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A Guide to San Diego' Music Festivals


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San Diego's music festival scene has people flocking from all over to jam out with their favorite bands. 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 music festivals-from little neighborhood street parties to the big boys, like CRSSD Fest and KAABOO.

Let's Dance

CRSSD Fest - March & October

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.'

San Diego Indiefest - March

San Diego Indiefest 'celebrates and advocates for outstanding independent music, film, art, business and ideas.' It's a three-day party for all ages that includes art and performances of every kind, with the great bands leading the way. It's a fun place to discover your next favorite independent, underground artists, as well as see a few names you might recognize, like Bear Hands.

Rock Star Beer Festival - March

Rock Star Beer Festival celebrates two things San Diego loves: craft beer and live music. The event features more than 50 craft beers and awesome bands like Metro Station. It all takes place in the uber-trendy public event space called SILO in Makers Quarter in one of San Diego's most artsy neighborhoods, East Village. The event also raises money for the San Diego Hunger Coalition.

> Get another round of San Diego craft beer

X-Fest - June

Hosted by alt-rock radio station 91X, X-Fest kicks summer off right. The festival fills Sleep Train Amphitheater 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.

Dirty Parts Festival - June

The Dirty Parts Festival, which might win 'best festival name,' is hosted by the local 94.9FM radio station at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. Recent acts include New Politics, Kongos, Big Data and Saint Motel.

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 and includes 200 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.'

Adams Avenue Street Fair - September

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.

KAABOO - September

KAABOO is the premier, big-scale music festival in San Diego, featuring toptier 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.

Tramps Like Us - September

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

San Diego Music Thing - November

San Diego's citywide celebration of indie music hosts events and performances at different venues around town with the conference portion held in North Park. Yo La Tengo headlined the four-day music celebration in 2015, but you can find countless different styles of shows from all types of underground artists. Start growing your hipster mustache now.

OMFG! - December

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.'