Whether you’re looking to rock out, camp out, strike a yoga pose on top of a mountain, or discover the next big thing, there are tons of travel-worthy festivals across the U.S. to look forward to in 2016. So, pick a spot on the map, and let’s talk about the best independent festivals you need to know about this year.
Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland
Tribeca Film Festival
NEW YORK, NY
The Tribeca Film Festival has some insanely exciting things planned for this year’s installment, like special screenings, interactive installations, live music, open bars, and its inaugural Tribeca Talks: Storytellers platform. This conversation series will feature talks with some of the biggest filmmakers, tech innovators, and other A-list attendees (like Tom Hanks and Tina Fey). Some other goodies planned over TFF’s 12 days are the world premiere of Invasion!, the first interactive and animated virtual reality film from Baobab Studios, along with featured speakers including Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, Google ATAP’s Regina Dugan, High Fidelity’s Philip Rosedale, and STRIVR’s Derek Belch.
Boston City Hall Plaza
Boston Calling is making its seventh run this Memorial Day Weekend. This three-day festival in the heart of Boston always boasts a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, with a festival lineup saturated with heavy hitters in the alternative music scene. Last year’s main acts included Beck, the Pixies, Chvrches, The Alabama Shakes, the Avett Brothers, and Hozier, to name just a few. Info regarding tickets and lineup will be coming soon.
Governors Ball Music Festival
NEW YORK, NY
Each and every year, Governors Ball attracts the hottest acts across pop, hip hop, rock, and EDM to take over Randall’s Island in New York City for three days. The music festival promises to serve up another hot year, with Kanye West, The Strokes, Beck, Haim, and Eagles of Death Metal on the lineup. ‘Nuff said.
McCarren Park & Various Locations
For seven days every June, over 100,000 creative and cultural trendsetters converge in Brooklyn to uncover the future of music, innovation, and content. Now in its eighth year, with over 400 bands, 150 speakers, and 100 content creators, attendees venture to Northside Festival to say–I saw it here first.
Wanderlust provides the perfect excuse to get away and unwind at a weekend that focuses on mindful living. Its Stratton stop (right before summer kicks off) will feature guided yoga and meditation sessions, musical acts, speakers, artists, health-conscious food, and so much more. The event helps those who want to unite their bodies, minds, and souls in order to achieve Wanderlust’s mission of finding your truth north. Tickets will be available on February 9.
Hate big crowds and long porta-potty lines? Grand Weekend’s got your back. Billing itself as “a genuinely civilized festival for grownups,” Grand Weekend will offer festival-goers three days of sophisticated experiences including test driving new cars, musical performances, a delicious food and wine festival, massages, and more. Attendees can choose between staying somewhere locally in a hotel or partaking in luxury “glamping.” Reminder: kids aren’t allowed, so start looking for a sitter now!
Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Cavendish Beach Events Centre
Country music lovers can get down to more than 30 country music acts at Cavendish Beach Music Festival, now in its eighth year. With headliners like The Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, and Old Dominion set to take the stage for more than 70,000 attendees, the coastal community of Cavendish, Prince Edward Island is where the ultimate country beach party is going down. In addition to the A-list talent, Cavendish will offer even more ways to keep the fun going for three days straight with songwriting circles, sampling sessions, food demos, and restaurant-style dining all included in the experience.
ORO M’EDONTE, ON
Burl’s Creek Event Grounds
If last year’s attendance of 35,000 people in its inaugural year is any indication, Wayhome is an out-of-this-world experience for fans of just about everything. With a focus on food, art, film, and especially music, Wayhome attracted the biggest names in its first year—with Neil Young, Sam Smith, and Kendrick Lamar all on the bill. This year’s lineup and ticket prices haven’t been announced yet, but they will be coming soon.
Boots and Hearts
ORO M’EDONTE, ON
Burl’s Creek Event Grounds
Country music will once again be taking over Burl’s Creek Event Grounds for the first weekend of August, with all of the genre’s main acts on the bill. We’re talking Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Chase Rice, Tim Mcgraw, Emerson Drive, and that’s just the beginning. The four-day country music and camping festival, which was inspired by Bonnaroo, will be celebrating its five-year anniversary, and is expected to be one of the biggest festivals of 2016.
August 2016, Date TBA
Commodore Barry Park
Afropunk is credited as one of NYC’s ultimate summer bashes—with music, food, and art coming together for what the New York Times has called “the most multicultural festival in the U.S.” Last year’s rendition featured performances from artists like Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, Gary Clark Jr., Kele, and so many more. And with more than 25 food trucks on-site for The Bites&Beats Food Fest, no attendees went hungry. Exact dates and a lineup will be out later this year, so keep those eyes peeled.
Full Moon Music Festival
August 2016, Date TBA
The Brooklyn Mirage
Now entering its sixth year, Full Moon Festival was inspired by beach parties celebrating the full moon on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand, which started in 1985. To pay tribute to the original celebration but with a distinctly New York vibe, Full Moon Fest takes place at the Brooklyn Mirage and features international bands and DJs. Last year’s biggies were Yelle and MOTHXR, so chances are, 2016 is gonna rule too! Lineup and ticket info is on the way.
