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A Guide to San Diego Music Festivals

From indie favorites to top-tier names

San Diego’s music festival scene has people flocking from all over to jam out with their favorite bands.

Take Your Pick From These Annual Events

There are a bunch to choose from, each with its own genre and vibe. Festival-goers will love this list, created with the help of local DJ Ayla Simone, which breaks down all of the annual music festivals—from little neighborhood street parties to the big boys, like CRSSD Fest and KAABOO.

CRSSD FEST

CRSSD Fest is how San Diego does music festivals. It packs 15,000 people into Waterfront Park, with the gleaming downtown skyscrapers on one side and the glistening San Diego Bay on the other. It’s a biannual celebration of bright, daytime vibes with performances by top artists and DJs. Previous acts include Empire of the Sun, Chromeo, TV on the Radio, The Flaming Lips, Jamie XX, Odesza and Chet Faker.

DJ Ayla Simone: “It’s a nice change to see indie electronic artists in a festival setting right in the heart of San Diego.”

X-FEST

Hosted by alt-rock radio station 91X, X-Fest kicks summer off right. The festival fills the Green at SDCCU Stadium with an eclectic mix of sounds, with previous acts ranging from Modest Mouse, The Cult and Yelawolf to Blink-182, The Offspring and Cold War Kids.

SAN DIEGO PRIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL

San Diego Pride Weekend is a citywide celebration of diversity, self-expression and the LGBT community. It includes a parade, a 5k run and an awesome music festival. The music festival takes place in iconic Balboa Park over two days and includes over 100 artists on multiple stages, as well as great food vendors and art exhibitions.

DJ Ayla Simone: “I love this festival because everyone comes together to celebrate the love and acceptance of all orientations. It’s a new revolution where everyone is one.”

SAN DIEGO BEER AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

The San Diego Beer and Music Festival celebrates two things San Diego loves: craft beer and live music. The event features more than 100 craft beers and awesome bands and DJs. It all takes place at the NTC Park at Liberty Station.

KAABOO

KAABOO is the premier, big-scale music festival in San Diego, featuring top-tier names like No Doubt, Zac Brown Band, The Killers, Foster the People, Jack Johnson and more. Look forward to a more upscale festival experience, including craft cocktails, trendy food options and (gasp!) real bathrooms. The three-day show brings big-time excitement to the sunny stages of the Del Mar Fairgrounds for a festival to remember.

ADAMS AVENUE STREET FAIR

The Adams Avenue Street Fair takes over the eclectic Normal Heights neighborhood with over 100 musical acts on eight stages. Exotic eats, giant carnival rides, beer gardens and over 350 diverse art booths add to the bright, outdoor excitement.

MORE MUSIC EVENTS

TRAMPS LIKE US
Valley View Casino Center, a giant arena in Point Loma, is filled with all-night dubstep, progressive house, trap, instrumental hip-hop, stadium house…you name it. A large variety of artists have played before, including Adventure Club, Blau and Martin Solvieg. Get some sleep the night before…this party goes until 4:00am.

SAN DIEGO MUSIC THING
San Diego’s citywide celebration of indie music hosts events and performances, plus a conference portion, at different venues around North Park. Yo La Tengo headlined in 2015, but you can find countless different styles of shows from all types of underground artists at this multi-day music celebration. Start growing your hipster mustache now.

OMFG!
San Diego’s biggest New Year’s Eve party lasts three days and is full of awesome music and crazy energy. It takes place at Valley View Casino Center and features EDM DJs and musicians who keep the party going through the night and into the early morning.

DJ Ayla Simone:
“You get the rave/dance festival feel of EDC in a much more contained and friendly setting. They have great EDM acts as well.”

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