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Summer music festivals in and near L.A.

Brush up on this year’s summer music festivals near L.A., including Coachella, Stagecoach and more

HARD Summer 2015
Photograph: Foster Snell HARD Summer 2015
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Not all summer music festivals require a road trip to the desert; in fact, you’ll find a pretty even split between local L.A. venues and day trip destinations. Most do, however, require plunking down a sizable chunk of change—thankfully we have plenty of free concerts to balance them out. While festivals aren’t the only upcoming concerts this summer, they certainly generate the most buzz—particularly the summer music festivals below.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in Los Angeles

Summer music festivals near L.A.

Coachella 2015, day 3
Photograph: Kate Wertheimer
Music, Music festivals

Coachella

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. Coachella’s all-embracing three-day lineup consistently crafts the pool of performers from which all other summer music festivals borrow. Even in the face of an increasingly predictable pattern, it’s hard to argue with a fest that finds room for Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande atop its bill.

Stagecoach 2015
Photograph: Kate Wertheimer
Music

Stagecoach Festival

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.

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Lightning in a Bottle
Photograph: Courtesy Lightning in a Bottle
Music, Music festivals

Lightning in a Bottle

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.

EDC Las Vegas 2015
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Music, Music festivals

Electric Daisy Carnival

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.

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Stoned and Dusted
Photograph: Courtesy Stoned and Dusted
Music, Music festivals

Stoned and Dusted

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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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.

Splash House
Photograph: Courtesy Nikki Jahanforouz
Clubs

SPLASH HOUSE Palm Springs Pool + Music Weekend

icon-location-pin Various locations in L.A., Los Angeles
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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.

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Lykke Li at the Apollo Theater
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Music festivals

Yola Fest

icon-location-pin Los Angeles State Historic Park, Downtown
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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.

Snoop Dogg
Photograph: Courtesy Josh Telles
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Once Upon a Time in the LBC

icon-location-pin Queen Mary, Long Beach
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Once upon a time in a city so divine, dozens of West Coast hip-hop legends came together for a one-day fest at the Queen Mary. The inaugural Once Upon a Time in the LBC draws heavily from the generations of talent that have emerged from Long Beach and Compton, including headliners Snoop Dogg, YG and the Game (who’ll be performing The Documentary).

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HARD Summer 2016
Photograph: Foster Snell
Music, Music venues

HARD Summer

icon-location-pin Auto Club Speedway, Inland Empire
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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. Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, RL Grime, Dillon Francis, Alison Wonderland top the lineup, with a slew of high-profile back-to-back performances: Excision and Nghtmre, Flosstradamus and 4B, and Zhu and Tchami, among them.

Echo Park Rising
Photograph: Kate Wertheimer
Music, Music festivals

Echo Park Rising

icon-location-pin Various locations in L.A., Los Angeles
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Celebrate L.A.’s burgeoning Eastside with a free music festival—what’s not to like? Echo Park Rising is back for its eighth year with over 100 handpicked local up-and-coming bands, comedians, film screenings and more. With venues ranging from the Echo and Stories Books & Cafe to Button Mash and the parking lot of TAIX French Restaurant, as well as various special discounts and sales at local businesses, this is always a neighborhood affair not to be missed.

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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
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.

More to explore

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