter Karas

When: July 2024

Where: Cook Valley, California

http://northernnights.org/

MUSIC | ART | REDWOODS | RIVER | CAMPING | YOGA | CANNABIS

Northern Nights Music Festival is a 3-day celebration of music, art, food and local culture!!

“Our mission is to produce NNMF, founded on passionate support for & a strong understanding of emerging underground music industries AND featuring sought out producers & DJs from regions around the globe.  Our collective hope is to sustain NNMF as a premiere destination festival that offers a unique opportunity to fully embrace a truly Californian experience.  Lighting, sound & stage production for the stages is a collaboration between the Bay Area’s finest production teams partnering with experienced local talent. Adding to top-notch music talent, NNMF proudly features local & global arts and crafts, a collection of regional craft brews & wines, a mindful space for yoga and meditation, organic food offerings, and local non-for-profit vendors.” 


Camping Music Festivals in California - Northern Nights 2020


Cook’s Valley Campground is a festival site unlike any other. It is a rare gem.  

“The festival grounds feature deep swimming holes, the largest Redwood grove used for camping, and plenty of space to stretch out. Northern Nights Music Festival is a unique and safe experience for both newcomers and seasoned campers.   Our collective hope is to sustain NNMF as a premiere destination festival that offers a unique opportunity to fully embrace a truly Californian experience.”


20) Desert Hearts Music Festival

Desert Hearts Festival 2023 - Best Electronic House Festivals in California 2023

Desert Hearts is for the craziest California festival addicts! Credit: Eric Allen

When: May 2024

Where: Lake Perris, California

https://festival.deserthearts.us/

The Desert Hearts Crew have been taking the U.S by storm the past few years, and throwing wild parties around the entire country (as well as hosting stages at tons of other festivals).  But to fully understand their madness, you gotta make it out to their own Desert Hearts Festival!  

House, Techno, & Love…We Are All Desert Hearts.   Infinite love and nonstop beats.

Check out this epic review titled “Desert Hearts is a Stimulating and Vibrant Marathon of Music, Love, and Rave” to learn more!  If you’re into techno and good vibes, it’ll become your new favorite festival!


21) Dreamstate Festival

California Festivals

Photo via Dreamstate FB

When: November 2024

Where:  San Diego & San Francisco

www.dreamstateusa.com

All trance, all the time. You’re not living in reality anymore, you’re living in Dreamstate.

“Envision a world where ethereal beats and timeless melodies abduct you from the everyday and take you to a higher state. Insomniac’s brand-new, all-trance event brings that vision to life. This music has the power to connect, the power to soothe, and the power to heal. It’s time to experience that power together. Get your boarding passes and prepare to enter Dreamstate.”


22) SnowGlobe Music Festival

Snowglobe EDM California Festival New Years Eve

Photo: Brian Walker Photography

When: NYE Festival (Future Dates TBA)

Where: South Lake Tahoe, California

http://www.snowglobemusicfestival.com/

“Literally And Figuratively The Chillest Festival Ever.”

This 3-Day EDM Festival is the New Years Eve event of your winter dreams!  Spend your days snowboarding in the beautiful Lake Tahoe mountains, and then party all night to some of the world’s biggest electronic DJ’s!


23) West Coast Weekender

West Coast Weekender Music Festival in San Diego

When: June 2024

Where: Various Venues around San Diego, California

http://www.westcoastweekender.net/

A weekend of West Coast sunshine, pool parties, pop up dance classes, yoga classes, dance parties, and your favorite selectors.

“A celebration of music, dance, and culture in Southern California, the music conference and festival is blossoming right alongside San Diego’s incredible cultural renaissance. With nearly half of attendees coming from out of town, the West Coast Weekender audience rings in a truly one-of-a-kind vibe. The influx of activity—plus the San Diego underground community’s enthusiasm—creates an infectious, old school energy that’s of another era.


24) Wanderlust Squaw Valley

Wanderlust Festival - California's Best Music Festivals 2023

Credit: Melissa Gayle Photography

When: July 2024

Where:  North Lake Tahoe, CA

http://wanderlust.com/festivals/

Wanderlust is different than your standard music festival, as it’s more of a retreat/ getaway/ vacation with a big emphasis on music and community! The few friends I know who have attended told me it’s truly special! They also host events ALL around the world, so definitely worth checking out their website and keeping up-to-date with their calendar if you’re into this type of transformational event!

