As the temperature begins to rise, many are gearing for festival season. In Southern California there are a handful of new fests on the scene that have killed the game with their line-ups. Besides the known giant dubbed as Coachella, which still escapes comprehension of Rage headlining something they made a living dissing, and Envision Fest which just passed, here are other festivals that are consuming SoCal, with our favorites highlighted. Will be updated as they are announced.
Crssd Spring 2020 (March 7, 8 at Waterfront Park, San Diego, CA)
Primarily an electronic event with undertones of indie-rock here and there. As tempting as it is for fans of this genre to come in rave attire, this is discouraged for the festival. Talent includes RÜFÜS DU SOL, Gesaffelstein, Charlotte de Witte, and many other DJ’s and beatmakers.It is 21+, a non-smoking event, and parking is encouraged to be purchased in advance through Spot Hero. They also prohibit hula hoops, LED gloves, Flowlights, totems, and Nudity (pasties, thongs) — sorry.
Burgerama 5 (March 14 at The Echo/Echoplex in Los Angeles, CA)
Burger Records and Spaceland Presents announce the return of Burgerama after a five-year hiatus. The independent record label is set for an all-day, all-ages mini festival on Saturday, March 14 at The Echo/Echoplex in Los Angeles. Featuring over 30 bands, the mini-fest will take over the entire Echo venue complex including The Echoplex and patio.
Beyond Wonderland 2020 (March 20, 21 at NOS Events Center, San Bernardino, CA)
This is the event to bring to your hula hoops, LED gloves and whips (not sure what that is in all honesty), totems (adhere to fest’s guidelines), rain ponchos, and selfie sticks. An extension of Insomniac’s main fest, the EDM dance party will carry an Alice in Wonderland theme this year with stages each fitted to the story. Trance, house, dubstep, among many other dance fusions will carry fans from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. The event promotes respecting the space and others starting at $99 – $155 fees for a single day GA to a 2-day VIP price of $259 + fees.
****The Dinah 2020 (April 1-6 at Hilton Hotel/Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, CA)
The largest lesbian event marks their 30 year anniversary in 2020 so its expected to be a good one. There’s a lot going on here, like a lot. There’s a pre-party, an opening party, girl spot friday, the black and white ball, the L word pool party, a closing party, and a whole bunch of DJ’s, meet and greets, comedy, GoGos galore, and vendors. Musically, the line-up is pretty sweet and features Saweetie, Ally Brooke, Yung Baby Tate, UMI, Lion Babe, Sophie Messa, and Jozzy. Pretty much, enjoy everything in the pool!
Lucidity Festival (April 10-12 at Live Oak Campground, Santa Barbara, CA)
Yet again, another dance, electronic festival. Lucidity though is boasting of an overall experience featuring learning opportunities, yoga, installation art, healing, workshops, open mic and comedy acts, and family friendly entertainment. If you’re staying more than a day there are camping options but they ask if you leave it better than you found it. Positive vibes start at $111 for a 3-day pass and grow to about $279-499 depending on the package. There’s also a ‘low income ticket program’ for those who cannot afford regular priced tickets, which I haven’t seen here to my knowledge, only at some fests in the U.K.
Desert Hearts Festival (April 23-27 at The Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, Warner Springs, CA (Northern San Diego County))
Ok, so yeah, here is another electronic + underground camping fest. If this is your passion, no judgement here, let’s just get into the logistics. This is for house, techno, and love. It’s the 12th Desert Hearts Fest and thrives on the intimacy for those who live and breathe this scene. If you’re planning on going as of now, the lower tier is sold out leaving the next 3-day pass starting at $300 which doesn’t include a parking or camping pass. I repeat, it does not include a parking or camping pass. If these passes are sold out (parking + camping) it is advised to carpool or use a shuttle service because they don’t have enough spots. So, that sucks. There’s also a waitlist for those who want a one-day early pass on Thursday.