BeachGlow Music Festival
JERSEY SHORE, NJ
Summer 2016, Date TBA
Believe it or not, BeachGlow’s roots started four years ago when 16-year-old DJ named Dane Kunkel hosted a concert in a high school gym, raising $17,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti. Now, the family-run festival is bigger than anyone could’ve ever imagined with 10 EDM acts, a light show, a food court, beer garden, body painting, dunk tank, beach vollemyball, cornhole, and more. Best part is, all proceeds from BeachGlow benefit Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that supports music programs for Philadelphia schools in need.
BangOn! Presents: Elements Outdoor Music & Arts Festival
Summer 2016, Date TBA
BangOn!NYC is no stranger to throwing insane parties in NYC. A kind of mash-up between Berlin, Burning Man, and Bushwick art scenes, this four-stage fest is their biggest of the year. Sure to have a killer lineup, you can also expect large-scale themed art installations, aerial and circus performances, food trucks, and a spectacular (and secret!) Brooklyn location.
Summer 2016 – Date TBA
90s Fest is going to be totally tubular once again this year. Last year, 90s Fest featured nine hours of music performance from top 90s talent, such as Coolio, Lisa Loeb, Smash Mouth, Tonic, and more. There were also plenty of fun 90s throwbacks, like a Nintendo Mario Kart tournament, and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest “Macarena” dance ever. Wearing track suits and donning side ponytails, most attendees sported their best 90s gear, and just for the day, Brooklyn partied like it was 1999. This year’s lineup and location details will be announced later in the year.
World Maker Faire
The perfect way to enjoy autumn in New York City! This science-meets-county fair is an all-ages festival for tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, and more. Between the life-sized version of Mousetrap, robo-cupcake-mobiles, and music made with Tesla coils, this is a creative’s paradise.
Fall 2016, Date TBA
Taste Talks offers three mouth-watering days of food events packed with flavor. All-access passes hook attendees up with entry to everything the weekend has to offer, like the All-Star BBQ curated by Questlove, the Chicken and Waffles Brunch, and the Mother of Pearl dinner. It’s possible to save money and still reap the benefits that Taste Talks has to offer, since admission to the Future Food Expo that takes place each day is free!
West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
Bassnectar, Skrillex, Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, and Robert Plant are just a few of the top-tier musical artists headlining this huge, first-annual fest in Florida’s big, beautiful backyard. Head out to Okeechobee for oversized art, music, yoga, creativity, and tons of fest-focused adventure (camping, anyone?) to appeal to your inner explorer.
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL
Aaron Bessant Park
Imagine Country singers in the sand, tons of banjos, and bikinis all around; that’s Spring Jam. This vacation-destination is the best place to catch some waves and bask in the amplified sounds of the region’s best performers including Chris Young, Rascal Flatts, Thomas Rhett, and many more.
SweetWater 420 Fest
Centennial Olympic Park
That’s 420 as in Earth Day (April 20), guys. Hosted by SweetWater Brewing Company, this three-day-long, sustainability-centered festival is known for being one of Atlanta’s most anticipated events. Featuring live music, stand-up comedy, local artist market, non-profit village, food trucks, and of course: tons of craft brews, there’s no shortage of fun ways to celebrate our planet this spring in Centennial Olympic Park.
Orlando Music Festival: Moonstone
April 30-May 1
Central Florida Fairgrounds
Prone to playing air guitar or can’t help belting your fave power ballads? This is definitely your fest. Join throngs of festival-goers for the boldest musical experience of the Southeast. Moonstone is bringing KISS, Def Leppard, Kansas, the Flaming Lips, and other killer rock ‘n’ roll gods to its stage for a weekend of everything loud and live.
Inventors like Thomas Edison or Benji Franklin are usually touted as the most important innovators of the last century, but if you’re obsessed with music, Dr. Robert Moog is king. What’s the perfect way to praise the sultan of synth? With a festival, of course. Say hello to four days with Gary Numan, Blood Orange, GZA, and many more Moog-fueled acts. This meeting-of-the-Moogs is where lovers of this iconic tool share tips, tricks, and new ways to play.
Doheny Blues Festival
DANA POINT, CA
Doheny State Beach
This sunny fest takes place on 62 acres of palm-tree-lined park. If the venue isn’t enough to celebrate, Dohoney’s 2015 festival featured the Beyonce of blues, Mrs. Bonnie Raitt. Keep an eye out for another killer lineup this year. Bring a blanket or your lawn chair and expect a weekend of chill.
Abbey Road on the River
Flock with fellow Beatles fans to the Ohio river in Louisville, Kentucky this May. This can’t-miss Beatles fest is loaded with tribute bands, Beatles records, and live performances of the whole Beatles discography—by the fans, for the fans!
Delve into a world of beefy guitar riffs and bass that kills with some of the best Death Metal, Black Metal, and Doom music at Deathfest. Just try to remember your earplugs when heading out to this global gathering of extreme metal fans—it’s going to be a loud three days.
Allegany County Fairgrounds
At Delfest, you’ll find strings, more strings, and just about everything else a true Bluegrass fan could want in a music festival. Founded by Del McCoury, the Bluegrass icon, the three-day celebration boasts a pretty robust stage schedule including performances from his band, side bands, his very best banjo-wielding buddies, and finest fiddle-fingering friends.
