Credit: Ed Visions

5 Best California festivals Worth Going to Now That You’re Too Old for Coachella

From Music to Film, These Festivals Are Worthy of Your 2023 Bucket List

Festival lovers, get into formation! If you’ve been hoping to expand your horizons this year, then you’re in luck. From wine tasting and hot-air balloon rides to dancing in the desert, glamming up on the red carpet and discovering the hottest bands you never knew you needed in your life, we’ve rounded up seven Best California festivals that are absolutely worth going to. Move over Coachella—you’ve got competition!

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CRSSD Festival

Dates: September 23-24, 2023

Hosted at Waterfront Park in San Diego this March, the CRSSD Fall Festival is rounding up some of the best electronic artists around the world for a two-day EDM beat bash. Whether your flavor is more house, techno or indie rock, get ready to join 15,000 of your closest friends and spin out to the sounds of top-tier talent like Flume, Boys Noize and FISHER with underground DJs and special guests like Röyksopp. 

Location: San Diego

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Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters

Dates: July-Sept. 2023

Best Festivals in California
Credit: Festival of the Arts

One of the most highly anticipated events in Orange County, folks from near and far gather in Laguna Beach each summer for the Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters—bringing classic and contemporary masterpieces to life in a human embodiment of living art. With elaborate sets showcased in an al fresco amphitheater, audiences delight in classic re-creations of works by renowned artists—from Monet and Michelangelo to John Singer Sargeant. Celebrating its 90th anniversary this July, the festival also includes exhibitions displaying the works of more than 100 local artists!

Location: Laguna Beach

 

Newport Beach Film Festival

Dates: Oct. 12-19, 2023

Can’t make it to Sundance or Cannes this year? Enjoy all of the glamor and excitement of a big-time film festival right here in Newport Beach. Showcasing more than 300 films from around the world, you can see the hottest releases from some of the biggest names in the film industry alongside the up-and-coming works of promising new visionaries. The week-long event features an opening-night gala, star-studded red carpet events, awards ceremonies, short film segments, special programming, Q&As with creators and an epic afterparty at Fashion Island.

Location: Newport Beach

 

Desert Daze

Dates: Oct. 12-15, 2023

Promising an experience of “inter-dimensional exploration,” Desert Daze is the place for those who love space—and the underground music scene. After celebrating 10 years of annual festivities in 2022 with on-brand bands like Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Mild High Club and The Space Lady, prepare to head back to Lake Perris this October for a new lineup of out-of-this-world artists.

Take a dip in the lake in between acts and enjoy the panoramic mountain views, or kick back in your camper for the night and join an early-morning sound bath session or some group yoga.

Location: Lake Perris

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Palm Springs Pride Festival

Dates: Nov. 3-5, 2023

Best California festivals
Credit: Rudi Weislein

Get your rainbow flags ready! Commemorating 37 years of inclusivity and celebration of the local (and global) LGBTQ+ community, Palm Springs Pride Festival is back and more fierce than ever—featuring performances by Todrick Hall, Pussy Riot and even a Spice Girls tribute band on the Truly Vodka Main Stage. Free and accessible to all, the beloved event kicks off with its annual Pride Parade, hosted by Bella da Ball, where participants and allies can join in the spectacular showcase shimmying through town.

Location: Palm Springs

Writer | + posts

Based in Los Angeles, Kandace has spent the past ten years in the fashion and lifestyle space, and recently in entertainment at Sony Pictures Studios. She has a Masters in Journalism from Emerson College and has studied in Paris, Firenze, and Washington DC, beginning her career as a style editor and tastemaker for NBC. She is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, having studied screenwriting for film and television at UCLA, and her work has been celebrated around the world, in cities like London, Nice, New York, and Montréal. Paying homage to her French heritage, she is also the creator of The Chic American--a style and culture editorial destination for Francophiles, dedicated to the art of living an elevated, French-inspired lifestyle.

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