“This Way to True North.

“For 10 years, Wanderlust has gathered teachers, experts, musicians, and creators at stunning resorts for transformational experiences—each unique unto itself. Over the last decade, yogis have grown their practice, connected with community, and made life-altering discoveries.

Music is the heartbeat of Wanderlust festivals. You’ll feel the pulse in the subtle spinning of a brilliant DJ, in the sweet rhythms of our acoustic meditations, and classes accompanied by perfectly paired beats will leave your body awash in energy. Whatever your taste, the musical discoveries that await at Wanderlust will leave you with new favorites for practice and party alike.”


25) Escape: Psycho Circus

Escape Psycho Circus 2023 - California Music Festivals

When:  October 2024

Where: NOS Event Center, San Bernadino, California

https://escapehalloween.com/

“Sinister sights and rattling sounds will shock, amaze, beguile, astound. Escape with us, and come inside — the Psycho Circus has arrived! Each realm of Escape Halloween offers up a unique musical treat, full of audiovisual trickery to captivate your soul. Prepare yourself for two nights of monstrous beats as we bring you a multi-genre musical experience that will slay you.”

ESCAPE is one of Insomniac Events’ top music festivals that’s been running annually since 2011.  Complete with walk-through mazes themed stages, and costumed performers – this is a Halloween Rave you need to check out at least once!


26) Desert Daze

Desert Daze - Festivals in California 2023

La Femme performance, Desert Daze 2017

When: July 2024

Where: Moreno Beach,  Lake Perris, California

https://desertdaze.org/about/

“Desert Daze is our festival. It’s your festival, too. Or it could be.

Over the last decade, an idea became an experiment, an experiment a revision, suddenly a series, a ritual, and then something greater than the sum of its parts. Connecting many people through time, space and spirit. The curious, the convinced, and the reluctant became witnesses. Witnesses became visitors. Visitors left as passengers and returned with more. The “where” or the “what” becomes secondary to discovery, however many times you may need discovery to happen.

Since 2018, Desert Daze has found a home at Lake Perris, located 1.5 hours SE of Los Angeles. Featuring a beautiful lake, sandy beach, well-maintained campgrounds with permanent restroom and shower facilities, the grounds also feature tree-lined shade areas throughout, nestled inside an unbroken horizon of mountain ranges. The lake and shore are available to everyone for swimming and lounging. Whether coming for the day or staying the night, join us for an unparalleled concert and festival experience worthy of our tenth anniversary.”


27) Still Dream Campout Festival

Stilldream Campout 2022 Festival California

When: July 2024

Where: Blue Mountains Event Center, Wilseyville

https://stilldreamfestival.com/

“Stilldream was formed in June of 2000, by a group of like-minded individuals from the Sierra Foothills, and Sacramento, interested in the preservation of events of an earthy, intimate nature, which were becoming more and more scarce at the time.

A common love for music, community, nature, culture, and consciousness has encouraged us all to unite and give back to the community that has always given us love, and inspiration and provided growth. In the short years of our existence, Stilldream has gone from throwing intimate parties for our friends in a barn, to inviting thousands to take part in our events in venues with decades of rich musical history.

In its 11 years, Stilldream has gone from us all trying to see where we could take it, to realizing that Stilldream itself has indeed been taking us all on a ride that we could have never imagined eleven years ago. We continue to look forward to the evolution of our events, as well as the many new faces who believe in the dream and help us push it forward every year. We hope you enjoy your stay!”


28) The Untz Festival

The Untz Festival California 2023

Credit: Jacob Avanzato

When: May 2024

Where: Sycamore Ranch Fairgrounds, Brown Valley, California

http://www.theuntzfestival.com/

“The underground bass community will reunite once again in this beautiful mountain community less than an hour from the mouth of Yosemite National Park and just 3 hours east of the Bay Area. The best and brightest up-and-comers in the bass scene will return to Mariposa Fairgrounds!


