Entertainment

20 gloriously crowded, sweaty and loud music festivals, all just a car trip away

How will it feel to finally part a festival gate for the first time in 2021? Relief? Trepidation? Absolute unbridled exuberance to be seeing music, any music, on a stage in the sun again?

With California now halfway to being vaccinated and — fingers crossed — all COVID-19 trends pointing in good directions here, a number of the area’s marquee festivals have booked lineups, set dates and started selling tickets for summer and fall events. The state’s June 15 reopening is proceeding as scheduled, so if you’re comfortable making music and travel plans, there are scores of festivals within a day’s drive of L.A. that will be thrilled to have you back.

Alas, Coachella and Stagecoach will likely be down until 2022, and everything here is obviously subject to very rapidly evolving state and local COVID-19 policies. But here is our guide, in chronological order, to all the big ones that are scheduled for 2021.

HARD Summer
July 31-Aug. 1
NOS Events Center, San Bernardino
Headliners: Future, DJ Snake, Malaa
Don’t Miss: A decade into his rap career, Chicago’s Lil Durk has a second wind for searing, chart-topping drill.
Tickets: $99

Hive Fest
Aug. 6-7
Utah State Fair Park, Salt Lake City
Headliners: Post Malone, $uicideboy$, Trippie Redd, DaBaby
Don’t Miss: Jack Harlow is the breakout pop star of this otherwise edgy rap festival.
Tickets: $349-$650

Post Malone headlines Hive Fest in Salt Lake City.

(Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images)

Uproar
Aug. 13
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Headliners: Lil Wayne, TBD
Don’t Miss: There’s no way the collaboration fiend Wayne doesn’t bring out at least a few A-list special guests.
Tickets: $89-$179

Psycho Las Vegas
Aug. 20-22
Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas
Headliners: Danzig, Emperor, Down
Don’t Miss: Grindcore demons Full of Hell are one of the most brutal but invigorating acts in heavy music today.
Tickets: $65-$299

In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Megan Thee Stallion performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in Newark, N.J..

Megan Thee Stallion might steal the show at BottleRock Napa Valley in September.

(Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

BottleRock Napa Valley
Sept. 3-5
Napa Valley Expo, Napa, Calif.
Headliners: Guns N’ Roses, Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion
Don’t Miss: Perennial Grammy overachievers Black Pumas are actually a fine vibe for this laid-back fest.
Tickets: Festival is sold out, but tickets can be purchased through secondary-market exchanges.

Life Is Beautiful
Sept. 17-19
Downtown Las Vegas
Headliners: Tame Impala, Green Day, Billie Eilish
Don’t Miss: Megan Thee Stallion should be at the top of festival posters in no time.
Tickets: Festival is sold out, but tickets can be purchased through secondary-market exchanges.

Primavera Los Angeles
Sept. 18-19
Los Angeles State Historic Park
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: The Barcelona-based fest, which ranges from indie to hip-hop to techno, is widely touted as one of the world’s best, and after several years of trying it will finally add L.A. to its portfolio of satellite shows, including one in Porto, Portugal.
Tickets: Not on sale yet.

Second Sky
Sept. 18-19
Cesar E. Chavez Park, Berkeley
Headliners: Porter Robinson, Madeon, Jai Wolf
Don’t Miss: Polymath Jacob Collier will likely astound the rave kids.
Tickets: Festival is sold out, but tickets can be purchased through secondary-market exchanges.

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish co-headlines the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas.

(Kelia Anne MacCluskey)

SoCal Hoedown
Sept. 18
Port of Los Angeles, Berth 46, San Pedro
Headliners: Horrorpops, Face to Face, Reel Big Fish
Don’t Miss: Punk-funk mainstays Fishbone had one of the most fun drive-in shows of the pandemic.
Tickets: $50.12

Treefort
Sept. 22-26
Downtown Boise, Idaho
Headliners: Japanese Breakfast, The Marias, Calexico
Don’t Miss: The Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar pairs deep virtuosity with contemporary production.
Tickets: $150-$250

Monterey Jazz Festival
Sept. 24-26
Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, CA
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: This will be the 64th installment of the festival, one of the highlights on the nation’s jazz calendar.
Tickets: Not on sale yet

Ohana
Sept. 24-26
Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA
Headliners: Kings of Leon, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam
Don’t Miss: L.A. punks Plague Vendor are one of the city’s most raucous live acts.
Tickets: $138.50-$267

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Oct. 1-3
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris were set to headline the long-running Americana fest in 2020, though the lineup hasn’t been announced for this year.
Tickets: Free

Reggae Rise Up
Oct. 9-10
Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, Las Vegas
Headliners: Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads
Don’t Miss: The D.C. group Soja blends go-go and punk into its wide-ranging dub and reggae sound.
Tickets: $80-$150

Dirtybird Campout
Oct. 15-17
Modesto Reservoir, Modesto
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: A rave with goofy, endearing summer camp sports from the L.A. house music crew Dirtybird.
Tickets: On sale June 11

Desert Daze
Oct. 17-Nov. 23
Pappy & Harriet’s, Pioneertown, Calif.
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: The lakeside psych-rock festival will return to its typical format in 2022, but for now takes over the beloved Joshua Tree-area roadhouse for a series of small outdoor shows.
Tickets: Not on sale yet

Outlaw Music Festival
Oct. 16
Five Point Amphitheatre, Irvine
Headliners: Willie Nelson & Family, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson
Don’t Miss: Margo Price, whose new album “That’s How Rumors Get Started” showcases her ferocious vocals and quick wit.
Tickets: $29-$249

Electric Daisy Carnival
Oct. 22-24
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Headliners: TBD
Don’t Miss: The marquee fest of the American rave world is always a spectacle no matter who is playing, but expect pretty much every major DJ in the genre to be eager to get back to work here.
Tickets: Festival is sold out, but tickets can be purchased through secondary-market exchanges.

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas will bring New York ennui to San Francisco's Outside Lands festival.

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes performs at the 2019 Lollapalooza Music Festival at Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2019, in Chicago.

(Josh Brasted/FilmMagic)

Outside Lands
Oct. 29-31
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Headliners: The Strokes, Lizzo, Tame Impala
Don’t Miss: Yves Tumor and Its Band is harsh, ambitious and often beautiful.
Tickets: Festival is sold out, but tickets can be purchased through secondary-market exchanges.

Rolling Loud California 2021
Dec. 10-12
NOS Events Center, San Bernardino
Headliners: Kid Cudi, J. Cole and Future
Don’t Miss: Gen Z will turn out for the fast-rising Pooh Shiesty and Coi Leray, but a set from the recently-incarcerated Drakeo the Ruler will feel like a homecoming.
Tickets: On sale June 1.




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