After 2020, a lot of people are extremely ready to party. The idea of heading out to a weekend-long festival, dancing to live music with friends and strangers, has felt almost like a dream during the pandemic. Now that vaccines are here and gatherings are returning, attending a music festival will be high on many to-do lists.
2021 Music Festival Guide: California
HARD Summer Music Festival
This EDM- and hip-hop-oriented festival gives the fans what they love and keeps them dancing the summer nights away.
When is HARD Summer Music Festival? July 31-August 1, 2021
Who is playing HARD Summer? Future, Kaytranada, DJ Snake, Dillon Francis
How much does HARD Summer cost? $149-$319
Palm Springs, CA
Pack your best neon-colored swimsuit for this poolside weekend dance fest. Expect DJs all day, followed by open-air parties and other affairs after the sun sets. Each weekend brings a new lineup, so you can attend any or all.
When is Splash House? Summer 2021
Who is playing Splash House? TBA
How much does Splash House cost: TBA
Dana Point, CA
This weekender is ostensibly curated by buddies Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) and Kelly Slater (of professional surfing fame). Unlike the blacktop or trampled grass of most festival grounds, Ohana takes place literally steps from the ocean and sand of Doheny State Beach.
When is Ohana Festival? September 24-26, 2021
Who is playing Ohana Festival? Kings of Leon, Maggie Rogers, Mac DeMarco, Pearl Jam
How much does Ohana Festival cost? $267-$1,399.50
KAABOO San Diego
San Diego, CA
Little info is out yet, but KAABOO does have a statement on its website promising a September 2021 return.
When is KAABOO San Diego? September 2021
Who is playing KAABOO San Diego? TBA
How much does KAABOO San Diego cost? TBA
Three days of music plus a full program of grown-up summer camp games and activities makes this festival unique.
When is Dirtybird Campout? October 15-17, 2021
Who is playing Dirtybird Campout? TBA
How much does Dirtybird Campout cost? TBA
San Francisco, CA
In addition to the tunes, the food and wine program at Outside Lands is typically a highlight; the on-site cannabis consumption lounge, Grass Lands, was a popular addition in 2019.
When is Outside Lands? October 29-31, 2021
Who is playing Outside Lands? Tame Impala, Lizzo, Tyler the Creator, J Balvin, Rufus Du Sol, Sharon Van Etten
How much does Outside Lands cost? $395-$3,995
Previously held at Los Angeles State Historic Park, this fest organized by Asian music and media company 88rising and Goldenvoice is roaring back in 2021 at a new, bigger venue.
When is Head in the Clouds? November 6 & 7, 2021
Who is playing Life Is Beautiful? TBA
How much does Life Is Beautiful cost? $225-$400; tickets are on sale now.
2021 Music Festival Guide: Elsewhere
Psycho Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
This rock fest bills itself as “a journey to the heart of the American Dream.” Experiences mix indoor and outdoor concerts and a poolside “beach club” experience.
When is Psycho Las Vegas? August 20-24, 2021
Who is playing Psycho Las Vegas? Danzig, the Flaming Lips, Ty Segall, Warpaint, Zola Jesus, Cursive, Warpaint, Boris
How much does Psycho Las Vegas cost? $109-$279
Guadalupe Valley Wine, Food, and Music Festival
Ensenada Baja California, Mexico
This one night festival includes Mexican and American acts, mostly in the electronic vein, along with food and wine experiences featuring well-known chefs.
When is Guadalupe Valley Wine, Food, and Music Festival? September 11, 2021
Who is playing Guadalupe Valley Wine, Food, and Music Festival? TBA
How much does Guadalupe Valley Wine, Food, and Music Festival cost? TBA
Life Is Beautiful
Las Vegas, NV
Life Is Beautiful went a different route from many other festivals, booking a totally fresh slate of talent. “This year’s lineup isn’t our 2019 lineup in 2021. It’s our 2021 lineup, and celebrates the artists, both established and emerging, who were the shining lights during our darkest days,” festival partner Justin Weniger stated.
When is Life Is Beautiful? September 17-19, 2021
Who is playing Life Is Beautiful? Billie Eilish, A$AP Rocky, Tame Impala, Megan Thee Stallion
How much does Life Is Beautiful cost? $330-$2,995
EDC Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
An institution in the dance music world, there are EDC-branded events held around the world, but this is the granddaddy of them all. If you’re up for a long weekend of furry boots, crazy light shows, and the highest caliber of talent on the global dance music circuit, EDC is for you.
When is EDC Las Vegas? October 22-24, 2021
Who is playing EDC Las Vegas? TBA
How much does EDC Las Vegas cost? $379-$779
Coming Back in 2022
The inaugural Cruel World Festival was supposed to happen in spring 2020, but got bumped twice by COVID-19. Now it’s set for May 14, 2022, with a lineup that’s sure to appeal to the ’80s goth within: Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Church, the Damned, and more. Ticket presale starts on June 11, 2021.
The fest that always kicks off the festival season will once again take over the Empire Polo Club in Indio from April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2022. The lineup hasn’t been announced, but presale tickets sold out in just a few hours.
Coachella’s country-fried sister fest is set to return April 29-May 1, 2022. Tickets haven’t gone on sale yet, but you can sign up to be notified when they do.
Lovers & Friends
Designed as a one-time-only festival packed with throwback rap and R&B artists, it seems unlikely we’ll see it return. Social media accounts have gone inactive to boot.
Lightning in a Bottle
Buena Vista Lake, CA
Music, activities, yoga, culinary programming, and more eye-popping art than you’ve ever seen are waiting for you at LiB, where organizers literally promise “the most fun you’ll have in your entire life.” The festival is off for 2021 but will resume in 2022; advance passes for next year go on sale May 25, 2021.
Not Yet Announced
Lake Perris, CA
Desert Daze is a smaller festival, the crowds never feel overwhelming, and you can always take a break from music to explore surreal art installations or stop by the Mystic Bazaar. Website currently says to “stay tuned for news” about 2021 events.
When is Desert Daze? TBA
Who is playing Desert Daze? TBA
How much does Desert Daze cost? TBA
Camp Flog Gnaw
Los Angeles, CA
Tyler the Creator’s carnival-themed festival at Dodger Stadium is a local favorite. No information has been released about a 2021 return.
When is Camp Flog Gnaw? TBA
Who is playing Camp Flog Gnaw? TBA
How much does Camp Flog Gnaw cost? TBA
Redondo Beach, CA
This newer South Bay fest brings laid-back performers together to play a waterfront stage, right by the waves. No info about ’21 yet, but they have stayed active on social media.
When is Beachlife Festival? TBA
Who is playing Beachlife Festival? TBA
How much does Beachlife Festival cost? TBA