Los Angeles

15 Must-Attend Music Festivals Happening In and Around LA This Year

Festival season is back!

Even though Coachella’s not happening until 2022, with the June 15 reopening of California that plans to do away with COVID restrictions, it seems like festival season is still a go for summer 2021. More and more fests are being announced on what seems like a daily basis—and even more shockingly, it looks like we’ll actually be able to gather packed into a field at full capacity when they happen. Here’s a rundown of the biggest fests announced so far.

Day Trip Festival

Berth 46 (San Pedro)
July 4-5
This mostly house-music central fest on the waterfront in San Pedro is set to be one of LA’s first big shows back, with headliners including Chromeo and two days of Diplo. The fest has been sold out for months, but if you’re itching to get in you can sign up for the wait list here.

Kick Back At The Park

Oak Canyon Park (Silverado)
July 10-11
Get ready to have your insides rattled: this all-weekend event is all-bass music, all-the time, with headliners like Yheti and Truth dropping big-ol’ deep-down bombs. Other artists include Tsururda and Jantsen, with scores more on each day, plus live art and vendors to peruse when you need a break from oontz-ing.

KCRW World Music Festival

Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood) 
July 18, August 1, September 18, September 25
LA Phil and KCRW have partnered again to host their annual summer series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl that’s dedicated to celebrating eclectic sounds from all over the world. Acclaimed saxophonist Kamasi Washington will kick things off with rapper Earl Sweatshirt on Sunday, July 18, followed by the 19th annual Reggae Night with Ziggy Marley and the Wailing Souls on Sunday, August 1. Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard, Jamila Woods, and Georgia Anne Muldrow will perform on Sunday, September 18, and James Blake closes the fest with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Thomas Wilkins on Sunday, September 25. 

HARD Summer

NOS Events Center (San Bernardino)
July 31-August 1
The hardtop-concrete NOS Events Center can be an uncomfortable scorcher mid-summer, but that’s not gonna dissuade hip hop and electronic music fans from going to the most recent iteration of HARD summer, especially with headliners like Future and Kaytranada on Saturday and 2 Chainz and Dillon Francis playing on Sunday.

Uproar

LA Coliseum (Exposition Park)
August 13
Legendary rapper Lil Wayne’s on the topline of this brand new hip hop festival, which includes the rest of his Young Money crew along with other “Friends,” dance troupes, interactive experiences, curated art, food, and drink

Paradise in the Park

Pershing Square (Downtown)
August 21
The dancey Ibiza party Paradise has rescheduled its’ COVID-cancelled LA date to August 21, with Welsh DJ Jamie Jones headlining. So far no other artists have been announced, but expect tons of other fist-pumpers to join this day-to-night festival in the next few months.

Beyond Wonderland

NOS Event Center (San Bernardino)
August 27-28
EDM promotion company Insomniac is behind the stacked lineup at this year’s Beyond Wonderland, which includes Flosstradamus, Diplo, and Tiesto. Expect fantastical art and performances, installations, and stages that take you to realms beyond Alice’s original wonderland.

Same Same But Different

Lake Perris
September 9-12
This electro-meets-jamband festival’s got the sax-driven Big Gigantic and the always trippy STS9 at the top of the four day camping fest, with The Motet and Groovesession among the highlights further down the bill. They’re requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test within seven days of the fest, so if you’re going, make sure you’re prepared. As of press time, the festival is sold out, but you can join the waitlist here

Beachlife Festival

Redondo Beach
September 10-12
Beachlife is set up right on the shores of Redondo, which, coupled with its lineup of 90’s-rockers and laid-back reggae stars, makes it one of the chillest vibes of any of LA’s fests. This year includes Ziggy & Steven Marley playing Bob Marley’s best songs and Jane’s Addiction and Counting Crows bringing some classic alt-rock to the beach as well as a new acoustic stage with punk singer-songwriters playing solo. There’s also culinary pop-ups happening right next to the performers featuring many of the South Bay’s best chefs.

SoCal Hoedown

Berth 46 (San Pedro)
September 18
This rockabilly-and-ska-decked festival’s gone through a number of lineup and date changes since its announcement just before Covid hit, but (fingers crossed) this one’s gonna stick. Lots of the lineup is still TBA, but headliners include surfy psycho-rockers Horrorpops and legendary LA ska-funkers Fishbone.

Primavera Sound

Los Angeles State Historic Park (DTLA)
September 18-19
This Barcelona-based festival is notorious for incredibly stacked lineups, and their first-ever stateside edition was cancelled due to Covid but was going to be toplined by Nine Inch Nails, among others. The lineup is still TBA for their inaugural LA event, but they just released the lineups for two back-to-back weekend fests in Barcelona in June 2022 (which seems kinda backwards, but we admit we’re intrigued), including headliners like Massive Attack, Tame Impala, Gorillaz, Dua Lipa, and more.

Ohana Festival

Dana Point
September 24-26
This Eddie Vedder-curated festival is headlined by...well, Eddie Vedder on one night, and Pearl Jam on another, with Kings of Leon rounding out the top of the bill. The lineup is stacked, though, with rootsy rock favorites like Brandi Carlile and Black Pumas on the bill, as well as a long-awaited reunion of Glen Hansard’s band The Frames.

Chain Fest

Fivepoint Amphitheater (Irvine)
October 23
If you were a ‘00s scene kid and are nostalgic for the days of destroying lifelong friendships with your Myspace Top 8, this may be the fest for you: an all emo singalong topped by Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday, with added bonuses of a greatest hits set from Saves the Day and Circa Survive playing songs from “Big Sky Noise.” Only problem? No Chris Carraba anywhere on the bill.

Head in the Clouds

Rose Bowl Stadium
November 6-7
No lineup has been announced for this festival yet, but it’s put on by the 88Rising team, which means it’s going to be frontloaded with Asian talent; the 2019 edition featured Joji, Higher Brothers, and iKon.

Rolling Loud

NOS Event Center (San Bernardino)
December 10-12
OK, this one’s not coming up for a while but if you’re interested, get tickets now, since the lineup is basically a stacked who’s-who in hip-hop: headliners include legends like ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, and Post Malone, but the bill runs deep with hundreds of notable artists like Rick Ross, Young Thug, Megan thee Stallion, Gucci Mane, and DaBaby.

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Jeff Miller will see you in the front row. Follow him at @jeffmillerla on Insta.
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