When warmer weather comes around, all the music lovers here in California start getting really pumped. Why? Because it means music festival season is on its way! As with many music festivals, there is bound to be a lineup of electronic dance music.
California is a great state to go to if you’re looking for electronic music festivals. The EDM scene is blowing up in California, and my goal is to make it easier for you to learn about them and get the most out of your experience.
From EDC to HARD Summer, Nocturnal Wonderland to Dirty Bird Campout, there sure are a lot of them out there. And the best part is they all come with their own themes/personalities, and none of them feel repetitive compared to one another.
You won’t necessarily be able to hit them all, but you can always count on the best EDM festivals in California coming back year after year!
So, if you’re deciding which electronic music festival in California is best for you or are looking to discover as many new ones as you can, keep on reading! We’ve certainly got our favorites, but this list will help you discover a whole bunch of EDM festivals that are going on in California this year.
EDM Festivals In Southern California
The entire theme of Beyond Wonderland, a California favorite, can be seen in its name. This 2-day EDM festival showcases the magic and wonder of Alice in Wonderland and her fantasy adventures in the classic storybook.
Beyond Wonderland currently features six stages of electronic dance music artists with varying such genres as house, techno, trance, dubstep, and hardstyle. Previous DJs and artists include 4B, DJ Snake, Valentino Khan, ZEDD, Deadmau5, Aly & Fila, Zeds Dead.
Being an Insomniac-held event, the festival is also known for its cutting-edge stage production, over-the-top art installations, and more costumed dancers and performers than you could imagine.
The ultimate goal of Beyond Wonderland? For festival-goers like you to feel like you’ve really been transported to Wonderland–while enjoying some really good music, of course!
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Dates: March 25-26, 2022
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
What more can be said about Coachella (more formally known as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival)? This epic 3-day music and arts event hardly needs any introduction!
Coachella, held annually at Indio, CA over two separate weekends, is one of California’s oldest and most classic music and art festivals. You will certainly have an unforgettable weekend experience of good food, good music, unforgettable art installations, the chance to get creative with your fashion choices, and having a ton of fun with your friends! Really, it’s a whole vibe.
You can expect a massive lineup filled with all types of artists–headliners, indie bands, international artists, and up-and-coming stars, spanning across all types of genres (EDM, hip hop, rock, folk, etc.). Go with an open mind, and chances are, you will discover a new artist or two that you’ll fall in love with.
On top of great artists and high stage production value, you’ll also get the chance to experience some pretty amazing food & drink vendors. The Coachella festival (and Coachella camping) atmosphere is truly unbeatable–something that everyone should experience for themselves at least once!
Location: Indio, California
Dates: April 15-17 & April 22-24, 2022
Desert Hearts Music Festival
The Desert Hearts Crew has been taking the US by storm over the past few years, throwing wild parties around the entire country. Attending the Desert Hearts Festival in Southern California is one of the best ways to enjoy the madness/fun for yourself!
This music festival is all about house, techno, and love. Since their inaugural event in 2012, Desert Hearts has gained a lot of popularity among dedicated house and techno lovers, but the event has stayed true to its origins.
Despite getting more popular, it has been able to maintain the intimate atmosphere that many loyal fans come back year after year for!
Location: Lake Perris, CA
Dates: April 28 – May 2, 2022
HARD SUMMER Music Festival
Ah, I still remember the first HARD Summer event in 2007, such good times! Since its inaugural event, featuring the likes of Chromeo, Justice, Peaches and 2 Live Crew, HARD Summer has been a staple in the California festival scene.
The event lineups typically consist of hip-hop artists, electronic acts, and emerging talents. Over the years, the music featured in the festival has certainly gotten “harder” and more diverse, with headliners such as Skrillex, Joyryde, Malaa, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Future, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, and countless other legends.
But what’s great about this festival is that it does a good job bringing together both the electronic music and hip-hop communities, and HARD Summer festival-goers have come to appreciate the festival for its high energy music!
This annual 2-day music festival is typically held towards the end of summer in the first week of August. They’ve changed venues quite a bit throughout the years, but seem to have found a more permanent home in San Bernadino, CA!
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Dates: July 29-31, 2022
Nocturnal Wonderland is a 2-day boutique event held by Insomniac that spans four stages and features electronic dance music, blacklight art installations, colorful lights, costumed performers, camping, and activities.
The first Nocturnal Wonderland was held in Los Angeles in 1995, making it not only the oldest Insomniac festival but also the longest-running EDM festival in the USA.
The festival typically features five music stages, lots of three-dimensional superstructures, colorful, glow-in-the-dark environments, and LED lights everywhere, even in the trees! Alongside the best in dance music, you can also expect cutting-edge production, fireworks, and carnival rides.
