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Lightning in a Bottle | © Adam Wiggins / Flickr
Lightning in a Bottle | © Adam Wiggins / Flickr

The Best Music Festivals in California in 2017

Picture of Justine McGrath
Updated: 31 May 2017

In the famous words of 2 Pac and Dr. Dre, “California knows how to party,” which is especially true during the state’s many music festivals. With its varied landscapes, year-round sunshine, and an abundance of music lovers, California is the place to scratch your festival itch. By now, you’re familiar with Coachella, Stagecoach, and Outside Lands, but there’s more to the California festival scene than flower crowns and jorts—although those things have been known to kick off some righteous parties. Whether you’re dreaming of shouting lyrics from one of the world’s biggest artists or swaying along to a new beat, these seven lesser-known festivals have you covered.

Lucidity Festival

Lucidity Festival is one part music festival, one part transformational gathering, and one part educational courses to awaken the spirit. If it sounds more than a little hippie-dippie, that’s because it is—but you’ll love it nonetheless. The three-day event takes place in Santa Barbara and brings thousands of people to enjoy all types of music, from blues to glitch hop, and offers workshops and sessions, ranging from chakra clearing to Thai massage.

Lineup: Bix King, DarcSounds, dela Moontribe, and more.

Tickets from $276

April 7–9, 2017

BottleRock Napa Valley

Since 2013, BottleRock Napa Valley has provided a three-day experience for lovers of music and wine. Not only does the Napa Valley festival host some top-notch musicians, but it also boasts celebrity chefs, gourmet food, craft beer, and enough wine cabanas to keep you occupied for days at a time—that is, if you can peel yourself away from the stage.

Lineup: Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Maroon 5, and more.

Tickets from $149

May 26–28, 2017

Lightning in a Bottle

For the festival-goer who loves camping, yoga, art, and music, Lightning in a Bottle is the place to be. The festival, located in Bradley, promotes sustainability in its practices and a sense of community between attendees. You’ll leave Lightning in a Bottle with lots of new artists to check out and a new pack of friends to stay in touch with until the festival returns in 2018.

Lineup: Bassnectar, Richie Hawtin, Troyboi, Too Many Zooz, and more.

Tickets from $75

May 24–29, 2017

Wanderlust Squaw Valley

Wanderlust Squaw Valley is a family-friendly festival. Whether you come with a partner, your squad, or your family, you’re going to gaze out in awe at the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Wanderlust Squaw Valley definitely has one of the most scenic festival locations in the state, and even still, you’ll be happily distracted by the music, yoga, and inspirational talks that occur.

Lineup: Little Dragon, Sol Rising, Dustbowl Revival, and more.

Tickets from $45

July 20–23, 2017

Hard Summer

In 2017, Hard Summer will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Regular attendees of the event have come to expect insane dance parties, crowd surfing, neon lights, and their favorite DJs sweating it out under the L.A. sunshine. This year should be even bigger and better than those before it, as event organizers are keen on promoting their decade-long electronic accomplishment. 

Lineup: Not yet announced

Tickets not yet announced

August 5–6, 2017

Russian River Jazz & Blues

There is perhaps nothing as Californian as listening to live music alongside a body of water while enjoying a cold beer in the sunshine. You too can get a piece of the action at the Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival. Nestled near Northern California’s famed wine country, past acts have included musicians like the Doobie Brothers, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, and Etta James.

Lineup: Not yet announced

Tickets not yet announced

September 9–10, 2017


While attending a massive EDM show in the snow might sound crazy to some, it’s an annual occurrence at SnowGlobe. The three-day event in South Lake Tahoe brings together some of the most bangin’ DJs in the world. Did we mention it concludes on New Year’s Eve? What better way to welcome 2018 than by dancing the night away to your favorite musical acts.

Lineup: Not yet announced

Tickets not yet announced

December 29–31, 2017