29) Aftershock Festival

Aftershock Rock Festival California 2023

Credit: Aftershock Festival

When: October 2024

Where: Discovery Park, Sacramento, California

https://aftershockfestival.com

Join thousands of rock and roll music lovers for three days of epic tunes, delicious food, and solid vibes in the beautiful Discovery Park! Offering one of the most epic rock festival line-ups in all of California, this is guaranteed to be a damn good weekend!


30) Portola Festival

When: October 2024

Where: Pier 90, San Francisco, California

https://portolamusicfestival.com/

With a successful inaugural edition in 2022, Goldenvoice (the team behind Coachella) brought one of the most eclectic and unique festival line-ups to Northern California, and I know they’ll be back bigger and better in 2024.

I was personally able to attend Portola, and while there were a few struggles (no cell reception, waiting time to get into stages, and severe overcrowding), I would still highly recommend checking out this amazing new festival! 

While the venue was nothing too exciting, the music and vibes were truly top-notch. I can almost guarantee it’ll become a San Francisco favorite for years to come. 


31) Ojai Music Festival

Ojai California Music Festival 2021

When: June 2024

Where: Ojai, California

https://www.ojaifestival.org/

“Every year open-minded audiences gather in the idyllic Ojai Valley to experience a four-day curated music festival – the only one of its kind. Each Festival’s narrative thread is guided by a different music director, who offers a wildly distinctive style and point of view. These annual directors are more than conductors, soloists, or musicians. They are musical thinkers who approach their craft with creativity and responsibility to the music of today.”

“The Ojai Music Festival has been raising a finely calibrated ruckus each spring since 1947.” – Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“The Ojai Music Festival represents an ideal of adventurous, open-minded and open-hearted programming in the most beautiful and welcoming of settings, with audiences and artists to match its aspirations. As its 75th anniversary approaches, the Festival remains a hallmark for groundbreaking musical experiences with a narrative thread guided by a different music director. These annual directors are more than conductors, composers, soloists, or musicians. They are musical thinkers who approach their craft with creativity and responsibility to the present day.”


32) Beachlife Festival 2024

Beachlife Festival California

When: May 2024

Where: Redondo Beach, California

https://beachlifefestival.com/

“Our mission is to inspire community, authenticity, and generosity through the celebration of music, art, and our Southern California beachlife culture.

We were lucky enough to grow up in Southern California on the beach — surfing, hanging out with sand between our toes, vibing with friends, and living the beach life.  Our culture celebrates the power and beauty of the ocean and coastal resources — our waves, wind, smell of sea salt, beaches, sand, and wildlife that call this their home.  We will protect this lifestyle at any cost because it is the central theme to our lives, and each day we celebrate the relaxed lifestyle that has grown out of this environment. So if you have it in your blood, or if you are brand new to it, we welcome you at beachlife to hang with us, vibe, and enjoy.”


33) Primavera Sound Festival Los Angeles 2024

Primavera Sound Festival Los Angeles 2023

When: September 2024 (TBC)

Where: LA Historic Park

https://www.primaverasound.com/en/los-angeles

Earlier in 2019, European festival juggernaut Primavera Sound announced they’d be premiering in the US in 2020 to celebrate its 20th anniversary! How exciting is that!? Unfortunately, due to the global health crisis Primavera Sound was forced to postpone their US debut to September 2022 (which went off quite well)

After living in Barcelona for two different summers, I know Primavera Sound brings their A-game, and it’s guaranteed to be a so-cal festival favorite


34) Monterey Jazz Festival

Monterey Jazz Festival California

Credit: Monterey Jazz Festival California

When: September 2024

Where: Monterey County Fairgrounds

https://montereyjazzfestival.org/

“Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates its 67th anniversary in 2024, a major milestone for the world’s longest continuously-running jazz festival. Over its long and distinguished history, Monterey Jazz Festival has earned a reputation for paying homage to jazz greats, but also for its focus and passion for new and diverse sounds; 2022 is a reaffirmation of both principles.”