Nocturnal Wonderland is held after the majority of the summer music festivals, usually around mid-September. This is a great chance for artists coming off of the summer tour circuit to test out new music.
They also offer camping now, which is a fun way to extend your experience and fully immerse yourself in the weekend.
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Dates: September 17-18, 2022
CRSSD Festival is a unique, mid-sized music festival based in San Diego, CA that features mainly house, techno, and EDM. This festival is held at the San Diego Waterfront Park bi-annually, with both a spring and summer edition of CRSSD.
With San Diego’s flawless year-round weather, a beachfront setting, epic sunsets, and some of the best of house music, there’s a lot that festival-goers love about CRSSD.
The location really makes this 2-day festival a blast to attend–there is plenty of room to hang out in the grass, splash around in the water fountains, or even get close to the action at the three stages.
Previous headliners include Glass Animals, Sofi Tukker, Gorgon City, Kaskade, Duke Dumont, Aluna George, Rufus Du Sol, Moon Boots, and more.
All in all, if you’re looking for a more casual and mature atmosphere to enjoy music (without the fluff, costumes, and complicated logistics that other music festivals sometimes have), CRSSD is a really good option!
Location: San Diego, CA
Dates: March 5-6, 2022 (spring) / summer dates TBD
Splash House Festival
If you missed Coachella (or if it’s not your thing), you’ll have yet another chance to party and dance in the Palm Springs area! Splash House is basically a mix between Coachella and Las Vegas pool party life. That’s right, it’s basically warm weather, good music, and a whole lot of pool parties!
The Splash House summer series takes place across three hotel resorts in both the months of June and August and features the best of house music, disco, and electronica. Each resort is a full takeover hosting a poolside stage, rooms, and balconies that are all part of the fun.
Once you buy your admission to Splash House, you’ll get access to all three resorts, including shuttle transportation to get back and forth between them all weekend. To elevate your experience, opt for a hotel package so you can enjoy a convenient room just steps away from one of the stages.
For festival lovers, is there any better way to wake up than by hearing bumping EDM music outside your window?
In addition, the desert days continue into the night for the After Hours series, where you can dance beside the planes and stars at the Palm Springs Air Museum!
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Dates: June 10-12, 2022; August 12-14, 2022; August 19-21, 2022
KAABOO Del Mar Music Festival
KAABOO is so much more than a music festival–it’s an entire music experience. This eclectic 3-day music event is a completely curated journey of sound that combines alternative rock, pop, hip-hop, and EDM music into one giant celebration for all things music!
Every detail is crafted for your enjoyment from the music to the food, craft libations to comedy acts, and more.
In terms of the music you can expect, previous headliners included Cheat Codes, Cash Cash, The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Halsey, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, One Republic, Mumford & Sons, Katy Perry, Post Malone, Wiz Khalifa, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube, Aerosmith and the Killers.
Recently, KAABOO Del Mar moved to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and its surrounding venues. As of late, after a two-year hiatus, Kaaboo is set to return in 2022.
Location: San Diego, CA
Dates: 2022 dates TBD
Desert Daze easily takes the cake for being one of America’s most aesthetically pleasing festivals. Taking place at Moreno Beach at Lake Perris in Southern California, your eclectic music weekend will be paired with unbeatable desert views.
While this is not a festival exclusive to EDM music (a lot of it is alternative and psychedelic rock), there is a lot of musical variety that you might really enjoy. Previous headliners include Toro Y Moi, Take Impala, Wu-Tang Clan, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Beach House, and more.
Desert Daze aims to be a more intimate, yet equally spectacular music festival that caters to all types of humans out there. Its mission is to promote love and expand the growth of the human spirit.
Location: Lake Perris, CA
Dates: September 30 – October 2, 2022
If you’re looking to spend your Halloween weekend dressed up and dancing the night away, Escape Halloween is going to be the perfect EDM event for you.
Over the last decade, Escape Halloween has made a name for itself as North America’s largest Halloween festival. This Insomniac-run festival was previously known as Escape From Wonderland and Escape: Psycho Circus, and has been held annually since 2009.
This Southern California EDM festival brings out big names like
Catch your favorite DJs at the various themed stages and dance among the live performers, consisting of freaks, geeks, fortune-tellers, contortionists, and a host of other characters who will make the venue feel “haunted”! In addition, you’ll get to enjoy immersive experiences and freaky sideshows, all of which will add to the freaky circus atmosphere of this event.
Each realm of Escape Halloween offers up a unique musical treat, full of audiovisual goodness that will only help to elevate your Halloween-themed weekend!
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Dates: TBD, usually last few days of October
Dreamstate SF / Dreamstate SoCal
Dreamstate is a paradise for trance lovers worldwide! This is Insomniac’s all-trance event, on a mission to take you to a higher state.
