Top 10 Music Festivals in California 2022

Top 10 Music Festivals in California 2022

Ah, the Golden State. Home to sunshine, Hollywood, artisanal toast, and (most importantly) music festivals. There are, of course, a lot of festivals throughout the USA, but there's something about the Cali climate and disposition that translates well in a festival environment.

Because of this the state is home to festivals of all shapes and sizes, ranging from highly curated boutique ones to anything goes hippy freakouts in the desert.

With so much to choose from, we thought we'd give you a hand and run down our favourites. Here they are, presented in chronological order. 

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Festival lineup (2022): Kanye West, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Swedish House Mafia 

Heard of it? Whether you like it or not, Coachella is the most influential music festival in the world. The unofficial official start to the festival season every year, the festival has also become a fashion institution, setting trends for what you'll see at festivals throughout the summer. And as much as you might want to make fun of the people who attend, Coachella consistently puts together one of the best and most varied lineups you'll find anywhere.

When & Where: April 15-17 & 22-24, 2022; Indio

Coachella 2022 Guide / Book Coachella 2022 Passes


Festival lineup (2022): Thomas RhettCarrie UnderwoodLuke CombsMaren MorrisBrothers OsborneThe Black CrowesCody Johnson

Put on by the same people behind Coachella and set in the same spot, Stagecoach is the biggest country music festival in the world. Welcoming the biggest names not just from country, but folk, bluegrass, and roots rock as well, the festival has grown every year since its inception in 2007. With 80,000 people attending in 2019, Stagecoach's melding of a classic rock weekender festival format with country sounds clearly strikes a chord with music fans. 

When & Where: April 29 - May 1, 2022; Indio

Stagecoach 2022 Guide / Book Stagecoach 2022 Passes

Lightning in a Bottle

Festival Lineup (2022): Glass Animals, Kaytranada, Black Coffee, Four Tet, Little Simz, Chet Faker, CloZee

It never hurts to have a good origin story. Started as a birthday party for its first four years, Lightning in a Bottle was first opened to the public in 2004. After moving around a few times, the festival have found an ideal home in Bradley, on the shores of Lake San Antonio. And as more and more festivals sell to either Live Nation or AEG, it's important to point out that Lightning in a Bottle remains independent. This ensures the experience is unique and the lineup is always solid and not filled out with label fodder.

When & Where: May 25-30, 2022; Bradley

Lightning in a Bottle 2022 Guide & Mailing List

BottleRock Napa Valley

Festival Lineup (2021): Stevie Nicks, Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, G-Eazy, Jack Harlow

Firstly, let's get this out of the way: yes, BottleRock is indeed Napa Valley's first large-scale music festival. Set in the heart of America's wine country, the festival merges chart-topping tunes with the highfalutin world of wine. Annually featuring a lineup of some of the biggest acts on the planet, the festival is about more than just music, with over twenty local wineries on site, along with a culinary stage of celebrity chefs and special guests. Oh and if all this gets a little overwhelming, BottleRock has its own spa.

When & Where: September 3-5, 2021; Napa Valley

BottleRock 2021 Guide & Mailing List

HARD Summer Music Festival

Festival Lineup (2021): Future, Dillon Francis, DJ Snake B2B Malaa, REZZ, KAYTRANADA, Maya Jane Coles

If you haven't noticed, carving out a niche for yourself in the festival world isn't easy. There's at least one for pretty much everything you can think of. HARD's approach is to walk the fine line between EDM and the underground. Granted that sounds like a paradox, but you can't argue with the results here. Started as an electronic music festival, HARD Summer has broadened its horizons in the last few years to accommodate the undeniable appeal of hip hop. 

When & Where: TBA July, 2022; San Bernardino

HARD Summer 2022 Guide & Mailing List

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

Festival Lineup (2021): Tame Impala, Lizzo, Tyler, The Creator, The Strokes, Vampire Weekend, J Balvin, ZHU

San Fran's main event, Outside Lands annually welcomes 200,000 music fans. Heading into its 14th edition in 2022, the festival turns Golden Gate park into a musical wonderland. What separates Outside Lands from the competition is its ability to put together a lineup that balances critical and commercial success. You won't find too many pop stars here, though. Instead it's about artists who have used their critical success to crossover into the commercial world. 

When & Where: August 5-7, 2022; San Francisco

Outside Lands 2022 Guide & Mailing List

CRSSD Festival 


Festival Lineup (2021): KAYTRANADA, Zhu, Jon Hopkins, ANNA, Flying Lotus, Sven Väth, Jamie Jones

There are electronic music festivals of all shapes and sizes in The States, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than CRSSD Festival. Every year this mid-sized festival curates an expertly crafted lineup of critically acclaimed, influential house, techno, EDM, and hip hop DJs. Add to this that it boasts one of the most scenic urban settings of any festival in the country, right on the water in downtown San Diego, and its easy to see why CRSSD is on this list.

When & Where: September 25-26 2021; San Diego

CRSSD Festival 2021 Guide & Mailing List

Rolling Loud California

Festival Lineup (2021): Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Playboi Carti, Kodak Black, Gunna

Rolling Loud is the premier hip hop festival in the world. Its flagship edition in Miami was founded in 2015, and since then Rolling Loud has become a global brand, with outposts across The States and even one in Portugal. If you ever feel out of touch with the  contemporary hip hop scene, just look up Rolling Loud's latest lineup poster and you'll be immediately brought up to date with the state of the scene's pecking order. 

When & Where: TBA December, 2022; San Bernardino 

Rolling Loud California 2022 Guide & Mailing List

Desert Daze

Festival lineup (2021): The War On DrugsKamasi WashingtonToro y MoiJapanese BreakfastTim Heidecker & Weyes Blood performing Fear of DeathYves TumorTy Segall

Desert Daze is the perfect remedy for anyone who's worried about the future of music festivals. Set on the scenic Moreno Beach, the festival is a cohesive experience. The lineup annually features some big acts, but it's not the social media frenzy-inducing level of its bigger counterparts. Instead, organisers focus on curating a lineup of artists that compliment each other. My theory, because you're asking, is eventually people will get tired of the mega festivals where you can't possibly see all the acts you want to and instead start favouring more manageable and more put together ones like Desert Daze.

When & where: September 30 -October 2, 2022; Lake Perris 

Desert Daze Festival 2022 Guide & Mailing List

Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival

Festival Lineup (2019): Tyler, The Creator, Solange, BROCKHAMPTON, Earl Sweatshirt, Daniel Caesar, FKA Twigs, H.E.R.

Another example of what I was talking about for Desert Daze, there's a lot that makes Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival great, but I think a major draw is its less grandiose aspirations. Curated by none other than Tyler, The Creator, the festival feels more like a bunch of friends hanging out than a festival. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Tyler can draw from a long list of his famous friends when putting together the lineup.

When & Where: TBA November, 2022; Los Angeles

Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival 2021 Guide & Mailing List

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