Disco Donnie Presents: Sunset Music Festival
Raymond James Stadium
This fifth installment of one of the largest music fests in Florida is guaranteed to bring endless fun until sunset and beyond. Headliners in the EDM scene litter the lineup, so prepare for some seriously big music acts. Flosstradamus, anyone?
One Magical Weekend
Walt Disney World® Resorts
Just in case you need another reason to celebrate everything LGBT, there’s One Magical Weekend! This Disney-fueled, park-spanning fête of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender adventurers has about a billion treats lining its party path, from poolside raging to dance-heavy DJ sets, plus all the magic one would expect inside the Disney Kingdom.
Carolina Country Music Festival
MYRTLE BEACH, SC
Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, and 30 more amazing country artists will be hitching themselves to Myrtle Beach’s coastline for a weekend of the sweetest Country performances in the Carolinas. This country music fest is bound to be one of the best in the Southeast, so get ready for some serious 2-stepping on the shores.
Red Wing Roots Music Festival
MT SOLON, VA
Natural Chimneys Park
Camping, biking, spectacular outdoor adventures, plus tons of live Roots music—Red Wing’s got this. Back for its fourth year, this family-friendly fest offers its attendees a full stage schedule featuring some of the best musical talents in the South, plus delicious food and a great view.
Imagine Music Festival
Historic Fourth Ward Park & Masquerade Music Park
One of the southeast’s hottest EDM festivals, Imagine boasts a carnival-like atmosphere, beautiful installations, and strong after-party culture. Known for its high-production quality, playful vibes, and diverse lineup, previous acts include Infected Mushroom, Beats Antique, Rusko, RJD2, and Shwayze. Pro tip: don’t miss the more laid-back Imaginarium, where attendees have a chance to share knowledge, experience art, and even get in a yoga or meditation practice.
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL
Frank Brown Park
The Southeast is still very much the South, and Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam’s amazing Country lineup is here to prove it. Previous headliners have included Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith, and even Carrie Underwood, so you can guarantee this year’s fest schedule will be a definite crowd-pleaser. Get to the gulf, all you twang-enthusiasts and ballad-lovers!
The Festy Experience
DEVIL’S BACKBONE, VA
Fall 2016, Date TBA
Devils Backbone Basecamp
You’ve probably been to a festival or even a couple “fests,” but the Festy Experience is something entirely different. Try giving this gathering your full attention. Why? Because it’s got multi-instrumentalists, the finest players in Bluegrass, Jazz, Folk, Acoustic, and well, you’ll need to attend Festy to experience the resty.
All Things Go Fall Classic
Fall 2016, Date TBA
Delicious local eats meet the best producers and electronic artists in D.C. at All Things Go. This all-day festival has featured artists like Kygo, The Knocks, Penguin Prison, and other buzz-worthy performers in previous years. Prepare for a festive Fall season starting with this can’t-miss event at Union Market.
Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota
The Number Festival
The Venue of Athens
Billing itself as “the Nation’s Premier College Music Festival Experience,” and now in its 14th year, #14FEST is going bigger and better than ever with on-site camping available for the first time. Located right outside of The Venue, attendees will be able to camp the night before and the night of the festival. This year’s headliner will be one of rap’s biggest names of the year, Fetty Wap, with more artist announcements coming in the weeks ahead.
Dark Star Jubilee
Get your fill of the Grateful Dead, thanks to Dark Star Orchestra at the fifth Annual Dark Star Jubilee taking place over Memorial Day Weekend at Thornville, Ohio’s Legend Valley, where the Dead themselves have played six times before. The three-day festival includes over 25 bands with Dark Star Orchestra headlining each night with a two-set performance. Additional artists have yet to be named, but the info will be released soon.
Common Ground Music Festival
Adado Riverfront Park
Common Ground Music Festival offers up a weeklong music experience in downtown Lansing with the biggest names in the biz. Although the lineup hasn’t been announced just yet, we do know that past activities (including a fun run, hammock hangout, and the world’s tallest and longest mobile zipline which spans 32 feet in the air and 350 feet across the Grand River) make this fest one of summer’s hottest and most anticipated events in the area.
Werk Out Music & Arts Festival
The The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival is returning for a seventh year and promises to step up the Midwest music festival game with focuses on both the jam and electronica scenes. The fan-oriented vibe that includes artisans, vendors, and performance artists, will continue at Legend Valley, located 25 miles east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. A lineup is expected to be released in the near future, so keep those eyes peeled for deets!
EAU CLAIRE, WI
Now entering its second year, music and camping festival Eaux Claires (that’s pronounced AW-CLARE, FYI) is expected to wow festival goers all over again in 2016. Spearheaded by Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon and located in his hometown, Eaux Claires has earned fans’ love and respect with its independent festival vibe with big name indie artists such as Bon Iver, Spoon, Sylvan Esso, and The National. The artist lineup for 2016 is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Northwoods Music Festival
Summer 2016, Date TBA
Now in its second year, Northwoods festival brings big country music acts to the small historic town of Minog, Wisconsin. By small, we mean less than 1,000 residents. So, if you’re looking for that relaxing-in-the-wood experience, plus local eats, a classic car show, and family-friendly games and activities, stay tuned for this year’s lineup announcement.
