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Coachella 2016, Day 1, Weekend 1
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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 the Central Coast

By Michael Juliano

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 single-day affairs to camping excursions.

Upcoming music festivals

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Benjamin Chodroff

Day Trip Festival

Music Dance and electronic Location T.B.A.,

House music hits the harbor during this two-day Fourth of July fest that features Chromeo, Diplo, AC Slater, Tchami, Sofi Tukker and more. You’ll find it at Berth 46, past the marina and across the water from Cabrillo Beach.

HARD Summer 2016
Photograph: Foster Snell

HARD Summer

Music Music venues NOS Events Center, San Bernardino

Though locally born EDM juggernaut HARD Summer has hopped around Southern California in recent years, its dedication to bringing the biggest names in the hip-hop and electronic scene has stayed the course. Future, DJ Snake back-to-back with Malaa, 2 Chainz, Dillon Francis, Kaytranada and RL Grime back-to-back with Baauer top this year’s edition.

Lil Wayne
Photograph: Shutterstock

Uproar Fest

Music Rap, hip-hop and R&B Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC/Exposition Park

Lil Wayne’s cannabis brand GKUA inked a deal with the Coliseum for 4/20 events, and this August fest is the first event to arrive. So far we just know that it’ll feature Lil Wayne, Young Money and some undisclosed friends. It’s also being billed as taking place at the Torch at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, a rather bizarre sliver of pavement between the Olympic torch and the headless statues that’ll fit a stage, beer garden, basketball hoops, art and assorted vendors. So, yeah, that’s Uproar…

Splash House
Photograph: Courtesy Nikki Jahanforouz

SPLASH HOUSE Palm Springs Pool + Music Weekend

Clubs Various locations in L.A.,

Say goodbye to dusty thoroughfares and violent porta-potties: Splash House takes the music festival concept off of sweltering desert land and places it poolside. Movers and shakers at this multi-location getdown are shuttled between the Saguaro, the Margaritaville and the Renaissance to lap up big-name dance acts and DJ sets. This August’s lineup includes Bob Moses, Gorgon City, Tokimonsta, Tycho and San Holo.


Paradise in the Park

Music Dance and electronic Pershing Square Park, Downtown Financial District

A bit of Ibiza lands in DTLA as Jamie Jones and others spin in Grand Park into the evening.

Beyond Wonderland
Photograph: Courtesy Insomniac

Beyond Wonderland

Music Music festivals NOS Events Center, San Bernardino

This springtime spin-off in Insomniac’s Wonderland series takes its whimsical, carnival-like atmosphere to this trance-heavy festival. The dreamy, multi-stage experience includes the likes of Kayzo, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Tiësto, Alison Wonderland and Flosstradamus.

Redondo Beach Pier
Photograph: Courtesy Redondo Pier Association

Beachlife Festival

Music Music festivals Redondo Beach, Redondo Beach

This surf-inflected music fest will once again take over the Redondo Beach coastline for three days. This year’s lineup includes Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Ziggy Marley & Stephen Marley performing the songs of Bob Marley, Cage the Elephant, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Gary Clark Jr., Portugal.The Man, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Revivalists, Men at Work, Silversun Pickups, the Wallflowers and G.Love & Special Sauce.

Same Same But Different Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Same Same But Different Festival

Same Same But Different Festival

Music Music festivals Lake Perris State Recreation Area, Inland Empire

Big Gigantic, STS9 and CloZee top this four-day, four-stage music and camping fest held on Lake Perris. Expect beach party vibes, workshops and classes, and vegan food throughout the weekend.

Life is Beautiful
Photograph: Courtesy Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful

Music Music festivals Location T.B.A.,

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 2021 iteration includes Tame Impala, Megan Thee Stallion, Glass Animals, Green Day, HAIM, Illenium, Billie Eilish, A$AP Rocky, Young Thug and more.

Ohana Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Ohana Festival

Ohana Festival

Music Music festivals Doheny State Beach, Orange County

Eddie Vedder’s Ohana Festival once again lands at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, and the Pearl Jam frontman will be pulling double duty on the lineup. Kings of Leon, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam top this year’s fest. The rest of the beachfront event’s lineup includes the likes of My Morning Jacket, Black Pumas, Maggie Rogers, Spoon, Yola, Mon Laferte, Sharon Van Etten, the Frames, Mac DeMarco and more.

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Looking for free concerts?

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

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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