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BeachLife Festival
Photograph: Courtesy JP Cordero

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

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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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 single-day affairs to camping excursions.

Upcoming music festivals

  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Desert

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.

  • Clubs

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.

For this year’s June lineup, you’ll find sets from Diplo, Channel Tres, Dombresky back-to-back with Noizu, Hayden James and more.

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  • Music
  • Dance and electronic
  • Chinatown

German EDM superstar Zedd (given name: Anton Zaslavski) has graduated from the festival circuit to his very own mini fest. Once again, Zedd in the Park will find the wunderkind headlining an evening at L.A. State Historic Park that also includes sets from Loud Luxury, Wolfgang Gartner, Regard, So Tuff So Cute and GOJ!RA b2b Fernet (Brownies & Lemonade).

  • Music
  • Rock and indie
  • USC/Exposition Park

“Life is abysmal but music can help make it better.” That’s the inspiration behind this fest from—and headlined by—Jonny Pierce of the Drums, who’s curated a reverb-drenched lineup of bands set for the grounds of the Shrine, including DIIV, Teezo Touchdown, EKKSTACY, CoCo & Clair Clair, SALES, Lil Mariko and a few others.

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  • Music
  • Music venues
  • 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. 

Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Uzi Vert and Porter Robinson top this year’s lineup, with additional performances from Joji, Zeds Dead back-to-back with Subtronics, Alison Wonderland, Madeon, Chris Lake, Gunna and a whole lot more.

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  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Pasadena

Feeling like you’ve outgrown Coachella and sleepaway camp vibes? Then how about something closer to home with the Strokes, LCD Soundsystem and a reunited Le Tigre? You’ll find a genre-spanning mix of on-the-horizon acts and familiar names outside the Rose Bowl, including Beach House, Phoebe Bridgers, Earl Sweatshirt, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Four Tet and Floating Points, some longtime local faves like the Descendents and Sparks, and ASMR trailblazers the Ying Yang Twins.

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  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Chinatown

The long-delayed L.A. debut of this fest, which originated in Barcelona, will see Arctic Monkeys, Lorde and Nine Inch Nails atop its 2022 lineup. The three-day event at L.A. State Historic State Park, also includes the likes of James Blake, Mitski, Clairo, Darkside, Khruangbin, Arca, Stereolab and Kim Gordon.

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