As April approaches, everyone heavily, or even moderately involved in the music and festival scenes is preparing for Coachella. If they are attending, performing, or working 2015’s most profitable event in the U.S., then their fingers are hovering just over the keyboard ready to blast social media with whatever opinion the have towards the festival.
As festivals have become more and more popular over the last few years, the number of people who condemn Coachella for whatever reason (price, lineup, mainstream-ness) has increased, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of people shuddering in their beds while they watch the live stream wishing they were there. Although there may not be any fest that can really offer the same experience as Coachella, the aforementioned rise in the popularity of festivals means there are more than a few alternatives within a month of Coachella that can satisfy ones need to party with good music in the background.
An obvious choice, LIB has taken very kindly to the festival explosion. Nearly doubling in size over the past three years, LIB has become the go-to festival for people who claim to want more intimacy and a cheaper ticket than Coachella. The lineup may be completely devoid of rap, rock, jazz, and pretty much everything that isn’t electronic or electronic-based, but the lineup Do Lab curated this year is one of the best yet. Filled with unique purveyors of house, bass, and pop as well as a series of speakers, classes, and other fun activities that can fill the void of the less diverse lineup, this edition of LIB will definitely be worth the longer drive. Plus, being one month after Coachella gives you that much more time to save up.
While the lifeblood of Coachella is dependent on it’s lineup, other festivals that have come about recently have sought to separate themselves by focusing on other elements besides music. Well, the element that Boogaloo chose to focus on were art cars. Many fests confine artists to a canvas set up in a strategic place around the venue, but Boogaloo’s art installations will move through the grounds of Oak Canyon Park with you, and the best part is that house favorites like DJ Dan and J. Phlip will captain these artistic vehicles with their bangin’ beats.
This gathering is happening next weekend, and although I usually wouldn’t suggest something so soon for the sake of planning and saving, but a ticket to this mini-fest will run you $22. That’s right, not $22 a week on a five week payment plan, $22 total. You might be wondering what $22 really gets you. Well other than 20 hours of nonstop drum and bass, you will be able to spend a night and day in the desert with live artists, various vendors, and an intimate crowd of like-minded individuals. As mentioned previously, a lot of people say that they’re “over” the larger festivals. Well, this gathering is an opportunity for those people to get exactly what they want. You probably won’t recognize any of the DJs and it’s quite possible that there won’t even be port-a-potties, but what gatherings like this lack in logistical flash, they make up for with community and freedom. Nobody will be pushing to get to the front of the stage, nobody will go just say they were there, and nobody will be searching you on the way in. Plus this is something that is very easy to attend on a whim, so give it a shot. You might meet someone who will change your life, and trust me, it’s a lot easier to meet people at smaller events like this.
This one is similar to DNBBQ, but the main difference is this will be the 14th year of Joshua Tree Music Festival. Focusing on being fun for the whole family, Joshua Tree offers great music you probably won’t recognize, a carefree camping environment, and dozens of immersive activities including T-shirt designing, flow toy gatherings, a mobile recording studio, as well as classes on everything from an intro to the didgeridoo too spiritual healing. Few festivals offer as many non-music related activities as JT. Where many others offer similar classes and lectures to make themselves seem more forward thinking while they spend the most money on the lineup, there’s enough to do at JT to the point that your entire weekend could be spent away from the music.
While a lot of people might be looking for something completely different than Coachella, there are more than enough festivals that are trying to do the exact same thing, and by the “exact same thing” I mean finding an A-list, eclectic lineup and presenting it to you in an environment that can cater to your every need and want (if your bank account can handle it). Starting in 2013, Bottle Rock Napa has taken of one of California’s most pristine vacation destinations and filled it with a music lineup that any audiophile would respect greatly. With headliners like Stevie Wonder and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as artists from all across the musical spectrum, BRN allows you to enjoy first-rate music as well as the high-end cuisine and beverages that have made Napa Valley famous around the world. It’s definitely on the more expensive side, but so is a vacation to Napa, and doesn’t listening to “Superstition” with a glass of some of the best wine on Earth sound damned amazing?