 Monterey Jazz Festival in California

Credit: Cole Thompson

“FNGRS CRSSD has announced the lineup for its newest event PROPER NYE, a two-day, three stage event set to ring in the new year in San Diego. On the heels of a sold out Fall edition of CRSSD Festival this past weekend, PROPER NYE brings over 20 of electronic music’s biggest and most in-demand names to Gallagher Square and the field at Petco Park for a dual New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebration. The event will deliver the same forward-thinking, top tier house and techno curation the FNGRS CRSSD brand is known for.”

Proper NYE Festival San Diego California


36) The All Day I Dream Festival

When: May 2024

Where: Oakdale, California

https://thealldayidreamfestival.com/

Over the past decade Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream has captured the imagination and hearts of music lovers everywhere, offering magical daytime experiences that focus on the community as much as the music. In 2022, the consummate emotive party took it to the next level with its first-ever weekend long camping event in the lush surrounds of California’s Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, California.


California Music Festivals Possibly Returning in 2024

Since initially writing this article, lots of festivals have been forced to postpone their dates, or have not released any information or updated their websites, but still wanted to recognize past festivals that could make a big return next year. 


Air & Style Festival

When: March (Dates TBA) 

Where: Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California

https://airandstyle.com/

“Air + Style is a global event series that blends live music, action sports, art, and culture.”

Watch some of the world’s best snowboarders perform insane tricks, and then check-out some of the world’s best DJ’s spin incredible sets!  I saw Major Lazer and Flume at Air & Style in 2017, and it was such an amazing evening!  They’ve got events all over the world, and the Los Angeles edition should not be missed!


Virgin Fest

When: June (Dates TBA)

Where: Los Angeles, California

VIRGIN FEST LANDS IN LA! We are hosting one big party, and you are invited to join.

With a diverse lineup of artists on 3 stages, mind-blowing technology and an unwavering commitment to people and planet, VIRGIN FEST is the music festival of tomorrow, TODAY.

The weekend will merge the outdoor experience of Exposition Park with the convenient accommodations of Banc of California Stadium including shaded areas, comfortable seating (when you want it), standing room floor (when you don’t), climate-controlled flushing bathrooms and hydration stations. And that’s only just the beginning.”


Enchanted Forest

When: June (Dates TBA)

Where: Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville, California

Northern California’s premiere music, art, movement and conscious living festival!

Enchanted Forest Gathering is a 3-Day music festival wonderland featuring movement classes, workshops, daily yoga and the world’s largest independent performing artists.

“Homegrown in Mendocino county, Northern California, Enchanted Forest Gathering calls to lovers of music, art, movement, dance, community and all things Sacred, Sexy, Silly, and Saucy!  Sprouted in the redwoods in 2011, we have nestled into our beloved home under the oaks at the legendary Black Oak Ranch near Laytonville, CA. Our goal is produce gatherings that activate personal growth, inspire collective sharing and redefine conscious celebration. We envision a world in which every individual is empowered to fully embody their highest and truest self. Enchanted Forest Gathering serves as a catalyst for collective transformation.

Whether you come to co-create with us, be transformed, or simply to shake your booty and have a good time, we welcome you to the Enchanted Family.


YOUtopia 

When: October (Dates TBA) 

Where: La Jolla Indian Campground, Southern California

www.sdyoutopia.com

San Diego’s official Burning Man regional event

“YOUtopia is A 4-day camping and arts regional “burn” celebrating the culture and principles of Burning ManBurning Man only happens once a year, but burner culture is alive and well year-round. Burning Man regional events are held all over the world and are based on the Ten Principles, empowering burner ethos to thrive far and wide. YOUtopia is part of a long tradition of bringing the magic of the playa to the rest of the world while also celebrating the vibrant creative and communal elements of San Diego and the surrounding areas.”


Emissions Festival

When: May (Dates TBA) 

Where: Belden Town Resort & Lodge, Belden, California

West Coast Bass Culture

“Emissions strives to provide a unique experience with an alternative focus. An intimately sized, limited capacity to allow for a closely connected atmosphere. Creating a rare opportunity to truly absorb the music up close & personal. Alongside a unique lineup of fresh sounds curated to enhance this specific outdoor experience. Culminating in 3 full days & nights of uninterrupted satisfying sound with a focus on proper low end representation. ~Come feel the difference~”

It is a celebration of the music and the community surrounding the rich bass culture in [but not limited to] California. It encourages freedom of enjoyment & expression for everyone that wants to enjoy it. Everyone is welcome. Without any forced ideologies other than ‘Be here to enjoy yourself & allow others to as well’. Be creative in your way, create your positive experience in your way, then share your celebration with the festival!”

