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8 California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015

California music festivalsWritten by Josh Herwitt, Molly Kish & Nik Crossman //

Believe it or not, we’re already halfway through 2015. If you live in California and haven’t been to a music festival yet this year, don’t worry — you’re still in luck. Yes, Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle have come and gone, but summer is here and there are a number of music festivals in The Golden State that are quickly approaching. Here are eight that each offer their own unique experience and are sure to deliver before the calendar turns to 2016.


2015 Northern Nights lineup

Northern Nights Music Festival
Location: Piercy, CA
Dates: July 17-19
Tickets: Buy them here!

Donning “A Greener Festival Award” for their 2014 presence, the three-day Northern Nights continues to prove itself to be one of the most sustainable, community-driven festivals in its third year. The electric lineup promises to set trends, debuting a wide variety of talent sure to appeal to many tastes. Beyond the music, NNMF sets itself apart with unique “floating stages” and engaging activities, including art installations, yoga, DIY and dream-decoding workshops, comedy and more, encouraging all festivalgoers to apply and contribute to the events. Festivals must deliver an experience beyond the music to stay relevant, and NNMF’s dedication to sustainability and community involvement demonstrates an understanding of this paradigm shift. -NC


2015 HARD Summer lineup

HARD Summer
Location: Pomona, CA
Dates: August 1-2
Tickets: Buy them here!

HARD founder and CEO Gary Richards has toed the line between the EDM and mainstream music worlds over the past few years, starting in 2012 when bands like Bloc Party and Miike Snow were featured on the lineup. This year’s bill continues along that trend with alt-R&B artist The Weeknd serving as one of the festival’s two headliners alongside several other non-traditional EDM acts, including Schoolboy Q, Ratatat, Chromeo, Die Antwoord and Caribou. Yes, there will actually be plenty of instruments being played on stage this year. Who knew an electronic-focused festival could offer the best of both worlds? -JH


2015 Outside Lands lineup

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
Location: San Francisco
Dates: August 7-9
Tickets: Sold out!

Outside Lands has quickly risen from a SF summer highlight to one of the country’s top large-scale music festivals and a crown jewel of Bay Area production company Another Planet. Claiming the title as the “world’s only gourmet rock festival,” OSL has paved the way with its fairground food/music movement since 2008, setting the bar high with artisan experiences at its many “Lands” (wine, cheese, beer and choco) as well as its “Taste of the Bay Area” and “GastroMagic” programs. Although recognized as one of the premiere West Coast festivals, OSL still remains deeply ingrained in the rich culture of the Bay Area and continues to showcase some of the top talent in music, food, wine, beer, comedy, theater, art and culture on both a national and local scale. -MK


2015 FYF Fest lineup

FYF Fest
Location: Los Angeles
Dates: August 22-23
Tickets: Buy them here!

With its eclectic lineup of indie rock, hip-hop and electronic-leaning acts, FYF Fest has become, in many ways, a Coachella offshoot over the years. That shouldn’t be all that surprising considering both are Goldenvoice-sponsored events at this point, but this year’s lineup feels underwhelming and repetitive in comparison to previous editions. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the Morrissey fans can finally rejoice. Other highlights include Bloc Party, D’Angelo & the Vanguard, FKA twigs, Run the Jewels, Mac DeMarco and Jon Hopkins, although it wasn’t that long ago that Chet Faker, Flume, Purity Ring, Dinosaur Jr., Toro y Moi, Simian Mobile Disco and Nicolas Jaar all played the fest, which will return to the LA Memorial Sports Arena and Exposition Park for its second time. And let’s also hope the FYF organizers have things figured out after last year’s epic line fiasco. -JH


2015 Symbiosis Gathering lineup

Symbiosis Gathering
Location: Oakdale, CA
Dates: September 17-20
Tickets: Buy them here!

With 2015 marking Symbiosis’ 10-year “Re:Union”, the Northern California festival is set to impress. Born through a common vision of togetherness, Symbiosis encourages physical, emotional and social well-being through a vibrant community of artists, performers and creators. The lineup rivals other festivals in its class and compliments the unique multi-day “Immersion Workshops,” including Permaculture, Visionary Art and Yoga. In addition to complimentary camping, festivalgoers can upgrade to Reserved Car, RV or five-day “Ready, Set, Camp” glamping, aligned with the trend that festivals must deliver on the experience just as much as the lineup. As one of the older festivals around and their beautiful riverside venue, Symbiosis upholds its reputation as an experience you don’t want to pass up. -NC


2015 KAABOO Del Mar lineup

KAABOO Del Mar
Location: Del Mar, CA
Dates: September 18-20
Tickets: Buy them here!

2015 has already marked a banner year for the greater San Diego area’s music scene. First, it was CRSSD Festival making a big splash in its inaugural year this past March, and now it’s KAABOO Del Mar making its debut on the final weekend of summer. With over 100 musical acts scheduled, including two VIP performances from Sheryl Crow and Ed Kowalczyk, as well as a comedy lineup that boasts Joel McHale and Lewis Black, KAABOO is primed to compete with the other large-scale, three-day California music festivals in Coachella and Outside Lands. But KAABOO is not simply a “music festival.” According to its organizers, KAABOO is a “new kind of arts and entertainment ‘mix-perience’ designed around comfort, quality and good times.” Well then, let the good times roll by the beach this September. -JH


2015 TBD Fest lineup

TBD Fest
Location: Sacramento, CA
Dates: September 18-20
Tickets: Buy them here!

Beginning as a one-day festival in 2007, TBD Fest has grown into one of the major-market festivals in the country. With top-notch acts like Pretty Lights, Cut Copy, RATATAT, Chance the Rapper, Chromeo and Tycho, the now-three-day affair presents an all-star lineup along the Sacramento River. Although there’s no camping, TBD Fest touts a commitment to “all things creative” with artists, boutiques, chefs, craft beer, cocktails, wine and more. -NC


2015 Treasure Island lineup

Treasure Island Music Festival
Location: San Francisco
Dates: October 17-18
Tickets: Buy them here!

Treasure Island, a joint effort from Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop, hails as one of the West Coast’s premiere boutique music festivals. Year after year, TIMF has become known for its diverse lineup by booking some of the biggest talent worldwide. With one of the most seamlessly designed layouts, TIMF takes place against the gorgeous panoramic views of the SF Bay on the historical landmark site of Treasure Island. The grounds allow for an easy commute between its two stages and facilitates the festival’s strict policy of no overlapping sets, while free shuttle transportation to and from SF as well as a host of after parties sets TIMF apart from the competition. -MK


Which of these music festivals are you going to? Which are you looking forward to the most?

Outside Lands

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Comments

  1. Surf Rodeo! July 16th and 17th 2016 in Ventura

  2. My friends and I love going to music festivals each summer! It is always such a fun experience to just listen to great music. We have been to a few already this summer but a friend of mine was telling me about EDM music festivals which are comprised of mainly DJs. I really love David Guetta’s music so I think it would be a fun one to go to! Thanks for sharing these other festivals!
    http://www.hbtmag.com/beginners-guide-to-edm/

  3. Jerry Terell says:

    The highlights of FYF are definitely Spiritualized, Deerhunter, Melodys Echo Chamber, Belle and Sebastian, Dangelo, and JAMC you fucking whored out cock sucking sellout douche. Treasure Island is good though dude!

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