Add these California music festivals to your 2021 bucket list

Add these California music festivals to your 2021 bucket list
Source: Besty Newman, Outside Lands

With a new season right around the corner, some of the best fall California music festivals are in the works. Even though the world is still dealing with the pandemic and the effects of the new delta variant, music festival companies and event organizers are trying to maintain the appropriate safety measures and protocols in order to continue on with popular festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival or San Francisco’s Outside Lands.

Renowned music companies like LiveNation and AEG (as well as many other hosted single-day concerts and events in California) are now requiring full proof of the COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a negative test result, which has been making the idea of attending these events a little more comforting. So as you begin to navigate the list of California music festivals slated for the next few months, keep these top upcoming music festivals on your list.

Outside Lands

Every year San Francisco hosts the well-known music festival for locals of the bay known as Outside Lands. Investing in the cultural vitality of the Bay Area, Outside Lands has been supporting local nonprofit music and arts education programs for over 10 years now. With the music festival being one of the largest independently owned festivals in the United States, popularity among attendees has grown significantly over the years.

The event organizers have not only built a solid foundation through their relationships with their community, but have consistently raised the profile of pioneering and supporting different organizations which has helped establish their reputation as a whole. This year the event lands on the weekend of Halloween, October 29-31, so come prepared to listen to renowned artists like Tame Impala or Tyler the Creator while wearing your customized costume you’ve been dying to show off all year. This event normally doesn’t fall on these dates, so it will be the first time to merge the fun of Outside Lands with Halloween.

Escape Halloween

Known to be probably one of the best California music festivals for the weekend of Halloween, Escape Halloween is a popular festival choice for the month of October. People come from all over Southern California to experience one of Insomniac’s more thematic and lively events that involves a huge assortment of electronic dance music (EDM) and a variety of walk-through mazes, costumed performers and light installations that’ll keep your eyes entranced the whole time.

Attendees and performers here dress up in their most creatively thought-out costumes and have a full night of EDM with some of the best production they could experience at an Insomniac Event. With Halloween coming up quickly, October fanatics are excited to see popular EDM DJs like Will Clarke and Green Velvet while dancing the night away in their favorite vampire costume. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do for Halloween, this is it.


Audiotistic Bay Area has officially rescheduled their event for the weekend of November 20-21. After spending a couple years in Northern California, Insomniac’s Audiotistic has finally returned thanks to both Meelo Solis, the founder of the event as well as his partner, Pasquale Rotella. The one-day show has been a huge success over the past decade, embracing a diverse range of music genres. People come from all over California to witness some of the best forward-thinking styles of music at Audiotistic.

Uniting popular genres like hip-hop and electronic music and showcasing the unique styles of turntablism, the festival is known for being a crowd-pleaser. This year Audiotistic is located at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, accommodating up to 30,000 guests at once. Tickets start at US$89.99 for one day, while the two-day pass sells for US$149.99. Although this year’s lineup is packed with EDM artists, expect nothing but the best from seasoned veterans like Jauz or Tchami – some of the biggest names in the industry.

Life Is Beautiful

Located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas is one of Nevada’s most prominent music festivals, Life is Beautiful. With the event stretching over 18 city blocks, expect to see crowds of festivalgoers dancing and prowling in between the old time buildings of downtown Las Vegas. This three-day event is a music, culinary and art festival that specializes in unique artistic and creative experiences.

Activities and experiences range from some of the best food vendors and comedians to renowned scientists like Bill Nye giving us insight on modern science. Due to COVID-19, Life is Beautiful festival was canceled last year, but they have officially finalized their dates for September 17-19. This festival screams diversity, so if you’re looking for an upcoming music festival that involves a plethora of fun activities aside from live music, this is the one to lookout for.

DreamState SoCal

If trance music fans were to go to any California music festival, DreamState SoCal would definitely be at the top of their list. With this music festival featuring a strict lineup of trance artists, DreamState is said to be one of Southern California’s best festivals to attend if you’re searching for a full night of different melodic trance beats.

Insomniac Events has been hosting this oasis for trance fans for years now, and with the music festival being held at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, city locals have been eagerly awaiting to come together again to experience mind blowing audiovisual environments against sounds that’ll actually put you in a trance. With three different stages (The Dream, The Vision, The Sequence), expect to hop from stage to stage for top artists like Andrew Bayer and Alpha Portal.

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