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15 Best Music Festivals in Southern California (That Are Not Coachella)

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Let’s face it—Southern California has become fertile ground for new music festivals over the last decade, from single-day nostalgia festivals to three-day behemoths that specialize in immersing you in niche and eclectic lineups. We are indeed spoiled for choice—a good problem to have, especially in an era of pricy concert tickets.



Why spend an inflated amount of money to see one act when you can spend a little more to catch over a dozen or two more? Sure, you’re gambling on festival lineups, booking all your favorite bands and artists…but as evidenced by our list, you really can’t go wrong when you have this many festivals to choose from. Throw in the incredibly diverse and majestic vistas that often serve as the backdrop for SoCal events — from the ocean and the desert, be it summer or fall — and it’s easy to see why so many have chosen the state as the place to launch some seriously top tier events.

So, as you finalize your festival plans for 2024, take a look at some of our favorite music festivals to call the southern portion of the Golden State home!

Listed in chronological order.​

1. Beachlife Festival

Beachlife 2024 lineup poster


When: May 3-5th, 2024
Where:
Redondo Beach, CA
Who’s Performing:
Sting, Incubus, My Morning Jacket, Dirty Heads, DEVO, Fleet Foxes, Seal, Local Natives, Santigold, Gaby Moreno, Courtney Barnett, Jordana, Sugar Ray, and plenty more!
Why We Love Beachlife:
Apart from the incredible lineup one of the many joys of attending Beachlife is grounded in its location, which takes place on the picturesque sands of Redondo Beach. Check out our coverage of Beachlife 2023 to get an idea of the stunning ocean views and the amenities offered by the festival — from its foodie-minded Daou SideStage Experience to its family-friendly atmosphere (complete with a Kid’s Zone filled with activities for younger fans). Country fans should also keep their eyes peeled for the reveal of the Beachlife Ranch 2024 lineup which in previous years has featured Jack Johnson, Hall & Oates, and others.

Tickets for Beachlife 2024 are still available!



2. Cruel World

Cruel World 2024 lineup


When: May 11th, 2024
Where:
Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA
Who’s Performing:
Duran Duran, Interpol, Blondie, Simple Minds, Placebo, Soft Cell, Adam Ant, Ministry, The Jesus and Mary Chain, DREAMCAR, TR/ST, and more!
Why We Love Cruel World:
This is far from the only festival on this list that will tug and yank at your nostalgia — but after three sublime years of Cruel World — it’s hard to argue with the potency of those tactics. It’s also not the only one to use the idyllic and rolling fields of Brookside as its festival grounds. That reason alone is enough to merit attendance: long gone are the days of trudging through labyrinthian layouts and muscling through choke points to catch your favorite band or artist.

Even a cancellation due to the impending danger of lightning wasn’t enough to dampen fan appreciation of Cruel World 2023 — a fact owed greatly to festival organizers and artists rallying together to give them a make-up show that brought back Iggy Pop for round two and gave them the spectacular Siouxsie Sioux finale they’d been vying for. We expect Cruel World 2024 will be no less epic (hopefully without the dangerous weather)!

Get tickets for Cruel World before they sell out!



3. Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven 2024 lineup poster


When: May 18th, 2024
Where:
Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA
Who’s Performing:
The Postal Service, Phoenix, Death Cab for Cutie, The War on Drugs, Miike Snow, Passion Pit, Alvvays, Two Door Cinema Club, Phantogram, Metric, Tegan and Sara, Washed Out, Broken Social Scene, Sleigh Bells, Warpaint, and the return of GOSSIP!
Why We Love Just Like Heaven:
The indie festival of your wildest daydreams. A place to soak up the sun and down some drinks to the tune of the bands that soundtracked your adolescence. Every year, the lineup taps into another wellspring of forgotten but timelessly powerful feels that have saturated the 90s and early 00s music. From its inaugural arrival in Long Beach in 2019 to last year’s blissful return to the Brookside fields with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Peaches it has quickly become a pillar of the SoCal festival circuit.

Embrace your indie nostalgia and buy your tickets to Just Like Heaven today!



4. Lightning In A Bottle

Lightning in a Bottle lineup poster


When: May 22-27th, 2024
Where:
Buena Vista Lake, CA
Who’s Performing:
Skrillex, James Blake, Bomba Estéreo, M.I.A., Fatboy Slim, Mura Masa, Aluna, Tycho, Cannons, Bomba Estéreo, Aluna, LA LOM, and more.
Why We Love Lightning In A Bottle:
The desert music festival — another staple of SoCal events — has been nearly perfected by Lightning In A Bottle. Whether you plan on spending the entire weekend losing yourself in this electronic oasis of killer music or splitting your time between one of the festival’s many interactive and mind-expanding activities. The six-day event is a physical and mental vacation that — true to its name — successfully captures an elusive but unforgettable experience that you won’t regret immersing yourself in.

