Upcoming music festivals
Nearly 125,000 music lovers make a pilgrimage to the Empire Polo Club during each identical weekend of Coachella, whether bound for campgrounds or shuttling over from golf resorts and midcentury modern homes. Though its bespoke dining experiences and hotel party scene may try to steal headlines, Coachella remains about the relaxed desert air euophoria of a well-curated music festival. Coachella’s all-embracing three-day lineup consistently crafts the pool of performers from which all other summer music festivals borrow (this year’s headliners: the Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem).
Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age topped the lineup of Cal Jam 17, and the rock-focused fest is slated to return in 2018. You’ll find other familiar festival staples at Glen Helen Regional Park—carnival rides and games, a vendor village—alongside some more unique touches, like twin waterslides, a mobile recording studio and the Foo Fighters Rock ’n’ Roll Museum. The event borrows its name from California Jam, a 1974 fest that featured in Deep Purple and ELP in nearby Ontario.
Everyone’s favorite chill-out block of out-there animation is taking its signature brand of comedy and music to Downtown L.A. for an inaugural festival. In addition to headliner Run the Jewels, the fest has tacked on sets from Hannibal Buress, Thundercat, Wavves, Zola Jesus, Big Freedia, Dan Deacon and Julianna Barwick. A second wave of headliners includes Mastodon, Neko Case, Flying Lotus and T-Pain. Expect plenty of Adult Swim show tie-ins, including games and exclusive merch.
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, no service charges on tickets and yoga classes aplenty.
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. Tame Imala, Death Grips, Mercury Rev, Warpaint and Ty Segall top this year’s lineup.
Looking for free concerts?
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.