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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 Of These Ear-Pleasing Events

San Diego has a whole lot of music festivals to choose from, each with its own genre and vibe. Festivalgoers will love this list, created with the help of local DJ Ayla Simone, which breaks down all of the annual music festivals — from neighborhood street parties to such major happenings as the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival and the CRSSD Fest.

Live music in San Diego CA

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 Fatboy Slim, 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.”

People celebrating in front of a stage at the Wonderfront festival.

WONDERFRONT MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

With more than 80 acts, seven-plus stages and three full days of tunes, food and a whole lot more, it's no wonder (pardon the pun) that San Diego's waterfront Embarcadero gets rechristened as the Wonderfront for this sprawling November celebration of music and the arts. It's a festival that's just too big for one venue to contain: Wonderfront unfolds at multiple sites along the gorgeous bayfront, including Embarcadero Marina Park North, Seaport Village, Ruocco Park and the Broadway Port Pier. Among the dozens of acts showcased at Wonderfront are such big-name headliners as Gwen Stefani, Kings of Leon and the Zac Brown Band. And the Tastes of San Diego and Craft Beer Village provide a lineup of bites and beverages from great local restaurants and breweries, helping fuel you up to enjoy the music as well as the art installations spread around the festival grounds.

Live music at Pride in San Diego CA

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.”

Live music at the Beer Music Fest in San Diego CA

SAN DIEGO BREW FESTIVAL

The San Diego Brew Festival celebrates two things this town loves: craft beer and live music. And while beer takes center stage at this event, showcasing more than 100 craft brews, the fest also serves up a lineup of awesome cover bands and DJs. It all takes place at the NTC Park at Liberty Station.

Live music at Adams Ave Street Fair in San Diego CA

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.

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