Upcoming music festivals
Strap on your cowboy hat and make the pilgrimage to country music’s biggest jamboree, taking up residence at Coachella’s digs, the Empire Polo Club. Stagecoach is coming back for a three-day fest, and headlining the event this year are stars like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean. Expect the usual mix of contemporary and classic country.
Southern California seems to have found its concert calling with the rise of oceanfront festivals. The latest: Back to the Beach, a ska-heavy ’90s and early aughts throwback from Blink 182’s Travis Barker and Goldfinger’s Feldy. The 2019 lineup includes blink-182, Goldfinger, the Used, Reel Big Fish, the Story So Far, Streetlight Manifesto, the Aquabats and more.
If you’ve noticed a lack of aughts indie favorites among this year’s music fest lineups, it’s probably because they’re all playing Just Like Heaven. Seriously, all of them. The inaugural fest features a lineup that’s straight out of an era when you stored music on an iPod: Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT and Beach House top the fest.
This inaugural surf-inflected music fest will take over the Redondo Beach coastline for three days, with a laid-back lineup that includes the likes of Bob Weir, Brian Wilson, Violent Femmes, Willie Nelson, Best Coast, Ziggy Marley, Grace Potter and more, plus a preview night performance from X.
After years on the Central Coast, the annual event has made a move significantly closer to L.A., at Bakersfield’s Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area. Sure, it’s still a bit of a trek, but where else can you find a sustainable, vegetarian festival dedicated to equal parts music, food, art, yoga and wellness? Lightning in a Bottle has stepped up its musical lineup in recent years, with Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Flying Lotus and Santigold topping the 2019 bill. Expect to do some serious soul-searching during this six-day retreat, all while immersing yourself in everything from a speaker series at the Lucent Temple of Consciousness to the old timey Grand Artique trading post.
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.
On the outskirts of town at the Motor Speedway, Electric Daisy Carnival is pure, condensed Vegas. There is a VIP Ferris wheel. Helicopters shuttle in high rollers. The 135,000-strong crowd is soaked in ecstasy and spray tan. Every millionaire DJ that plays the laser-riddled nightclubs on the Strip is here. EDC introduced EDM as a Day-Glo spectacle for the masses in America, and its lineups in recent years have certainly lived up to the hype: Diplo, Martin Garrix, Alison Wonderland, Deadmau5 and more are all set to perform this year. Once you let the neon and bass wash over you, it is the time of your life.
As a throwback to the gasoline genrator-fueled desert parties in the early ’90s, this on-the-down-low offshoot of Desert Generator is celebrating stoner rock and the desert music scene with a two-day campout. The event kicks off at Pappy & Harriet’s with sets from Melvins, Fu Manchu and Brant Bjork, co-founder of seminal stoner rock band Kyuss. Then the action moves into the Mojave for a show with Black Mountain, Acid King, Mark Lanegan and more. Details are hush-hush; we just know it’s somewhere near Joshua Tree.
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 Renaissance, the Riviera Resort and the Saguaro to lap up big-name dance acts and DJ sets.
For the inaugural fest, Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li has assembled an all-female lineup of musicians that ranks among this summer’s best festival lineups. In addition to Lykke Li, Charli XCX, Courtney Love and the Chateau Band, Cat Power, CupcakKe, Megan Thee Stallion and Ambar Lucid have all been tapped to play the single-day fest at Los Angeles State Historic Park.