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Music Festival Calendar: West Coast Summer 2013

Lilian Min |
May 21, 2013 | 9:46 p.m. PDT

Music Editor

The clusterfrak that is Coachella (Weekend 1 and 2) has long passed (although the pre-sale for next year’s shenanigans has already been announced), but that does not at all mean that the Best Coast's music festival calendar is over. These other West Coast festivals offer up plenty of tunes, minus the desert heat.



Sasquatch! Music FestivalMay 24-27, The Gorge, Quincy, WA

Headliners: Mumford & Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

What’s so special: The Gorge is one of the most beautiful venues of all time. Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, this open expanse of Northwestern paradise is a breath of fresh air—no seriously, this is one festival where it’s actually advisable to breathe the air in big gulps. This weekend, the Gorge is temporarily turning into a hippie musical conclave, like a cannabis-fueled Woodstock (keep in mind Washington’s new legislation). All the better to enjoy acts like Sigur Ros, Cake, and and Devendra Barnhart. 

Make Music PasadenaJune 1, Downtown Pasadena, CA

Headliners: Tanlines, Yacht, We Are Scientists

What’s so special: First off, this is the only major music festival that is absolutely free (though a donation of $5 is suggested, but that’s small change compared to many of the big ticket festivals). Sure, the lineup’s less in your face, and there’s only 12 hours of festivities, but MMP is basically a giant party within the city of Pasadena. There’ll be music going the entire time, as well as food and art and different city vendors. Since Bloomfest is unfortunately on hiatus until maybe the fall, MMP might be your only chance to soak up some rays and loads of awesome music for free in the streets.

Electric Daisy CarnivalJune 21-23, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV

Headliners: Where does one start… 

What’s so special: EDC has become an absolute behemoth of a festival; it’s no longer just in Las Vegas (formerly in Los Angeles), but it now has lead-up festivals in New York, Chicago, London, Puerto Rico, and Orlando. That said, the Vegas one is still the mother of all raves (at least in the U.S.), and this year’s festivities are sure to be no different. Whether you’re into Crookers or Gareth Emery or Nervo or Sasha, gear up for an even crazier Vegas vacation with the madmen and women behind Insomniac Events.

Lightning in a BottleJuly 11-15, Lake Sinner, Temecula, CA

Headliners: Purity Ring, Nicolas Jaar, Rusko

What’s so special: LIAB is, by all accounts, one of those under the radar art and music experiences that never escapes its hometown (in this case, Temecula), except that its cult appeal, due to its friendly atmosphere and its focus on sustainability, has skyrocketed in the past couple of years, and now indie favorite Purity Ring is headlining the festival alongside electronica wunderkid Nicolas Jaar and dub god Rusko. Also, there’s only a few places that could pull off having a place named the “Temple of Consciousness”—this is one seriously chill festival environment.

HARD SummerAugust 3-4, L.A. State Historic Park, Los Angeles, CA

Headliners: Knife Party, Duck Sauce, Dog Blood, Justice (DJ set), Bassnectar, Empire of the Sun

What’s so special: The folks at HARD sure know how to throw a party. Their events, which now span the States (and go to sea), are always crazy in their production value and in the talent they bring in. Last year was the first year they leveled up their show by taking it outside and bringing in a stellar lineup that included Skrillex’s festival-ending set, but they’re kicking things up yet another notch (copyright Emeril) with this year’s summer festival. 

If you’re not convinced, check out their festival trailer below: it’s a tongue-in-cheek, witty, and most importantly adorable take on the stereotypical “pretty people with their hands up in the air” festival trailer. 

Outside LandsAugust 9-11, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

Headliners: Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix

What’s so special: Outside Lands is basically NorCal’s answer to Coachella, in that its musical acts are also absolutely top-notch (in this case, a lot of the headliners overlap, but nevermind), but there’s less of a commercial spin on the festival so it retains its smaller feel even though, yeah, just look at those headliners. What makes Outside Lands even more special is its focus on food and wine and beer—no seriously, they have their own, separate sections on the website, respectively called the 2013 Taste of the Bay Area, Wine Lands, and Beer Lands. The folks in SF don’t fux around when it comes to their environmentalism either; Eco Lands, started last year, pushes, among other things, the promotion of local food production and purchasing and a solar-powered stage.

FYF Fest August 24-25, L.A. State Historic Park, Los Angeles, CA

Headliners: My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, MGMT

What’s so special: Somewhere at the intersection of “hipster” and “snob,” there’s the music listener whose tastes run indie, but who won’t abandon a band just because it’s gotten popular or more widely critically acclaimed. FYF (short for Fuck Yeah Fest) is apparently tailor made for that particular kind of audience—who probably reads Pitchfork but doesn’t consider it The Authority on music—one of its headlining acts is the just-revived My Bloody Valentine. In terms of bang for your buck, the FYF lineup is fantastic; single day passes are sold out, but trust, you’ll wanna stick around the entire weekend. Also: not a bad way to get back into the school year.

Reach Music Editor Lilian Min here; follow her on Twitter here and on Google+ here.



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