This multi-city music festival features ethereal beats and timeless melodies in cities such as San Francisco, Mexico City, London, Melbourne, Los Angeles and New York. Lucky for us in California, there are two Dreamstate festivals–one in Northern California and one in Southern California.
One of the best things about Dreamstate is how the music is paired so well with the use of lights. The audiovisual combination makes for a heck of a production!
Ultimately, if you’re a fan of uplifting beats, psytrance, or any other subgenre of trance, Dreamstate will be the perfect music festival for you.
Location: San Francisco and San Diego, CA
Dates: SoCal – November 2022 (Dates TBD)
Looking for a quirky, music-filled weekend to ring in the new year? Enter Insomniac’s 2-day NYE music festival, Countdown NYE!
This alien-themed end-of-year music festival first began in 2015. Every year since, Countdown has been going on strong and is now recognized as the largest New Year’s Eve celebration on the West Coast. Whether you’re looking to groove to some space tunes or are simply hoping to get probed, Countdown is the place to be on New Year’s Eve.
Bassheads specifically will like this music festival as the lineup does not shy away from heavy hitters such as Party Favor, Wax Motif, Borgore, JSTJR, and 12th Planet. Other superstar DJs and rising talents from a variety of genres are billed on the lineup. These often include the likes of Oliver Heldens, Jai Wolf, and Porter Robinson.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable and high-energy event to ring in the new year, Countdown NYE is the place to be!
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Dates: Dec 31, 2021 – Jan 1, 2022 (2022 dates TBD)
LED Presents OMFG! NYE
As you can tell at this point, if you’re looking for something to do for NYE in Southern California, you’ll have your pick of the litter. For many years, LED events have had a foothold in the San Diego area, taking on Pechanga Arena as their long-seasoned home. OMFG! NYE, one of their signature events, is held here as well.
San Diego’s very own NYE event is a thoughtfully curated 2-day event featuring the best in rising and mainstream bass-centric artists. Locals love OMFG! NYE because of its high-energy yet still laidback atmosphere, perfect for those who just want to party to some good music.
Previous DJs include Cash Cash, Dillon Francis, Madeon, Seven Lions, and Malaa.
Location: San Diego, CA
Dates: Dec 30-31, 2021 (2022 dates TBD)
EDM Festivals In Northern California
Wobbleland is all about that bass. Held in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium usually in the month of January, this indoor event has been taking place since 2010 and showcasing the many sub-genres of bass and dubstep music.
Over the course of two days, you’ll be able to headbang to the likes of Ghost Rydr, Datsik, Ghastly, Kayzo, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, NGHTMRE, Slushii, and more.
Can’t get enough? Sometimes, they’ll even throw an official afterparty series at a different venue that takes place every night after the festival ends.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Dates: January 14-16, 2022
Lightning In a Bottle
Lightning In A Bottle, more commonly referred to as “LIB”, is an electronic music-focused festival with a holistic and spiritual theme. This music festival is typically held over multiple days along the beautiful shores of Buena Vista Lake in Central California during Memorial Weekend.
Previous DJs include SG Lewis, Four Tet, Justin Martin, Kaytranada, Big Wild, Ekali, Goldlink, Griz, and Chet Faker.
While it always features a strong EDM line-up, there is so much more to this transformational festival. Aside from enjoying the musical acts, festival-goers can take part in experiencing interactive art, yoga classes, guest speakers, cause-driven educational programming, and meditation workshops.
You can even take a break from the music and the inspirational activities to take a refreshing dip in the nearby lake, or simply relax and watch the day go by under shaded trees!
So if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind and potentially life-changing California festival experience, do not miss LIB! Previous attendees have even referred to it as a “mini Burning Man”–so you know this is something you’ll have to experience at least once in your life.
Location: Buena Vista Lake, CA (Central California)
Dates: May 25-30, 2022
The Untz Festival
Founded back in 2009, The Untz Festival can be best described as a 3-day underground bass music festival. What you can expect: a music festival devoted to the discovery of hidden talent as well as a diverse spread of underground bass music artists to enjoy each and every year.
Lineups in the past include Shades, Alix Perez, Tsuruda, Hyroglifics, Caspa, Koan Sound, Boogie T, and Subtronics.
The Untz Festival features takeovers and showcases from different collectives and labels, along with fun workshops, yoga, and art. On-site tent camping is also available, as is premium car camping (featuring electricity and water).
Location: Browns Valley, CA (Central California)
Dates: May 13-15, 2022
Northern Nights Music Festival
Northern Nights Music Festival is a 3-day celebration of the music, arts, food, and local culture held at Cook’s Valley Campground in the Humboldt/Mendocino County area. Partying and dancing for 3 days in the forest? We are so there.
