Festival Roundup 2016

Posted on in On Our Radar by Sharon Cummings


» MAY 25–30

Lightning in a Bottle

Bradley, CA

Chet Faker // The Polish Ambassador // Emancipator Ensemble // Alina Baraz // Grimes // Dimond Saints // The Pimps of Joytime // Jaime XX // Dirtwire // Eprom // Cashmere Cat // Big Gigantic // Nahko and Medicine for the People // Rubblebucket // Lucent Dossier Experience

Vibe & Venue:

In its third year at the spacious San Antonio Recreation Park halfway between SF and LA, LIB has become a hit with the Burning Man crowd, and its interactive environments accommodate 20,000 attendees. Electronic music all-stars, downtempo and sacred sounds, ecstatic dance, improv arts, live theater and ritual performance, and visionary art installations weave the web of exotic attractions to kick off the Memorial Day weekend. Besides the multiple stages, cultural hubs include The Temple of Consciousness, The Learning Kitchen, The Village, The Grand Artique, The Marketplace, and The Healing Sanctuary, among others. As active stewards of the land, the LIB ethos is “leave it better” and “leave it beautiful,” a philosophy exhibited on the smiles of those transformed by this transformational fest.

» MAY 27–29

California Roots Festival

Monterey Fairgrounds, CA

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley // Michael Franti & Spearhead // Stephen Marley // Slightly Stoopid // Barrington Levy // Rebelution // Pepper // Tribal Seeds // Tarrus Riley // J Boog // Hirie // Thrive // Atmosphere

Vibe & Venue:

Cali Roots Festival brings good vibrations to coastal Monterey for both the longtime devoted and newcomers to the NorCal reggae roots scene. With multiple Marley brothers and reggae legends on the main stage and local popup performances guaranteed, the days will blend into nights with the After Dark Lounge (offsite sold separately). Don’t miss your chance to peep Michael Franti’s “Do It for the Love” nonprofit program—bringing the joy of music to those who need it most.

MAY 27–29

Bottle Rock

Napa, CA

Stevie Wonder // Red Hot Chili Peppers // Florence & the Machine // Cold War Kids // Lenny Kravitz // Buddy Guy // The Lumineers // Rodrigo y Gabriela // Death Cab for Cutie // Gogol Bordello // Walk the Moon // Group Love // Atlas Genius // Alina Baraz

Vibe & Venue:

In its fourth year, Bottle Rock features a world-class lineup to suit a broad range of musical and culinary tastes. Entrance includes access to four stages of musical talent spanning pop, rock, soul, funk, indie, and more. The Culinary Stage presents over 100 celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, vintners, and brewers serving up demonstrations, exhibitions, and other high jinks—including a mashup of rock stars and athletes as guest chefs. Sample inspired cocktails, a wide variety of regional wines, and locally crafted beers to complement the exquisite and globally influenced cuisine—all at the center of Napa, a VIP destination in its own right.

JUNE 9–12

Ecstatic Now

Pinecrest, CA

Shaman’s Dream // Mikey Pauker // Liquid Love Drops // Dear Beloveds // The Heartifact // Avani // Sweet Medicine

Vibe & Venue:

A unique new festival, Ecstatictouts itself as an experiment in radical connection. All-inclusive four-day event brings together speakers, practitioners, and musicians, facilitating a content-rich, heart-opening, connective experience in the stunning Stanislaus National Forest. You’re invited to leave your inhibitions, patterns, and conditioning behind. Come open to the magic and possibility of experiencing a new way of being. With workshops in movement, meditation, touch, yoga, and communication, Ecstatic Now invites you to celebrate life to the fullest.

JUNE 10–12

Raindance Campout

Wilseyville, CA

Boreta // Shades // Antennae // Christian Martin // The Human Experience // Sam Binga // Katdelic // Andreilien // Fort Knox Five // Worthy // Vibesquad // Mikhai // Nico Luminous

Vibe & Venue:

Raindance has a history of custom curating some of the original outdoor electronic music festival campouts, as well as epic and artful events throughout the year, such as the stellar Chinese Lunar New Year gatherings in SF and The Freaker’s Ball in Santa Cruz. This summer they bring their crew of electronic genius for a full weekend of all-night music with top producers and brandnew collaborations. Hosted at Blue Mountain Event Center in beautiful Butte County just outside of Grass Valley.