Hyperion Music & Arts Festival
Hyperion Music & Arts Festival is kicking off Labor Day weekend at Stable Studios in Spencer, IN, which is just an hour from Indianapolis. The fest features bands, DJs, visual artists, lights, and performers that all help to give Hyperion its ethereal aura. In keeping with its “homegrown” theme, event organizers ask that attendees create a piece of artwork to bring along to display at the festival to give it a true community vibe.
Country Night Lights
The Venue of Athens
Country Night Lights is set to make its return to The Venue Of Athens in Athens, OH on the first official weekend of fall. The festival has now expanded to two days, along with also offering two-night camping on-site. Last year’s fest featured country’s best and brightest like Sam Hunt and Easton Corbin, so if that’s saying anything about what’s to come for this year, it’s looking good. Lineup announcements are expected to be released soon.
September 2016, Date TBA
This multi-day festival, named after the Slowdive album Pygmalion, takes place in a number of different venues all over Champaign-Urbana, home to the University of Illinois. Featuring hundreds of artists from around the world across multiple stages similar to the format of SXSW and CMJ, Pygmalion showcases big names and up-and-comers alike. Last year’s top talent included Run The Jewels, Zola Jesus, and Purity Ring. Festival organizers also introduced a tech portion to the festival, with panelists and demonstrations hashing out the latest industry trends. The official date and lineup has yet to be announced, but all good things take time, folks!
More than 150 restaurants and chefs from all over the globe will return to downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park for a delicious weekend of food and wine at Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet. Thousands of people will be able to see demonstrations and visit countless food exhibits to try some of the best cuisine in the world. Think: heaven for foodies.
Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona
Disco Donnie Presents: Ultimate Music Experience
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX
Electronic music festivals by the sea are pretty rare, unless you know about UME. This incredible fest takes place on the tropical island of South Padre and offers concert-goers phenomenal sounds, sun, fun, and those sweet festival party vibes for miles. Do spring break right with Kaskade, Porter Robinson, and many more on this killer lineup.
The Back Porch of Texas
There’s a right way and a wrong way to celebrate Texas Independence Day. If you’re not here, you’re doing it wrong. Enjoy four epic days of country, americana, and folk as sounds soak the stage at this guitar picking and banjo plucking dream-come-true. Ready your tailgate, RV, or dancing shoes for an extra long weekend of the best music stars in the South.
Carson Creek Ranch
Celebrate Euphoria’s fifth year of fantastic electronic and chillwave sounds with the only fest in Texas made for groovin’ and movin’. Camp next to your fellow festival friends, grab a drink, and gorge on brilliant beats with the stunning Colorado River as your backdrop. This year’s lineup features Bassnectar, Dillon Francis, STS9, and more.
Old Settler’s Music Festival
Salt Lick BBQ Pavilion & Camp Ben McCulloch
Folk gods and americana rock stars have both graced the stage at past years of Old Settler’s Music Festival, and this year’s no different. From folky indie acts like the Dustbowl Revival, to legends like Lonesome River Band, Old Settler’s Music Festival offers good times, campgrounds, and an awesome weekend this April—right in the heart of Austin, TX.
Austin Reggae Festival
Ready your dub-lovin’ ears for the Austin Reggae Festival. This comprehensive fest offers any ska, dub, roots, and reggaeton fan a chance to catch some of the top talents in the genre. Rasta la Vista, baby!
Disco Donnie Presents: Something Wonderful
Texas Motor Speedway
Lights, magic, dancing and everything whimsical are on the lineup for Something Wonderful. This beautiful celebration of sights and sounds gathers this year at the Texas Motor Speedway for one of the largest parties of the season. It’s definitely going to be something quite wonderful.
September 29-Oct 2
Four Sisters Ranch
Ditch the long lines, oppressive crowds, and cramped campgrounds at most festivals for a perfect experience at UTOPIAfest. This capped-audience fest is built around amazing music, delicious food, great drinks, and a spectacular view. Think quality, not quantity…and add music!
October 2016, Date TBA
If rubbing elbows with celebrities at Burning Man just isn’t your thing, maybe the communal creativity that’s ever-flowing at Art Outside is. If you’re an artist, musician, or dream-maker, gather at this fab fest to experience an immersive world birthed from your own hands and the many hands around you.
Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii
LA Art Show
LOS ANGELES, CA
L.A. Convention Center
In its 21st year, the LA Art Show is one of the world’s largest and longest-running events of its kind. The 150,000 square-foot art faire brings together galleries, artists, curators, and collectors over the course of five days. This year’s 120 carefully-curated exhibits will feature modern and contemporary art from 22 countries! Consider attending the Opening Night Premiere Party for an exclusive first look at the exhibits, live music, food, cocktails, private auctions, and more. All for a good cause, Premiere Party ticket proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
WinterWonderGrass Music & Brew Fest: Colorado
Harry A. Nottingham Park
Chill out at WinterWonderGrass, Colorado, with the folks who love craft beer as much as they love live tunes. With the Rocky Mountains as backdrop, bundle up and enjoy the lively sounds of bluegrass and acoustic roots music with a lineup featuring Greensky Bluegrass, The Wood Brothers, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Fruition, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and more. All festival passes include 3-hours of daily Colorado brew samplings (for those of age). With a VIP upgrade, wine and spirit tastings, fire pits, and a heated side stage viewing tent are thrown in. There’s even an option to purchase a combo pass for both the Colorado and California festivals, for those who aren’t quite ready to head back to reality.