Stagecoach Festival (April 24-26, at Empire Polo Club, Indio, CA)
After Coachella, country music’s chella will thrive at the Empire Polo Club. Pretty sure this is one of, if not the largest country fests. Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church are headlining with Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Payton Smith rounding out the bill. Tier 1 is already sold out with tier 2 still available starting at $349 + fees and “corral standing and sitting” packages at $1,299. Holy shit. GA is still a good deal, considering the line-up and compared to let’s say, the electro fests above.
***Cruel World (May 2 at Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA)
This sold out instantly and easily became a favorite new event solely for the line-up (good job, Goldenvoice). What seems to have taken the place of Just Like Heaven, and maybe Pasadena’s Daydream Festival (no word on either being slated for a second year), the one-day fest ditches extreme heat for post-punk and dark-wave souls. Line-up boasts of Blondie, Bauhaus, DEVO, Drab Majesty, Cold Cave, Gary Numan, and of course Morrissey. It’s a fest that is well curated and is bringing a list of favorites to propel a wave of acts that yet to come. You can join the wait-list and put down your payment info for a chance to go. Honestly, with who is on the bill, this is one of those moments where you go “yeah, this is worth it.” There’s only 335 fans waiting virtually in line, that’s all. *cries in smeared eyeliner*
Beachlife Festival (May 1-3 at Redondo Beach, CA)
Chill vibes for those who enjoy a mix of classic rock, Americana, and reggae. Ziggy and Stephen Marley’s 75th Bob Marley celebration headlines the event, along with Counting Crows, Sublime with Rome, Fitz & The Tantrums, Grace Vanderall, and surprisingly Save Ferris and Sugar Ray. Haven’t seen one day tickets, but for 3-day GA passes they start at $299 and VIP ranges from $465-1,895.
****Lovers & Friends (May 8, 9 at Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA)
We talked about Lovers & Friends the moment it came up because we couldn’t believe how well curated this early 2000s R&B fest was, so well that they had to add an additional date. Another new Goldenvoice event that will be taking place a week after Cruel World blesses the park. Ms. Lauren Hill, TLC, Eve, Usher, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Megan Thee Stallion, and Summer Walker are slated to perform. While this event is sold out, you can always join the waitlist.
***Joshua Tree Music Festival (May 14-17 + Oct. 8-11 at Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Park, CA)
This is the 18th annual Joshua Tree fest and it still has that D.I.Y. vibe. Of course since it’s in the desert, it’s a camping experience with art, love, folk, psych, and Americana roots. Line-up includes, Dirtwire, Moon Hooch, Thumpasaurus (who are always fun), Jesika Von Rabbit (must see), and others. The pricing for the event is honestly amazing. A 4-Day Festival Pass starts at $240 with only a $9 fee. Kids under 10 are free, and kids 11-16 can grab a 4-day pass for $90 + fees. Single day passes range by day, $65-90, and there are also discounts for locals and those in the military. October line-up not yet announced.
**LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE (May 20-25 at Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area, Bakersfield, CA)
We consider this the middle before venturing off into central and NorCal, so yeah, it’s on this list. LIB takes over 10 years of immersive experiences surrounded by music, art, yoga, camping, and kids and family activities. Musical line-up consists of: Kaytranda, Doja Cat, Empress Of, Lion Babe, Fantastic Negrito, Buyepongo, members of Soulection, and many more. Tier 1 is sold out and Tier 2 prices are $349+fees for a 4-day pass (access starting may 21) and $419+fees for a 5-day pass (access starting May 20). Camping and RV passes are available as well as bus passes that depart from LA, San Diego, and Oakland (all sold one-way). Tickets go up February 28, so if you’re interested get on it.
**Chain Fest (May 23 at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA)
Look, I hate myself that I love this. Which means I’m all set for Chain Fest 2020. Live Nation and Chain Reaction have resurrected the one-day fest with Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday. In addition, Chain Fest will will also be raising money for Living The Dream Foundation.