JUNE 17–19

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Boonville, CA

Toots & the Maytals // Don Carlos // Beres Hammond // Alpha Blondy // Cocoa Tea // Etana // Israel Vibration // Lee // Scratch // Perry // Richie Spice // Pablo Moses // Tanya Stephens // Céu

Vibe & Venue:

Celebrate world peace with world beats where irie vibes and world roots music make this summer solstice tradition a family-friendly favorite on the festival circuit. A central stage and late-night dancehall send out the sounds of summer, with reggae music ruling the lineup. Share your voice, dance, and drum with the colorful world cultures and special spirit that unites Anderson Valley every year. World music artists often collaborate onstage and share in passionate calls to action for world peace, inviting us all to bridge the one world family through the love of music.

JUNE 23–26

Kate Wolf Music Festival

Laytonville, CA

Neko Case, k.d. lang, Laura Veirs // Harry Belafonte // Ruthie Foster // Eric Bibb // Blame Sally // The Wood Brothers // Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers // Calexico // Trampled by Turtles

Vibe & Venue:

A tribute to folk legend Kate Wolf, this is a laid-back Sonoma County fest where the young and the young-at-heart find common ground in sing-alongs, campfire jams, riverside swims, and plenty of other outdoor summertime activities that manifest naturally there.


High Sierra Music Festival

Quincy, CA

Tedeschi Trucks Band // Thievery Corporation // Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals // Dr. Dog // The Chris Robinson Brotherhood // Femi Kuti & The Positive Force // Greensky Bluegrass // The California Honeydrops

Vibe & Venue:

Jam band fans count on the timeless and refreshing feeling of their annual arrival to the elevations of Quincy for a carefree Fourth of July weekend of High Sierra reunions and offbeat traditions. Artists often band together, playing multiple sets or sitins with other acts throughout the weekend. Campsite collaborations and renegade RV performances give fans the easy feeling of always being in the right place at the right time. Flat, grassy lawns filled with movement activities, plus paved pathways, a swimming pool, indoor facilities, and plenty of shade, allows for a fun and effortless family affair.

JULY 14–17

California WorldFest

Grass Valley, CA

Boz Scaggs // Nahko and Medicine for the People // Delhi 2 Dublin // Fannah-Fi-Allah // Third World // MaMuse // Dustin Thomas // Awa Sangho // Mariachi Flor de Toloache // Boogat // Baskery // Los Pinguos // Dead Winter Carpenters // MYSTYFYA // Emel Mathlouthi

Vibe & Venue:

Staged in the tall pines of the Sierra Foothills, WorldFest is where you’ll find families dancing together barefoot in the grassy hills of Grass Valley at this much-loved midsummer fest. The local producers are known for assembling both established and up-and-coming musical acts that prominently feature women. Known as one of the most kid-friendly summer festivals, little ones love the wide-open meadow kid zone, where they are free to create their own experience. Artists and attendees alike appreciate the fresh air and intimate, relaxed atmosphere year after year.

JULY 14–17


Squaw Valley, CA

Stephen “Ragga” Marley // Beats Antique // Gaudi // Kaminanda // Tasha Blank & the Get Down Crew // DJ Drez // MC Yogi

Vibe & Venue:

Wanderlust festivals have spread to become a global success since hosting their original yoga-music blend at Squaw Valley in 2009. The legendary ski resort warmly welcomes the shiny, happy yogis of summer as it hosts workshops, classes, pool parties, outdoor adventure options, shopping, food, and wine.

JULY 22–25

Enchanted Forest Gathering

Laytonville, CA

The Polish Ambassador // Ayla Nereo // Shpongle // Pantyraid // Thriftworks // Bluetech // SaQi // Hamsa Lila // Manoj // Neptune // Brian Hartmann // Andreilien // Youssouphe Sidibe // Fannah-Fi-Allah // Clozee // Haana // Attya // Kyrsten Pixton & eO // Cheraki // Sixis

Vibe & Venue:

By blending the very best of West Coast electronic, acoustic, and traditional world music, Enchanted Forest has become a popular boutique destination with its holistically appealing lineup. Nestled amid the magical oak groves at Wavy Gravy’s Hog Farm, the producers have structured a sweet and safe community container—this is an alcohol-free event—within a landscape of charm and fantasy. High marks go to the stage, art, and interactive designers for their attention to detail and to the event producers for envisioning a sacred, sexy, silly expression.