Music-wise, Northern Nights Music Festival features both artists from emerging underground music industries as well as world-renowned DJs from around the globe. Previous artists include the likes of Claude Vonstroke, SNBRN, Troyboi, Big Wild, and Gorgon City.
NNMF strives to maintain its standing as a premier destination festival that offers a unique opportunity to embrace a truly Californian experience. They are all about supporting local communities–from the lighting, sound, and stage production to local talent to regional craft breweries & wineries–you’ll get a really good taste of what Northern California’s all about!
To elevate your music festival experience, you’ll also get to enjoy a mindful space for yoga and meditation, organic food offerings, and local non-profit vendors. The festival grounds feature deep swimming holes, the largest redwood grove used for camping, and plenty of open space to hang out.
Location: Cook Valley, CA (Humboldt/Mendocino County)
Dates: July 15-17, 2022
Outside Lands Music Festival Another Planet Entertainment
Outside Lands Music Festival is a true California favorite. This beloved music festival takes place at none other than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In addition to the Bay Area locals that attend this 3-day festival, folks from Southern California and out of state typically flock to San Francisco too.
In fact, this is the largest music festival in Northern California. This late summer attraction has been an annual showcase of music, art, and sustainability since 2008.
In terms of musical talent, Outside Lands draws a diverse mix of artists with previous headliners including Kaskade, Odesza, DJ Snake, The Weeknd, Lizzo, Tame Impala, and Tyler The Creator. The eclectic mix of music genres featured each year is what brings in the diverse mix of festival-goers from all over the country.
In addition to top-notch music, Outside Lands has expanded to include dedicated food and wine areas, a tent specifically made for comedy and food demonstrations, and a lot more fun!
Location: San Francisco, CA
Dates: August 5-7, 2022
Claude VonStroke and Dirtybird Records have created one of the most unique music festival experiences in the world–Dirtybird Campout. This music festival merges the fun of both dancing/partying and hanging out at a summer camp into one epic experience.
Imagine–“Your counselors are your favorite DJs. Your campmates – fellow fans from across the planet. And your itinerary – anything you can dream up!”–that’s the Dirty Bird pitch!
Of course, the music is going to be good; DJs like Boys Noize, MK, Justin Martin, Shiba San, and Claude Vonstroke himself frequent the stages at Dirtybird.
In addition to the music, you can get your hands dirty with activities of a traditional summer camp including swimming, archery, and more!
Location: Modesto Reservoir Campgrounds (Stanislaus County)
Dates: Likely October 2022 (Dates TBD)
Other EDM Festivals Near California
Electric Daisy Carnival
Though not quite in California, Electric Daisy Carnival–now set in Las Vegas, Nevada, did ultimately start in California which is why I’m adding it to this list!
Just a 4-hour drive from Los Angeles, EDC is easily considered the largest electronic music festival in all of North America.
This globally renowned electronic dance music festival is the largest brand in Insomniac’s collection of events. EDC began in 1997 as a warehouse party in Los Angeles, put on by its CEO and founder, Pasquale Rotella. Since then, EDC has grown into an internationally loved event, attracting nearly one million fans annually.
The annual flagship event is now held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada during the month of May.
The event primarily features electronic dance DJs ranging from music sub-genres such as house, techno, dubstep, trance, and hardstyle. There are always big-name DJs performing, such as Armin van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Diplo, Alesso, Dillon Francis, Martin Garrix, Zedd, Kaskade, Kygo, Seven Lions, Adventure Club, Yellow Claw, Tiësto, and more.
EDC has also been held in a variety of other cities and countries in the past including Orlando, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the UK, Brazil, Japan, China, and India.
Most recently, EDC Las Vegas even expanded to include camping, a great way to elevate your 3-day nonstop music weekend.
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Dates: May 20-22, 2022
While many of us hear about Burning Man here and there, what goes on there can be a big mystery to many. In a nutshell, Burning Man is a week-long arts, culture, and radical inclusion event held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada (120 miles north of Reno, Nevada). It would be a shame to just consider this manmade city a “festival”!
Once a year, tens of thousands of creative/open-minded people gather in the desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary city dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. Literally anyone can participate, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ethnicity, physical ability, etc.
It began as an experiment by Larry Harvey, who wanted to create a temporary community that would be self-sufficient and communal–and during the week of Burning Man, this community is in full existence.
Burning Man features many communal aspects such as free food, lodging, medical services, and the trading of goods–all very different concepts compared to how life really is. There are also no fences or walls separating the campsites, allowing attendees to freely interact with each other.
The festival features so much more than music–festival-goers can expect a wide range of activities including elaborate art installations, interactive art, theater, dancing, workshops, and more.
There are no fences or walls separating the campsites, allowing visitors to interact freely with each other and the art pieces.
Location: Gerlach, Nevada
Dates: August 28 – September 5, 2022