Turtle Bay Resort
Doesn’t get much more Zen than a yoga and meditation retreat with the Island of O’ahu as the backdrop. The ultimate celebration of mindful living, Wanderlust brings together yoga and meditation instructors, musical performers, speakers and lecture series, artists, sustainable chefs, and outdoor activities in what must be the ultimate four-day retreat. Explore Hawaii’s stunning natural landscape with a daily lineup of kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding, horseback riding, and more. Let loose with performances from MC Yogi, Citizen Cope, Trevor Hall, and Elijah Ray. And of course, there’s always the option to strike a Warrior pose atop a 6,000-foot mountain.
Bacon & Beer Classic
Santa Clara, CA
The Bacon and Beer Classic will offer foodies and football fans alike the opportunity to explore Levi’s® Stadium while indulging in delicious suds and grub. Over 20 local restaurants will provide mouth-watering bacon dishes and 50 regional breweries will offer refreshing craft beer throughout the concourse and field. Guests can also try their hand at giant Jenga, battle it out on the bungee run, compete in a bacon eating contest and more. The boozy, bacon-filled fun has drawn sold-out crowds in over eight cities!
COSTA MESA, CA
OC Fair & Events Center
The 9th annual MUSINK, presented by Travis Barker, is set for March 4, 5 and 6 at the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa, CA. The three-day tattoo convention, car show, and concert will host over 300 world-renowned tattoo artists and a killer music lineup. Tickets go on sale January 22, 2016.
MOUNTAIN CENTER, CA
Lake Hemet Campground
Summon in the first days of spring at Serenity Gathering (Burning Man vibe). This year’s festival is in celebration of Spring Equinox, “where night and day, dark and light, are at perfect balance… representing the balance we all have inside of us.” Expect music in the electronica and experimental range with a lineup including Emancipator, ill.Gates, Phutureprimitive, Thriftworks, Big Wild, and more. Tickets include car camping, allowing complete immersion into the experience.
Treefort Music Fest
Well-known and independent emerging artists from around the world converge at Treefort Music Fest. Beautiful tree-surrounded Downtown Boise becomes the hub for these artists in a 5-day mega festival. Think SXSW, but more manageable. Wristbands include access to the festival’s “forts”: AleFort, ComedyFort, FilmFort, FoodFort, HackFort, KidFort, PerformanceFort, StoryFort, and YogaFort. Not to mention access to a crazy good musical acts like: Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Thee Oh Sees, Chelsea Wolfe, Youth Lagoon, Aesop Rock, Hinds, and even more still to be announced.
WinterWonderGrass Music & Brew Fest: California
LAKE TAHOE, CA
With the Sierras as the event’s backdrop, bundle up and enjoy the lively sounds of bluegrass and acoustic roots music with a lineup featuring Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Les Claypool Duo De Twang, Elephant Revival, Brothers Comatose, and more. Take advantage of all the fresh powder courtesy of El Niño, by purchasing a “Music & Mountain” pass that includes a 3-day slope pass for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. All festival passes include 3-hours of daily California brew samplings (for those of age). With a VIP upgrade, wine and spirit tastings, fire pits, and a heated side stage viewing tent get thrown in, too. There’s even an option to purchase a combo pass for both the California and Colorado festival, for those who aren’t quite ready to head back to reality.
SANTA BARBARA, CA
Live Oak Campground
Based off lucid dreaming, where in that moment anything is possible, comes Lucidity Festival, an open-source transformational arts and musical festival created hand-in-hand with the attendees. Featuring seven themed villages, festival attendees choose their journey throughout the weekend whether it be by creating art, leading a workshop, partaking in a spontaneous flash mob, learning martial arts, attending a panel discussion, grooving at a silent disco, or other endless possibilities.
White Party Palm Springs
PALM SPRINGS, CA
Regarded by some as the largest gay dance music festival in the nation, White Party Palm Springs attracts more than 30,000 attendees from around the world each year. Stacked with wild events and DJs from every end of the globe (including Offer Nissim), this years event features a Wet n Wild Water Park party, a 10-hour “military ball” DP, the worlds largest sunset tea party featuring a carousel and special celebrity performers (Ariana Grande performed at the festival in the past), and much more. Purchase individual event tickets, or take care of everything at once with a weekend pass.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
April 29 – May 1
Moapa River Indian Reservation
A community of dreamers and doers in the desert just outside Las Vegas, founded by the crew behind Burning Man’s Robot Heart. Further Future aims to establish a modern means of social movement and cultural change by bringing together like minded individuals through exceptional music and art, alongside inspiring thought leaders in the areas of science, entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. The 2016 lineup includes: Nicolas Jaar, Four Tet, Lee Burridge, Leftfield, Easy Star All-Stars, Kid Koala, DJ Tennis, and many, many more.
