With summer winding down, one must choose wisely when deciding where to spend those last few weeks of fun in the Sun. Festival season has been well under way and with the likes of Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, EDC and now Tomorrowland behind us, there still remains a surplus of festivals to dance the day and night away and well into the summer morning. For us on the West Coast, we are more than spoiled when it comes to live music events, let alone festivals. With something for everyone no matter where you live in beautiful California, here are 5 festivals to close out your summer with and hold you over till next year’s festival season.
1. HARD Summer August 1-2 Southern California, Pomona Fairplex
This year HARD returns to the Pomona Fairplex for HARD Summer. HARD Day of the Dead was held there last year to an overwhelming approval from fans and artists alike. Arguably the best lineup HARD Summer has ever had, acts like The Weeknd, Ratatat, Gorgon City and Die Antwoord help distinguish this event as a festival, not a “rave”. Dillon Francis, Porter Robinson, Jack U, Tchami, Odesza and The Glitch Mob add to the diversity of this year’s lineup as this is shaping up to be the biggest HARD event yet.
2. Nocturnal Wonderland September 4-6 Southern California, San Manuel Amphitheatre
The 2oth Anniversary of Nocturnal Wonderland is upon us. With three days of top notch talent and the option to campout, this year’s installment of Nocturnal figures to be one for the books. It’s hard to believe that Nocturnal has been helping us go down the rabbit hole for twenty years now. With the likes of Bassnectar, Galantis, Armin Van Buuren, Duke Dumont, Madeon, and Pretty Lights topping the lineup over three days, Insomniac also shows off its diversity and ensures there is something for everyone.
3. Symbiosis Gathering September 17-20 Northern California, Oakdale
Celebrating another anniversary is Symbiosis. In its tenth year, this festival offers something special for those who are of the Burning Man/Lightning in a Bottle vibe. With a more toned down and underground lineup, Symbiosis offers a unique experience. The feels will definitely be in full effect as the crew of Desert Hearts and many more supply the heartfelt raw emotion that will have you wishing you could never leave this one of a kind experience. G Jones, GRIZ, Shpongle, and Justin Martin are the big names on this lineup with plenty more talented producers to discover as well.
Speaking of the feels, beautiful Avila Beach will play host to The Feels Beachside Music Fest on September 18th located near San Luis Obispo. I witnessed Bassnectar for the first time at this venue in 2012 and I must say it is one of my favorite venues I’ve ever been to. Located right on the beach and a perfect summer night’s sky above, the lineup is perfect. Jai Wolf, Trippy Turtle, Tasty Treat and Cashmere Cat will be providing the grooves and feels as music lovers dance on the beach until the Sun comes up.
Unlike other electronic events, One Tribe aims to set itself apart by focusing on underground artists with a focus on live acts as well as those in the techno and house genres. One Tribe is the first event on the West Coast for ID&T, a Dutch promoter known for the long-running Tomorrowland festival in Belgium and Mysteryland in the Netherlands. With Tycho, Kygo, Gramatik and many more talented and under the radar acts, One Tribe figures to shake things up in the festival world and may be a sign of things to come if others follow this trend.