Splash House (June 5-7, August 7-9, and August 14-16, Palm Springs, CA)
Another poolside party with electronic music and a variety of “poolside experiences.” Each weekend plays out across three hotel resorts in Palm Springs and offers a “unique pool area, and hotel rooms with stage-facing balconies.” I honestly still don’t know what this is, you can party next to planes, but June presale is sold out and only higher tier packages seem to be available. If you have money to blow, ok cool, but…keep scrolling down.
****Virgin Fest (June 6, 7th at Banc of California Stadium + Exposition Park in Los Angeles, CA)
This is pretty sweet. Another favorite new festival, along with Cruel World, that we are really looking forward to in Los Angeles. VIRGIN FEST declares itself as a music and tech festival; “inclusive, eco-conscious, weekend-long celebration.” Music wise, the bookers of the fest got down. Lizzo, A$AP Rocky, Anderson .Paak + The Free Nationals, Major Lazer, Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith, and Banks tipping the headlining scale, along with Empress Of, Jay Som, Japanese Breakfast, Madame Gandhi, Miya Folick, Tank & The Bangas, Tiffany Young, and more. Don’t think there are single day tickets, but for a 2-day “fan ticket” (really it’s general admission), they start at $229-259, with VIP and mega VIP options. In addition to entry into VIRGIN FEST, tickets include transportation to the fest on METRO to maintain the fest’s eco-friendly vibes.
**Hard Summer (August 1, 2 at Fontana Speedway, Fontanta, CA)
Since 2007, HARD Summer has flown throughout Los Angeles until finding its home in Fontana. The artists have yet to be announced but stay glued when that happens.
***So-Cal Hoe Down (August 22 at Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, CA)
This is a “kustom kulture” music fest that focuses on rockabilly and some punk. Early bird tickets start at $50.12 (kid you not), with children 10 years and under getting in for free. There will be 3 stages, vendors, full bar, and food trucks. Music line-up so far: The Vandals, Smut Peddlers and The Side Eyes will be joining Black Flag, T.S.O.L., Fishbone, Throw Rag, The Untouchables, Love Canal, The Heroes and The Cornfed Project with more bands being announced. Not too shabby.
Nocturnal Wonderland (Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernardino, CA)
Insomniac’s other dance festival hasn’t yet announced anything but it may be an early September fest.
**KAABOO (September 18-20 at Petco Park, San Diego, CA)
KAABOO has been at Del Mar for a while and what can only be a result of a disappointing line-up last year, the festival is now relocating to Petco Park for its 2020 edition. With acts not yet announced, it seems that the festival partners and bookers are taking a moment to reevaluate their plan. This makes one hopeful and I’m anticipating a solid year this time around.
*****PRIMAVERA SOUND LOS ANGELES (September 19-20, 2020, Los Angeles State Historic Park, Los Angeles, CA)
THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE. This is another festival that we are all anticipating. What is usually only in Barcelona, Spain and Porto, Portugal, is finally getting its spot in Los Angeles. Co-produced by Live Nation, I truly hope this is everything we’ve been dreaming of and more. The good folks of PRIMAVERA SOUND seem to always kill their line-ups. This will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original fest so you know it’s going to be amazing.
Ohana Festival (September 25-27 at Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA)
Indie, surf and alt-rock along with good vibes are typical for the Ohana Festival. Last year Eddie Vedder did state the fest would return for 2020 but as of now nothing has been announced but teasers for their 5th anniversary. 2019 held performances by The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Vedder, and Incubus.
Huck Finn Jubilee (probably sometime in September at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in Ontario, CA)
Bluegrass, family friendly event that brings welcoming vibes, vendors, and food. Usually located in Ontario, CA, nothing has been announced yet but their website does state soon.
Desert Daze (October 2-4 at Moreno Beach, Lake Perris, CA)
Psychedelic music and vibes are always alive at Desert Daze. Starting a week earlier than usual, 2020 line-up has not yet been announced. BUT, they have locked in a slew of local events throughout Los Angeles at the Lodgeroom and Ace Hotel, featuring Amo Amo, Levitation Room, and a DJ set by Tropa Magica — might hint at what is to come.
Too soon for the rest. Will update as they are annouced.