San Francisco Oysterfest
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
The largest oyster festival on the west coast, this festival has attracted over 250,000 attendees to-date. While the musical lineup hasn’t been announced yet, past performers at this fest have included Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, DEVO, Classixx, Thievery Corporation, Warren G, and more. But the true headliner of this fest are the oysters—BBQ’d, raw… they have it all. Snag early bird tickets now. Ticket prices will increase once the headliners are announced.
Tiburon Wine Festival
Point Tiburon Plaza
With beautiful views of San Francisco and the Bay, it’s no wonder the Tiburon Wine Festival is one of the most anticipated wine events in the Bay Area. In one afternoon, attendees can taste 60 of the finest local wines paired alongside 20 of the areas most popular eateries. Live music, silent auctions, and one-of-a-kind experiences await.
Maker Faire Bay Area
SAN MATEO, CA
A celebration of the Maker Movement, this family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness is a can’t-miss for tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, and the like. Play with sweet creations like a life-size mousetrap game, robots, rockets, and more–or just DIY all day long.
Lightning in a Bottle
San Antonio Recreation Area
Lightning in a Bottle is a unique festival with a culture that blends music, art, wellness, and sustainability. While the 2016 lineup has yet to be released, last years included: Flume, SBTRKT, Odesza, RL Grime, Tycho, John Digweed, AlunaGeorge, Snakehips, and more. Festival tickets include walk-in tent camping, but there are options to upgrade to car, RV camping, or pre-made boutique tent camping with private restrooms/showers, and more. Check out the 2015 LIB video for a glimpse of what’s in store.
Sacramento Music Festival
This festival kicks off with a colorful parade for all ages along the streets of Old Sacramento. Having evolved from being the “Jazz Jubilee,” the Sacramento Music Festival now features soulful and rockin’ blues, swing and western swing, cajun and zydeco, bluegrass, New Orleans second line, marching bands, ragtime, big bands, and of course, jazz. Full weekend or single day passes are available for purchase at an early bird discount.
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa Valley Expo
With what may be the festival’s most insane lineup yet, over 70 artists will take to the four stages for this years event including: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Florence + The Machine, The Lumineers, Death Cab For Cutie, Lenny Kravitz, Ziggy Marley, Walk the Moon, and more. Special to the wine country based festival is the BottleRock Culinary Stage featuring Master Sommeliers, celebrity chefs and dozens of the region’s finest vintners, restaurateurs, and brewers rub shoulders with guests in an intimate setting. Consider roundtrip shuttle tickets, which bring you to and from the festival from major cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose.
California Roots Music & Arts Festival
Good vibes only at California’s best reggae festival. While names of performers are still rolling out, so far the lineup is stacked with headliners Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Atmosphere, Stephen Marley, The Expendables, and more. Live art installments, vegan and vegetarian eats (meat too), and Sierra Nevada brews aplenty. California Roots Festival also partners with Laguna Seca to provide offsite camping for our festival goers.
Santa Cruz American Music Festival
Aptos Village Park
Located near beautiful Monterey Bay, in a grass meadow surrounded by oaks and redwoods, this two-day festival features good ol’ traditional American music from a variety of genres. The lineup is currently being unveiled, but so far Buddy Guy, Carolyn Wonderland, and Indigenous are scheduled to appear. This festival includes an option to purchase seats in front of the stage that include drink service. Meet-and-greets with artists at their merchandise booths are also another bonus to this festival.
Boulder High Great Lawn
Relax, rejuvenate, and connect at the foot of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Hanuman Festival is committed to giving back to local and global causes. The festival is centered around community-driven yoga, where a diverse audience has the opportunity to see the practice’s positive impact on individuals, the community, and the world. Practice with some of the best yoga instructors in the country, learn something new with inspirational talks, and enjoy an exciting lineup of musicians. VIP packages include a stay at a Colorado hotel and spa as well as a private dinner with the festival speakers.
What the Festival
Wolf Run Ranch
Described as “summer camp for adults” and “the millennial generation’s Woodstock,” What the Festival is quickly becoming one of the most popular music festivals on the west coast. Camp in the Oregon forest, or, if glamping is more your style, let the festival set you up in their boutique camp. Attendees are encouraged to bring a swimsuit for the Splash Pool Party that happens each day in the world’s largest temporary wading pool. A hookah lounge, enchanted forest, acoustic tent, silent disco, workshops, cinema, and spa are just other ways attendees can keep busy throughout the weekend. Although the 2016 lineup hasn’t been released yet, past festivals have seen the likes of: A-Trak, RL Grime, Odesza, Big Gigantic, Washed Out, Purity Ring, Flosstradamus, and more.
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival
Mendocino County Fairgrounds
Three days of Roots, Reggae, and World Music alongside arts & crafts, fantastic food, dance performances, and workshops. SNWMF constantly features a diverse lineup with past acts including: Jimmy Cliff, Thievery Corporation, Steel Pulse, Luciano, Third World, Melbourne SKA Orchestra, and a weekend’s worth more. This family-friendly festival (12 and under are free) features tons of activities in the kid zone including: face paint, rhythm and drum workshops, a bounce house, yoga, and storytelling. Camping passes will be available for purchase February 1st.
