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Music festivals within driving distance of L.A.

Hit up these hometown music festivals, as well as ones within driving distance of L.A., from Las Vegas to San Francisco

Coachella 2016 weekend 1; day 2
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
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Whether a day trip or a Metro ride away, there’s no shortage of music festivals near Los Angeles. We’re not just talking about summer music festivals either—thanks to Southern California’s persistently pleasant climate, we can enjoy outdoor fests nearly year-round. So lace up a comfortable pair of shoes for these music festivals within driving distance of L.A., from free concerts to camping excursions.

Upcoming music festivals

Joshua Tree Music Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Foster Snell
Music, Music festivals

Joshua Tree Music Festival

icon-location-pin Joshua Tree Lake Campground, Desert
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Make your way to the desert for the Joshua Tree Music Festival, a gathering of like-minded indie musicians who will be rocking out to a dance-world-electro-funk’n groove. The biannual festival is a four-day party with over 30 bands in a unique lineup of artists who aren’t necessarily household names. There’s free water to all patrons, minimal service charges on tickets and yoga classes aplenty.

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PYMCA
Music, Rock and indie

Pasadena Daydream

icon-location-pin Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena
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Too bad Goldenvoice just used the Just Like Heaven moniker because the promoter has another nostalgic fest lined up, and this one actually involves the Cure. Pasadena Daydream, a single-day concert curated by and featuring the Cure, will take over Brookside at the Rose Bowl. The spectacularly moody lineup also features Pixies, Deftones, Mogwai, Throwing Muses, the Joy Formidable, Chelsea Wolfe, the Twilight Sad, Emma Ruth Rundle and Kælan Mikla.

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Kaaboo
Photograph: Courtesy Kaaboo
Music, Music festivals

Kaaboo

icon-location-pin Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego
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Kaaboo is returning to the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds with another eclectic lineup of adult alternative favorites—including Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons and Duran Duran. The “mix-perience” (yep) comes with clean amenities, artisanal cuisine, fashion pop-ups and local artwork. Views of the main music stage can be enjoyed from a variety of vantage points: on a chaise lounge, in a pool, on a volleyball court or inside a premium cabana.

Life is Beautiful
Photograph: Courtesy Life is Beautiful
Music, Music festivals

Life is Beautiful

icon-location-pin Location T.B.A.,
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Bask in the glow of the blinking Las Vegas lights during this beautiful mess of a music festival. Eighteen city blocks become a playground for music lovers of all types at the genre-spanning Life is Beautiful. Embrace all of the things that are both wonderful and awful about Vegas trips and you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic lineup; the 2019 iteration includes Post Malone, Chance the Rapper, the Black Keys, Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, Zedd, Lil Wayne, Janelle Monae and more.

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Ohana Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Ohana Festival
Music, Music festivals

Ohana Festival

icon-location-pin Doheny State Beach, Orange County
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Eddie Vedder’s Ohana Festival once again lands at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, with sets from the Strokes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tash Sultana, Incubus, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Vedder himself. The fest’s name comes from the Hawaiian concept of family, and as such the beachfront festival will give back to its own community by donating a portion of proceeds to the San Onofre Parks Foundation and the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association.

Desert Daze
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Esoteric Sapience
Music, Music festivals

Desert Daze

icon-location-pin Lake Perris State Recreation Area, Inland Empire
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Desert Daze is your antidote to the typical desert gathering (think a noisier, more indie lineup than Coachella and less dirt than Burning Man). Though it’s close enough to L.A. to go just for the day, the fest caters to campers with easy access to hiking trails and a bazaar of mystics and wanderers. The fest announces its lineup in phases, and first up are Stereolab and Animal Collective.

Looking for free concerts?

Movie screenings, live concerts, comedy and more happen here at the Santa Monica Pier.
Photograph: Courtesy Twilight Concerts
Music

Free concerts in L.A.

Looking for free concerts in L.A.? Well, you’re in luck—music (aside from film, possibly) is the city’s most abundant form of entertainment.

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