Best West Coast Music Festivals 

I know what you just did. You just paid your tuition for this semester. You also just cashed out hundreds of dollars on textbooks. You’re about to go to your full-time job, and then your part-time job somewhere else. You’re managing a relationship, various friendships and working at an unpaid internship. You are a typical ambitious college student

Let’s take a minute to be 100 percent real. These are the best years of our lives, and although we want these degrees to ensure a high possibility of success, we want to spend these years filled with experiences that will enhance our lives in the best way. “Spend” is the keyword here, as there is a monetary value placed on most fun activities.

Unless you’ve been completely glued to your Netflix screen, you’ve realized that all of your music-loving friends are disappearing for a few days only to come back to you gushing about the most “life-changing” weekend of their short existence. I’m talking about the current music festival craze that has become a beacon of light symbolizing necessity and excitement for people all over the world.

These celebratory musical events have been peppered across the globe drawing in hundreds of thousands of music enthusiasts from the depths of every cultural crevice.

Before you’re engulfed in your own fantasies of faraway festivals, why not direct your sight on the ones in our very own backyard? Or vicinity at least. There are plenty of West coast gems that can appease your musical wanderlust, whilst not breaking your entire bank. Here is my list of music festivals that are relatively close to Las Vegas that provide promising experiences.


1. You can shell out for your dream festival like Primavera in Barcelona, or Tomorrowland in Belgium. You may end up eating your roommate’s leftovers for the rest of 2014, and maybe 2015, but at least you went, right?
2. You can decide which artists you want/need to experience and attend a few events on our side of the country saving you various airfare and traveling fees. Either way, music festivals are here tow stay, and so is that student budget.



Sasquatch! Music Festival
Quincy, WA

Quite the outlier in musical experiences is the one that is carved in the basalt cliffs high above the Columbia River at The Gorge in Quincy, Wash. Sasquatch! Music Festival also plans to span two weekends with dates on May 23-25 and July 4-6 with multiple genres of music by previous performances like The Postal Service, Sigur Rós, and Steve Aoki. This remote location allows for festival attendees to camp nearby and undergo a musical experience in mother nature, and surrounded by eclectic music.


Musicfest NW
Portland, OR

If you’re an indie kid at heart, look no further than Portland’s Musicfest NW. If you’ve never heard of their prior headlines of Animal Collective or Young the Giant, then you probably won’t know any of the other previous acts. A typical lineup is littered with an undercard of secret stars that most people wouldn’t know if you were saying a band or a string of random words (see Neutral Milk Hotel). There have also been comedic performances in the past to include Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live) where he promoted his show Portlandia. Even though no official date has been released, it is expected that Musicfest NW will return for another extravaganza in the fall of 2014.


Outside Lands
San Francisco, CA

When you think of San Francisco, images of art, free spirits and good vibes come to mind. Naturally, a musical gathering was created to capture the cities great energy known as Outside Lands. Although no official lineup has been released for this year, you will find that out on Aug. 8-10. Golden Gate Park will be filled with musical acts equivalent to previous headliners of Paul McCartney, Phoenix, and even Kaskade.


Rock the Bells
San Francisco, CA / Los Angeles, CA

Hip-hop is honored at this festival all over the country, and can be found in both northern and southern California. With former performances of Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (virtual performance by Easy-E), and so many more, it’s a hip-hop heaven for fans of the genre. As there is no official date set for 2014, devotees can expect a lineup to equate to those from the past. It’s very likely that the recently reunited duo Outkast could headline this festival.


Los Angeles, CA

If a music and art extravaganza is what you want, then the annual two-weekend performer stacked festival is what you’re going to get. Coachella 2014 boasts headliners of Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire that epitomizes the festivals multiple genre encompassing acts. Some noteworthy attractions include massive art installations, complimentary arts and crafts tents, dodge ball tournaments, early-morning yoga instruction and tons of other entertaining activities that ensure you waiting every year for that new lineup to release. This action-packed event takes place on April 12-14 and 18-20 in Indio, Calif.


Insomniac Events
San Bernardino, CA

The promotion company, Insomniac, organizes several electronic gatherings a year where most take place in California. These raves are usually tacked on to major holidays giving EDM lovers a new reason to love the holidays. The upcoming Valentine’s Day affair known as Crush will take place on Feb. 15 in San Bernardino, Calif. with headliner Laidback Luke.


Indio, CA

Also located in Indio, Calif., Stagecoach takes music festival to another place that only country lovers at heart can truly appreciate. To accompany the heartfelt hums and soulful strums is festival cuisine fit for a summer BBQ. Stagecoach 2014 will take place on April 25-27 with headlines of Eric Church, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan with plenty of entertainment for it’s expected 55,000 guests.


Electric Daisy Carnival
Las Vegas, NV

This one hits home to most of us as Las Vegas is blessed to have this yearly tradition that recently brought 300,000 people, marking it the world’s largest electronic dance music festival. Any EDM-loving night owl will tell you just how important this summer weekend is right down to what they will be wearing for this special occasion (Google: rave attire). Mark your calendars, as this year’s EDC will take place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 22-24.


Life is Beautiful
Las Vegas, NV

Life is Beautiful takes place in Las Vegas’s very own Downtown promoting all things beautiful in life. From delicious food catered from local restaurants, building-size art murals, to the hottest musical artists, Life is Beautiful brings light to all of the wonderful things this life has to offer. This young and successful project has a positive future in our city where it will be returning for round two on Oct. 24-26, 2014.

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