Kate Wolf Music Festival
Black Oak Ranch
Just three hours north of San Francisco and two hours south of Arcata, Kate Wolf Music Festival sits on a 150 acre ranch. What’s in store? Four stages of music with artists including: Harry Belafonte, Trampled By Turtles, The Head and The Heart, The Wood Brothers, and Eric Bibb. Also, workshops, a kids zone, dedicated music jamming area, an International food court, “Hobo Jungle” campfire sing by the creek, yoga, Tai-Chi, and more. Festival ticket includes camping on the ranch.
Wanderlust Aspen Snowmass
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO
June 30-July 3
Celebrate mindful living and adventure at Wanderlust. This meditative and exploratory fest in the heart of nature gives festival-goers access to yoga classes, seminars, hikes, fun runs, and live music. Past performers at Wanderlust include Moby, Spoon, Andrew Bird, and other noteworthy artists, so expect the best for 2016.
High Sierra Music Festival
June 30-July 3
Plumas County Fairgrounds
Past lineups have featured incredible artists including Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers, ALO, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Bombino, and The California Honey Drops. For those who are looking for an excuse to break out the costumes on days besides Halloween, this festival features theme days from Stars & Stripes to 60’s Sunday, that attendees are encouraged (but not required) to participate in. Fun for the whole family, the High Sierra Music Festival features a colorful parade, magic foam tub, movement classes, family specific stage, sing along hut, art house, and more. Perhaps the best news yet, the fairgrounds have permanent restrooms and showers. Phew.
Anime Expo Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA
The Los Angeles Convention Center
North America’s largest anime convention, this gathering brings together industry and fans of Japanese pop culture for a four-day festival featuring guest panels, gaming, concerts, screenings, and of course: cosplay. In addition to its size, this event boasts an impressive lineup of special guests from all around the globe.
5th Annual Island Reggae Festival
SAN JOSE, CA
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Having outgrown the Redwood Amphitheater at California’s Great America, the Island Reggae Festival will now be held at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. This one-day event features live music and entertainment in celebration of the Island Reggae culture and lifestyle. More than world-class live music, the 5th annual event will feature Island food; arts & crafts vendors; an interactive museum; Island dance competition; lei making, wood carving, and basket weaving demonstrations; tattoo showcase with Polynesian tattoo artists from around the world; car, motorcycle, and bike showcase; rugby tournament, carnival rides for all ages, and fireworks to cap off the night.
5th Annual Ride Festival
Telluride Town Park
For those who just really love some good ol’ Rock ‘n Roll, the Ride Festival brings world class acts to beautiful Telluride, dubbed the most beautiful mountain town in the US. On the first night, attendees can hitch a ride on the free gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village for the festival kick off event, a free outdoor sunset concert. Ride Festival uses multiple venues throughout Telluride (all within manageable distance) to host some of the smaller named acts. The main festival stage however has seen the likes of David Byrne, Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Jonny Lang, Cake, Spoon, Los Lobos, and more in the past.
Northern Nights Music Festival
Cooks Valley Campground
Spanning the course of three-days along the Eel River, Northern Nights Music Festival is a celebration of music, art, food, and local culture. Founded on passionate support for emerging underground music industries, and featuring sought out producers & DJs from regions around the globe. “A truly Californian experience,” the festival features local and global arts & crafts, a collection of regional craft brews & wines, a mindful space for yoga and meditation, organic food offerings, and local nonprofit vendors. Patrons spend their days basking in the sun and tubing along the river, and nights at crazy live shows. Last years fest hosted acts like: Black Star (Talib Kweli & Mos Def), The Polish Ambassador & Friends, Gold Panda, Rüfüs Du Sol, and Goldfish.
Black Oak Ranch
Enchanted Forest Gathering continues the tradition of blurring the lines between reality and make-believe, stretching beyond what people have come to expect from the festival culture. A new way of conscious community gathering, attendees celebrate culture through dance, art, nature, and the human spirit. The festival features an international lineup of top producers and DJs, visionary artists, and the “Healing Sanctuary of Squish.” Past performers have included Papadosio, Koan Sound, Chali 2na & The House of Vibe, Liquid Stranger, OTT, Vaski, Phutureprimitive, MC Yogi, and more.
Reggae on the Mountain
Topanga Community Club
LA’s premier reggae festival is Reggae on the Mountain. Festival goers will soak up LA’s infamous rays as they enjoy over 30 food and craft vendors in addition to the beer and wine garden situated in beautiful Topanga Canyon. While they’re still wrapping up this years lineup, past performers have included: Julian Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Black Uhuru, Alborosie, Don Carlos, Anthony B, Easy Star All Stars, John Brown’s Body, Rootz Underground, Wailing Souls, and more. “Early Lion” tickets are on sale NOW!
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Christmas Hill Park
Noses will lead the way to the “Garlic Capital of the World,” where visitors will find live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, cooking competitions, wine-tasting, arts & crafts vendors, kids zones, and of course, Gourmet Alley—the gigantic outdoor kitchen where the world-famous “Pyro Chefs” put on a spectacular flame-up show, while preparing garlic-laced calamari and scampi in huge iron skillets. The free “only-in-Gilroy” garlic ice cream is a must taste for everyone. Full disclosure: this may not be the best place to nab a first-date kiss.