Find tickets to Lightning In A Bottle 2024!



5. NO VALUES

No Values 2024 lineup poster


When: June 8th, 2024
Where:
Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, CA
Who’s Performing:
The Original Misfits, Social Distortion, Iggy Pop, Turnstile, Bad Religion, Sublime, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Power Trip, The Damned, Joyce Manor, Suicidal Tendencies, The Vandals, Black Flag, and many more!
Why We Love NO VALUES:
Nostalgia comes for the punk kids (and adults) with the first-ever NO VALUES. Boasting a head-spinning array of iconic bands and several reunions — as well as one yet-to-be-revealed act — the festival has immediately carved out a niche for itself as a gritty blast from the past in more ways than one. Debuting at the Pomona Fairplex this summer it harkens back to a time when events used to be held atop the sprawling asphalt grounds also shared by the L.A. County Fair.

Don’t miss out on NO VALUES 2024!

6. Daytrip (TBA)

Daytrip-2023-lineup-poster.jpg

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
June 22-23rd, 2024
Where:
Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Daytrip:
Where else can you submerge yourself in the very best of house music? Scratch that — where else can you book a room on a nearly century-old British ocean liner to enjoy two stages worth of euphoric sets and afterparties hosted on that very same majestic ship? Daytrip delivers nothing short of a paradisial music festival that unfolds as one seamless party over two days. We are still waiting on the 2024 lineup but once it drops you can expect what’s left of passes to go exceptionally quick.

Buy your tickets for Daytrip through a layaway plan or at full price before they’re all gone!

7. Bleached (TBA)

Bleached_2023_Phase2_1080x1350.jpg

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
TBA
Where:
Waterfront Park in San Diego, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Bleached:
Brought to you by the same people who organized CRSSD the debut of Bleached 2023 at the Waterfront Park featured one of the more wildly diverse lineups of the year. It also shared all the perks of CRSSD down to its central and entirely breathtaking location. Headlined by Joji and Leon Bridges the festival brought together a broad group of artists and bands that defy categorization. From Caroline Polachek and Ethel Cain to Binki and Omar Apollo — in one stroke it established itself as an event that had the power to make San Diego a hot competitor alongside Los Angeles in terms of SoCal festivals.

8. Happy Sundays (TBA)

HAPPY SUNDAYS 2023

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
August 25th, 2024
Where:
Zaferia District in Long Beach, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Happy Sundays:
FREE ADMISSION. Need we say more? Happy Sundays is a festival that falls into a category of events like Echo Park Rising, offering attendees a sweeping variety of bands and artists without taking a chunk out of their wallets. Founded by Julia Kugel of The Coathangers the lineup highlights the abundance of local talent brimming in the South Bay and beyond. The 2023 lineup for Happy Sundays included bands like goth-doo-wop outfit Nectarines and rock trio L.A. Witch. This is one festival that rips thanks in no small part to the community it has fostered in its seven-year tenure.

9. Fool In Love

Fool in Love 2024 lineup poster


When: August 31st, 2024
Where:
Hollywood Park Grounds at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Who’s Performing:
Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Al Green, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Durand Jones & The Indications, LA LOM, Thee Sacred Souls, Trish Toledo, Mayer Hawthorne, and more!
Why We Love Fool In Love:
When the lineup for Fool In Love was first announced it revealed the glaring need for a music festival that summoned under one bill all the giants of R&B, soul, and funk of decades past. But it also goes one step further to bring together the next generation of artists and bands carrying on those threads of genre and tradition into the 21st century. Uniting everyone from Baby Boomers and Gen-X to their descendants who — and tell us if this sounds familiar — were delightedly introduced to the sounds of our parents’ generation via morning school-bound car rides.

Get tickets to Fool In Love for yourself and the whole family!

10. Head In The Clouds (TBA)

Head-in-the-Clouds-NYC-2024-lineup-poster-scaled.jpeg

Please note: this is the 2024 lineup for New York. Stay tuned for L.A.

When:
Dates TBA
Where:
Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 L.A. Lineup TBA (2024 NYC Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Head In The Cloud:
After 88rising launched its debut music festival Head in the Clouds in 2018, the festival landscape of California finally opened itself up to acknowledge the influence and legacy of the Asian diaspora that has called the region home for centuries. It also predicted the inevitable rise of K-pop that has taken the world by storm over the last five years while also consistently offering an eclectic range of genres that has pushed back against the pigeon-holing of Asian artists.

