There are music festivals in California for everyone that cover all genres from rock to EDM and everything in between. California is the unofficial capital of music festivals for the masses. It’s THE place where the stars come out to play both on stage and off.
Great weather, feel-good vibes, and good times await at these top California fun fests.
We hope this list of what we consider the best music festivals in California helps you find the festival experience you are looking for.
We are always adding to this list of festivals so be sure to check back from time to time. If there is a music festival we have missed, be sure to send us an email and we will get it added to the list.
Coachella Valley Music Festival
Coachella has never defined itself by any musical genre so it boasts mass appeal and is easily one of the most diverse festivals around. You can look forward to a huge selection of alternative, dance, house, indie, electronic, rap, hip-hop, rock, punk, and pop hits every year.
The annual Coachella Music Festival is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in the Coachella Valley located in the Colorado Desert. The festival was kicked off in October of 1999, just a few months after Woodstock ’99.
This festival is one of our favorites because of the eclectic mix of performers, the eye-catching art installations, and the beautiful scenery that keeps us coming back year after year.
One thing we love about their approach is that starting in 2012 they started holding the festival on consecutive three-day weekends allowing more people to experience the awesomeness that is Coachella.
Check out their website for details on how and when to book.
Outside Lands Music Festival
Outside Lands is the most exciting thing that happens in the Golden Gate Park in Northern California every year.
It’s one of the pricier festivals around but it delivers with fabulous food, thumping tunes, awesome artworks, lights, and action! Next year, you can join in the good times at Outlands from August 6-8.
There’s no camping allowed at this event, but the festival atmosphere spills over to nearby accommodations too, so you won’t miss out. The festival boasts a happy hippie vibe and is a champion of eco-friendly causes.
Outside Lands offers something for everyone with a huge lineup of top artists in every genre taking to the stage in August every year.
Stagecoach festival always runs back to back with Coachella at the Empire Polo Club.
It’s the biggest ho-down around featuring leading country artists from across the country. So, don your red, white, and blue, fluff up your fringing, dust off your cowboy hat and head off to Stagecoach if you love that kind of thing.
It’s all foot-stomping good times in the shadow of an enormous bronze horse and other OTT Western-themed installations.
Like Coachella, you can camp out cowboy style under the stars at this festival, so get packing. Tickets are on sale from March to July every year.
Lightning in a Bottle
LIB is the biggest transformational music fest in California. Enthusiasts swear this is a life-changing event, where your spirits awaken thanks to yoga workshops, dips in the lake, and glowing sunrises.
The music’s all electronic, all the time, at this Buena Vista Lake Festival that takes place every labor day weekend. It’s a celebration of light, love, and sustainability.
If you’d like to experience the electrifying aura of this top California Festival, keep tabs on their website for more details.
Hard Summer Music Festival
Go hard in Southern California from July 30 to August 1, at the Fontana Speedway. It’s an over-21s-only event and starts with a full TSA-style pat-down, you know it’s going to be lit!
The festival’s famous for its riveting stage productions and impressive line up of the nation’s top alternative, electronic, and hip-hop stars.
High Sierra Music Festival
High Sierra Music Festival A three decade music festival has evolved into a multi-stage event.
HSMF started in 1991 and is a multi-day music festival held at Quincy, CA. and takes place every Fourth of July and since then evolved into a 10,000 person event with more than 50 performers.
High Sierra Music Festival is known for highlighting genres including bluegrass, roots rock, electronica, reggae, jazz and afrobeat.
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey Jazz Festival is an annual music festival and takes place in Monterey, CA. featuring the most significant jazz musicians of their time.
It’s not just a three-day event, it’s more than that! Monterey Jazz festival is a nonprofit, devoted to education presenting local, regional and international programs.
Some of the great performers include Chris Botti, Diana Krall, Kenny Barron, Dave Holland and many others. For more information visit Monterey Jazz Festival website.
Nocturnal Wonderland formerly known as Nocturnal festival, usually takes place in Southern CA on the first weekend of September.
It is the oldest insomniac festival and the longest running electronic festival.
Take a leap into a colorful world of great music, vibrant colors and unique array of backlight arts, and performers.
Country Summer Music Festival
Country Summer Music Festival is known as Northern California’s biggest country music festival.
This three-day country music festival held at Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Northern California is an ideal RV’s road and camping trip, which is the best way to experience music and atmosphere.
Country Summer Music Festival features state-of-the-art sound with spectacular video walls, performances and not just with music but with its culinary delights and beverages attracts more than 30,000 people for this event.
The UNTZ Festival
The UNTZ Festival lived up to their reputation that dropped the craziest lineups!
Celebrating its 5th anniversary with its new location Sycamore Ranch in Browns Valley California keeping the same weekend, taking place every June.
With this music campout, The UNTZ Festival brings the best for bass fans, playing and bringing the best in underground bass music through sunrise to sunset. With endless things to do and enjoy!
Joshua Tree Music Festival
Music rotates between four stages from 10 am – 2 am, creating a continuous sonic journey each day. Joshua Tree Music Festival lineups are a diverse medley of genres (World Music, Funk, Folk, R&B, Rock, and more!) and styles curated to seamlessly blend and build as the day progresses, whipping the dance floor into a frenzy by sunset. PLUS, HTMF is adding the Late Night!
Headphone House, aka a version of silent disco, to the mix with rocking house sets ’til the early hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
During breaks from the dance floor, enjoy yoga and workshops, massage at the Healing Oasis, or stroll around the lake and the grounds to take in the art and the raw beauty of the desert landscape.
Camp onsite under the desert stars, or choose from hundreds of local lodging options.
We have compiled this comprehensive list of music festivals in California, if there are any that we’ve missed that you would like us to add please contact us.