Reggae on the River
HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CA
The longest running reggae festival in the US, Reggae on the River will be celebrating its 32nd year of bringing internationally acclaimed world music to Humboldt County. A fundraiser for many charities, music fans come from around the globe to share in a weekend of camping, community, and higher vibrations on the scenic banks of the Eel River. Discount three-day and four-day tickets are on sale now.
ARISE Music Festival
ARISE Music Festival brings everyone together for a musically diverse, weekend long festival-wonderland experience. Festival attendees will enjoy 5 stages of live music where past performers have included: Nahko and Medicine for the People, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Beats Antique, Galactic, Xavier Rudd, Emancipator Ensemble, The Polish Ambassador, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Yoga, workshops, theme camps, art gallery & installations, children’s village, speakers, films, and camping on 100 beautiful mountain valley acres in Colorado can also be expected. Consider splurging on VIP tickets to enhance your experience with pool and hot tub access, backstage access with happy hour, VIP viewing area, a hospitality lounge, and more.
The 40th Telluride Jazz Festival
Telluride Town Park
This intimate festival focuses on bringing internationally acclaimed artists in Jazz, Funk, Soul, Latin, World Beat and Brass Bands each year to a scenic box canyon in the San Juan Mountains. Last year, the festival hosted Ernie Watts, The M&Ms, Maceo Parker, Bill Frisell Trio, Joey Defrancesco, The Soul Rebels, and too many others to name. Food vendors and microbrews on tap keep guests satisfied, while additional free wine and spirit tastings from local vineyards and distilleries provide a sample of Colorado’s renowned craftsmanship. At night the music moves from Telluride Town Park into historic indoor music venues within walking distance, where special Jazz After Dark late-night performances often present memorable collaborations and up-close viewing of the artists.
Beloved Music Festival
A four-day camping, art, music, spiritual festival along the Oregon coast. Attendees venture from all over to celebrate the many and diverse paths to ecstatic union exemplified by the Global Electronic Dance community, Sufism, and Bhakti-Yoga. The festival boasts only a single stage for musical, ceremonial, performative, and educational content. The Temple Meadow focuses on non-denominational guidance in prayer and mediation; and the health and well-being area features saunas, massages, and bodywork offerings. Beloved Music Festival aims to engage the hearts and minds of those present in the finding of the beloved in each other; and to make that appreciation tangible on earth.
San Francisco Comic Con
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
San Francisco Comic Con was created entirely by folks with a true love for comic books, stories, artwork, and pop-culture. Featuring exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests including: comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga, cosplay, artwork, sketches and apparel. Additionally, a roster of comic industry professionals and related celebrities are in attendance for memorable meet and greets. Children 12 and under are admitted free, helping to instill the San Francisco Comic Con as the premier family-friendly comic convention in the region.
September 2016, Date TBA
The Bridge District
What started as a one-day art party has evolved into a three-day festival drawing some of the biggest names in the game. Hosted on the river in West Sacramento, TBD is a showcase for all things creative: artists, boutiques, chefs, craft beer, craft cocktails, wine, and more. Noteable performers from last year’s festival include: Tyler the Creator, RL Grime, The Glitch Mob, Purity Ring, Toro y Moi, Pretty Lights, Porter Robinson, Chance the Rapper, Chromeo, Tears for Fears, Holy Ghost!, and more. Perfect for the whole crew, receive a “Wolf Pack” discount when you buy 3 or more tickets.
Bay Area Vibez
Fall 2016, Date TBA
It’s good vibes only at Bay Area Vibez in Oakland. Last year’s fest lineup included not one, but two Marleys (score!) Also, Nas, Bassnectar, as well as Aloe Blacc, and more. The 2016 venue and lineup are still TBA, but this is one festival to be sure to add to your Bay Area agenda.
Fall 2016, Date TBA
Hosted in various venues throughout the Capitol Hill and Downtown neighborhoods, Decibel Festival revolves primarily around electronic music and digital visual art. Past lineups have featured an exciting array of artists working in techno, house, hiphop, ambient, footwork, R&B and more including: Amon Tobin ISAM LIVE, Moby, Autechre, Deadmau5, Flying Lotus, Diplo, Geographer, Boys Noize, Green Velvet, Ladytron, Robin Guthrie, DJ Krush, Four Tet, and James Blake. Festival goers can purchase full five-day showcase/conference packed passes, or select individual shows and events to attend.
OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
Fall 2016, Date TBA
A word everyone loves… unlimited! That’s right, this festival features unlimited tastings of over 200 craft and import beers from nearly 90 top breweries. Off-duty firefighters serve you in your commemorative festival glass with a portion of the event proceeds going to the Fallen Fire Fighters Relief Fund. Attendees can also expect craft beer seminars hosted by experts in the field, special guest speakers, a cigar lounge hosted by cigar-and-beer pairing experts, live entertainment, and more!
Sonoma Music Festival
October 2016, Date TBA
Field of Dreams, Downtown Sonoma
Last years festival saw a stellar lineup with headliners Chicago, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, and The Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald. So surely this year won’t disappoint. Surrounded by vineyards in beautiful wine country, the wine will be flowing (beer too). Even better, the entire festival is a fundraiser for disadvantaged children and United States military veterans.
Header Image Credit: Nam-Chi Van