We had the privilege of covering Head in the Clouds in 2021 which was headlined by Rich Brian and superstar Niki. Returning for more the very next year with both day one and day two providing unforgettable moments. Check out our photos/review of Head in the Clouds 2023 as we eagerly await the reveal of its 2024 lineup for Los Angeles — which should come soon as they’ve already announced the 2024 lineup for the New York City version of the festival!

most anticipated tours of 2024 concerts

11. CRSSD

CRSSD 2024 lineup poster

Please note: this is the 2024 Spring lineup. Stay tuned for Fall!

When:
March 2-3rd, 2024 + Fall edition TBA
Where:
Waterfront Park in San Diego, CA
Who Performed:
Tale Of Us, Black Coffee, Little Dragon, SBTRKT, Armand Van Helden, Astra Club, Jeff Mills, and Joris Voorn.
Why We Love CRSSD:
Since taking over the beautiful Waterfront Park located on the shore of the equally stunning San Diego Bay just north of Coronado Island, the location of CRSSD is perfectly situated to give fans all the views while still keeping you at the center of all the city has to offer. In years past some of the biggest names in electronic dance music have graced its stages, back in 2016 we caught Odesza burning it down as a headliner and Tycho salvaging day two. More recently, we highlighted the five female DJs and producers we regarded as must-sees at CRSSD 2023 — check out our full coverage of the festival.

Earlier this month the spring edition of CRSSD 2024 made a splash with another stacked lineup of talent. But if you’re feeling the FOMO because you missed out don’t fret! We are still eagerly waiting for the announcement of this year’s fall lineup for CRSSD which will serve as the 2024 finale for this increasingly beloved California festival.



12. Ohana (TBA)

Ohana Festival 2023 lineup poster

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
September 27-29th, 2024
Where:
Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Ohana:
This was one of the first festivals to give fans in SoCal the event of their beachside, palm tree-wreathed dreams. Founded by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam it has evolved into becoming a truly quintessential Golden State festival, its lineups consistently (but not overwhelmingly) of an array of multi-genre singer/songwriters. Since covering Ohana 2019 few events have come close to supplying such a tranquilizing laid-back experience and I’ve personally been daydreaming about going back for years. Anyone who has attended will no doubt relay the same desire and although the 2024 lineup hasn’t been revealed it’s safe to say that the setting of Doheny State Beach will give the music a backdrop unparalleled to any other festival on the West Coast.



13. Camp Flog Gnaw (TBA)

Camp Flog Gnaw 2023 lineup poster

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
TBA but past events have been typically held in October and November
Where:
TBA but most likely Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Camp Flog Gnaw:
In 2012, the entirety of SoCal was gifted a wild card festival in the form of Camp Flog Gnaw, a curated event by Tyler, The Creator that featured the likes of OFWGKTA and Lil Wayne in its inaugural year. Pharrell Williams, Mac Miller, Vince Staples, and more were on the bill for its 2014 run at the L.A. Coliseum. Take a peek at our review and galleries of Camp Flog Gnaw 2016 and 2017 which included Lana Del Rey and Kid Cudi. Judging by last year’s lineup fans can expect another stacked round-up of some of the biggest names in hip-hop and alternative!

14. Darker Waves (TBA)

darker waves

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
TBA
Where:
TBA but possibly still in Huntington Beach, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Darker Waves:
Another festival that made its debut last year, when Darker Waves 2023 announced its legendary new wave lineup we imagine plenty of people thought they’d stumbled upon some dreamt-up fantasy bill. New Order and Tears For Fears were headlining a festival that also included The B-52’s, Echo and the Bunnymen, DEVO, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Cardigans — like Cruel World it unlocked a long-dormant nostalgia. Unlike Cruel World, it would take place on the sandy shores of Huntington Beach, providing a stunning if not atmospherically incongruent setting with which to hear the synth-backed, pained yearning of its lineup. The Darker Waves 2024 lineup is still a closely guarded secret at this point and as difficult as it may seem for them to top last year — everybody wins if they do.



15. Besame Mucho (TBA)

Bésame Mucho Music Festival 2023

Please note: this is the 2023 lineup. Stay tuned for 2024!

When:
TBA
Where:
TBA but potentially back at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Who’s Performing:
2024 Lineup TBA (2023 Lineup pictured above)
Why We Love Besame Mucho:
Like more than a few events on this list, the arrival of Besame Mucho both filled and illuminated the lack of Latin-oriented music festivals in SoCal. It debuted with Caifanes, Café Tacvba, Juanes, Julieta Venegas, Zoé, Los Tigres Del Norte, and others in 2022. For its second year, Besame Mucho 2023 raised the bar somehow even higher with Maná, Los Bukis, Gloria Trevi, and Pepe Aguilar, with Café Tacvba returning for an encore. Although we are still waiting on a lineup reveal for 2024, it’s clear that this Latin extravaganza isn’t going anywhere, with festival organizers announcing an expansion into Texas that made its inaugural appearance in Austin in early March.


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