JULY 28–31

Guitarfish Music Festival

Cisco Grove, CA

ALO // The Greyboy Allstars // Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds // Orgone // Lyrics Born // Hamsa Lila // Poor Man’s Whiskey // Afrolicious // Mumbo Gumbo // Wheeland Brothers // Jankytown Orchestra & the Jankasarous Art Car // Revival // Aphrodesia // Eric McFadden

Vibe & Venue:

Just west of Truckee and south of Lake Tahoe, the 300-acre Cisco Grove Campground houses a nature lover’s treasure trove. Enter Guitarfish Festival with its clever roster of jam band, bluegrass, and funk presented alongside an eco-awareness celebration for the safekeeping of waterways and for the preservation of marine life in rivers and streams. Now in its sixth edition with humble grassroots, you’ll dance at the Orca, Dolphin, and Starfish stages and then take pause to learn about vital preservation nonprofits.


Reggae on the River

Garberville, CA

Sizzla Kalonji & The Fire House Band // Anthony B // Sister Carol // Million Stylez // Jesse Royal // King Yellowman // Proteje & The Indiggnation Band // Soul Syndicate with Mad Professor, Big Youth, U-Roy, Randy Valentine, Marty Dread, Earl Zero // Mbongwana Star // New Afrobeat

Vibe & Venue:

In its 32nd year, Reggae on the River is an authentically Humboldt County event. Enjoy beachfront reggae jams in the summer sun all day and into the chilled night at French’s camp on the south fork of the Eel River. Join legendary reggae artists at this mainstay of the cannabis community and relish homegrown organic food with plenty of opportunity to partake.


Outside Lands

San Francisco, CA

Radiohead // Lionel Ritchie // Sufjan Stevens // Duran Duran // Air // LCD Soundsystem // Lana del Ray // J Cole // Zedd // Ryan Adams and the Shining // Big Grams // Griz // Grimes // Beach House // Miguel // Third Eye Blind // Kehlani // Miike Snow // Chance the Rapper // St. Lucia

Vibe & Venue:

Within the stunning natural landscape of iconic Golden Gate Park, Out side Lands brings the biggest names in music to seven-plus stages—including a comedy tent and a GastroMagic stage for quirky mixology mash-ups. Find gourmet food options, locally crafted beer, kombucha, and wine at this 200,000-person event. SF characteristically encourages eco-involvement—the whole city has banned both bottled water and plastic bags—so bring your own bottle for water refills and take advantage of the smartphone app to help navigate the vast options.

AUGUST 12–15

Beloved Festival

Tidewater, OR


Vibe & Venue:

The luscious emerald green forests near the Oregon coast host this favorite, where the vibe is more important than the music. Beloved is where community connection and openhearted embrace frame the foundation for reunion, sacred arts, music, and ritual. An alcohol-free event with one stage and a shoe-free dance floor, the producers curate a well-balanced menu of electronic, world, and sacred music. When you enter the campgrounds, you agree to cooperation, active engagement, a challenge to make eye contact with everyone you meet, and to seek out anyone on the sidelines. Finding the Beloved is the intended impetus of every encounter.


Bhakti Fest

Joshua Tree, CA

Krishna Das // Jai Uttal // Trevor Hall // MC Yogi // Donna De Lory // Fannah-Fi-Allah // Kirtaniyas // David Stringer // Jaya LakshmiAnanda // Larissa Stow // Sean Johnson // Girish // Ananda Rasa

Vibe & Venue:

Bhakti Fest is the cornerstone “must” event at summer’s end for those seeking a spiritual and sober (alcohol-free) space to explore the realms of devotional practices. Nestled inside the vaunted Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Bhakti Fest creates a context of sacred worship unlike any other, with the finest gathering of kirtan performers. Participate in the sounds of all-night song, mantra chanting, and sunrise meditations amid stunning desert landscapes. Dive deep into practice with foremost spiritual leaders, world-class asana teachers and workshop facilitators. Nourish the body with organic vegetarian food, an onsite swimming pool, and an expert healer’s village. A plentiful pilgrimage to unwind from the Labor Day weekend.

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