Emissions Festival - California Bass Music Festival 2020


Serenity Gathering

When: End of April (Dates TBA)

Where: Woodward Reservoir, Oakdale, Northern California

Music / Art / Boating / Yoga / Workshops / Vendors

“A conscious gathering focused on creating an environment of positive collaboration specifically geared towards art and music.”  

Complete with cacao ceremonies, full-moon dances, 3 stages of Funktion 1 sounds, and being surrounded by a lovingly spiritual festival community – Serenity Gathering sounds like a beautifully unique experience!

Serenity Gathering - Camping Music Festivals in California 2022

Credit: Eric Allen Photography


FYF Fest

When: Mid July (Future Festival Dates TBA)

Where:  Exposition Park, Los Angeles

https://fyffest.com/

FYF Fest is one of LA’s biggest festivals right in the middle of the city.  This two-day event brings an amazing line-up, and definitely worth adding to your summer festival list!

“Having grown from a roaming party at various venues along Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, FYF has blossomed into a world class event, drawing talent from around the globe and music lovers from across the country.”


GUITARFISH MUSIC FESTIVAL

Guitarfish - Best California Music Festivals 2020

Photo by Foster Snell

When: July 

Where: Cisco Grove Campground, Truckee, California

“A People-Friendly Camping Experience.  Full Moon in the Forest, Over a Mile High over the Yuba River”

An intimate arts and music festival that brings community together to enjoy renowned musical acts and true goodtime vibes.

 

Set in the stunning Sierras at Cisco Grove campground, the festival also provides an enchanting setting to enjoy the South Yuba river, hiking, world class mountain and road biking, towering trees, and starry skies. Emphasizing the importance of water, Guitarfish works in partnership with non-profits to educate on the issues of overfishing and water pollution, promoting water conservation and preservation of clean oceans and watersheds, with a portion of proceeds going towards such. Guitarfish aims to provide a direction for positive change to sustain and maintain healthy watersheds, rivers, streams, lakes and oceans and to preserve all living beings that depend on it. Coming together to honor this big blue ball we all call home feeds the magic.


Genius Loci (Baja California Festival)

When:  June (Dates TBA)

Where: Punta Cabras, BAJA California (Mexico)

http://geniuslocifest.com/

Surf.  Music.  Yoga.  LOVE

Last, but certainly not least….while it’s not technically in the state of California, Genius Loci is down in BAJA California (so that kinda counts), and I just really wanted to include it in this list!  It looks exactly like my kinda festival, and I’ve heard that it’s truly a special experience from friends who have attended in the past!  Definitely worth checking out if you can!

“The definition of Genius Loci is the prevailing atmosphere, spirit or character of a place.  Genius Loci is nestled at a private beach on the sandy plateaus alongside the pacific ocean in Northern Baja.  The location is pure magic!


What to bring to these Music Festivals in California 2024?

I’ve written a couple really fun guides for packing and festival accessories. Check out a few of my favorite posts below for more info:

What to bring to music festivals


Am I Missing Any Epic California Music Festivals 2024…?

While I’m sure there are tons more for all different genres of music, I’m pretty these are all the biggest and best music festivals and events in California.  I hope this article gave you some inspiration, and I hope to see you at one of these music festivals throughout the year.  I’m always flying back to California for different events, and there’s a good chance you’ll see me dressed in a crazy outfit, taking photos of all the beautiful people who attend these different festivals.

California Music Festivals 2020


Looking for music festivals around the world…?

My website is filled with articles about the best music festivals in the world, so take a browse through some of the posts below – and start planning

Best Music Festivals in California 2020

Credit: WatcharaPhoto


Thanks so much for reading my California Music Festivals 2024 Guide!

Share this list with your California festival squad!