Stab’s Guide to California Music Festivals
Words by Morgan Williamson Anyone keen for a wig out with 50,000 strangers? It’s good for you. Surfing’s fun, but you know what else is? Spending 72 hours on a proper bender, swiveling skinny little hips on top of gelatin legs. Which if you’re going to do, bring a couple bottles of Pedialyte they’ll keep you […]
Words by Morgan Williamson
Anyone keen for a wig out with 50,000 strangers? It’s good for you. Surfing’s fun, but you know what else is? Spending 72 hours on a proper bender, swiveling skinny little hips on top of gelatin legs. Which if you’re going to do, bring a couple bottles of Pedialyte they’ll keep you fresh in the AM. California does a few things right: first to figure out gay rights, medical marijuana (although not first to legalize it…), beaches, bridges, cities, mountains, tunes and girls. But most importantly; knows how to party, thanks Pac! So music festivals are another category the golden state excels in. Here are five California festivals where your dancing feet will surely find you. For all events Stab strongly recommended you pick up a festival girlfriend. So do your best to keep it marginally together…
*Rave and quasi-rave festys not included. Do us a favour and get that candy shit out of here! PLUR.*
Coachella, Indio Valley: April 10-12 and 17-19
Due to popular demand they run two of them. Weekend one has better special guests, weekend two is slightly less crowded. Both are hot, so hydrate (light beer will work). Book a hotel, or better yet camp on site, feel the disco. If you’re a filthy animal (and we hope you are) then go both weekends. Each year there’s going to be a conflict of bands playing at the same time… Do I see Alt-J, Father John Misty or Glass Animals? A dilemma that’ll surely dissipate as the day turns into night, then resurface Monday morning with a sickening force. Year after year Chelly serves up a damn fine musical cuisine. A few highlights from this year: ACDC, Tame Impala, Interpol, Steely Dan, Caribou, The War on Drugs, Flying Lotus, Jack White, Jungle, Action Bronson, Allah-Las, St. Vincent, ODESZA and the previously mentioned above. Coachella’s the most extravagant festival in CA. If you’ve never been, buy a ticket; the ride will follow.
Outsidelands, San Francisco: August 7-10
What better a setting than Golden Gate Park in the city? A boogie in the woods and fog. The coldest winter Mark Twain ever spent was summer in the San Francisco. If you happen to be hungry the food’s tasty and if you’re thirsty the craft beer and wine’s fine. Outsidelands has brought out Paul McCartney, Radiohead and Metallica in the past and never lacks in the lineup category. Oh, they also have a comedy stage; although your head will probs already be filled with laughter. Around 10 it shuts down. So if you’re still kicking, the city of love’s notorious for keeping the groove alive. Some notables from this year: The Black Keys, Elton John, Wilco, Robert DeLong, Tame Impala, Allah-Las, Hot Chip, Billy Idol, First Aid Kit, Kendrick Lamar, Devil Makes Three, D’Angelo plus other acts worth seeing.
Fuck yeah! That’s what they say, right?
Fuck Yeah Fest, Los Angeles: August 22 and 23
The best named out of the bunch goes down at the LA Memorial Sports Arena. Lalaland’s fit for a good time. This fest goes on for just the weekend. Perfect for a well needed release for the nine to five folks. Here are some of the get down groovers from this years event: Flume, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Dinosaur Jr., Run the Jewels, Mac DeMarco, BADBADNOTGOOD, Nicholas Jarr, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees, Neon Indian, Morrissey (for you depressed vegans out there) and that Kanye West guy.
Infatuation with balloons transcends generations. Photo: Minerwines.com
Bottlerock, Napa Valley: May 29th-31st
Land of the California Cab Sauv, Napa Valley hosts one of Nor Cal’s better festivals. Complete with art installations to gaze into. And fine wine and dining to taste into. It’s a lovely place for outdoor music, set in midst of Sequoia trees in an area traditioned with good weather. This year’s whirl was assisted by Portugal the Man, Robert Plant, Public Enemy, Foster the People, No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, People Under the Stairs, the guy from Chicago and some dude from Kansas. Northern California’s riddled with musical ladies and gents popular in the 60’s and 70’s.
The neon lights over the San Francisco Bay. Photo: sf.rack.com
Treasure Island, San Francisco: October 17th-18th
Here’s our final recommendation. Back to the beautiful city of San Francisco and the only festy on this list that you can still attend this year. There are other’s that’ll go down as the season progresses. If you’re on the southern coast; The Growlers put on Beach Goth every year (Oct 24th-25th) give that a look. It’s just not of the caliber presented here. TI’s a weekend festival in the middle of the San Francisco bay. This year will boogie to The National, STS9, Father John Misty, The War on Drugs, Run the Jewels, Panda Bear and Jose Gonzalez, Deadmau5 amongst a few others.
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